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Hard to believe that it is already the end of June ... and yet it is, and I promised another chapter in my "Four Guys named Bob" series. So no more procrastinating, no more excuses! Bob No. 3's story appears below the orange cheese doodle.

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My 8g-grandfather, Robert Moulton III, is not a complete stranger to those who have been following this series, as both his grandfather and his father made legacies to him in their wills. Born in 1644, Bob No. 3 was 11 at the time of his grandfather's death, and had just reached the age of majority when both of his parents died in 1665.

I had hoped to complete researching events between 1666 and Bob 3's marriage in 1672, but life just isn't cooperating to allow me uninterrupted time at the library. Therefore, we need to skip ahead to some crankiness I found in the Essex County court records for September 1678:

(I told you not to forget the apples from Bob No. 1's will!). Now, there are several interesting things about this court excerpt. First, it is one small incident in page after page of accusations against Goodman Corey by a large number of Salem residents. Second, you may be thinking there is something familiar about the name Giles Corey -- and you would be right. He was one of the accused witches executed in 1692.

Additional crankiness was recorded in November 1678, when Goodman Corey brought an action for defamation of character against Bob No. 3 (it was later dismissed):

To get an idea of how much these two contentious men may have been in each other's hair on a daily basis, you need only look at the map of Salem from 1692, showing the farms of Giles Corey and Robert Moulton as practically on top of each other:
... here is a magnified detail (with labels)
And yet, there was a family connection between the two. Robert's younger brother, John Moulton, was married to Giles Corey's daughter Elizabeth (I will have to save that particular story for another diary). So, as irritating as Moulton may have found his neighbor, it is unlikely he would have approved of him be accused as a witch.

Bob No. 3 had a more direct role to play on behalf of Rebecca Nurse--specifically regarding the veracity of one of her accusers. This is a copy of his testimony (followed by the transcript:

(Robert Moulton v. Susannah Sheldon)

the testimony of Robart Moulton sener who testifith and saith that I waching with Susannah sheldon sence she was afflicted I heard her say that the witches halled her Upone her bely through the yeard like a snacke and halled her over the stone walle & presontly I heard her Controdict her former: disCource and said that she Came over the stone wall her selfe and I heard her say that she Rid Upone apoole to boston and she said the divel Caryed the poole
*Robart Mouelton
Samuel Nurs and Joseph Trumball saw Robart moulton sine this wrighting
(Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 59)

Unfortunately, this was not enough to save Goody Nurse from the gallows. For those interested, I found a lot of the source material for this diary in this wonderful website.

You will note that the affidavit refers to "Robart Moulton sener" ... Bob No. 4 was born in 1675, so was about 18 at the time of the Salem troubles. I will save the rest of Bob 3's story for the final installment later this year.

The floor is now yours to discuss witchhunts, crow about your latest discoveries, or rant about the weather (don't get me started).

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