Alice (Mrs. Henry) Lake,
executed as a witch
- by Alice Marie Beard

In about 1651, near modern-day Boston, a mother of five lost her baby to death. After her baby died, she imagined she saw the baby. Because of that, she was accused and convicted of being a witch, and she was executed. The claim in the town of Dorchester, MA, was that the devil was coming to her in the form of her deceased, beloved child. Records are scant, but they show she had an opportunity to recant her story on the day of her execution and possibly to save her life. She did not recant her story, but she said she knew why God was punishing her: She had engaged in sex prior to marriage, become pregnant, and attempted a self-abortion. Hollywood has missed a good story; Alice Lake's story is a classic. She was ruled by two strong, womanly pulls -- guilt and grief.

In the early part of the 20th century, Alice had a descendant who was a medical doctor who spent many years researching her story and trying to track her descendants. This man described Alice's story best:

"Here is a penitent, broken hearted, submissive woman, laying bare the greatest secret of her bosom, asking forgiveness; yet the damnable tactics of the fanatical Christian Church string her up like a miserable tramp."

There is a site on the 'net that considers the sexual implications of the "witch charges." It is not a site intended for children, but in light of that fact that Alice Lake confessed sexual "crimes" in what may have been a confession attempting to save her life, the point of view of the article is worth considering. CLICK HERE for "Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Woman to Live: The Reasons Behind the Hiding of Women's Sexuality During the Witchcraze."

I spent the better part of six months trying to figure out Alice's story, and in the end I had no definite answers. The records of her trial are lost; Alice can be seen only in traces and reflections. There is no known record of her from when she still lived. The first the records show she lived was after she was dead, when the townsmen were trying to figure out what to do with Alice's children since she was dead and her husband had fled. Like most of the women accused of witchcraft, Alice was not well off financially; in today's world, she and her husband would be described as "poor, working class." She was a married woman with at least five children, all presumably fathered by her only known husband, Henry Lake. In 1651, those children would have been a girl about ten, a boy about seven, a boy about five, a child about three who likely was a boy, and an infant. Alice's year of birth is unknown, but because of the ages of her children, she was likely about 30. Like most working class women of the time, she would have worked from sun up till sun down, and likely even after sun down by the light of the hearth fire and by the light of candles she had likely made. She had no conveniences and two little children who would still have been soiling themselves. If she had siblings, parents, or other relatives where she was living, no researcher to date has found them. She carried with her the Puritanical guilt of having had sexual intercourse before marriage, a guilt further complicated because she became pregnant before marriage. Then her youngest baby died.

After her baby died, she told people she saw the baby. Maybe she did. Others who have not been judged insane or witches have claimed to see dead people: Look at the Christian religion. Or, maybe she grieved so much that her mind allowed her to imagine that she saw her baby to ease her grief. Or, maybe she knew she did not see her baby, but claimed she did so as to have something to hold onto. As painful as the death of a loved one is, most recognize a mother's loss of her baby as a special loss. In Alice's case, that grief was compounded because -- while she had lost her youngest baby to a death she did not want -- she knew she had attempted to cause death to one of her other children by attempting an abortion. [From the earliest comment about this self-attempted abortion, it appears she did not succeed with the abortion.]

The Reverend John Hale had been a young boy when Alice was executed. He went on to graduate from Harvard and became a minister. He supported the witch trials until the witch hunters came after his pregnant wife, the last woman accused of witchcraft in Salem in Nov. 1692. The Rev. Hale wrote the following in 1697:

Another that suffered on that account some time after was a Dorchester Woman. And upon the day of her Execution Mr. Thompson Minister at Brantry, and J.P. her former Master took pains with her to bring her to repentance And she utterly denyed her guilt of Witchcraft; yet justifyed God for bringing her to that punishment: For she had when a single woman played the harlot, and being with Child used means to destroy the fruit of her body to conceal her sin & shame, and although she did not effect it, yet she was a Murderer in the sight of God for her endeavours, and showed great penitency for that sin; but owned nothing of the crime laid to her charge.

This woman faced death, and still she would not say she had not seen her dead baby. Perhaps admitting her child had died was more than she could live with, even tho her only hope of living was to admit that she knew her baby was dead, and even if she had only pretended to see the baby because her grief was so profound. Or, perhaps her baby could not go on to the spirit world without a mother. How would the Hollywood types answer this question?

