John and Mary Arnold
for Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce
Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Volume 1 Page 128
Many factors led to the witchcraft accusations in Salem.
Essex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643 by the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when it ordered "that the whole plantation within this jurisdiction be divided into four sheires."
These may Cartify home it may Consarne that wee hous names are
underritten being dasired by sum of the Realeations of Mary [estwek] and sarah Cloise to give our obsarvation how they behaved tham sales
while thay Remained in Bostorn prison we dow affirme [th] at wee
[torn] saw noe ill Carreg or Behavor in tham But that thare daportment wase verey sobere and Civell as wittnes our hands
this is truee copie John Arnold [keeper of the prison] Marey Arnold
Salem is in Essex County, Massachusetts and was a significant seaport in early America. John Endicott obtained a patent from England and arrived there in 1628. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of Beverly, Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea.
In the 17th century jails were used as places to hold people accused of crimes until they were brought to trial, but not as places of punishment. A debtor could be held in jail until he paid his debts and political dissidents were also jailed. Punishments included execution, maiming, public humiliation and monetary fines.