ABOUT 1613 TO DECEMBER 1683
HEALY, b. about 1613; d. December 1683. He married (1)
REBECCA/GRACE IVES. He married in 1650 (2) MARY ROGERS, daughter of REV.
NATHANIEL ROGERS. He married (3) GRACE BUTTERICE October 14, 16531,
daughter of NICHOLAS BUTTERICE. He married (4) PHEOBE/REBECCA GREEN August
05, 1661, daughter of BARTHOLOMEW GREEN. He married (5) SARA BROWN,
"widow and schooldame," November 29, 1677.
of WILLIAM HEALY and GRACE BUTTERICE is:
2. i. NATHANIEL2 HEALY, b. Abt. 1658; d. June 02, 1734, Cambridge,
Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.
From notes of Teresa Haldorson:
"Was born in 1613, evidently a descendant of Hugh Hele, progenitor of the
Cornwood line of
Hele's in Devon, (Herald's Visitations of 1620) as Banks' Topographical Dictionary of English
Emigrants to New England, from 1620 to 1630, lists him as coming from Comwood. Hugh's son,
John Hele, married Alide Fortescue of Comwood and had three sons. The eldest. Richard
Hele, established his residence in Neary, but Richard's son John Hele is described in Vivian's
Visitations of the County of Devon as "of Comwood" the last reported as of that place. This
seems to be as close as we can get to the origin of William Hele who came to the Colonies. The
Society of Genealogists in London have a transcsript of Comwood parish registers, but
unfortunately the period covered is 1685-1834; the earlier registers having been destroyed by fire
there. In adition to the loss of the earlier registers, the Society reports that Devonshire wills were
destroyed by enemy action in World War II, 1939-1945.
American histories say William Hele came first to Lynn, Mass. about 1640 where he early
joined the church; became a freeman in Marshfield in 1643, was of Roxbury in 1649, and finally
was dismissed from the church in "Lin" to join that in Cambridge with his family. There he
settled "upon the rocks" apparently the rocky ridge upon which Harvard Observatory now stands.
A street in this area is still called Healey Street. He had five wives and his twelve children were
born in Roxbury and Cambridge.
An esteem citizen, a church member, a landholder, and prison-keeper for ten years from 1672 to 1682, at the age of seventy years he was charged with a misdemeanor. Fabricated accusations
prompted by jealousy or vindictiveness were not uncommon in the Colonies between 1656 and 1692. He died within a year, 11/28/1683, and his remains lie in "The Old Burying Grounds" in
Cambridge. (Donna La Rue, a church/burying ground
researcher and tour guide in the Harvard Square area has done some research into
this matter and has not been able to find any evidence that William Healy was
buried in the Old Cambridge Burying Ground. If he was, "Heal(e)y
was either buried without a gravestone or in a family crypt with no other
marker. (See June 26th entry on Donna's emails below.)
Donna also indicated that the charges
against Healy might well have been true. (See "Charges" below.)
References: Bowen's Genealogies ofWoodstock Families, Vol. VII, p. 18;
Ellis' History ofRoxbury; Encyclopedia of Mass. Vol. 5, p 172
New England Hist. Gen. Reg. Vol. 27, p 139;
Harris' Epitaphs of the Old Burying Grounds at Cambridge;
Paige's History of Cambridge;
Records of Cambridge—Grants by Selectmen, P. 238;
London Society of Genealogists from Herald's Visitations.
1st wife - Grace Ives (says Calnek) daughter of Miles Ives ofWatertown, married in 1643.
However, Bowen's History ofWoodstock concludes that Grace Ives and Grace Butterice, or
Buttry(s)-see 3rd wife— appear to be one and the same person. Nico Buttry(s) aged 33, wife Martha, aged 28- born about 1606, and daughter Grace, age 1, sailed from Ye Port of London in ship James and arrived in Cambridge 7/13/1635. (Hotten's Original Lists of Persons of Quality (1600-1700). No further mention is made of the family until in 1654 Grace Butterice married
William Healy. Miles Ives, whose wife's name was Martha, born about 1606, in his will dated 12/30/1683, mentioned his grandchildren Nathaniel and Martha Healy. The conclusion is drawn that Nicholas Butterice died, Martha married Miles Ibes about 1638, and her daughter Grace
Butterice, became known as Grace Ives. Miles Ives and wife Martha had other children: Sarah b. 11/8/1639, Mary b. 10/5/1641, and Hannah b. 9/9/1643.
