Bridgit Bishop -
ran a tavern on the Beverly Road. Her tavern had an unsavory reputation.
She allowed young me to loiter there and play shovel-board. Her neighbors were
quick to notice whenever she allowed a customer to stay past closing time.
She liked to wear flashy clothes - bright gowns decorated with lace -
which were an affront to Puritan Salem. She flirted with men and the women
were jealous of her. Bridgit had a sharp tongue, and people were willing
to believe anything against her. She had a reputation of being able to
heal people with herbs from her garden. Age: mid 50's. Tried: June 2,1692.
Hanged: June 10,1692.
George Boroughs - Minister of Wells, Maine; he had be Minister of
Salem Village from 1680-1683. Age: 42. At his execution he recited The
Lord's Prayer, and the crowd wanted to free him because "No wizard could
repeat the Lord's Prayer . . . " However, Cotton Mather, who was present
for the execution, convinced the crowd that it was just a trick of the
Devil. Tried: August 2,1692. Hanged, August 9.
Martha Carrier - of Andover. Mary Lacey, one of her accusers, swore
that she and Martha rode on a stick when they went to a witches' meeting
in Salem. Martha's seven year old daughter also testified against her.
Martha had a reputation for practicing witchcraft. Age: mid to late 40's.
Tried: August 2. Hanged: August 9.
Giles Corey - simple uneducated farmer, he had been in trouble with
the law before and had many enemies. He took an interest in the hearings
when they began, and he was soon accused of wizardry and examined. He
refused to answer the charges, and he could not be tried unless he entered
a plea. By refusing to enter a plea, he hoped to protect his property from
seizure. In order to force him to enter a plea, the authorities ordered
that he be pressed with heavy stones. Age: 80. Corey was pressed to death
on September 19,1692. He never did enter a plea.
Martha Corey - wife of Giles. She had laughed at the girls'
afflictions; she didn't believe in such foolishness. She voiced her
doubts, and the girls soon accused her. She had an unimpeachable
reputation for piety, and the authorities did not want to arrest her
unless the evidence against nor was overwhelming. At her hearing she
insisted that she was a "Gospel Woman." Her husband, Giles, unwittingly
testified against her by mentioning several uncommon accidents that had
occurred since he had married her. Age: unknown. Tried: September 6,1692.
Hanged: September 22, 1692.
Mary Easty - of Topsfield. Rebecca Nurse's sister, she was known to
everyone as a saintly woman. At her preliminary exam, she maintained her
innocence with such candor and conviction that Judge Hathorne asked the
afflicted girls if they were sure of their accusation. The girls wavered,
and Easty was released. However, upon her release the girls renewed their
accusations and Easty was re-arrested. As she awaited execution, she
petitioned the Court of Oyer and Terminer and the Essex County ministers
to stop the trials so that no more innocent blood would be shed. Age: mid
to late 50's. Tried: September 6,1692. Hanged: September 22.
Sarah Good - homeless woman; her husband "worked 'round" wherever
help was needed. His family went with him and slept in the barn wherever
he worked. When there was no work, Sarah begged from farm to farm. Many
people in Salem did not like her sharp tongue - she scolded anyone who did
not give her money or used clothing. Some believed that she had carried
smallpox when the epidemic had swept the village a few years before. There
was also a fear that she may set a house or barn afire with the careless
disposal of her pipe. Age: mid to late 30's. Tried: June 28,1692. Hanged
Elizabeth How - of Ipswich; accused by her neighbors. She had been
suspected of being a witch for many years before the hysteria. Much of the
evidence against her went back over ten years; several incidents involved
accidents and illnesses that affected the livestock of her neighbors. Age:
55. Tried: June 28,1692. Hanged: July 19,1692
George Jacobs Sr. - Hateful neighbors accused him. At first he
treated his arrest lightly and laughed out loud at the absurdity of the
questions. His granddaughter was convinced to confess that she was a witch
and George a wizard. She later retracted her testimony and confession, but
it was too late. Age: 76. Tried: August 2,1692. Hanged: August 19th.
