Joseph Herrick, Esquire

Father: Henry Herrick(29)
Mother: Editha


Spouse #1: Sara (Leach) 1666

Spouse #2: Mary (Endicott) 1679

Biography Notes...

Born in Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, lived in Cherry Hill. Married Sara Leach 7 February 1666/1667. Inherited 1/3 share of the Alford 200 acre farm, 1/3 share in the 106 acre farm purchased from Skerry and domestic animals. Joseph was an attorney.

Married Mary (Endicott) 1679.

SALEM WITCHCRAFT DELUSIONS.- Upon an investigation of all the available literature bearing. upon the subject, quite a number of Herrick's figured more or less prominently in the prosecutions in the celebrated Witchcraft Delusions which occurred at Salem, Mass., in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Fortunately none of them were among the victims, and we are glad to find that the records of that time show that one of the first to break away from the thralldom of the terrible delusion, and oppose it, was a Herrick  • "-Upham's Salem Witchcraft, Vol. I, pp. 153-4.

Joseph (1645-1718) (fifth son of the immigrant Henry of Salem, brother of my ancestor Henry Herrick (30) ) was the acting constable of the place, and, as such, concerned in the early proceedings connected with the witchcraft prosecutions. For awhile he was under the influence of the delusion, but his strong and enlightened mind soon led him out of it. He was one of the petitioners in behalf of an accused person, when intercession, by any for any, was highly dangerous, and he was a leader in the party that rose against the fanaticism, and vindicated the characters of its victims.

NOTE: Go To Doctor Williams Griggs and how he and the pastor Parris started the Salem Witch Trials!

Go To Wenham where Hale was converted because of the attack on his wife by a 17 year old Mary Herrick! 

Go To the letters of the Governor and how he stopped it

The Salem Witch Trials, ©2002 Marilynne K. Roach
~Page 21 ..February 29, 1692, "..Thomas Putnam [and three others] traveled the wet, treacherous roads to Salem town. Once there, they swore out official complaints before magistrates John Hawthorn and Jonathan Corwin to charge Sarah Good, Tituba Indian, and Sarah Osborn with "suspicion of witchcraft", whereby there has been "much mischief done Elizabeth Parris, Abigail Williams, Ann Putnam and Elizabeth Hubbard...sundry times within this two months and also lately done, at Salem Village contrary to the peace of our Sovereign Lord and Lady William nd Mary....." "The magistrates issued arrest warrants for Tituba and Sarah Osborne to constable Joseph Herrick of Ryle Side...."

Note: There were several Herrick brothers, James and Thomas had passed away, Henry (my ancestor) was 52, and Joseph was 47: 

James (1633-1687)
Thomas (1634-1665)  (I)
Zacherie (1636-1695)  (II)
Ephriam (1638-1693)  (III)
Henry(30) (1640-1702)  (IV)
Joseph (1645-1718)  (V)
Elizabeth (1647-1727)  (VI)
John (1650-1680)  (VII)
Benjamin (1652-1671)  (VIII)

~Page 28 and 31-32 ...March 1, 1692, "...Constable Joseph Herrick led Tituba into the meeting house....." " All three suspects were held for future trials. Sarah Osborn and Tituba were taken to Salem Jail, while Sarah Good was assigned to the other Essex County jail at Ipswitch. She was for the time being, confined with her infant under guard at the the house of her kinsman, Constable Joseph Herrick, off of the Ipswitch road. Her four-year-old daughter was left in the uncertain care of William Good.........
   That same evening, when Elizabeth Hubbard once again felt sharp jabs and wrenching pinches, she reported the shape of a vengeful Sarah Good. Samuel Sibley (whose wife had suggested the witch-cake) was among the sympathetic neighbors gathered in her uncle's house.
   "There stands Sarah Good at the table beside you, " Elizabeth cried to Sibley, "with all her naked breast, and bare footed, bare legged. Oh nasty slut. If I had something, I would kill her." Sibley grabbed his walking staff and struck the air where the girl pointed. "You have hit her right across the back." [other records have him hitting her on the arm] said Elizabeth. "You almost killed her."
    Not far away at Constable Herrick's farm, Sarah Good's three guards checked on their prisoner and found her gone, leaving shoes and stockings behind. None of the men wanted to wake the Constable and tell him. Sarah Good presumably saw a chance to slip away, and took it so quickly - in order to take it at all - that she had had no time to collect her shoes and stockings. but desperate as she was, she found nowhere to flee. Barefoot in a Massachusetts March, hampered by the infant in her arms, Sarah reappeared some time in the night, to the guard's great relief. When told of the escape, Herrick and his wife checked the prisoner and found her arm bloody from wrist to elbow. It had not been the night before, and seemed all the more sinister when they heard the news of Elizabeth Hubbard's vision."