The record of the death of William Hele's first wife appears in the Roxbury Land and Church Records, page 174.
"1649 Month 9 day 8 (12/8/1649) Sister Heli died in childbed with other diseases which cause
her child to die and was take from her by peeches."
Bown suggests that the first wife was probably a near relative or close friend of Elizabeth, the widow of John Morrick ofHingham, because in her will dated 5/7/1650 she bequeather "to William Healy
of Roxbury." Elizabeth Moricke also willed "to my sister Grace Allam in Linckconeshire L5". This sister "Grace" obviously could not have
been William Hele's first wife either.
...."In England (and the Colonies) the legal year began on Annunciation Day, which was March
25th. The change to January 1st took place in 1752. Hence the "27th of the 1st" would be March
27th, while the "2nd of the 1st" would be April 2nd, etc. Dates between January 1 and March 25
are sometimes written thus; Feb. 21,1574-5, which is 1575 according to present reckoning."
2nd wife- Mary Rogers dau. of Rev. Nathaniel Robers of Roxbury, m. in 1650 (Col. Joseph L.
Chandler's "Rogers' Pedigree" pub. in NEHG Reg. Vol. 41, p 165). They moved to Cambridge
where wife died. Roxbury Church and Land Records, p. 175: "1651 month 9, day 29 (11/29/1651) The wife
of Neighbor Hawley died." She died before her father, which would
account for her not being mentioned in his will. Rev. Nathaniel Robers, b. in Haverhill, England
in 1598, d. 7/3/1655, aged 57 years, was 2nd son of Rev. John Rogers, a district minister
afterwards of Dedham, England, who was grandson of the Martyr John Rogers. Rev. Nathaniel
Rogers was educated at Emanuel College, England, which he entered when about 14 years old.
He married Margaret Crane of Coggshell or Coxhall, Essex; arrived in Boston 11/1636; was
ordained pastor of the Church at Ipswich 2/20/1638; took Oath of Freedom 9/6/1683. His oldest
son, John Rogers, was made President of Harvard College 8/12/1683 and d. 7/28/1684.
3rd wife- Grace Butterice daughter of Nicholas Butterice, m. 10/14/1653; d. 1660 Records of the
Church of Christ at Cambridge, N.E., 1632-1830, edited by S.F. Sharples, gives a "List of
Members in the handwriting of Rev. Jonathan Mitchell" on page 12;
"(17)William Heily & Grace his wife both members of this Ch. in full
His Hannah* )children *admitted into f. Com. March.27.63.
Dismissed to Salisbury
Elizabeth )June. 24. 1667."
William ) Borne at Roxbury & baptized there whiles He Stood member
of the Church of Lin from whence He was dismissed to us.
Also Grace (daughter of William & Grace) borne & baptized in this church.
Nathaniel baptized ffebr.6.1658.
Martha baptized Septembr.9.1660.
Samuel Heily Son of William & Phebe (formerly Green) baptized
Paul Heily baptized April 3d. 1664.
Mary Heily baptized Octob. 29.1665.
Healy History by Ethel Brown Carrier, 1968
formal complaint lodged on 30 July 1666 against William Healey of Cambridge for
maltreating his wife came from her brother Samuel Green and her brother-in-law
Thomas Langhorn. However, the most damning evidence came from two servants,
Samuel Reynolds and Daniel Beckley.
On the 13th of Aprill William Healey sent us to Boston, but as before our
departure he was chiding his wife we therfor went back to the house and saw sd.