Three of Alice's children reached maturity and had children themselves. Her son David married the widow Sarah Cornell, born Sarah Earle. Sarah's first husband had been convicted and executed for the murder of his own mother; the "evidence" against this man was that -- after his mother was dead and buried -- a man had a dream in which the dead woman said her son had killed her. That man was Thomas Cornell, an ancestor of the man who endowed Cornell University, and -- as irony would have it -- also an ancestor of Lizzie Borden. [Lizzie is remembered in the ditty, "Lizzie Borden took an ax. Gave her father forty whacks." Unlike her unfortunate ancestor accused of killing a parent, Lizzie walked away a free woman after the trial for killing her father and step-mother.]

(research by Alice Marie Beard)

BOSTON, City of: Fourth Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, 1880, 1896, City Printers.
[English modernized for easier reading-----amb]
Page 306:
"12th day of the 11th month, 1651 [Jan. 12, 1652] ... It is agreed between the select men and brother TOLMAN that he shall take Henry LAKE's child to keep it until it come to 21 years of age and therefore to have 26 pounds and to give security to the town and to teach it to read and write and when it is capable if he lives the said brother Tolman to teach it his trade. Further agreed if it dies within 2 months, brother Tolman is to return 21 pounds. If die at one year's end, brother
Tolman is to return 18 pounds; if within 2 years, he is to return 11 pounds; if it die before 3 years be expired, then he is to return 5 pounds."
[NOTE: Thus, for the first 3 years, Tolman would get 21 pounds, but for the last 13 to 15 years, Tolman would get only 5 pounds; fortunately for brother Tolman's finances, this child died when he did.]
Page 307:
"An account of the rates gathered in the year 1651 for the Use of the towne of Dorchester: ...Disbursed as followeth ... to Alce POPE for LAKE's child 3 pounds and 14 [smaller money units.]"
Page 308: [continuation of accounting for 1651]
"more for LAKE's child"
Page 310:
"2nd day of the 9th month, 1652 [Nov. 2, 1652]"
+"paid to Lawrence SMITH for charges about Alex LAKE children, 4 pounds."
+"to John POPE's wife about Alex LAKE's children, 10 pounds and 8 [smaller money units]."
+"paid to Mr. GLOUER 1 pound that he laid out about H. LAKE's children."
+"paid and to be paid to Thomas TOLMAN for the bringing up of Henry LAKE's child according
to the covenant recorded, the sum of 26 pounds."

BOSTON, City of: Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, Containing Dorchester Births, Marriages, and Deaths To the End of 1825, City Printers, 1890.
[L.D.S. film #0014748]
Page 29:
Dorchester Deaths; year, 1678; Alice LAKE, died October 20th; Thomas LAKE, died Oct. 27th. [This Alice Lake was the wife of Thomas, Henry's brother.]

BURR, George L. [editor]: Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648-1706, 1914, Scribner's.
[Collection of old essays, collected and edited by Burr, a professor of medieval history at Cornell University.]
Quoting John HALE's "A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft," 1702, [one of Burr's selected narratives]:
Pages 408 & 409:
"Another that suffered on that account some time after, was a Dorchester Woman [in a note Burr makes it clear that Hale was speaking of Henry LAKE's wife]. And upon the day of her Execution Mr. THOMPSON, Minister at Brantry [Burr notes, Braintree, MA], and J.P. [Burr notes, probably John PHILLIPS of Dorchester according to Farmer**] her former Master took pains with her to bring her to repentance. And she utterly denyed her guilt of Witchcraft: yet justified God for bringing her to that punishment: for she had when a single woman played the harlot, and being with Child used means to destroy the fruit of her body to conceal her sin and shame, and although she did not effect it, yet she was a Murderer in the sight of God for her endeavours, and shewed great penitency for that sin; but owned nothing of the crime laid to her charge."
Page 409-410, note:
"In Hale's account there seems some confusion with the case of Mary Parsons." . . . "And two or three [women accused as witches] of Springfield, one of which confessed; and she said the occasion of her familiarity with Satan was this: She had lost a Child and was exceedingly discontented at it and longed; Oh that she might see her Child again! And at last the Devil in likeness of her Child came to her bed side and talked with her, and asked to come into the bed to her that night and several nights after, and so entred into covenant with Satan and became a Witch." . . . "This was the case of Mary Parsons and her husband Hugh, whom she accused (1651). See Drake, Annals of Witchcraft, pp.64-72, and especially the appended papers of Hugh Parson's case, pp.219-258. The originals of these papers are now in the New York Public Library. Others, from the Suffolk court file, are printed in the N.E. Hist. and Gen. Register," XXXV, 152-153.]
[**NOTE: Another researcher, Benjamin Lake Noyes, surmised that "J.P." was John POPE, husband of Alice POPE.]
Pages 408 & 409, note:
Burr quotes Nathaniel Mather as writing on Dec. 31, 1684, to his brother Increase talking about Alice LAKE; "H. LAKE's wife, of Dorchester, whom the devil drew in by appearing to her in the likenes, and acting the part of a child of hers then lately dead, on whom her heart was much set." BURR notes his source as "The Mather Papers."
[NOTE: The immigrant MATHER was Richard, born 1596. He had sons Timothy, born 1628; Nathaniel, born 1630; Joseph, born 1634; Eleazer, born 1637 in Dorchester; and Increase, born 1639 in Dorchester. Increase's son was Cotton MATHER, born about 1662 in Boston. Oddly, Cotton Mather's second wife was named Anna LAKE; there is no known or suspected relationship.]