~Page 44 ...March 21, 1692,  "Constable Joseph Herrick, under orders from Marshal George Herrick had Martha Corey in custody at Ingersoll's by Monday Morning.

~Page 130 ... March 17, 1692, Joseph Herrick was asked to view the body of Daniel Williams.

Joseph Herrick
Sr. and ux. v. Sarah Good.

The Deposition of Joseph Herrick Sen. who testifieth and saith that on the first day of March 1691/2:

I being the constable for Salem, there was delivered to me by warrant from the worshipfull Jno Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin Esqrs. Sarah Good for me to cery to their majesties Goal at Ipswich and that night I sett a gard to watch her at my own house, namely Samul Braybook, Michaell Dunnell, Janathan Baker and the affore named persons, informed me in the morning that that night Sarah Good was gon for some time from them both bare foot and bare legde, and I was also 'Informed that that night Elizabeth Hubbard one of the afflicted parsons complained that Sarah Good came and afflicted her being bare foot and bare ledged and Samuell Sibley that was one that was attending of Eliza Hubbard struck Sarah Good on the arme as Elizabeth Hubbard said.

Mary Herrick (about 33 years old) the wife of the above said Joseph testifieth that on the 2th March 1691/2 in the morning I took notis of Sarah Good in the morning and one of her Armes was bloody from a little below the Elbow to the wrist, and I also took notis of her Armes on the night before, and there was no sign of blood on them.

Joseph Herrick Senr and Mary Herrick appearid before us the Jury for Inquest, and did on the oath which the had taken owne this their evidence to be the truth this 28 of June 1692. Sworn in Court.

Text of apology signed by Henry Herrick (Joseph's brother):

"Some, that had been of several juries, have given forth a paper, signed with their own hands, in these words: .

'" We, whose names are under written, being in the year 1692 called to serve as jurors in court at Salem on trial of many, who were by Some suspected guilty of doing acts of witchcraft upon the bodies of sundry persons: .

'" We confess that we ourselves were not capable to understand, nor able to withstand, the mysterious delusions of the powers of darkness, and the prince of the air; but were, for want of knowledge in ourselves, and better information from others, prevailed with us to take up with such evidence against the accused, as, on further consideration and better information, we justly fear was insufficient for touching the lives of any, (Deut. XVII, 6 [On the testimony of two or three witnesses a person is to be put to death, but no one is to be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.]) whereby we fear we have been instrumental, with others. though ignorantly and unwittingly, to bring upon ourselves and this people of the Lord the guilt of innocent blood; which sin the Lord saith, in scripture, he would not pardon. (2 Kings, XXIV, 4 [including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.]) that is, we suppose, in regard to his temporal judgments. We do therefore hereby signify to all in general (and to the surviving sufferers in special) our deep sense of, and sorrow for, our errors, in acting on such evidence to the condemning of any person; and do hereby declare, that we justly fear that we were sadly deluded and mistaken; for which we are much disquieted and distressed in our minds; and do therefore humbly beg forgiveness, first of God for Christ's sake, for this our error; and pray that God would not impute the guilt of it to ourselves, nor others; and we also pray that we may be considered candidly, and aright, by the living sufferers, as being then under the power of a strong and general delusion, utterly unacquainted with, and not experienced in, matters of that nature .... We do heartily ask forgiveness of you all, whom we have justly offended; and do declare, according to our present minds, we would none of us do such things again on such grounds for the whole world; praying you to accept of this in way of satisfaction for our offence, and that would bless the inheritance of the Lord, that he may be entreated for the land.