Healey beating and kicking her. On the 7th of May after all were a bed the child
begann to crie and Healey told her to quiet the child but it continuing he bid
her to lye further off or else he would stick his teeth down her throat and he
struck her with his hand and she cried out, then he took her by the wrists and
twisted her to pieces (as she afterwards said) so that she wore a plaister for
two weeks and cried with the pain of it for two hours. Healey hearing us
talking in bed made a bemoaning of himself as though she had beaten him and
listening again he did not hear us and said to her Ah Wicked roan hast though
not done houling yet & bid her cry aloud her God was asleep and bid her gett
all her lyes in a bag together and present them to her God he would not hear her
else. On 27th of May there was a falling out in bed and Daniel Beckley counted
three blowes and she said Will you kill me then fove blows then eight. Next
morning William Healey owned to Sam Reynolds that he had struck her four or five
times. When Daniel Beckley was setting him over to Boston he admitted that he
struck her but told him to say nothing, let her prove it. On the last of June a
Saturday we were returning with Arthur from Boston when we heard a great noise
from the house; we held still our oars and heard three blows and shee looking
out at the window cryed for Gods sake help me he will kill me. William
Healey said some of us had given her tobacco & now she was mad. His
wife came from the chamber and vexed him and he caried her to the chamber and
beat her. She spoke without any distemper. His constant dayly course was to
curse att her & revile her & her friends, her generation as he called
them beggars. He referred to her brothers Langhorn and Greene to their disgrace
& all her generation were thieves and whoremasters. Concerning her he would
say God had burnt out one of her eyes & drawn up one side of her mouth &
he would quickly do the like to the other & make her a spectacle of his
wrath. He oft twitt her in the teeth of her being a [church] member, saying the
church saw nothing in her wherefore they received her in but that she made two
or three fine kerchies...he would oft tell her of her being nailed to the door
and threshold...she remonstrated with him saying he must answer for them [his
sins] one day before God to which he replyed do you take Gods name in your
mouth; you might as well take my arse in your mouth you prophane woman...him let
him be brought forth and he would strip in the street...[they were] damned
rogues and whores that know any evill by him and do not bring him forth.
Daniel Gookin and Thomas Danforth examined the couple together. The wife (whose
first name we never discover from the records) substantiated the servants'
testimony, adding some further details. her husband had also called her
"lying slut" and had used "a wand the size of a good riding
rod" to beat her. Healey admitted reproachful words and some
violence, but it was "not to hurt her" or was merely "accidental
blowes riseing from the bed." The incident heard from the boat on the last
Saturday in June arose when "she put out her neck and said Come old Healey
cutt off my head and he gave her a chuck under the chin & that was all. The
wife says she desired she may never have a like chuck for it was to be seen many
In a written statement to court, Healey pointed out that the servants evidence
was "their apprehensions, not what they saw" and that noise and a
clamorous woman tend to go together. He cited a statement by Beckley to "my
mother Ives (wife of Miles Ives of Roxbury), that if his dame had nobody to
scould at she would scould at the wall...If any words have passed from him in
his passion, which are not according to godlinesse, he desires to be deeply
humbled for them in the sight of God and men."
Healey's final counterthrust was to question the motives of his two servants,
Reynolds "a loose and scandalous person," had been refused permission
to marry Healey's daughter. Beckley, "a refractory servant," sought to
"recompense his master for his correcting him for his miscarriages."
Support for Healey's defense came from two sources. Reynolds was committed on 12
August 1667 for fathering a bastard on Healey's daughter and for going to his
house "in a violent manner causing William Healey to cry out murther."
John Guy, aged twenty-two, who had often worked at Healey's recounted verbal
We won morning were att brekfast and she having the child in her armes he cutt
her a peece of cheese and asked her if she would have itt and she apon no other
ocagion tooke it and threw it at him and bid him eate it himselfe for she did
believe that he did gruge it to her and apon no other ocagion cald him Tom
Tinker and ould Heiley and ould roge and said he was a murderer and had murdered
three wifes already and would murder her; then his answere was to her was this;
poor woman I am sory to see thee thus discomposed and desired the lord to give
her grase and many times I have heard him say to her that if that she would but
be quiet with him he would let her have any thing that she wanted and she should
Not suprisingly the aged Elizabeth Green, the wife's mother, painted a rather
different picture, "when her face was burnt he tooke upon him to dres her
face, when her face was sore, and spoild it." She described "his
carage and his childrens to her how she was slited and if anything was wasted or
amis...she had done it...She hath not so much authority as to give her children
any victuals but what she must ask his daughters for. If he was reproved, he
threatened "he would leave [her] and now he hath spoild her he would divers
times bid her get her to her friends." Finally in claiming the foresight of
mothers-in-law through the ages, she referred to her unwillingness to give
consent to the match and the promises the ardent Healey had made to quiet her
apprehensions of her daughter's likely "discouragement in the family from
himself or children."
