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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Martha Squibb of Steeple

One of Ari's 9x great-grandmothers was called Martha Squibb. She must have been born in about 1680, in Steeple, Dorset. Charles II was on the throne at that time. Krakatoa had erupted in May of that year, and the Great Comet of 1680 was sighted through a telescope (the first comet to be seen this way).

A broadside reporting the occurrence of a comet: wih a woodcut depicting the comet over Augsburg, and with letterpress title, text in four columns, and the letterpress surrounded by type ornaments. (Augsburg, Abraham Bach: 1680)

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Steeple is a tiny village in the Isle of Purbeck, named for its steep hills. In 1682, the rector of the village, Samuel Bolde, was sent to prison for preaching and publishing a sermon against the persecution of the Huguenots. In 1696, after an epidemic had caused many deaths in his parish, he published eight "Meditations on Death written during the leisure bodily distempers have afforded me".

The view towards Steeple

On 6 September 1702, Martha married David Abbott at the church in Steeple.

They had four children that we know of: Matthew, Anne, Henry and David.

Martha died in May 1748 at Bloxworth, and was buried on 7 May.

Dorset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812,

Ari, this is how you are related to Martha:

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