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Hopkinton has connection to Salem witch trials

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Featured

D.T. Bridges Boot Manufactory

The D.T. Bridges Boot Manufactory, which was located on Main Street in Hopkinton, was founded by a descendant of one of the women accused of being a Salem witch.

By John Ritz
Special to the Independent

With the approach of Halloween, the city of Salem gets its annual spotlight because of the witch trials of the 1600s. Did you know there’s a Hopkinton connection to those trials? One of the accused was Sarah Cloyce. She was the daughter of William and Joanna Towne, and she married twice, first to Edmund Bridges, by whom she had six children, and second to Peter Cloyce, a widower, by whom she had three more children.

Along with two of her sisters, Sarah was accused of witchcraft and jailed. Her sisters were hanged, but Sarah escaped the noose (some accounts say she was pardoned, others say her husband broke her out of jail) and left Salem. She and her family relocated to Framingham, along with other folks from Salem, on what is now Salem End Road.

Sarah’s children (including the Bridges children) and their descendants settled throughout the surrounding towns, including Hopkinton. One of those descendants was Daniel Thurber Bridges, owner of the D.T. Bridges Boot Manufactory. A huge operation, it was a key part of Hopkinton’s role as a leading maker of footwear in the 1800s. When it was destroyed by fire in April 1883, it employed 600 workers. The site where it stood now is occupied by Bill’s Pizza and Middlesex Savings Bank.

The Hopkinton History Center, operated by the Hopkinton Historical Society, is located at 168 Hayden Rowe Street and is open on Mondays from 2-5 p.m. The center’s collection includes records dating as early as the town’s incorporation, along with photos, maps and artifacts.

3 Comments

  1. Tammi Peters

    Thank you for this information. Sarah is my 9x G-grandmother. I always like to find new facts about her descendants.

  2. Judy Zecha

    Sarah Recieves 3 Gold Sovereigns
    Sarah was my 7th Great Grandmother. Three Sovereigns For Sarah After the court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved, and all the witchcraft cases cycled through by May of 1693, the processes of petitioning for compensation and overturning the earlier verdicts began. At the fore of this effort was Mary’s husband, Issac Easty. It took almost 20 years, but on October 17, 1710, the General Court passed an act that, “the several convictions, judgments, and attainders be, and hereby are, reversed, and declared to be null and void.” Further, on December 17, 1711, Governor Dudley issued a warrant awarding Issac 20 pounds sterling in compensation for the injustice of the 1692 verdict against Mary. Mary’s sister Sarah received 3 gold Sovereigns, each worth ¼ of a pound. Sarah retrieved them herself, in her first and only return to Salem.

    Sarah Receives 3 Gold Sovereigns
    17 Oct 1710

  3. Matthew Bridges

    Daniel Thurber Bridges was the 4th great grandson of this Edmund, 5th great grandson of the immigrant Edmund.