BUTTS, Francis Banister: The Butts Family of Rhode Island: a Genealogy and Biography, 1891; 88-page typed manuscript handwritten additions made in 1953 by Mrs. Edward S. Moulton.
[L.D.S. film #1454560, item #41]
This is a detailed list of the descendants of Thomas BUTTS and his wife Elizabeth. Thomas BUTTS' wife Elizabeth was Elizabeth LAKE, daughter of Alice-the-executed. Author wrote name "Idiho." Mrs. Moulton wrote by hand "Idido signed a deed 26 Nov 1709 as Highdidah."

COLKET, Merredith B.: Founders of Early American Families: Emigrants from Europe 1607-1657, 1975, published by the General Court of the Order of Founders and Patriots of America as a Contribution to the Bicentennial of the U.S.A., Cleveland, Ohio.
Page 170:
"LAKE, Henry: Dorchester, Mass., 1651; Portsmouth, RI, 1651; Dartmouth, Mass.; died after 21 Feb 1672/73. Wife executed for witchcraft. Sources: Wilbour's Little Compton, 1967; The American Genealogist, 12:17 (desc.) and 19:225 (note). Believed to have left numerous progeny."

DEMOS, John Putnam: Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England, 1982, Oxford University Press.
[ISBN 0-19-503378-7]
Page 71:
"It is significant, moreover, that many children of accused witches went on to useful even successful lives. Thus, ... David LAKE, the younger son of Alice (convicted and executed at Dorchester in 1651) was a leading man in the town of Little Compton, Rhode Island." [source indicated: G. Andrews Moriarty's The Early Rhode Island Lakes, in The American Genealogist, XII, 17-24.]
Page 170:
"Alice LAKE of Dorchester was reportedly enticed into witchcraft 'by the devil...appearing to her in the likeness, and acting the part, of a child of hers then dead, on whom her heart was much set." [Here, Demos is quoting Burr quoting Nathaniel Mather's 1684 letter to his brother Increase Mather.]
Pages 301-302:
"The process of dispersal is a little easier to follow for the family of Alice LAKE, convicted and executed at Dorchester in about 1650. Her husband Henry moved away at once; his name appears regularly in the records of Portsmouth, RI, beginning in April 1651. Meanwhile the four LAKE children, all less than ten years old, remained in Dorchester. One, probably the youngest, was 'bound out' by the town meeting to a local family for a 'consideration' of 26 pounds--and was dead within two years. The other three were also placed in (separate) Dorchester households. At this point their trail becomes badly obscured. (One was living as a servant to an uncle--still in Dorchester--in 1659.) Later, having reached adulthood, the same three were found in Rhode Island--and then in Plymouth Colony, where their father had removed by 1673. It appears, therefore, that the family was eventually reunited, some two decades after the event that had broken it apart."
[NOTE:: The uncle alluded to was likely Thomas LAKE, Henry's brother.]
[sources cited are Burr quoting Mather's letter to his brother; Fourth Report of City of Boston; and Moriarty's Early Rhode Island Lakes.]