Foreman, THOMAS FISK, 

JOHN DANE, THOMAS PERKINS, SAMUEL SAYER, ANDREW ELIOT, WILLIAM FISK, JOSEPH EVELITH,JOHN BACHELOR, TH. PEARLY, sen., THOMAS FISH, jun., JOHN PEABODY, H. HERRICK, sen.' [Henry Herrick (30) was 51 years old, he served as a juror of the Court of Oyer and Terminer between May 27, 1692-October 29, 1692.]



Timeline of the Salem Witch Trials

Note: Except for the obvious fact that, as with witchcraft suspects elsewhere (thirteen women and two men were executed in New England in the previous 40 years, and as many as 50,000 were executed in Europe), New England's accused were mostly women, the Salem cases are not easily explained. Two of the men executed were suspected wife beaters. Some of the accused women were angry woman who often complained about and criticized other people, others visible saints. A few were noticeably eccentric, others practiced folk magic.

November 1688
Rev. Samuel Parris preaches in Salem Village for the first time. 

Samuel Parris was born in London, England, the son of cloth merchant Thomas Parris. He emigrated to Boston in the early 1660s, where he attended Harvard University. When his father died in 1673, Samuel left Harvard to take up his inheritance in Barbados, where he maintained a sugar plantation and bought two Carib slaves to tend his household, one by the name of Tituba Indian and the other John Indian.

In 1680 he returned to Boston, where he married Elizabeth Eldridge, and they had three children together. The slaves Tituba and John remained a part of his household. Although the plantation supported his merchant ventures, Parris was dissatisfied and began to preach at local churches. In July 1689, he became minister of Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts.

He was not well liked; although his harsh preaching and rigid Puritan values may not have been unusual in the time and place, he was perceived as egotistical and greedy. This was especially the case when he demanded that he be given personal title to the Salem parsonage, in addition to his salary, as part of his compensation. This led to friction with the villagers, and some stopped contributing to his salary in October 1691.

The events that led to the Salem witch trials began when his daughter Betty Parris, and her cousin Abigail Williams, accused the family's slave Tituba of witchcraft. In February 1692, Betty Parris began having "fits" that the doctor could not explain. 

His church brought charges against him for his part in the trials, leading him to apologize for his error. However, despite the intense dislike of the villagers, Parris stayed on for another four years after the panic had run its course.

June 18 1689
Rev. Samuel Parris is officially hired as the Salem Village minister. 

October 1691
Joseph Porter, Joseph Hutchinson, Joseph Putnam, Daniel Andrew and Francis Nurse become the elected majority to the Salem Village committee. 


January 20: Rev. Samuel Parris' nine year old daughter, Betty, falls ill. 
More young girls in Salem Village also fall ill. 

Many claim that the girls, later followed by several other pre-teen and teenage girls in Salem, were just inventing the afflictions to draw attention to themselves and to avoid punishment by pretending to be "ill". Another reason may have been food poisoning: the girls may have eaten a "Witch's Stew" as part of their games that may have contained inedible or uncooked ingredients. In 1976, Linnda R. Caporael put forward the theory that these strange symptoms may have been caused by ergotism, the ingestion of fungus-infected rye. 

February: The Salem Village physician, Dr. William Griggs (see below), after conferring with Rev. Samuel Parris, concludes the girls are bewitched. 

February 25: Rev. Parris' servant, Tituba, and her husband, John Indian, are advised by Mary Sibley to bake a witch cake. She hopes the cake will help the girls identify the person(s) who are bewitching them. 

February 29: Thomas and Edward Putnam, Joseph Hutchinson and Thomas Preston swear complaints against Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. They are later arrested for suspicion of witchcraft. 

March 1: Salem Town Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin examine Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. Sarah Good is given to Joseph Herrick to hold for trial. Rev. Parris beat Tituba and compelled her to confess that she was a witch. 

March 7: Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good and Tituba are sent to a Boston prison. 

March 14: Martha Corey is summoned to appear before the magistrates and answer questions. 

March 19: A warrant is issued for Martha Corey's arrest. 
Rebecca Nurse is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams (age 12). 