According to family tradition, he was taken from a criminal's grave and
re-buried on his Danversport farm.
Susanna Martin - of Amesbury; accused of flying to Newborn on a
broomstick. What was the evidence? She arrived at her friend's house with
no trace of mud on her shoes, so she had to have flown there through the
air. The Martin household was frequently disrupted by violent quarrels
between her husband and son. Age: late 60's. Tried: June 28,1692. Hanged:
Rebecca Nurse - a pious deeply religious woman; a loving mother who
had raised four sons and four daughters. Some of the neighbors were
jealous because the Nurse family had prospered. They had a fine 300 acre
farm and a sturdy farmhouse. Thirty-nine people of the neighborhood signed
a testimony on her behalf. Partly deaf, she could not follow her own trail
well enough to answer properly. She was originally found not guilty, but
the judges forced the jury to reconsider, and the verdict was changed to
guilty. Age: 70. Tried: June 28. Hanged: July 19,1692. The Nurse family
took her body in secret to bury in their own family cemetery.
Sarah Osborne - had not attended church on the Sabbath for over a
year. She was supposed to be ill, but some in the congregation insisted
that she was perfectly able to get to the meeting house. Villagers
resented how she and her second husband, an indentured servant whom she
had purchased, tried to gain control of her first husband's land. Age:
late 40's. Died in prison in 8oston in May of 1692.
Alice Parker - of Salem Town, wife of a mariner. She faced the
usual accusations: "someone felt sick after she had visited," "she sent an
animal to attack an enemy" etc. Age: unknown. Tried: September 6,1692.
Hanged: September 22,1692.
Mary Parker - of Andover. Age: early 60's. Tried: September 6,1692.
Hanged: September 22, 1692.
John Proctor - successful and prosperous, he spoke out against the
hysteria. His serving girl, Mary Warren, was one of the afflicted". When
he ordered her to stop the foolishness of accusing people and threatened
to beat her, she stopped her fits - until the other girls accused his wife
Mary. When he defended his accused wife, he was arrested too. Despite the
petition signed by many prominent citizens of Salem and Ipswich, he was
convicted. Tried: August 2,1692. Hanged August 19,1692.
Ann Pudeator - a widow, several of the afflicted girls claimed that
Ann had tormented them, that she had admitted killing her first husband
and his first wife, and that she had caused the death of two sick women.
She protested in a petition to the judges that one of those who had given
evidence against her had formerly been convicted and whipped as a liar.
Age: mid to late 50's. Tried: September 16,1692. Hanged: September
Wilmot "Mamm " Reed - of Marblehead; she had the reputation of
being the town witch. In a dispute with a woman of Salem Town, Reed, in
the presence of witnesses, pronounced a curse upon her. The woman became
ill. Age: mid 50's. Tried: September 6,1692. Hanged: September 22, 1692.
Margaret Scott - of Rowley. Age: unknown. Tried September 6,1692.
Hanged: September 22, 1692.
Samuel Wardell - of Andover; at his preliminary exam, he confessed
himself as a wizard, but he renounced this at his trial. At his execution,
as he spoke to the people proclaiming his innocence, tobacco smoke from
the executioner's pipe interrupted his protestations. The crowd believed
that the Devil had hindered him with the smoke. Age: unknown. Tried June
28,1692. Hanged: September 22,1692.
Sarah Wild - of Tospfield, she was accused by a spiteful neighbor
who sought revenge on her son, the Topsfield constable and by a village
woman who had a reputation as a simple-minded person. The latter withdrew
her accusation, but it was too late. Age: early 60's. Tried June 28,1692.
Hanged: July 19,1692.
John Willard - as a deputy constable, Willard arrested the first
group of suspects but soon expressed his opinion that the "afflicted"
girls were the ones that should be hanged. He resigned as constable. Soon
the girls cried out against him. His in-laws testified against him. Age:
37. Tried: August 2,1692. Hanged August 19,1692.