FOX, Sandford J.: Science and Justice: the Massachusetts Witchcraft Trials, 1968.
Page 43: (footnote)
"... Nevins, Salem Village, p. 254 ... gives 'a partial list of persons accused whether convicted or not.' There are 126 names on the list. The following names were omitted: 19 who were executed; Giles Corey, who was pressed to death for failure to plead; 8 who were convicted but released when the prosecutions ceased ceased on September 22, 1693; and two who were convicted and died in prison--a total of 30. Volume 135 of the Massachusetts Archives, pp. 1-6, lists 91 names of persons accused of witchcraft from 1656 to 1750, including those executed. No attempt has been made to reconcile the Archives' list with Nevins. ..."
Page 64:
"The colonists seem to have adhered quite closely to the injunction of [Henricus] Institoris and [James] Sprenger in their [15th century book]
Malleus Maleficarum that the first test for the presence of witchcraft in these cases was the verdict of the physicians." [See also Malleus Maleficarum at wikipedia. Henricus Institoris was an aka for Heinrich Kramer.]
Page 93:
"As to those who were executed as witches, the question of whether the defense [of insanity] might have been useful to them had it been in some way presented in their behalf involves more than the usual difficulties of such historically precarious speculation. The unfortunate fact is that we have no record at all of executions before 1692 on which to make a judgment. ... As to Mrs. LAKE and Mrs. KENDAL, there is virtually no information at all except Reverend Hale's statement that both denied their guilt to the end."

HALE, John, Rev.: A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, written 1697, first published 1702, reprinted 1973, York Mail-Print, Inc., Bainbridge, NY.
[ISBN 0-913126-05-5]
Pages 16-18:
[chapter 1]
"Sect. 4. Several persons have been Charged with and suffered for the Crime of Witchcraft in the Governments of the Massachusetts, New Haven, or Stratford and Connecticut, from the year 1646 to the year 1692.
"Sect. 5. The first was a Woman of Charlestown, Anno. 1647. or 48. She was suspected partly because that after some angry words passing between her & her Neighours, some mischief befel such Neighbours in their Creatures, or the like: partly because some things supposed to be bewitched, or have a Charm upon them, being burned, she came to the fire[?] and seemed concerned. The day of her Execution, I went in company of some Neighbours, who took great pains to bring her to confession & repentance. But she constantly professed her self innocent of that crime: Then one prayed her to consider if God did not bring this punishment upon her for some other crime, and asked, if she had not been guilty of Stealing many years ago; she answered, she had stolen something, but it was long since, and she had repented of it, and there was Grace enough in Christ to pardon that long agoe; but as for Witchcraft she was wholly fre from it, and so she said unto her Death.
"Sect. 6. Another that suffered on that account some time after, was a Dorchester Woman. And upon the day of her Execution Mr. Thompson Minister at Brantry, and J.P. her former Master took pains with her to bring her to repentance And she utterly denyed her guilt of Witchcraft; yet justifyed God for bringing her to that punishment: for she had when a single woman played the harlot, and being with Child used means to destroy the fruit of her body to conceal her sin & shame, and although she did not effect it, yet she was a Murderer in the sight of God for her endeavours, and showed great penitency for that sin; but owned nothing of the crime laid to her charge."
Page 19:
[chapter 1, sect. 7] "There was another Executed, of Boston Anno 1656 for that crime. And two or three of Springfield, one of which confessed; and said the occasion of her familiarity with Satan was this: She had lost a Child and was exceedingly discontented at it, and longed; Oh that she might see her Child again! And at last the Devil in likeness of her Child came to her bed side and talked with her, and asked to come into the bed to her, and she received it into the bed to her that night and several nights after, and so entred into a covenant with Satan and became a Witch. This was the only confessor in these times in this Government."
Page 20:
[chapter 1, sect. 9] "But it is not my purpose to give a full refation [recitation] of all that have suffered for that Sin, or of all the particulars charged upon them, which proably is now impossible, many witnessing Viva voce, those particulars which were not fully recorded. But that I chiefly intend is to shew the principles formerly acted upon in Convicting of that Crime: which were such as these."
Page iv-ix: [from the introduction]
"The author of A Modest Enquiry was born June 3, 1636, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, being the eldest child of Robert and Joanna Hale. ... John Hale studied divinity at Harvard and graduated at the age of 21 with the class of 1657. He was admitted to full membership in the Charlestown church the following year. ... Rev. Hale's knowledge of incidents involving suspected witchcraft predated the 1692 Salem Village outbreak by some 44 years. In 1648 Margaret Jones of Charlestown was the first person in New England to be accused and executed for being a witch. Hale, who knew of Jones, was then a lad of 12 years living in Charlestown; and he recounts in his 1702 book that 'The day of her Execution, I went in company of some Neighbors, who took great pains to bring her to confession & repentance.' [p. 17, quoted above] ... In November 1692, rumors began to circulate that Hale's pregnant wife, Sarah, was about to be accused. ... Apparently this factor was the final proof for Hale that the proceedings had gone too far. ... Sarah Hale died May 20, 1695, at the age of 41, ... Rev. Hale died May 15, 1700."