March 21: Martha Corey's hearing begins. 

March 23: Edward and Jonathan Putnam file complaints against Rebecca Nurse. 

March 24: Rebecca Nurse appears before the Salem Magistrates. 

March 28: One of the afflicted girls, possibly Mercy Lewis, accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. 

April 4: Jonathan Walcott and Nathaniel Ingersoll file complaints against Sarah Cloyce. 

April 8: Warrants are issued for Sarah Cloyce and Giles Corey for the suspicion of witchcraft. 

April 11: Sarah Cloyce and Elizabeth Proctor appear before the Salem Magistrates. 
John and Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce, Martha Corey and Dorcas Good are sent to a Boston prison on this night. 

April 19: Mary Warren appears before the Salem Magistrates under witchcraft charges. 

April 21: Arrest warrants are issued for Mary Easty, Edward and Sarah Bishop, Deliverance and William Hobbs, Sarah Wilds, Mary Black, Nehemiah Abbott, Jr. and Mary English. 
Abigail Williams identifies the Rev. George Burroughs as the "Black Minister." 

April 22: Mary Easty is found guilty of witchcraft by the Salem Magistrates. 

April 30: Upon the request of the Salem Magistrates, Boston Magistrate Elisha Hutchinson issues a warrant for the Rev. George Burroughs' arrest. 

May 4: George Burroughs is arrested at his home in Wells, Maine. He is then extradited to Salem Town. 

May 8: George Burroughs is examined by the Salem Magistrates. 

May 10: Arrest warrants are issued for George Jacobs, Sr. and John Willard for the suspicion of witchcraft. 
Sarah Osborne dies in prison 

May 14: Increase Mather and Massachusetts Royal Gov. Sir William Phips return to Boston after securing the new colonial charter. 

May 18: Mary Easty is released from prison. 

May 20: Mercy Lewis becomes gravely ill and Mary Easty is blamed for her illness. She is arrested again for witchcraft. 

May 21: An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's daughter, Sarah. 

May 23: An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's son, Benjamin. 
Susannah Sheldon testifies Joseph Rabson, a deceased man, appeared to her and stated that Philip English had murdered him. 

May 27: Gov. Phips establishes a Court of Oyer and Terminer to investigate the allegations of witchcraft. Lieutenant Gov. William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin are its members. 

May 28: An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's second son, William. 
An arrest warrant is issued for John Alden. 
Martha Carrier is arrested upon the complaints of Joseph Holton and John Walcott. 

May 31: Philip English, husband of Mary English, is examined by the court. 

June 1: Mary English testifies that Mary Warren had confessed to lying in court. 

June 2: Susannah Sheldon reports that the specters of Mary English, Bridget Bishop and Giles Corey appeared to her. 
Bridget Bishop's trial begins under the Court of Oyer and Terminer and she is found guilty. She is sentenced to hang. 

June 10: Bridget Bishop(1) is hanged on Gallows Hill. 

June 15: Twelve ministers of the colony advise the court not to rely on spectral evidence for convicting suspected witches. 

June 29: The cases of Sarah Good, Sarah Wilds, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin and Rebecca Nurse are heard by the court. 

July 19: Sarah Good(2), Elizabeth Howe(3), Sarah Wilds(4), Susannah Martin(5) and Rebecca Nurse(6) are hanged on Gallows Hill. 

July 23: Fearing that they can't get a fair trial in Salem Town, John Proctor and other prisoners write a letter from prison to the Reverends Increase Mather, James Allen, Joshua Moody, Samuel Willard and John Bayley. In the letter, they ask the ministers to support their request for a change of venue for the trials. 

August 2: William Beale testifies before an Essex County grand jury that when he was laid up in bed sick in March, Philip English's specter appeared to him. The next day his son, James--who had been recovering from smallpox--complained of a pain in his side and later died. 

August 5: The Court of Oyer and Terminer reconvenes to try the Rev. George Burroughs, John and Elizabeth Proctor, George Jacobs Sr., John Willard and Martha Carrier. 

