Goodwife Clawson was the first that did afflict her, and afterward Mercy Desborough, and after that, sometimes the one and then the other, and in her affliction though it was night, yet it appeared as light as noonday." David Sellick and Abraham Fitch testified, " that when watching with Catherine Branch at the house of David Westcott, in the night, when said Catherine was in her fit, she, looking off the bed, said: 'Goody Miller hold up your arm hyer—I am sure you are a witch for you have got a dog under your arm.' Then said Catherine being asked what she saw, said she saw Goody Miller suckle a black dog. Then I took the light in my hand and went out into the outer room on some occasion, and passing two or three times across the room, I heard the same Catherine Branch scream out; then I took the light and went into the room, and found Abraham Fitch sitting upon the bed, and said Catherine lying across his feet, and seeing him looking very pale I asked what was the matter, and he said, that lying upon the bed he heard Catherine scream out, and looked out, and saw a oall of fire as large as his two hands pass along the dresser to the hearth, and then vanish away."

The testimony was generally of a similar character to the foregoing, except several affidavits describing the blighting of grain, and the strange actions of cattle, sheep, and swine while under the spells of the sorceresses. The water ordeal was resorted to during the progress of the trial, as it had been at Hartford in 1662. Four witnesses swore that Mercy Desborough, being bound hand and foot and put into the water swam like a cork, though one labored to press her down. Elizabeth Clawson also floated. The persons of the accused were also searched for evidence of their guilt.

The Court assembled again at the same place, Oct. 28th, and further testimony was taken. The jury found Mercy Desborough guilty, and being sent out for a second consideration of their verdict, returned that they saw no reason for altering it, and found her guilty as before. The Court approved the verdict, and the Governor passed sentence of death upon her. The others were acquitted. Mercy Desborough was, however, never executed, as the Fairfield Probate Records show her to have been living in 1707, when she was appointed administrator on the estate of her deceased husband.

The first mention of Major Burr in a military capacity is in April, 1690, when he was appointed captain of the " Trayneband of Fairfield." We can readily believe, however, that long before this he had taken an active part in the Indian wars of the colony. He was commissary for Fairfield County in the French and Indian war of 1693, and the next year was appointed major. There is no evidence of his having been commissioned colonel, although he is so called in the Fairfield Records. We have seen that in 1670 he was concerned in the purchase of Weantenock with his brother Jehu (see sketch of Jehu Burr), and also in the planting of Danbury. He had also many other grants from the town and colony. His long lot in Fairfield, granted in 1670, was the 46th from the Stratford line, and was 34 rods 5 links in width. As early as June, 1656, there is a record of several parcels of land purchased by John Burr of Chas. Farham, Wm. Hill, and others. In 1672, "John Burr hath by grant of the town, one parcel of land on the Mill Hill for a pasture, being in quantity, 19 acres three-quarters, and 24 rods, more or less, bounded on the south with land of Cowley Hull, on the west with land of Rowland Hull, by east and north with the commons."

In 1684. "The Town's Committee appointed to exchange land by the town's order, have granted, by way of exchange, unto Mr. John Burr and Mr. Saml. Ward, the Great Swamp on the west end of the Mill Hill, and it is thought by us that the whole we have granted unto them is 25 acres and one half, they to divide it among them when they pleas, and it is bounded on all sides by the common. For and in consideration of the premises, the said John Burr returns to the town his building lot in the woods, and the said Saml. Ward returns to the town his building lot and his pasture lot he had in the woods." Jan. 12, 1673, he had 27 acres by will of his father Jehu, also bought 6 parcels of land, and had two grants from the town including a long lot (this last was the 53d, and was 38 rods 12 l. in width). In 1682 he appears as Assistant Town Clerk. He died in the fall of 1694, after his nomination for Assistant. His will was dated March 19, 1694, and reads as follows:

"Item. I give and bequeath unto my loving son John Burr, my homelot that I now dwell upon, which formerly was Sticklins and Pinkneys, together with all the housing and fences thereon, and three acres and three quarters of land near the old field-gate, be it more or less next adjoining the home-lot, at the rear end of said lots: also I give him a piece of meadow in the home lot, about ten acres, which meadow was my father's, all which said parcels of land and meadow, I entail to the natural male heirs of my said son John, and in defect thereof my son Samuel shall inherit the said lands, and his natural male heirs, and in default of such issue, my sons Jonathan and David shall inherit: also I give unto my son John all my right of land of swamp and reeds at the Beach, and my land in Paul's neck, also my front division of land at Mill Hill: also I give him my lot which was my fathers near Aplegates: also I give him one third part of my long lot that shall remain after my son David hath had eighty acres, which eighty acres I give to my son David of the front of said long lot: he allowing a suitable highway of two rods wide through said land: Also I give my son John the one half of my perpetual commons: also I give him twelve acres of land on Sasco Hill, which land was my father's:

"Item. I give unto my loving son Samuel Burr my farms in the woods which the General Court granted me: I give him forty pounds out of my estate and to be kept out of my estate at the Coledge (Harvard) four years.

"Item. I give unto my son Jonathan, a parcel of land in the new field comanly so called, which land was formerly wessoak and Joseph Biships: also I give him all my meadow in Sasco Neck—Also I give him all my land on Mill Hill the middle division: Also I give him my land in the old field near the new bridge which was my father's: Also I give him the like proportion in my long lot in the woods that I have given to my son John: Also I give him one quarter of my perpetual commons.

"Item. I give unto my son David the home-lot I bought of John Cable, all my swamp at the end of Mill Hill, and my rear division of land at Mill Hill: Also I give him all my land in Sasco Field, which is three parcels: Also I give him the remaining part of the long lot: also I give him my second division of land at Compo: also I give him one quarter part of my commons.

"Item. I give unto my daughter Mary, one hundred pounds, to be paid her when she shall arrive at the age of eighteen years, or at marriage, if sooner.

"Item. I give unto my daughter Deborah, one hundred pounds, to be paid her when she shall arrive at the age of eighteen years, or at marriage if sooner.

"Item. As for my loving daughter Sarah, I have already divided to her her portion: and my will is that in case either of my younger daughters should die in their nonage, the surviving shall inherit her portion, and in like manner I provide in respect to my sons, if any of them shall die in their nonage, the remaining brothers shall inherit their portion: and I do nominate and appoint my loving son John Burr, to be sole executor of this my will, and desire my brother Nathaniel Burr, and my nephew Peter Burr, to be overseers of this my will, and that this, my last will and testament, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 19th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1694, and in the reign six years of their majesties. JOHN BURR, Sen.

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JUDGE PETER BURR. [8]

JUDGE PETER BURR was one of those important personages from Fairfield, mentioned by Hinman as having rendered the name of Burr illustrious. He was one of the first of the name who graduated at Harvard, having entered that institution in 1686, and graduated in 1690. After receiving his degree, he taught a school in Boston for some years, then entered upon the study of law, and when admitted to the bar, settled at Fairfield in the practice of his profession. Shortly after,—May 9, 1700,—as Auditor of the Colony, he entered upon that public career which continued without intermission until his death in 1724. Oct. 10, 1700, he was returned for the first time Deputy for Fairfield, and again May 8, 1701, Oct. 9, 1701, and Oct. 8, 1702. In October and May he was Speaker of the House, and as such was allowed, by a vote of that body, "three pounds for his good conduct in May and October." From this time his promotion was rapid. Oct. 9, 1701, he was nominated for Assistant, but failed of an election; again nominated Oct. 8, 1702, and elected May 13, 1703, and again May 11, 1704, May 10, 1705, May 9, 1706, Oct. 10, 1706 (nominated, elected each term in the following May), Oct. 9, 1707, Oct. 14, 1708, Oct. 13, 1709, Oct. 12,

