Bathsheba Ruggles AKA Bathsheba Spooner

b. 1746 - d. 1778

First woman to be executed in the United States following the Declaration of Independence.

Convicted of:

"Inciting, abetting, and procuring the manner and form of murder",

in the death of her husband.

Penalty: Death By Hanging

My Maternal 2nd Cousin 7X Removed

Shared Ancestor:

Captain Samuel Ruggles

Who Is Bathsheba Ruggles?

Bathsheba Ruggles was born 13 February 1746 in Massachusetts. The daughter of Timothy Ruggles and Bathsheba Bourne.

She was the victim of an arranged marriage to a wealthy farmer named Joshua Spooner. The marriage took place on the 1st of December 1765 in Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts.

When she could bear her drunken, abusive "husband" no longer, she enlisted the assistance of Ezra Ross...her lover and the father of her unborn son, and two others to murder  him.

On the night of March 1, 1778, as he staggered home drunk once again, he was beaten to death.

His body disposed of down the Spooner well.

Within 24 hours Bathsheba was arrested. She was convicted of the crime of "Inciting, abetting, and procuring the manner and form of murder", and sentenced to death by hanging.

Her sentence was carried out on the 2nd of July, 1778

in Worcester, Massachusetts.

She was 32 years old.

Sharing her last breath was her unborn son.

She was 5 months pregnant at her public hanging.

Learn more about Bathsheba Ruggles by clicking the links below:




My Relationship To Bathsheba Ruggles

My Maternal 2nd Cousin 7X Removed

Shared Ancestor:

Captain Samuel Ruggles

Captain Samuel Ruggles to


Captain Samuel Ruggles b. 1658 d. 1716

My Maternal 8th Great Grandfather

Benjamin Ruggles - b. 1700 d. 1782

My Maternal 7th Great Grandfather

Son of Captain Samuel Ruggles

Abijah Ruggles - b. 1728 d. ????

My Maternal 6th Great Grandfather

Son of Benjamin Ruggles

Isaac Matthew Ruggles - b. 1754 d. ????

My Maternal 5th Great Grandfather

Son of Abijah Ruggles

Sherman Ruggles - b. 1789 d. ????

My Maternal 4th Great Grandfather

Son of Isaac Matthew Ruggles

Hannah Doolittle Ruggles - b. 1826 d. 1908

My Maternal 3rd Great Grandmother

Daughter of Sherman Ruggles

Martha Jane Perkins - b. 1850 d. 1947

My Maternal 2nd Great Grandmother

Daughter of Hannah Doolittle Ruggles

Fannie Elena Tillotson - b. 1867 d. 1951

My Maternal Great Grandmother

Daughter of Martha Jane Perkins

Lee Orville Collins - b. 1904 d. 1959

My Maternal Grandfather

Son of Fannie Elena Tillotson

Elaine Rose Collins - b. 1937 d. Living

My Mother

Daughter of Lee Orville Collins

Cynthia Jean Meyers-Germany


Daughter of Elaine Rose Collins

Captain Samuel Ruggles to Bathsheba Ruggles

Captain Samuel Ruggles b. 1658 d. 1716

Bathsheba's Paternal Great Grandfather

Reverend Timothy Ruggles - b. 1685 d. 1768

Bathsheba's Paternal Grandfather

Son of Captain Samuel Ruggles

Timothy Ruggles - b. 1711 d. 1795

Bathsheba's Father

Son of Reverend Timothy Ruggles

Bathsheba Ruggles - b.  1746 d. 1778

Daughter of Timothy Ruggles

Last Site Update: 30 Mar 2019

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