MORIARTY, G. Andrews: Additions and Corrections to Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, published January 1943 in The American Genealogist, Vol. XIX, No. 3.
[NOTE: Moriarty was incorrect is his guess that Alice's husband was of the Lake family of Chidwall. While it is an error perpertuated far and wide, it is an error. Henry and Alice are presumed to be from England, but no more than that is known. ...amb]
Page 225:
"Henry and [his brother] Thomas were probably members of the LAKE family of Chidwall, County Lancashire, near Liverpool [England], in which family the names of David and Thomas predominate. They evidently emigrated to Dorchester, Mass., in the Lancashire group, which came with the Rev. Richard Mather."
[NOTE: According to Grolier Encyclopedia, church authorities in England suspended Richard Mather in 1633; he left for the Massachusetts Bay Colony two years after his suspension.]
Page 130:
"BUTTS, Thomas. Married Elizabeth, daughter of Henry LAKE of Dorchester, Mass, and Plymouth, R.I.:
"BUTTS, Zaccheus. Married about 1693 to Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Sarah (EARLE)
CORNELL. Zaccheus died before 21 Aug. 1712, and his widow married 2ndly, 25 Aug. 1712, John COLE of Swansea. She died 16 Jan. 1748/9."
"BUTTS, Moses. Married about 1695 to Alice, daughter of Thomas LAKE of Dartmouth, who was born 6 Dec. 1677."

MORIARTY, G. Andrews: The Early Rhode Island LAKEs, published July 1935 in The American Genealogist and New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Vol. XII, No. 1, pp. 17-24.
"The family probably originated in or about Chidwall, a parish near Liverpool in Lancashire. In the early seventeenth century, a family of LAKEs was residing there in which the names of Henry, David and Thomas, all characteristic of the Rhode Island family, predominated. ... That they belonged to this family is rendered still more likely by the fact that they settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts, where there was a considerable group of Lancashire men." Moriarty shows Thomas and Henry of Dorchester as brothers. Of Thomas, he says, "Thomas LAKE of Dorchester, Mass. Born in or about 1608. Died at Dorchester, Mass., on 27 Oct. 1678. Married Alice ______, who died on 20 Oct. 1678, aged 80 years. [cites N.E. Register, IV, 107] Their gravestones are in the old burial ground at Dorchester. .... His will, which was made between his wife's death and his own death, shows that he had no children. He left his estate to his brother Henry LAKE, and to Henry's children, with the proviso that Thomas was to have a larger share than the other children." Of Henry, Moriarty says, "Henry LAKE of Dorchester, Mass., Portsmouth and Warwick, R.I., and Dartmouth, Plymouth Colony. Born about 1610. Died after 21 Feb 1672/73. Married Alice ______. His wife was one of the earliest victims of witchcraft mania in New England. Mr. Hale in his Modest Inquiry, referring to witches, mentions 'another that suffered on that account sometime after' (i.e., after Margaret Jones of Charlestown, who was executed 4 June 1648) was a Dorchester woman.' Nathaniel Mather, minister at Dublin, Ireland, writing to his brother, Increase, under date of 31 Dec. 1684, with reference to the latter's book, 'Remarkable Providences,' says: 'Why did you not put in the story of Mrs. Hibbins witchcrafts and the discovery thereof: and also of H. LAKE's wife, of Dorchester, whom, as I have heard, the Devil deceived by appearing to her in the likeness, and acting the part of a child of hers then lately dead on whom her heart was much set.' [cites N. E. Register, XXIV, 384, footnote] As Nathaniel Mather left New England prior to 23 March 1650/51, she must have been executed after 4 June 1648 and before [23 March 1650/51]. The Dorchester town records, under date of 12 (11) 1651, state that it was agreed with 'brother TOLMAN' to take care of Henry Lake's child and to keep it until it is eight years old for which he was to have 26 pounds. .... On 27 (10) 1653, Thomas TOLMAN owed the town money for Thomas Lake's child dead within two years." [NOTE: This was an editing error in the Moriarty article; it was Henry's child.] "Thomas LAKE [Henry & Alice's son] ... was brought up in the family of his uncle, Thomas LAKE of Dorchester. ... He was a soldier under Capt. Benjamin CHURCH in Philip's War, as was his brother David. ... On 1 Nov 1676, Plymouth Colony granted 100 acres at Puncatest (Tiverton) to David and Thomas LAKE for their services in Philip's War, of which David was to have 60 acres (Plymouth Col. Rec.). This land was afterwards included in the bounds of the Pocasset purchase, with the result that a bitter dispute arose between the Lakes and the Pocasset proprietors."

