July 31 (July 21, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Ann Foster of Andover, who confessed to witchcraft beginning on July 15, is brought before the Salem magistrates again to address discrepancies between her story and that of her daughter, Mary Lacey, who confessed herself the previous day.  She irons over the differences as best she can.  Mary Lacey, under renewed questioning herself, does the same, and also says she saw Elizabeth Howe and Rebecca Nurse, both of whom were hanged for witchcraft on July 19, being baptized by Satan at Newbury Falls about two years before.

After she and her mother are taken away Mary Lacey Jr., her eighteen-year-old daughter, is brought before the magistrates by the sheriff of Andover to answer her own witchcraft charges.  When she is first brought in the judges accuse her straightforwardly of afflicting Ballard’s wife and others, including the confessed witch Mary Warren, who is right there and suffering from fits.  Lacey denies knowing anything about this, but when the justices ask her to put her hand on Warren’s arm she does and Warren instantly recovers, a well-established sign of guilt.  With continued questioning Lacey quickly changes her attitude; she readily confesses guilt, but insists that her mother made her a witch and that she has only been one for a week or so.  As the questions continue, her story shifts subtly, and she begins to pour out confessions in response to the leading questions of the magistrates.  She admits to having afflicted various people with poppets and pins at the request of the Devil, and to having participated in various witchly activities with her mother and grandmother, Martha Carrier, and Carrier’s eighteen-year-old son Richard.

Martha Carrier’s other son, sixteen-year-old Andrew, is a servant in the household of one James Holt, and Lacey says that Holt beats him so he and his brother have been afflicting Holt’s son in revenge with her help.  She also gives further details about the witch meeting in Salem Village that was a major focus of her mother’s and grandmother’s confessions.  She says she and Richard Carrier were there too, and that the whole group rode there on two poles.  When asked why, if she was there in person, no one else has admitted to seeing her, she says that the Devil sometimes produces a mist to hide witches from others’ sight.  She also says that the Devil cannot appear in the form of people without their consent to hurt others, a common defense of witchcraft suspects which was supported by several of the prominent ministers in the colony in a statement on June 15.

When the magistrates are finished with their questioning, Mary Warren, who has been shouting in the background throughout the proceedings and calling for the Carrier brothers to be brought in, comes up to Lacey and takes her by the hand without suffering any ill effects.  Lacey asks for her forgiveness for afflicting her, which Warren grants, and the two begin to cry together in a heartfelt and touching display of contrition and forgiveness that lasts until Lacey’s mother is brought in for further questioning.

Upon seeing her mother, the younger Lacey asks “Oh mother, why did you give me to the Devil twice or thrice over?” to which her mother responds that she is “sorry at the heart for it” and that it was the Devil who made her do it.  Her daughter then tearfully urges her to repent (which she has of course already done).

Ann Foster is then brought in again as well.  Her granddaughter turns to her and says “Oh grandmother, why did you give me to the Devil?  Why did you persuade me?  Oh grandmother, do you not deny it?  You have been a very bad woman in your time, I must needs say.”  The justices are impressed with the teenager’s contrition and accusatory stance, and pronounce themselves satisfied that she is likely to be “snatched out of the snare of the Devil because there seems to be something of repentance” in her confession.  They are less pleased with her grandmother’s confession, however, mostly because of its conflicts with the others, and they pressure her to confess more fully.  She cooperates to some extent, but blames most of the deaths attributed to her on Martha Carrier instead, though she admits to knowing about them.  When asked to explain the discrepancies between what she says now and her initial confession, she says the Devil kept her from telling the truth at first.  With subsequent questioning she seeks to align her story more closely with those of her daughter and granddaughter.

After receiving all this testimony, the magistrates issue an arrest warrant for Andrew and Richard Carrier.  John Ballard, the constable in Andover, immediately arrests them and brings them to Thomas Beadle’s tavern in Salem Town to await questioning.