Although, tantalizingly, the court's judgement on this case has not survived,
the testimony gives us a remarkably vivid insight into family dynamics;
generational conflict between an old husband of fifty-three and a wife twenty
years younger; the mythic wicked stepmother here transformed into the isolated
and pilloried intruder, the jeolousy of a church member of long standing for one
of the recently elected saints; the reprisal powers of servants against stern
masters; the baby as a source of conflict and bed as a battlefield - one of the
few places available for private warfare.
The violent marriage came to an end in 1671 when the fourth Goodwife Healey
seems to have died in childbirth. We know from other sources that Healey held
the post of keeper of the prision in Cambridge during the 1670s and early 1680s.
As such he was able legally to keep his flogging arm in trim as the official
executor of corporal punishment. In 1674 his services were employed by Harvard
College to give a public whipping to an undergraduate who had uttered
blasphemous words concerning the Holy Ghose. In 1682 when he was
sixty-nine, he was caught in the prison in the act of copulation with the
already heavily pregnant Mary Lovell. For this, he was dismissed from his post,
evicted from his house, and sentenced with a certian poetic justice to be
whipped twenty stripes in April 1683. Six months later the flogged flogger
flagged and died. He left an estate worth only six pounds." (Sex in
Middlesex by Roger Thompson)
age in 1666 was fifty-three, at most twenty-three years older than his wife.
Previously he had been married to (1) Grace Ives, whose first child by him had
been baptized in 1644; she had died in childbirth in 1649; (2) Mary, daughter of
Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, married in 1650, died in 1653; (3) Grace
Buttress, married 1653, who was dead by 1660. The Healey's had had three
children since their marriage in 1661; Samuel born in Sept. 1662, Paul in April
1664, and Mary in Oct. 1665. She was in fact Phoebe, daughter of Bartholomew
Green who had died in 1635 two years after his arrival in Cambridge. She must
have been at least twenty-five when she married Healey on 15 June 1661.
No more children were baptized to them after 1665. On 8 April 1672, Thomas
Langhorn was keeping Hannah Healey, born in 1671, and receiving five pounds from
the town rate.
Healey's fifth marriage, in 1677, was to widow and school dame, Sarah Brown.
is thought that William Hele arrived in the colonies about 1640, shortly after
history commences, and he would have been present during much of the
formation of Cambridge.
A Brief History of Cambridge
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1630, a fleet of 11 ships carrying 700 passengers, set sail from England, bound
for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This dedicated band of Puritans hoped to build
their community around a purer, more Biblical church.
newcomers settled several villages around Massachusetts Bay, but could not agree
on a capital. Seeking a protected site, John Winthrop and his Assistants chose a
small hill on the north bank of the Charles River, at the entrance to a small
creek, 5 miles upstream from Boston. The Charles was deep enough to accommodate
the era's large ships, yet the passage was treacherous for those unfamiliar with
the narrow channel. Later, a "pallysadoe," a series of stockade fences
and a trench, was built around the town.
as Cambridge was known until 1638, was laid out in an orderly grid of streets,
bounded today by Eliot Square and Linden Street, Massachusetts Avenue and the
River. Each family owned a house lot in the village, planting fields outside,
and a share in the common land. Boston was eight long miles away: a ferry at the
foot of JFK Street carried passengers over the river to a path -- now North
Harvard Street -- that led through Brookline and Roxbury, eventually traversing
the spit of land that is now Washington Street. Until the Great Bridge was built
in 1660-62, this was the only way to Boston, except via the ferry from
Newtowne had a meetinghouse, a school, and a marketplace (Winthrop Square).