NOYES, Benjamin Lake, M.D.: Private journals, 12 volumes, prepared about 1907-1920.
[These are unpublished journals prepared by Dr. Noyes who did enormous research and analysis on Alice Lake and her descendants.]
[L.D.S. microfilm #0928213, items 1-10, and L.D.S. microfilm #0404232, items 1-2]
Volume IV: page 7:
Dr. Noyes makes the supposition that Alice-the-executed was the daughter of Alice POPE from a marriage Alice POPE had before she married John POPE. Dr. Noyes also makes the guess that the "J.P." referred to in HALE's "Modest Enquiry" was John POPE. He suggests that Alice would have been referred to as a servant in the home of John POPE if she had been his step-daughter. In his supposition, both John POPE and his wife Alice had been married previously, and Alice entered the marriage to John POPE with the daughter Alice who was from a previous marriage.
Volume IV :
Dr. Noyes describes having found "on a lone page, isolated in the back of a thin book in the Mass. Archives entitled 'The Book wherein is contained the several ... transactions ... of the counsill beginning the first of August 1650 to 1656.' The ninth leaf from the end (last page) of the book has this solitary record:
'15: May 1651: The Gov & Magistrate agreed and determined there should be a quarter courte held at Boston the 10th of June next for the tryall of the witches' "
Volume IV :
Dr. Noyes interpretation of the various writings is that it was Alice who was executed because she imagined that she saw her dead baby, and that it was Alice who was approached on the day of her execution by the minister Mr. Thompson (Noyes says William Thompson) and by J.P. (Noyes says on page 7 it was John POPE), and that it was Alice who told Mr. Thompson and J.P. that she wasn't a witch but that God was punishing her for her sins prior to marriage. Dr. Noyes' evaluation of what happened to Alice is as follows:
"Here is a penitent, broken hearted, submissive woman, laying bare the
greatest secret of her bosom, asking forgiveness; yet the damnable tactics
of the fanatical Christian Church strings her up like a miserable tramp
[unreadable]--Puritanical intolerance."
Volume IV, page 8:
"the first volume of Dorchester's Vital Records [was] consumed in 1657 by the Millet fire."

POPE, Charles Henry: The Pioneers of Massachusetts.
[L.D.S. microfilm #0924405, item 1]
Page 276:
"LAKE, Thomas, husbandsman, Dorchester, adm. chh. 20 (9) 1640, freeman June 2, 1641, propr., town officer. Wife Alice d. Oct. 20, 1678, age 70. His [God's] kinsman and servant, Thomas LAKE, called before the church 19 (12) 1659. He d. Oct 27, 1678, age 80. Will probated 14 Nov. 1678, bequethed to thechurch a piece of plate for the Lord's table; to his brother Henry LAKE and his children; to one of them, his cousin [nephew] Thomas L. [LAKE]; to the overseers of the will."

SAVAGE, James: Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came Before May, 1692, on the Basis of FARMER's Register, Vol III, 1884, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. 1981.
[FARMER was John FARMER who wrote Genealogy Record.]
[L.D.S. fiche 6,019,972; vol. 3, fiche 1]
Pages 44-45:
"LAKE, Henry, Salem 1649, a currier, perhaps the same who was of Dorchester 1658, brother of Thomas of the same [of Dorchester]."
"LAKE, Thomas, Dorchester, freeman 2 June 1641, d. 27 Oct. 1678; his wife Alice who was ten years older, had died 7 days before. Often the name was writ, yet probably not by him, LIKE or LEAKE. His will, made after death of his wife, names no children but gives his property to his brother Henry, and equal shares to the children of brother Henry except that [Henry's son] Thomas should have 3 pounds more."
"LAKE, William, Salem 1665, a cooper, perhaps son of Henry [of Dorchester], allowed in 1674 to sell beer and cider, as was his widow Ann in 1681. [NOTE from Alice Beard: No indication has been found to suggest that this William LAKE was the son of Henry. If Henry's will or estate settlement could be found, it might shed more light.]

