Sarah Towne Bridge Cloyes was born 11 January 1637 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts to William Towne (1599-1685) and Joanna Blessing (1595-1682) and died 1703 Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts of unspecified causes. She married Edmond Bridges (1637-1682) 11 January 1659 in Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts. She married Peter Cloyes (1640-1708) 1682 in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts.

Falsely Accused at Salem_Witch_Trials, but spared the fate of her two older sisters.

Vital Statistics[]


Born circa 1642, in Salem, MA. He married (1) Edmund Bridges (2) Peter Cloyes. Sarah Cloyes was accused of witchcraft, in 1692 [at age 53], and put into prison, and later released. She pressed charges for her unlawful arrest and the of her sisters. She received three gold sovereigns for each of them. The movie, Three Sovereigns For Sister Sarah is about this event. Her daughter was: ..... Hepzibah Cloyce, married Ebenezer Harrington.

Salem Witch Trials[]

Sarah's older sister, Rebecca Nurse was one of the earliest prominent members falsely accused of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. At one point during the trial in late March 1692, Sarah stormed out in protest and then she was herself arrested and charged with witchcraft.

Her sister Rebecca was hanged in July and later another sister, Mary Estey, was also hanged for witchcraft in Salem.

According to: 'Salem Possessed, The Social Origins of Witchcraft', 1974, Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum, p 149. The mother of Sarah, Rebecca, and Mary; Joanna (Blessing) Towne, was also accused of witchcraft though never arrested or brought to trial.

"In early 1692 Sarah was accused of witchcraft. She was a sister to Rebecca Nurse and Mary Esty, who also had been accused; as well as their mother, Johanna. Her brother-in-law was John Bridges (from her first marriage), whose wife and daughters were also imprisoned for witchcraft. Her step son-in-law, Daniel Elliott, testified against Sarah's sisters, but not her. Daniel had married Peter's daughter Sarah. It was strongly believed that witchcraft ran in families.

"Committed to prison 1 March 16928, Sarah had a long imprisonment in Boston. She was tried, found guilty, and then in August moved to Ipswich, to await execution. Sarah's sisters, Mary and Rebecca, were hung for witchcraft. At Ipswich, the doom desired by the preposterous indictment was barely escaped. In some way Sarah escaped and was concealed by friends until the family's removal to Framingham. Jan 24, 1693, her case was declared ‘ignoramus'. No explanation has been found why she escaped the fate of her sisters. However, by fall of 1692, the witchcraft frenzy had abated and then Gov. Danforth stepped in and stopped convictions by the court. Years later all persons accused of witchcraft were cleared and 3 golden crowns were paid to those accused or their surviving families.

"Sarah's grave has never been found. After the move to Framingham, Sarah and Peter spelled their last name Clayes."

Marriage and Family[]


Offspring of Edmond Bridges Jr. and Sarah Towne (1642-1703)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Edmond Bridges (1660-)
Benjamin Bridges (1665-1725) 2 January 1665 Topsfield, Essex County, Massachusetts 28 August 1725 Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts Elizabeth Framington (1669-1747)
Mary Bridges (1667-1738)
Hannah Elizabeth Bridges (1669-1727) 9 June 1669 Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts 13 March 1727 Oxford, Worcester County, Massachusetts Samuel Barton (1664-1732)
Caleb Bridges (1677-1737)