Roy C Peterson in New England
Uncle Nicholas Noyes
Timothy Noyes, from whom the author is descended maternally, lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
His brother Nicholas lived in Salem and was one of the ministers consulted by the officiating magistrates.
From "Witchcraft at Salem" (1)
It was at Martha Corey's examination that one typical behavior first appeared.
She bit her lip, and several of the afflicted children complained that they were bitten. She was charged with biting her lip,
and she quite naturally asked what harm there was in it. The Reverend Mr. Nicholas Noyes of Salem Town explained: "I believe
it is apparent she practiseth Witchcraft in the congregation; there is no need of images."
.... Alden began to speak of the Providence of God in suffering these creatures
in accusing innocent persons. Mr. Noyes asked Alden why he would offer to speak of the Providence of God. "God by his Providence,"
said Mr. Noyes, "governs the world and keeps it in peace," and so went on with discourse and stopped Alden's mouth as to that.
.... At the gallows the Reverend Nicholas Noyes called on Sarah Good to
confess, telling her she was a Witch and she knew she was a Witch. Her reply is justly famous. "You are a liar," she told
him. "I am no more a Witch than you are a Wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink."
... But tradition has it that twenty-five years later, when Nicholas Noyes
lay dying, he choked upon blood that poured copiously from his mouth...This is, of course, the incident Hawthorne adapted
for The House of the Seven Gables.
After the execution Nicholas Noyes, "turning him to the bodies, said, 'What
a sad thing it is to see eight firebrands of Hell hanging there.' "
..... John Hale of Beverly and Nicholas Noyes of Salem, saw their error
relatively early, frankly and openly acknowledged it, were accordingly reconciled to those in their parish who had been injured,
and lived useful and productive lives thereafter.
1. Chadwick Hansen, Mentor (NY, NY: 1969).