SHURTLEFF, Nathaniel: Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Volumes I, II, and III, first published 1853-1854, reprinted 1968, AMS Press, New York, NY.
Volume I:
[from 23 February 1628 thru 10 December 1641]
Volume II:
[from 18 May 1642 thru 17 October 1649]
Page 78-79:
"30th of the 8th Month, 1644 [30 October]. ... Thomas LAKE his note for 1. 3. 8d, [is] accepted for 5L from Mr. Ginner."
Page 98:
[14 May 1645]
"It is ordered ... Thomas LAKE shall take a true inventory of [the] goods in the ship Rainbowe, & belonging to her, & safely bestowe [them] in some sellar, together with the sailes & other moveables in the said ship... ."
Page 242:
"The Corte desire the course which hath bene taken in England for discovery of witches, by watching them a certeine time. It is ordered, that the best & surest way may forthwith be put in practice, to begin this night if it may be, being the 18th of the 3d month [May 18th], & that the husband may be confined to a private roome, & be also then watched." [Date was probably
really May 10th but was misread; dates before & after are May 10th. Most likely this was in referrence to Margaret JONES and her husband Thomas JONES of Charlestown, MA; she was convicted and executed; he was indicted but not tried.---Alice Beard]
Volume III:
[from 29 May 1644 thru 6 May 1657]
Page 126:
[13 May 1648]
"This Court beinge desireows that the same course which hath ben taken in England for the discouvery of witches, by watchinge, may also be taken here with the witch now in question, & therefore doe order that a strict watch be set about her every night, & that her husband be confined to a privat roome, & watched also." [This is the entry also recorded in Volume II.]
Page 176:
[19 Oct. 1649]
"... and Mr. Thomas LAKE are by the Courte, and with consent of the partyes, chosen and appointed commissioners to regulate, auditt, and finally to determine all the accompts from the beginning of the world to this day betwixt Mr. Sampson Lane and Mr. Richard Cutts... ." [There are also other mentions of Thomas LAKE in business arrangments with the colony; none offer any further information of interest to this study.---Alice Beard]
Page 229:
[22 May 1651]
"Mary PARSONS, of Springfeild, having two bills of inditement framed agaynst her, the one for havinge familyarity with the devill as a witch, to which she pleaded not guilty, & not suffycyent evidence appearing to prove the same, she was aquited of witchcraft. The second inditement was for wilfully & most wickedly murderinge her owne child, who which shee pleaded guilty, confest the fact, &, accordinge to her deserts, was condemned to dy."
Page 239:
[22 May 1651]
"This Court, takeinge into consideration how farre Sathan prevayles amongst us in respect of witchcrafts, as also by drawing away some from the truth to the profession & practise of straunge opinions, & also consideringe the state & condition of England, Ireland, & Scotland, & the great thinges now in hand there, conceive it necessary that there be a day of humiliation throughout our jurisdiction in all the churches, & doe therefore desire & order, that the eighteenth day of the fowrth month shalbe set apart for that end & purpose, & that the deputs of the severall townes give notice to the severall elders of theire churches of the Courts desire herein." [That is to say, June 18, 1651, was a day sit aside as a day of "humiliation" because of "witchcraft."]
[The next entry after 22 May 1651 is for 14 October 1651; almost five months with no info; the one before 22 May 1651 was 7 May 1651, and before that 15 Oct 1650. Sometime between Oct. 1650 and Oct. 1651 is the most likely time for Alice LAKE's execution.]
Page 273:
[27 May 1652]
"The Magistrates not consenting to the verdict of the jury in PARSONS case, the cause coming legally to the Generall Court for issue, the Court, on perusallof the evidences brought in against him for witchcraft, doe judge that he is not legally guilty of witchcraft, & so not to dy by our law" [In other words, Mr. Parsons' conviction was reversed by the judges.---Alice Beard]

VIRKUS, Frederick Adams: The Compendium of American Genealogy, volume VI, 1937, reprinted 1987, Baltimore, by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.
Page 787:
"LAKE, Henry: from England between 1645-1649, to Salem, Mass.; removed to Dorchester, Mass."

WEISMAN, Richard : Witchcraft, Magic, & Religion in 17th-Century Massachusetts, 1984, Univ. of Massachusetts Press, Amherst. [sociologist at York Univ. in Toronto]
[ISBN 0-87023-494-3]
Page 90:
"In two of the cases--those of Anna EDMUNDS and Mrs. LAKE--it would appear that the accuser quite blatantly exploited the suspect to avert legal reprisal for a serious crime. In both cases, the principal accusers charged the suspect with the murder of a child by witchcraft and were themselves later held accountable for the nonmysterious grounds of child neglect." [NOTE from Alice Beard: This appears to be an error of Weisman; in fact, his own appendix, which he cites as the source for the above, says that Anna EDMUNDS and Mrs. KENDAL were the two women whose accusers were suspected of or charged with the deaths supposedly blamed on EDMUNDS and KENDAL. Mrs. KENDAL is number 18 in his chart on page 196; Mrs. LAKE is number 19; thus it would appear that the above two sentences really have nothing to do with Mrs. LAKE. It was an editing error; Weisman should have said "Anna EDMUNDS and Mrs. KENDAL."]
Page 106:
"Two of the other cases--those of Mrs. LAKE in 1650 and Mrs. KENDAL in 1651--also eventuated in convictions and executions. The loss of original court records precludes any further assessment of these deliberation."
Page 196-197 [chart]:
"Mrs. H. LAKE, Dorchester, Case tried in 1650. Probably executed in Boston. Source: Thomas Hutchinson, The Witchcraft Delusion of 1692, p. 384, n.4 [found in New England Historical & Genealogical Register 24, 1820, pp 380-92]; John Hale, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1702, p.17; G. Lincoln Burr, Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648-1706, pp.408-9, n.4."