Harvard College, one of the first colleges in America, was founded six years
later, to train young men for the ministry and for positions of leadership
within the godly community.
the time of the American Revolution, Cambridge was a quiet New England farming
village clustered near the Common and the College. The majority of residents
were descendants of the original Puritans -- farmers, artisans, and tradesmen,
whose lives focussed on Cambridge. Distinctly different were a small group of
Anglicans -- barely a dozen households -- who lived apart from village affairs,
relied on outside incomes, and entertained lavishly in grand homes along Tory
Row (now Brattle Street). All of these houses and their church, Christ Church,
Dawes rode out Massachusetts Avenue on his way to Concord on April 18, 1775. The
following afternoon, four Cambridge Patriots died in a skirmish with retreating
British regulars at the corner of Massachusetts and Rindge Avenues. The
provisional government confiscated many Loyalist estates -- George Washington
used the Vassal-Craigie-Longfellow House as his headquarters for nine months in
1775-6. During the Siege of Boston, the General supervised the construction of
three earthenwork forts along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The
remains of one, Fort Washington, can still be seen in Cambridgeport.
became a city in 1846, uniting three rival villages -- Old Cambridge,
Cambridgeport and East Cambridge.
Cambridge had grown slowly and still retained its charming rural character.
Small shops catered to the community and to students. Drawn by Harvard, and
later Radcliffe College, brilliant men and women imparted an intellectual luster
to the village. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, Elizabeth
Cabot Cary Agassiz (founder of Radcliffe), William Dean Howells -- all were seen
on the streets of the village.
the opening of the West Boston (now Longfellow) Bridge in 1793, only three
families lived east of Quincy Street. The bridge offered the first direct route
from Cambridge to Boston and cut the distance between the two from 8 to 3 miles.
Cambridgeport grew up along the roads leading to the bridge. Pleasant
residential neighborhoods spread out from Massachusetts Avenue, while Central
Square became the city's true downtown. Margaret Fuller, writer and editor --
and the first woman allowed to use the Harvard library -- grew up in
Cambridgeport, as did Richard Henry Dana, author of Two Years Before the Mast.
Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison was a resident.
Cambridge was opened for development in 1809, when the Canal Bridge, adjacent to
the present Museum of Science, was completed. The area was the city's major
industrial center until the 1880s. Furniture and glass factories were among the
industries attracted by cheap land, water transportation, and proximity to
Boston. Andrew Craigie, a leading Cambridge speculator, lured the county
courthouse and jail to East Cambridge by offering to donate new buildings in
1813. In 1841, social activist Dorothea Dix was outraged by conditions in the
jail and began her pioneering work in prison reform.
devastating potato blight that struck Ireland in 1845 caused many of that
country's rural population to flee. Thousands landed in Boston and Cambridge,
destitute and without resources. Irish immigrants worked in the clay pits and
brickyards of North Cambridge, housed in crowded workers' cottages. The majority
of the city's Irish lived in East Cambridge, laboring at unskilled jobs in the
glass works and furniture factories. They developed a close-knit community,
centered on and supported by the Catholic Church. By 1855, 22% of the adults in
East Cambridge were Irish-born.
the turn of the century, immigrants from Italy, Poland, and Portugal began to
arrive in the city, settling primarily in Cambridgeport and East Cambridge.
French Canadians and Russian Jews came at this time, as well, settling in North
Cambridge and Cambridgeport, respectively.
small population of African Americans had lived in Cambridge from the earliest
Colonial days, and in the early 19th century Cambridge's integrated
schools attracted many families from Boston. Harriet Jacobs, born a slave in
North Carolina, ran a boarding house in the city in the 1870s. She had lived in
hiding for 7 years before escaping to the North and later wrote an account of
her years in bondage, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Educator
Maria Baldwin, a native Cantabrigian, held home study classes for Harvard's
black students, including W.E.B. DuBois. In 1889, she was appointed headmaster
of the Agassiz School, the first African American to hold such a position in the
North. Twenty markers commemorating prominent Cambridge African Americans have
been erected throughout the city.