1710, Oct. 11, 1711, Oct. 9, 1712, Oct. 8, 1713, Oct. 14, 1714, Oct. 13, 1715, Oct. 11, 1716, Oct 10, 1717, Oct. 9, 1718, Oct. 8, 1719, Oct. 13,1720, 1721, 1722, 1723, and 1724. He was present in Court as Assistant, Oct., 1703, 1704, 1705, 1706, and 1707, May, 1708, Oct., 1708, June, 1709, Oct., 1709, May, 1710, Aug., 1710, Oct., 1710, May, 1711, June, 1711 (Special Court at New London, on French and Indian war), Oct., 1711, May, 1713, Oct., 1713, May, 1714, Oct., 1714, May, 1715, Oct., 1715, May, 1716, Oct., 1716, May, 1717, Oct., 1717, May, 1718, Oct., 1718, May, 1719, Oct., 1720, May, 1721, Oct., 1721, Oct., 1722, May, 1723, Oct., 1723, May, 1724, and Oct., 1724.

He appears in Council (Governor and Council), Feb. 6, 1706, Aug.,

1711, Sept., 1711, Oct., 1711, Oct. 26, 1711, March, 1712, Feb., 1713, March, 1714, May, 1714, Oct., 1714 (at New Haven on the death of Queen Anne and accession of George), Oct., 1714, March, 1715, Oct., 1715, May, 1716, Oct., 1716, May, 1717, Oct., 1717, Nov., 1717, Oct., 1718, Dec, 1718, March, 1719, Nov., 1720, Oct., 1721, Nov., 1722, May, 1724, Oct., 1724. Jan. 16, 1725, Joseph Wakeman was appointed Judge of Probate for Fairfield, vice Hon. Peter Burr, deceased.

The records of some of the above meetings of the Council in which he participated are of great public interest. That of Dec. 3, 1718, was called for consultation on the famous Yale College case. Shortly before, the college had been removed from Saybrook to New Haven, not without protests, however, from several of the trustees and other parties interested, in particular Mr. Daniel Buckingham, of Saybrook, a trustee, having books and papers of the college, refused to deliver them up, alleging that he had no books or papers belonging to Yale College. The Council, however, thought differently, and (we quote from the records) "The said Buckingham continuing refractory, the Sheriff of the County of New London was instructed to demand the books, and, on his refusal, to enter into the said house and chamber and deliver to the rector of the said college, Mr. Samuel Andrew, or to either of the gentlemen, viz: Mr. Samuel Russell, of Branford, or Mr. Thomas Ruggles, of Guilford, by him appointed to receive them; and the said Buckingham was ordered to give bonds with surety in the sum of one hundred pounds for his appearance at the General Court at Hartford in May, to answer for misdemeanor and contempt in refusing to deliver up the said books and papers."

February, 1707, a letter from Gen. Schuyler of New York was read, "saying that he was informed that the French and enemy Indians were preparing to make a descent upon the frontier towns of New England"; also one from Capt. John Minor and Mr. John Sherman, "signifying their suspicion that Pohtatuck and Owiantonuck Indians were invited to join with the enemy, and these two tribes were ordered to be removed with all convenient speed to Fairfield and Stratford, and if this could not be done, then two of their chiefs were to be taken to Fairfield and held there as hostages for their good behavior." Orders were also sent to the " frontier towns " of Symsbury, Waterbury, Woodbury, and Danbury, "to provide with all possible speed a sufficient number of well fortified houses, for the safety of themselves and families, in their respective towns; and that they maintain a good scout out every day, of two faithful and trusty men, to observe the motions of the enemy."

March, 1712, "ordered that Lieut. Wm. Crocker, of New London, be forthwith dispatched with a party of volunteers, not exceeding 15 men (if they can be obtained), consisting of English and Indians, to march into the province of Hampshire, to join with the scout that shall be sent from thence up to Coasset, to meet with the Indian enemy (if it may be) that, according to information, are hunting in those parts."

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