May 31 (May 21, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Mary Easty, the sister of accused witches Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Cloyce who was released from jail on May 18 but has since been charged with bewitching the afflicted girl Mercy Lewis, is apprehended and reimprisoned, to be questioned on May 23.

Meanwhile, Sergeant Thomas Putnam and his cousin, Constable John Putnam, file charges against Sarah Proctor, the fifteen-year-old daughter of accused witches John and Elizabeth Proctor who was herself accused by Elizabeth Booth, Mary Warren and Susannah Sheldon the previous day; Sarah Bassett of Lynn, Elizabeth Proctor’s sister-in-law; and Susannah Roote of Beverly, a widow about whom there have long been rumors of impiety.

New Mexico: Joaquín de Hinojosa, president in capite and interim ecclesiastical judge ordinary of New Mexico, sends a petition to Governor Vargas protesting the governor’s refusal on May 17 to grant the religious authorities jurisdiction over all the lands of the Indians along with the transfer of possession of the churches in the province to them. He asks for a copy of his original petition of May 16 and the proceedings resulting from it to send to the fathers superior of his order, the Observant Franciscans. When the governor receives the petition he refuses to grant it and says that if Hinojosa wishes to appeal his decision he should take it up with the viceroy. He further argues that the royal decree on which Hinojosa is basing his argument is irrelevant, since it addresses a different issue in a different place and situation. He says that giving the priests temporal authority over the Indians would be severely detrimental to the interests of the Spanish colonists, who are few and widely scattered among the Indians, whom the priests would be bound to favor in disputes. He also accuses Hinojosa of attempting to usurp royal authority.  He sends his secretary of government and war, Juan Páez Hurtado, to inform Hinojosa of his decision, and orders four government officials to accompany him as witnesses: Francisco de Anaya Almazán, Juan García de Noriega, Juan Lucero de Godoy, and Fernando Durán y Chaves.

Published in: on May 31, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  


  1. […] 3 (May 24, o.s.) Massachusetts: The seven people charged with witchcraft on May 21 and 23 are brought to the Salem Village meetinghouse to be questioned by the magistrates. The […]

  2. […] on April 21 and examined the next day, then released on May 18, only to be arrested again on May 21 after being accused again by Mercy Lewis, one of the most prominent and influential of the […]

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