More About Philip and Mary English Home, Site of

What brought on the accusations against English and his wife?


English was the richest merchant in Salem, partly due to his extensive international contacts. Phillipe L’Anglois arrived in Massachusetts in 1670 from the Channel Island of Jersey, speaking French as his first language. Changing his name to English, he went on to own fourteen town lots, a wharf, twenty ships, and his magnificent home with a waterfront view, called the “Great House.” He represented a more cosmopolitan lifestyle, which did not sit well with some of his strict Puritan neighbors. He was an Anglican (and would later donate land to build the first Anglican Church in Salem). He also earned some ill will when he became a Salem Town selectman in March of 1692. The Putnams of Salem Village had a desire to get into Salem politics and the election of English was not well-received within the Putnam clan.


English was not a popular man in Salem for a variety of reasons including his avoidance of paying his share of taxes, and, when a tax collector himself, allowing fellow “Jerseymen” to slide. He was also known to repossess properties in Salem and was quick to sue for debt.


Once they had escaped, Philip and Mary remained in New York for the duration of the trials. It is thought they were still there on January 12, when evidence against them was considered by the new Superior Court in Salem Town. Philip was accused of aggressive business practices. Mercy Lewis told of torments. The case went nowhere and Philip and Mary were ultimately cleared of all charges.


Upon returning to Salem later in 1693, English was outraged to find £1200 of his belongings, from his home and warehouses, had been confiscated by Sheriff George Corwin and his home had even been looted by his own neighbors. English sued to regain his property. At one point, Corwin promised to return some of English’s things, but not much came of that promise. English sued for years. £200 was eventually granted to his heirs after Philip’s death.


The English mansion stood at the head of today’s English Street – it was English who first laid out a lane from his home to Derby Street. The house had a view of both Collins Cove and Salem Harbor. At the opposite end of the street stood the Blue Anchor Tavern, run by English’s mother-in-law, Eleanor Hollingworth. The Great House stood until 1833 when it was razed, at which time a secret room was discovered in the attic.


11 Essex Street. Private residence. Not open to the public.