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Since she signed both of her letters by mark, it’s clear that the rather attractive handwriting of this letter wasn’t Mary Ball’s. Somebody–a friend or a paid scrivener–wrote the document for her and doubtless helped her to grovel conventionally.

I’d maim to know who this helper was, how much of this letter reflects Mary’s language and thinking, and how much we must attribute to (doubtless) him.

Click on the transcription
(or turn back one page) to see the original.

Again, I’m puzzled by the grouping of this letter with court documents of December, 1670. Other evidence suggests that the issue came to the court’s attention only the next spring.

*New England Ancestors 7 (2006) 2: 55.

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