Cambridge is home to a culturally diverse population of over 95,000. Over fifty
languages may be heard on the streets of the city, including Spanish, Creole,
Portuguese, Chinese, Amharic, and Korean. Children from 82 different countries
of origin attend the public schools. College students from around the world
study at Harvard, Radcliffe, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and
Lesley College. The heavy industries of the 19th and early 20th
centuries have been replaced by technology-based enterprises, including
electronics, self-developing film and cameras, software and biotechnology
can discover more about the architectural and social history of Cambridge at the
Historical Commission. Please visit us at 831 Massachusetts Avenue (the Lombardi
Building, right next to City Hall), call us at (617) 349-4683, or vitit our
Web site at http://www.ci.Cambridge.ma.us/~Historic.
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Nova Scotia Genealogies by George S. Brown, page 129. Came to Mass. about
1613 and was admitted Freeman at Marshfield in 1643 (william of Lynn,
removed to Roxbury c. 1644) was living in Roxbury in 1649, and removed hence
to Cambridge (c. 1653), where he d. 28th Nov., 1683, aged 70. William is
given as an early inhabitant of Lynn, and later removed to Roxbury and
thence to Cambridge. He was a prison keeper as early as 1674, which office
he held until 29 Dec. 1682, when he was removed for gross misconduct, "sntenced
to be severely whipped 20 stripes," and became an inmate of the prison. He
d. 28 Nov. 1683, a. 70. He had five wives.
Note for: William Healy, 1613 - 28 Nov 1683 Index
Date: 18 Aug 1613
Place: Bottesford, Lincolnshire, England
BIOGRAPHY: Summary of William Healy of New England and evidence
that he was William Healey of Burringham is summarized as follows:
1. The names of the two individuals are identical, - William Healey and
William Healy, - the surname of the latter appearing in the records
often spelled Healey.
2. The birth date of William Healey of Burringham appears to be
identical with the birth date of William Healy, which we know to be
3. William Healey of Burringham was a younger son, without prospect of
inheritance, and therefore ripe for opportunity to better his fortune in
the new world.
4. The opportunity was at hand in the Puritan emigration of the decade
1630-1640, heavily recruited from his home vicinity u under local
Lincolnshire leaders, and made particularly available by the
encouragement given to emigrants by the merchants of the nearby city of
5. At this time, about 1636, the young William Healy appears in the
Massachusetts Bay Colony at Lynn, and as a member of the church of Lynn,
- a community founded by and under the
leadership of Rev. Samuel Whiting, of Boston in Lincolnshire.
6. William Healey of Burringham is not accounted for in family records
of later years, whereas all three of his brothers are carried on in the
7. William Healy of New England appears to have been known to have been
of gentility, in that he was accepted by families of high standing,
though not overly successful in his own right.
8. His benefactress, the widow Elizabeth Merrick, who bequeathed money
to him, and who took a special interst in his children, was from
9. William Healy's first close association in New England, and his first
marriage, was with the Suffolk family of Ives; two of the brothers of
William Healey of Burringham had made marriages with a Suffolk gentry
10.The whole later career of William Healy in the colony tends to
indicate that he might well have been the restless son of a good family,
never very fortunate, and not able to merge too successfully into the
surroundings in which he found himself in the new world.
This circumstantial evidence as to the origin of William Healy
of New England makes an interesting and convincing case, and if the
conclusion reached is correct, four generations of family lineage are
added to the nimber recorded in America. If it is true that he was
William Healey of Burringham, the line of descent goes back unbroken to
the early years of the sixteenth century and the days of Henry VIII.
BIOGRAPHY: "William Healy married for the fourth time on 15 August 1661.
