Peabody () is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 51,251 at the 2010 census, and in 2019 the estimated population was 53,070. Peabody is located in the North Shore region of Massachusetts, and is known for its rich industrial history.
The area was long inhabited by Native American people known as the Naumkeag.
The area was settled as part of Salem in 1626 by a small group of English colonists from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant. It was subsequently referred to as the Northfields, Salem Farms, and Brooksby. Several area residents were accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century, three of whom were executed (John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Martha Corey).
In 1752, the area was set off from Salem, and incorporated as a district of Danvers. It was referred to as "the South Parish", associated with a church located in present-day Peabody Square. In 1855, the community broke away from Danvers, and was incorporated as the independent town of South Danvers. The name was changed to Peabody on April 30, 1868, in honor of George Peabody, noted philanthropist born in present-day Peabody, widely regarded as the "father of modern philanthropy".