The Witch of Blackbird Pond
by Elizabeth George Speare
William Ashby is one of the richest and most eligible bachelors in Wethersfield. As Judith proclaims, “Who hasn’t heard that his father has three acres of the best land set aside, and the trees all marked to build the house the moment Master William makes up his mind?” (6.50). William’s father is a Royalist and quite wealthy to boot.
William’s role is as a suitor to both Kit and Judith. Initially the family believes he will pursue Judith, but instead he takes a shine to the exotic Kit. We see, though, through his visits to the family that he is a more suitable match for Judith. The two share an interest in material things – and in the new house he is building.
Kit seriously considers marrying William in order to escape the hard labor of her uncle’s household, but inevitably decides she could not be happy with someone who does not share her core values. William does not come to Kit’s aid during her trial, nor does he approve of her friendship with Hannah Tupper. He does, however, come to Uncle Matthew’s side in matters of politics and even dares to help steal the Connecticut charter.
William and Judith marry in the end with a double ceremony with Mercy and John Holbrook.Timeline