This marriage was to Phebe Green, daughter of Bartholomew Green and his
wife Elizabeth. It is from this marriage that the descents of the Nova
Scotia and Ontario Haley families are traced. Bartholomew Green had come
to New England in 1634 with his wife, his sons Samuel and Nathaniel, and
his daughters Sarah and Phebe. He had died within a year after his
coming. About 1646 the daughter Sarah had married Thomas Longhorne, who
was a butcher and also the Cambridge town drummer. The widow Elizaabeth
Green and her unmarried daughter Phebe were long members of the
Cambridge church, as was William Healy. At the time of his marriage he
was forty-eight years of age, and Phebe Green was approaching forty. In
the next few years William Healy continued with his business, which
required several servants and apprentices. William Healy was one of the
signers of a petition addressed to the General Court, expressing loyalty
to his majesty the King, and satisfaction with the present government,
provided the chartered rights of the Colony were not interfered with.
Three children were born to Phebe Green during this period. The first
was a son, Samuel, second of William Healy's children to bear the name.
He was baptized in Cambridge church 21 September 1662. Another son Paul,
ancestor of the Nova Scotia and Ontario families, was baptized 3 April
1664. A daughter, Mary, second of the name, was baptized on 29 October
1665. About this time began an interlude of six distress ridden years.
The story can be read in the Middlesex County Court records, where the
testimony of parties and witnesses is set down with the utmost
Elizabethan frankness. Phebe Green seems to have suffered severe burns,
leaving her face badly scarred and causing blindness in one of her eyes.
She seems not to have recovered from the shock, and to have verged on
being a psychopathic case. She began to complain of abuse by her
husband, and of domineering by her husband's daughters, and seems to
have given way to melancholia. Her aged mother, distressed by the
situation, and believing her story, prevailed upon her son, Phebe's
brother Samuel Green, with her son-in-law, Thomas Longhorne, to bring
action against William Healy for abuse of his wife. The parties were
examined and testimony of witnesses was taken before the Middlesex Court
30 July 1666. The case was set for hearing 2 October 1666, at which time
additional affidavits of witnesses were presented, and the answer of
William Healy was made. The witnesses against him were, in particular,
two of his servants, Samuel Reynolds and Daniel Beckley, and they told a
most lurid story, William Healy, in defense, showed that they were
prejudiced against him, in that Samuel Reynolds was a loose and
scandalous person to whom he had denied his daughter Elizabeth's hand in
marriage, and that Daniel Beckley was a refractory servant, "seeking
occasion to recompense his Master for his correcting him for his
miscarriages." Some testimony was given in William Healy's behalf, -
that he had been patient to the extreme in the face of shrewish
outbursts by his wife. The Court seems to have taken this view of the
matter, and the case ended. It must be remembered that mental
disturbance was not viewed in those days as it is now, and that
restraint and attempted correction were the only courses open to a
husband with an afflicted wife. In August 1667, the following year,
Samuel Reynolds, the first of the witnesses mentioned above, was shown
to be a rascal, when he was arrested and confined for an attempted
violent assault upon William Healy, and for misconduct with the second
daughter, Elizabeth. After this incident Elizabeth seems to have gone to
live with her married sister Hannah at Salisbury, and for a time there
appears to have been relative quiet in William Healy's home. In 1672
William Healy was appointed Prison Keeper of Cambridge. On an
ill-starred day in October, 1682, a damsel named Deborah Cane, aged 28,
venturing into the prison and up the stairs unannounced, claimed that
she detected William Healy in compromising circumstances with one Mary
Lovell, a strumpet who had been confined in his custody. She, "in great
amazement and shame",reported the fact to one Zachery Hicks. A self
appointed committee of Hicks, Goldin Moore, and John Gove saw William
Healy about the matter, and he "utterly denied ye thing." Some time
later he came to Goldin Moore's house, "at their desire", which probably
means under compulsion, as John Gove was a constable, and, "after some
paines wer tooke wth him hee did Confess yt it was true." From this
language it may be surmised that the meeting was of the nature of what
in modern times is called the third degree. The shock and the disgrace
seem to have been more than the aged man could endure, for he went into
a collapse from which he never recovered. In any event, he was removed
from his office, was sentenced to be severely whipped, and was
imprisoned. He died in prison on 28 November 1683."