WILBOUR, Benjamin Franklin: Notes on Little Compton, 1970, The Little Compton Historical Society.
The inside front cover shows a map of Little Compton, RI, with the following words:
"This land was allotted to the first Proprietors of Little Compton at Duxbury, 1673-1694.
.... The original [of the map was] made by Otis Wilbour, town clerk about 1850."
The map shows the outline of Little Compton, divided into rectangles representing land lots owned by different people. Each rectangle is labeled with a man's name. Among the names listed are David LAKE, Thomas POPE, and John IRISH. David LAKE and John IRISH owned small lots side-by-side. Thomas POPE and John IRISH owned several lots; in two instances their lots are side-by-side, and in a 3rd instance, their lots are quite close. Other surnames appearing include CHURCH, WILCOX, COLE, and BROWNELL.

The following books or articles have yet to be found and examined to see if they have information pertinent to the study of the Alice Lake case:

BANKS, Charles E.: The Planters of the Commonwealth, (a study of the emigrants and emigration in colonial times: to which are added lists of passengers to Boston and to the Bay Colony; the ships which brought them; their English homes; and the places of their settlement in Massachusetts 1620-1640), 1930.
(available thru NEHGS; F/67/Bl9)

BANKS, Charles E.: The Winthrop Fleet of 1630, (an account of the vessels, the voyage, the passengers and their English homes, from original authorities), 1930.
(available thru NEHGS; F/67/B21)

HUTCHINSON, Governor Thomas: The Witchcraft Delusion of 1692, from an unpublished manuscript (an early draft of his History of Massachusetts) with notes by William Frederick Poole, in New England Historical & Genealogical Register 24, October 1870; pages 380-392.
(available thru NEHGS; BF/1576/H8)

MATHER, Cotton: Magnalia Christi Americana, 1702.

POPE, Charles H.: A History of the Dorchester Pope Family, 1634-1888, with Sketches of Other Popes in England and America and Notes Upon Several Intermarrying Families, 1888.
(available thru NEHGS; CS/71/P826/1888)

WILBOUR, Benjamin Franklin: Little Compton Families, 1967, Little Compton Historical Society.
[Notes on Little Compton is a different book.]

The following records were examined on LDS film and found to have no information of value for this study:

Church Records:

a) Records of the First Church at Dorchester in New England, 1636-1734; 1971 copy of a 1891 transcription by G. H. ELLIS; LDS film 0833385
b) Church records, 1636-1845, from First Church, Dorchester; microfilm of original records, includes index;LDS film 0856696, item #1
Vital Records:
a) Town Clerk's vital records, Dorchester, 1631-1869, indexes included; births, publishments, marriages, deaths; LDS film 0740996
b) Town clerk's records of birth, death, and marriage, Salem, MA, 1644-1870, v. 1-2, B; LDS film 0877447, items 2-4
c) Original records of births, marriages, and deaths Essex Co., MA, 1636-1691; LDS film 0877432, item 2
Court Records:
a) Collection of old Suffolk County Court records, 1647-1828; collection put together by by GREENOUGH; includes index; LDS film 0902795, item #1
b) County court files, 1629-1797; microfilm of original records:
+ Files index, A-Sea, 1629-1795; LDS film 0909870
+ Files index, I-Z, 1629-1729; LDS film 0909873
+ Calendar index, cases #1-1015, 1629-1670; LDS film 0909883
+ Index to the calendar index, Ip-Moa, 1629-1700; LDS film 0909894

Town Records:
a) Dorchester Town records, 1632-1870:
+ Original, 1632-1722; LDS film 0478174
+ Original, 1651-1740; LDS film 0478176
+ Index to town record; LDS film 0478177
b) Annals of the town of Dorchester, written 1750; LDS film 0897269, item #3

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Research by Alice Marie Beard.
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