August 19: George Burroughs(7), John Proctor(8), George Jacobs Sr(9)., John Willard(10) and Martha Carrier(11) are hanged on Gallows Hill. 

September 9: Six accused are tried and condemned by the court. 

Mercy Lewis v. Giles Corey: The Deposition of Mercy Lewis aged about 19 years who testified and said that on the 14th of April 1692 "I saw the Apparition of Giles Corey come and afflict me urging me to write in his book and so he continued most dreadfully to hurt me by times beating me & almost breaking my back tell the day of his examination being the 19th of April and then also during the time of his examination he did affect and tortor me most greviously: and also several times sense urging me vehemently to write in his book and I veryly believe in my heart that Giles Corey is a dreadful wizard for sense he had been in prison he or his appearance has come and most greviously tormented me." Mercy Lewis affirmed to the jury of Inquest. that the above written evidence: is the truth upon the oath: she has formerly taken in court of Oyer & Terminer: Septr 9: 1692

September 14:  Mary Herrick of Wenham, Massachusetts reports that the ghost of Mary Easty appeared to her and proclaimed her innocence of witchcraft. [Mary and her husband Joseph Herrick petitioned Governor Phips and his wife Mary to stop the killing.]

September 16: Giles Corey refuses to plead guilty or not guilty, so the Court of Oyer and Terminer orders the sheriff to pile rocks on him to convince him to plead. 

September 17: Nine accused are tried and condemned by the court. 
September 19: Giles Corey(12) is pressed to death. 

Giles Cory was involved and testified against several other people. When he was accused he clamed up and refused to speak. According to the law at the time, a person who refused to plead could not be tried. To avoid persons cheating justice, the legal remedy for refusing to plead was "peine forte et dure". In this process the prisoner is stripped naked, with a heavy board laid on their body. Then rocks or boulders are laid on the plank of wood. This was the process of being pressed:

... remanded to the prison from whence he came and put into a low dark chamber, and there be laid on his back on the bare floor, naked, unless when decency forbids; that there be placed upon his body as great a weight as he could bear, and more, that he hath no sustenance, save only on the first day, three morsels of the worst bread, and the second day three droughts of standing water, that should be alternately his daily diet till he died, or, till he answered.

As a result of his refusal to plead, on September 17, Sheriff George Corwin led Corey to a pit in the open field beside the jail and in accordance with the above process, before the Court and witnesses, stripped Giles of his clothing, laid him on the ground in the pit, and placed boards on his chest. Six men then lifted heavy stones, placing them one by one, on his stomach and chest. Giles Corey did not cry out, let alone make a plea.

After two days, Giles was asked three times to plead innocent or guilty to witchcraft. Each time he replied, "More weight." More and more rocks were piled on him, and the Sheriff from time to time would stand on the boulders staring down at Corey's bulging eyes. Robert Calef, who was a witness along with other townsfolk, later said, "In the pressing, Giles Corey's tongue was pressed out of his mouth; the Sheriff, with his cane, forced it in again."

Three mouthfuls of bread and water were fed to the old man during his many hours of pain. Finally, Giles Corey cried out "More weight!" and died. Since Corey refused to plead, he died in full possession of his estate, which would have otherwise been forfeited to the government. It passed on to his two sons-in-law, in accordance to his will (his two sons got nothing!).

September 22: Martha Corey(13), Mary Easty(14), Alice Parker(15), Ann Pudeator(16), Margaret Scott(17), Wilmot Reed(18), Samuel Wardwell(19) and Mary Parker(20) are hanged on Gallows Hill. 

September 29: Governor Phips was aghast to find his wife named a witch. Lady Phips had signed a warrant to release a woman from prison. Governor Phips discharged the jailer.

October 19: Increase Mather visits the Salem jail and finds that several confessors wish to renounce their earlier testimonies. 

October 29: Gov. Phips dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer 

Wenham: In 1692, four of Joseph Gerrish's parishioners were members of the jury which sat in judgment in Salem. On November 14, 1692, a 17 year old Mary Herrick came to Gerrish complaining that Reverend John Hale's second wife, Sarah Noyes Hale, afflicted her. Her accusation caused Hale to oppose finally the witchcraft proceedings:

As an adult and a minister, Hale was an active participant in the bringing of charges in the Salem witch trials, but had afterwards had a change of heart. Accusations of witchcraft against Rev. Hale's wife helped to bring an end to the proceedings.

