Peabody ( /piːbədi/) is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population is about 53,000. Peabody is located in Boston's North Shore suburban area.
First known as the Northfields, "the Farms", and Brooksby, the area was settled about 1626 within Salem, which had itself been founded in 1626 and incorporated in 1629. In 1752, the area was set off from Salem and incorporated as part of Danvers. It was usually referred to as "the South Parish", associated with the church located in the center (now Peabody Square). In 1855, the community broke away from Danvers to become the town of South Danvers, incorporated that May 18. The name was changed on April 30, 1868 to Peabody after George Peabody, a noted philanthropist. It would be incorporated as a city in 1916.
Giles Corey, the only person pressed to death by stones in the Salem witch hysteria of 1692, had his farm and was buried here beside his wife next to Crystal Lake.