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Published in: on July 31, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

July 30 (July 20, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Mary Lacey of Andover, accused of witchcraft the previous day by Joseph Ballard of the same town, is brought before the magistrates in Salem for questioning.  The magistrates also issue a warrant for the arrest of her daughter, also named Mary Lacey, who was also named in Ballard’s complaint.

When the elder Lacey appears before the authorities and is questioned about Ballard’s accusations that she bewitched his wife Elizabeth, she quickly confesses her guilt, as her mother, Ann Foster, did when she was examined on July 15.  She admits to having traveled to a meeting of witches in Salem Village along with Foster and Martha Carrier, another accused witch who played a major role in Foster’s confessions.

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July 29 (July 19, o.s.)

Massachusetts: The five women convicted of witchcraft during the second session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Sarah Good, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse, Elizabeth Howe, and Sarah Wilds, in accordance with the warrant signed on July 12 by the court’s chief justice, Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, are brought from the jail in Salem Town to Gallows Hill to be executed. Nicholas Noyes, minister in Salem Town, urges Good to confess before she is hanged, but she refuses, saying, “I am no more a witch than you are a wizard, and if you take away my life, God will give you blood to drink.” Noyes is unimpressed by this prediction, and all five women are hanged as planned.

Meanwhile, Joseph Ballard of Andover, who brought two of the afflicted girls of Salem to his house on July 14 to detect any witchcraft involved in his wife’s illness and was rewarded by the girls’ declaration that she was being bewitched by three women of Andover, files charges against two of those women: Mary Lacey and her daughter of the same name.  (The third woman is the elder Mary Lacey’s mother, Ann Foster, who has already been brought in for questioning and confessed.)

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  

July 28 (July 18, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Ann Foster of Andover appears before the Salem magistrates yet again to continue her confession of witchcraft, which began on July 15 and continued the next day.  The judges’ questions focus on two aspects of her story: her initiation into witchcraft six years ago and her attendance at the witches’ meeting in Salem Village two months ago.  About the former, she says that the Devil was present along with Martha Carrier when she signed up and that he promised her “prosperity and many things” in exchange for two years of service from her, but that he never delivered on his promises.  About the latter, she says that she and Carrier both rode the same stick to get to the meeting but that the stick broke while they were traveling above the treetops and they began to fall, so she grabbed on to Carrier’s neck and made it safely to the meeting, although she did hurt her leg in the process.  As for the meeting itself, she says that there were two men there besides George Burroughs, one of whom had gray hair, but she doesn’t name them.  She also says that she overheard some of the witches at the meeting saying that there were 305 witches in the country, and that they intended to ruin Salem Village.

Published in: on July 28, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on July 28 (July 18, o.s.)  

July 26 (July 16, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Ann Foster, the accused witch who confessed to witchcraft the preceding day, appears again before the Salem magistrates to elaborate on her confession.  She says that Martha Carrier, also recently accused of witchcraft, came to her about six years before and threatened that the Devil would tear her into pieces if she didn’t join his forces, so she did.  She admits to several specific acts of witchcraft against various victims, including a hog belonging to one John Lovejoy, “some persons in Salem Village,” and, at the request of Martha Carrier, two children of Andrew Allen, one of whom died.  She also admits to having attended a meeting of witches in Salem Village about two months before, again at the request of Martha Carrier, with whom she rode to the meeting on broomsticks.  She says that George Burroughs, the minister and accused witch from Maine, presided over the meeting, which was attended by about twenty-five people.

Published in: on July 26, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on July 26 (July 16, o.s.)  

July 25 (July 15, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Ann Foster, the elderly Andover widow implicated by two of the afflicted girls of Salem the previous day in the illness of Elizabeth Ballard, is summoned before the Salem magistrates for questioning. Foster soon confesses to witchcraft and admits to having seen the Devil three times in the shape of a bird that was white when it arrived but black when it flew away. She says the devil-bird promised her prosperity and gave her the power to afflict people. She further claims that the accused witch Martha Carrier came to her about three weeks ago and asked her to afflict Elizabeth Ballard and others.