The accusers, in aiming at such characters, overestimated their power; and the tide began to turn against them. But what finally broke the spell by which they had held the minds of the whole colony in bondage was their accusation, in October, of Mrs. Hale, the wife of the minister of the First Church in Beverly. Her genuine and distinguished virtues had won for her a reputation, and secured in the hearts of the people a confidence, which superstition itself could not sully nor shake. Mr. Hale had been active in all the previous proceedings; but he knew the innocence and piety of his wife, and he stood forth between her and the storm he had helped to raise: although he had driven it on while others were its victims, he turned and resisted it when it burst in upon his own dwelling.

There is "no truth more certain to a man, than that which he hath formerly doubted or denied, and is recovered from his error," Hale would later write. "And what grief of heart it brings to a tender conscience, to have been unwittingly encouraging of the sufferings of the innocent." If a lying devil could impersonate his innocent wife, he realized, devils could impersonate any of the accused.

November 25: A Superior Court of Judicature is created to try the remaining persons accused of witchcraft. William Stoughton, Samuel Sewall, John Richards, Wait Still Winthrop, and Thomas Danford are its members. Spectral evidence is no longer considered in the remaining trials. 

January 26, 1693: The King approved Phips' "stopping of the proceedings against the witches in New England".

January 29, 1693: The graves were being dug for the hangings scheduled for three days hence, February 1.

January 31, 1693: Governor Phips countermanded the execution warrant. In addition, all those on trial were found not guilty.

May 1693
Gov. Phips pardons the remaining accused of witchcraft. 

On June 14, 1693, Mary Watkins, still in prison for witchcraft, was finally given an order for her release (but was still held until she could pay court and prison bills).

January 11, 1964: Robert Calef accused Rev. Cotton Mather of trying to "start another witch hunt". "..would Rev. Mather kindly enlighten him with proper scriptural references?" to convict a suspected witch.






Dr. William Griggs
Written by Beckie Dashiell

Salem Witch Trials in History and Literature

An Undergraduate Course, University of Virginia

Fall Semester 2006

Dr. William Griggs is often cited in connection with the witchcraft hysteria that plagued Salem Village in 1692 as the man who made the diagnosis which led to accusations of witchcraft. As the only physician in the village, he was called upon to examine the strange symptoms of the afflicted girls. His famous diagnosis as cited by both John Hale in A Modest Enquiry and Charles Upham in Salem Witchcraft – that the girls were “under an Evil Hand” – left the residents of Salem to assume witchcraft. Mary Beth Norton claims that Griggs was a supporter of Reverend Parris. So while the first afflictions occurred in Parris’s own home, it seems likely he would turn to his friend and church member Griggs for a consultation. Griggs and his wife are listed on the pro-Parris petition of 1695, and Griggs’s support never wavered, even after the witch trials. Dr. Anthony Patton also points to a close relationship between Thomas Putnam Jr. and Griggs, in which Griggs sided with Thomas Putnam in a probate dispute. Griggs supported Putnam heirs who tried to invalidate the will of Mary Veren Putnam (Putnam’s step-mother) by testifying to the incompetence of Mary Veren at the time she wrote her will. As court documents show, Putnam was a supporter of the "afflicted" girls in Salem village, the most prominent being his own daughter, Ann Putnam, Jr. Griggs’s own great-niece, Elizabeth Hubbard, was a friend of Ann Putnam, Jr. and among the most active of the young female accusers. 

Dr. Griggs’s educational background is unclear. Given the context of the times in early colonial New England, it is unlikely that he received any formal medical training or that he was aware of the advances in medicine in Europe. As Patton indicates, women were responsible for primary care during sickness. Only when an illness was unusual or persistent were doctors called upon to examine patients. In cases when the physician was unable to explain the cause of the illness, usually a sudden and violent kind of sickness, doctors and family members sometimes suspected witchcraft. And to the New England Puritans in 1692, witchcraft was a valid diagnosis. The Puritans believed God punished all sinners with illness or calamity. In this sense, according to Norman Gevitz, ministers and physicians played complementary roles in tending to the sick. Ministers tended to spiritual needs while physicians tended to physical ones. Yet when a physical condition persisted, and the patient could not account for any spiritual shortcomings, he or she would look outwards for a cause, hence the validation of witchcraft. 

