KITCHEN, JOHN In 1640 John Kitchen, a shoemaker, came to America from England.
He settled in Salem, Massachusetts after leaving his native land from a port in Weymouth, England. He crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a ship called the Lion's Whelp. He married Elizabeth Grafton and they had seven children who were given the names of Elizabeth, Hannah, Joseph, John (died very young), Mary, another John, and Robert. Robert Kitchen became
a sealer of leather, a merchant, and the owner of a ship.
The following court information is taken from Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Massachusetts, Vol. I, Published by the Essex Institute, 1911:
1643 John Kitchen made Freeman.
Dec. 1644, July 1645, March 1646, November 1651, June 1655, November 1661: Jury of trials
September 1647, October 1653, April 1654, November 1658: Grand Jury
November 1648: John Kitchen sworn constable
Court Held at Salem, 30: 10: 1645: John Kitchen vs. Robert Adams. Defamation. Defendant fined 5s. for saying that the court ought to have thrown the case out. Elnor Downeing testified that Robert Adams called John Kitchen false fellow.
Court Held at Salem February 1650: John Kitchin presented for beating Giles Corey. [Giles Corey, of Salem witchcraft fame, was quite an argumentative character and was in court many times.]
Deposition of Giles Cory: That Mr. Edward Noris and he were going toward the brickkiln; John Kiching, going with them, "Fell a niping and pinshing of us;" and when they came back again John Kiching "struck up Mr. Edward Noris his heels and myne, & Fell uppon me & keched me by the throte and held me soe long tell hee had almost stoped my breth & sayd unto John Kiching these is nott good Jesting, and John Kiching replyde this is nothing, I doe owe you more then this of ould : this is nott halfe of yt wch yew shall haue afterwards." After this they went into Kitching's house and he took stinking water and threw upon them, and took Cory and thrust him out of doors, and he went his way, Kiching following him half the way up the lane or thereabouts. Corey perceiving him following, attempted to go over the Rayles, but he threw him off the Rayles and beat him until he was all bloody. Thomas Bishop was a witness to the assault. Sworn in court, 12 : 26 : 1650, before Henry Bartholmew, Clerk
Let's not think too badly of our ancestor John Kitchen for this attack on Giles Corey:
Giles Corey apparently was often a quarrelsome, loose-tongued man, who was probably not well liked by his neighbors. He was violent as well, and it was said that he had beaten to death a former hired hand. He had thought his wife a witch, and freely said so, both in and out of court. But when Giles Corey was indicted [as a witch] he did something nobody else had dared to do. He stood mute, refusing to answer to his indictment. And under both English and New English law a man who refused to answer could not be tried. He could, however, be tortured-be subjected to peine forte et dure'-until he either answered or died. Accordingly Giles Corey was pressed: placed upon the ground with gradually increased weight piled on him. It took him two days to die. Calef adds the brutal detail that 'in pressing, his tongue being pressed out of his mouth, the sheriff with his cane forced it in again when he was dying.' [Witchcraft at Salem, Chadwick Hansen, George Braziller, Inc., NY, 1969]
February 1650: John Kitchin and Richard Graves presented for playing at shuffleboard at Mr. Gednyes, discharged, not being proved.
June 1659: John Kitchin bound to appear at next court, if he be in the jurisdiction, to answer to his not consenting to the verdict of the Grand Jury, being one of them.
November 1661: John Kitchen testified in John Burton v. John Porter, sr. about stolen mare.
June 1662: This court, considering the unworthy and malignant speeches and carriages of John Kitchin, in open court, saw cause to remove him from the office of Sergeant of the foot company, and he was admonished.
November 1662 John Kitching and his wife were fined for frequenting absenting themselves from the public ordinances on the Lord's days.
September 1663 John Kitchen and Nath. Felton were bound for Phillip Verrin's appearance at the next Ipswich court to answer for seditious and treasonable words against the government, in saying that they had murdered the dear saints and servants of God and that he himself saw one of them murdered at Boston.