New Mexico/Mexico: Juan Isidro de Pardiñas, the governor of Nueva Vizcaya, receives the letter sent by Governor Diego de Vargas of New Mexico on July 13 specifying how to supply the fifty soldiers authorized by the viceroy on May 28 to be sent from Nueva Vizcaya for the reconquest of New Mexico.  He immediately sends orders to his commanders to provide the requested troops, fifteen each from the presidios of Pasaje, Gallo, and San Francisco de Conchos and five from the presidio of Cerro Gordo.

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (5)  

July 24 (July 14, o.s.)

Massachusetts: Joseph Ballard of Andover, whose wife Elizabeth has been ill for several months, asks around Salem Village for some of the afflicted girls there to come back with him to see if there is any witchcraft involved. Mercy Lewis and Betty Hubbard agree to help him, and the three of them return to Andover. When they reach Ballard’s house, the girls report that they do indeed see witches tormenting Elizabeth Ballard, and they name three Andover residents: the elderly widow Ann Foster, and her daughter and granddaughter, both named Mary Lacey. When he returns to Salem to bring the girls back, Joseph Ballard appears before the magistrates to file a witchcraft complaint against Foster. The justices obligingly issue a warrant for her to appear for questioning the next day.

New Mexico: The viceroy, the Conde de Galve, receives Governor Vargas’s letters of June 17 and 19 setting forth his side of his dispute with Father Hinojosa over the lands of the Indians.  He sends them on to the royal prosecutor, Benito de Noboa Salgado, with the request that Noboa order a search for the decree of the Conde de Monterrey mentioned in the June 19 letter.  If it is found, he wants a copy of it, and if it cannot be found, he wants to know that.

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  

July 22 (July 12, o.s.)

Connecticut: John Tash of Greenwich testifies before commissioner John Reynolds that about thirty years before he was at Mr. Laweridge’s house in Newton, Long Island, when Goodman and Goodwife Owen asked him to accompany Goodwife Staples of Fairfield to George Woolsey’s house in Jamaica, Long Island. They rode over on the same horse, Tash in front and Staples behind him, and when they got to a slough along the way the horse blundered a bit and Tash had a mysterious feeling that Staples wasn’t on the horse behind him. When they got to the same slough on the return trip, Tash reached behind him and didn’t feel Staples on the horse, but as soon as they passed the slough she was there. When they returned to Newton Tash told Mr. Laweridge what had happened and that he thought Staples was a “light woman.”

Massachusetts: Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, chief justice of the Court of Oyer and Terminer established to try the accused witches in Essex County, signs a death warrant for the five women convicted of witchcraft during the court’s second session: Sarah Good, Susannah Martin, Rebecca Nurse (who was initially reprieved by Governor Phips at the request of her family, only to have the reprieve overturned by the easily manipulable governor after pressure from some prominent men in Salem), Elizabeth Howe, and Sarah Wilds.  The warrant orders them to be hanged in Salem on July 19.

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

July 21 (July 11, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets and orders various expenditures for rebuilding fortifications and transporting fifty French prisoners to Petit Goave in St. Domingue. A general court martial is ordered for July 21, and it is decided that the next meeting of the Council will be at Mosquito Point to select a site for a new fortification to guard the channel into the harbor.

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July 19 (July 9, o.s.)

Mexico: The Conde de Galve, reacting to the widespread notion, reinforced by the report issued by the officials of the cathedral on July 1, that the rioting in Mexico City on June 8 was largely the fault of Indians who were overly fond of the native alcoholic beverage known as pulque and influenced by the immoral atmosphere of places selling it, prohibits the sale or consumption of pulque.

Published in: on July 19, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments Off on July 19 (July 9, o.s.)