As Gevitz points out, physicians were the “principal professional arbiters for determining natural versus preternatural signs and symptoms of disease,” and hence they wielded an incredible amount of power in determining the prevalence of witchcraft in a given town or village. The judges in Salem consulted the English Reverend Richard Bernard’s Guide to the Grand-Jury Men, written in 1627, in which he addressed the prosecution of witches. While the book’s main goal was to caution jurymen to exercise scrutiny when dealing with cases of witchcraft, Norton indicates that Bernard supported relying on doctors for the “initial diagnosis of diabolic activity.” Knowing that the Salem judges read this work, it is obvious why the doctor’s word was so weighty and irrefutable, and why Griggs’s pronouncement was the next key step in creating the paranoia in Salem. 

The sequence of events leading up to and following Griggs’s diagnosis is important to trace. The first fits occurred in mid-January, yet no accusations were made until the end of February. According to John Hale’s contemporary book, A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft, when the girls in Parris’s household first exhibited their afflictions, Parris called in ministers and magistrates, the “Worthy Gentle-men of Salem,” for consultation. They concluded the afflictions were “preternatural,” and advised prayer. Griggs was also called in but spent several weeks observing the girls before he made his diagnosis. Hale’s book also gives us the only account of the girls’ afflictions before they were diagnosed: “These Children were bitten and pinched by invisible agents; their arms, necks, and backs turned this way and that way… so as it was impossible for them to do of themselves, and beyond the power of any Epileptick Fits, or natural Disease to effect.” Doctors had enough medical information to know that the girls did not suffer from epilepsy or disease. Surely, these afflictions must have been unsettling. Hale’s book also gives us the account of Griggs’s diagnosis: the girls were “sadly Afflicted of they knew not what Distempers; and [Parris] made his application to Physitians, yet still they grew worse: And at length one Physitian gave his opinion, that they were under an Evil Hand. This the Neighbours quickly took up, and concluded they were bewitched.” Assuming, as most historians do, that the “physitian” here is Griggs, we see the immediate and painful influence of Griggs’s words as the neighbors took up his diagnosis to mean witchcraft. After Griggs’s diagnosis, Mary Sibley, a neighbor, told Parris’s slave John Indian to make a witch cake “to find out the Witch,” where upon the “afflicted” immediately began to make accusations. 

Yet, according to Gevitz, doctors were often pressured to diagnose diabolic activity, as a means to validate the suspicions of the patient’s family and friends. We can’t know whether Griggs was pressured to make his diagnosis that the girls were “under an Evil Hand” on account of his friendships with Parris and Thomas Putnam Jr., or whether he simply was baffled and could find no natural cause for the girls’ afflictions. Either way, as a church member he must have been under pressure to make a diagnosis, and we can see how his pronouncement of witchcraft was taken both definitively and seriously in the village. 

Situating Griggs among his contemporaries in and around Salem, we can use the Salem witchcraft court records to examine the role of physicians in Salem around 1692. In a deposition against Rebecca Nurse, Nathanial and Hannah Ingersoll recount that Benjamin Holton “died a most violent death with dreadfull fitts and the Doctor that was with him said he could not tell what his distemper was.” Here, we see the doctor’s inability to make a diagnosis. Yet, Holton’s death occurred in 1689, so in claiming his death as proof of Rebecca Nurse’s malice, Ingersoll was using a doctor’s inability to diagnose in the past as proof of witchcraft in the present. In the deposition of Samuel Shattock against Mary Parker, Shattock recalls his “Child . . . to have bin under an ill hand for Severall years before: was taken in a Strange & unuseall maner as if his vitalls would have broak out his breast boane … So Strange a maner that the Docter & others did beleive he was bewitched.” Again, we see a past event being taken as proof of witchcraft, and a “Doctor & others” are baffled so that they “believe he was bewitched.” In a deposition against John Willard, villagers “sent to the french Doctor but hee sent word againe that it was not a naturall Cause but absolutly witchcraft to his Judgment.” Here we see another doctor who made the same diagnosis as Griggs. And in the deposition of William Brown against Susannah Martin, Brown claimed that his wife was ill and he “porcured Docter fuller & Crosby to com to her for her releas but thay did both say that her distemper was supernatural & no siknes of body but that some evil person had bewiched her.” These references to doctors in the court documents show that other physicians experienced the same difficulties: when they couldn’t find a natural cause for an illness, they would diagnose witchcraft. And in some cases, Salem villagers used the doctor’s inability to diagnose as proof of witchcraft. 

