was in fact the step-daughter of Mary Chandler. She had a brother John
and an un-named sister but nothing is known about these children.
Susan's father, a widower named Robert, had married her step-mother, a
widow named Mary Coe, at Lowestoft on 6th June 1649 when Susan was 5 years
old. There were no children born of this marriage.
Nothing is known
about Robert Chandler before this date so presumably he and his family
settled in Lowestoft around the time of his marriage to Mary.
Mary Coe was previously
married to Thomas Coe, a Yeoman from an old established Lowestoft family.
They were married at Lowestoft on 24th January 1633 and lived in a freehold
messuage at the "North End" of High Street. Mary had five children by Thomas,
four of whom were still living when he died in May, 1646. Her maiden
name was Draper, but there is no record of her in Lowestoft before her
marriage to Thomas.
In the 17th century
it was usual for young widows with small children to re-marry very soon
after the death of their spouse in order to provide for their children.
The fact that Mary waited three years before marrying Robert Chandler is
explained by the fact that her husband left her well provided for in his
Will. He left her " . . . all the houses, landes
and tenements of myne in Lowestoft . . . for the educatinge and bring and
bringing upp of my children . . ." Mary Coe was obviously a widow
of independent means.
records show that at the time of Susan's accusations against Rose Cullender,
the family were living at Lowestoft's main Inn, the "Crown" where Robert
was the "Innholder".
The wealth and property
that Mary Chandler inherited from her first husband were tied-up under
the terms of his Will and held in Trust to be sold at her death, the proceeds
to be divided among the surviving children of their marriage. The
property was so entailed that it was not possible for her second husband
or his children to benefit from it.
This might explain
why Susan Chandler was employed as a "servant" elsewhere in town when she
claimed to have been bewitched.
There is evidence
that Mary Chandler espoused the non-conformist cause for in September 1652
a person with that name was admitted to the Great Yarmouth Congregational
Church - the same puritan sect supported by Samuel Pacy and his sister
Margaret Arnold. The latter, who
testified at the trial, lived in Great Yarmouth and attended the church
As the Trial report
notes, Mary Chandler was one of six women appointed by Sir Edmund Bacon
to search Rose Cullender for "witches marks". There is nothing to
indicate why she was selected for this task.
died at Lowestoft in November 1675, and Mary Chandler died there in August
1687. Both were buried in the parish churchyard but no memorial remains.
As with the other
"bewitched" girls, Susan Chandler survived her ordeal and on 28th May 1668,
aged 24, she married a 36 year old widower named Samuel Pearson.
Samuel's first wife was Margaret Pacy, a distant relative of Samuel Pacy
whose daughters were also "bewitched". There is no record at Lowestoft
of children from their marriage.
Samuel died at Lowestoft
in January 1689, being described as a "householder". Susan survived
him by almost twenty years and died at Lowestoft in January 1707.
She never remarried.
Today her mortal
remains and those of her husband lay forgotten somewhere beneath the green
grass of St. Margaret's churchyard, Lowestoft. . . . .
Registers, Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft
for the Archdeaconry of Suffolk,
Suffolk Record Office, Ipswich
Court Records, Suffolk Record Office, Lowestoft.
Copy of the
Original Record of the Yarmouth Congregational Church (1642-1855),
Dr. Williams Library, London.