Peter Woodbury born 19 June 1640

Peter Woodbury was born 19 June 1640 in Salem, MA, the son of John and Ann Woodbury.  He married Sarah Dodge on 2 July 1667 in Beverly, MA.  Among his children are daughters Anna and Priscilla, who are both my 7th great grandmothers on the Hodges side.   

Just as Peter’s father was well educated, it appears Peter was, as well, if his handwriting may be considered evidence.  Peter and Sarah were members in the Beverly Church on October 23, 1667.  He held various offices in Beverly.  He was elected a deacon in 1686, and was ordained January 12, 1688/89.  It was during his incumbency in this office that the witchcraft delusion swept over Salem and it is related of him that he kept his horses saddled to assist the persecuted to flee to New Hampshire out of the jurisdiction of the trial Court.  If this is true, it shows great courage, for if any of those in authority showed any hint of leniency in those dark days they were liable to speedy arraignment on a similar charge. 

Peter’s father John Woodbury had arranged the Massachusetts Bay charter.  When it was vacated, the colonists threw off the royal authority, and convened a legislature for self government until a new regime was established.  Lieutenant Peter Woodbury was elected and approved as one of the deputies of this body.  When the new charter was granted, and the legislature created, Peter was chosen as a deputy from Beverly.   Peter belonged to a troop of horse in Beverly.  He lived on the property granted to his deceased father.

Peter died 5 July 1704 in Beverly.  Sarah died in 1726.

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