But Mr Duston’s faith seemed to count for little on the fateful day of March 15, 1697. Thomas was tending to the fields around the family home. Hannah, who had just given birth to her eighth child, was recovering in bed. Her aunt, Mary, was caring for mother and baby, and the other seven Duston children were playing outside.
Meanwhile, hidden from view, a group of Abenaki warriors were planning an attack. Native to the north-eastern region of North America, the Abenaki were among the disparate tribes of indigenous inhabitants who had been carrying out raids against the colonists.