August 1 (July 22, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council meets at Mosquito Point and orders that the Middle Ground be surveyed for a fort. A Court of Judicature is to be held on the last Tuesday in November, and martial law will cease forty days before that. A proclamation will be made that all goods salvaged from the wreckage resulting from the earthquake will be made available to be claimed. HMS Mordaunt is ordered to recover the guns from the fortifications at Port Royal that have sunk into the harbor and the sea.

The new town being laid out on William Beeston’s land in St. Andrews Parish, across the harbor from Port Royal, is named Kingston, and orders are given for materials and labor to build it to be procured. Everyone who buys a lot in Kingston must build a house worth 50 pounds on it within three years or pay a fine of 50 pounds. To make the new town easily accessible, ferries are prohibited from charging excessive fees for transport there.

Massachusetts: Andrew and Richard Carrier, the sons of accused witch Martha Carrier named in the confessions of Ann Foster, Mary Lacey Sr., and Mary Lacey Jr. as accomplices to their witchcraft, are brought before the Salem magistrates for questioning. They are at first very resistant and defiantly deny any knowledge of witchcraft, and the justices are reduced to reinterviewing the Laceys in front of them to confront them with the allegations directly. When even this fails to elicit confessions the brothers are brought to another room and their hands are tied to their feet behind their back. After being left in this excruciating position for a while, they are brought back in and are much more cooperative.

Richard in particular begins to readily agree that he is a witch and has been one for over a year. He describes in detail the Devil’s recruitment of him and how he signed the red book and agreed to begin afflicting various people in company with Mary Lacey Jr., whose version of the stories he largely adopts. He also admits to being at the by now infamous witch meeting in Samuel Parris’s pasture in Salem Village led by George Burroughs. He names several other people who were also at the meeting, some of whom have already been imprisoned or executed and some who have not yet been arrested, including Martha Emerson of Haverill and her mother, Mary Toothaker of Billerica (whose husband Roger, also named by Richard, was already accused and died in prison in Boston on June 16). After he completes his confession Richard takes the afflicted persons by the hand without hurting them and asks for their forgiveness, which they grant.

Andrew Carrier is brought in next. Before the magistrates begin their questions his brother tells him that he has confessed everything. Andrew accordingly confesses as well, though not in nearly as much detail as Richard. He stammers and stutters throughout his answers to questions, and only firmly commits to having afflicted his master’s child at the request of the Devil.

As a result of these confessions, the magistrates issue warrants for the arrest of Martha Emerson of Haverhill and Mary Toothaker of Billerica.

Mexico/New Mexico: In accordance with the viceroy’s instructions on July 24, the government officials Diego José de Bustos and Juan de Aguirre Vidaurreta write to him to certify that they have diligently searched the archives of their departments but cannot find any record of the decree mentioned by Governor Vargas in his letter of June 19.

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Published in: on August 1, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (2)  

2 Comments

  1. […] by the Court of Oyer and Terminer. They mention the confessions of Andrew and Richard Carrier on the previous day, which arose rather suddenly after the two young men were taken out of the examination room and […]

  2. […] of Billerica, charged with witchcraft after being implicated by her nephew Richard Carrier in his July 22 confession, appears before the Salem magistrates for questioning.  She quickly confesses her […]


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