November 1663 John Kitching was convicted for frequent absence for the public ordinances.
November 1664 John Kitching and his wife were fined for frequenting absenting themselves from the public ordinances on the Lord's days.
November 1665 John Kitchin and his wife, and Mary Kitchin were fined for frequenting absenting themselves from the public ordinances on the Lord's days.
June 1666 John Kitchin and his wife were fined for frequenting absenting themselves from the public ordinances on the Lord's days. Fine paid by Mr. John Gidney Sr.
November 1667 Among others John Kitchin and his wife for not frequenting the public ordinances of God on the Lord's days were sentenced, the men 20s. fine, the women 10s., each and if they fail to pay or give security, they were to be sent to he house of correction at Ipswich upon their own cost, for one week. Worshipfull Major William Hathorne was to see the sentence
Executed and it was left to his wisdom to decide the season of sending them. The marshal was impowered to press carts or horses necessary for conveying them safely to the house of correction and to distrain their goods for the payment of the charge..
Elizabeth Kitchen: It seems John Kitchen could not control his wife Elizabeth on the issue of the official religion of the colony. She was in court and fined for absence from public worship, was harassed and suspected of being a Quaker.
June 1658: John Kitchin and his wife, presented for frequently absenting themselves from the public preaching of the work of God upon the Lord's day.
November 1658: John Kitchin's wife fined 5 shillings a day for absence from meeting on sixteen Lord's days.
November 1659: Wife of John Kitchin, presented for absence from meeting. Sentence was respited.
June 1660: wife of John Kitchin fined 50s. for ten days absence from public ordinances.
November 1660: Elizabeth Kitchen fined for twenty days' absence from public ordinances.
June 1661, summons, the wife of John Kitchin to appear to answer complaint for absence from meeting.
December 1661: presented from frequent absence from the public ordinances on Lord's days: the wife of John Kitchin for twelve days, 3 li.
June 1662: The wife of John Kichin was presented for frequent absence from meeting on the Sabbath day.
June 1660: Jurors nominated to make inquiry "of our Brethren and Neibors concerning these severall psons whose Names are Underwritten whyther they Com to the publicke meetting to heare the word preached one the lords days: according law. Wee cannott find nor Understand that they doe at all Apeare there : as alsoe it is the Common fame that they doe totally wthdraw them selves : and therfore wee that are of this psent Jury : doe all agree to psent them to this Court: Viz:" …Ellisabeth, wife of John Kiching, for twenty days' absence..
Court Held at Salem June 1660: Mr. Edmond Batter admonished on his presentment for saying that Elizabeth Kitchin had been "apawawing," and calling her base quaking slut, with diverse other opprobrious and taunting speeches. Presentment not wholly proved, although he confessed that he said to Elizabeth either "haue you beene? or she had beene apawawing," and called her a quaking slut, "meeting of her betims in the morning comeing as he supposed from a quaking meeting, seing also som other psons (that waies afected) Comeing yt waye which shee came," etc.
Witnesses disagreed about what happened next:
John Ward, aged about twenty years, and Thomas Mekings, aged about eighteen years, deposed that, being with Mr. Batter and Thomas Rootes near Strong water brook, they saw the two latter when they met with the wife of John Kitching, riding upon the highway; that they took her horse by the bridle and bade her come down, but she would not. Then said Batter and Rootes pulled her, and the man who was before her, off the horse, took it from them, and said Rootes rode away with it, etc.
Mr. Phillip Cromwell aged about forty-eight years, deposed that he and Thomas Roots were present when they met Elizabeth Kitchin on horse back; that Mr. Batter did not touch the said Elizabeth, neither did he use the word base, nor was he in any passion, etc. Deponent was near him and saw and heard everything, and John Ward and Thomas Meakins were about four or five poles away. Thomas Roots deposed the same.
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