Griggs’s place in history is well-established. He appears in Arthur Miller’s 1954 play The Crucible by name only, though he is brought onscreen in Miller’s movie adaptation. In the text of the play he heightens the hysteria when he sends a verbal message to Reverend Parris “that he cannot discover no medicine for [the girls’ afflictions] in his books.” His message also tells Parris, “you might look to unnatural things for the cause of it.” In the play, we see how these comments support Parris’s convictions that witches are among the villagers of Salem. Charles Upham’s account of the witch trials also refers to Dr. Griggs and to the diagnoses of doctors who “When their remedies were baffled, and their skill at fault, the patient was said to be ‘under an evil hand.’” Upham blasts Griggs and the doctors in general for “so far as the medical profession is concerned they bear a full share of responsibility for the proceedings.” In giving doctors the “full share of responsibility,” Upham, as a minister himself, perhaps tries to shift blame from the clergy to the doctors, though we know ministers were also consulted and concluded that the symptoms were “preternatural.” 

Upham's scathing 19th century indictment of Griggs also fails to account for the pressures he might have faced, as well as the popular belief in witchcraft. None of the Puritans in 17th Century New England doubted the presences of witches; it was perhaps more a question of knowing how and when to identify them. Against this background, Griggs’s diagnosis was fairly normal, as he was certainly baffled by the girls’ afflictions. As a man of limited medical training and a church member, he was also responding to the fear created by the idea of Satan attacking the village church, something alluded to in the Rev. Parris’s sermons. As there exists no personal explanation by Griggs himself, we cannot definitively account for his diagnosis. As a church member whose friends and their children were caught up in the afflictions, even his own grad niece seventeen year-old Elizabeth Hubbard, Griggs would have been troubled by the fact that prayer was not working to cure the girls’ “fits,” as they were called. But his diagnosis does not warrant a “full share” of blame. Rather, Griggs shares responsibility with the ministers and magistrates as one of the professionals involved in advancing the Salem witch trials. 

Works Cited

Paul Boyer and Steve Nissenbaum, eds. Salem Witchcraft Papers, 1977. 

John Hale, A Modest Enquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1697. 

Norman Gevitz, “‘The Devil Hath Laughed at the Physicians’: Witchcraft and Medical Practice in Seventeenth-Century New England,” Journal of the History of Medicine, January 2000. 

Arthur Miller, The Crucible, 1953. 

Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil’s Snare, 2002. 

Anthony Patton, M. D., A Doctor’s Dilemma: William Griggs & The Salem Witch Trials.

Charles Upham, Salem Witchcraft, 1867. 





Two Letters of Gov. William Phips (1692-1693)

(Letter No. 1)


When I first arrived I found this Province miserably harrassed with a most Horrible witchcraft or Possession of Devills which had broke in upon severall Townes, some scores of poor people were taken with preternaturall torments some scalded with brimstone some had pins stuck in their flesh others hurried into the fire and water and some dragged out of their houses and carried over the tops of trees and hills for many Miles together; it hath been represented to mee much like that of Sweden about thirty years agoe, and there were many committed to prison upon suspicion of Witchcraft before my arrivall. The loud cries and clamours of the friends of the afflicted people with the advice of the Deputy Governor and many others prevailed with mee to give a Commission of Oyer and Terminer for discovering what witchcraft might be at the bottome or whether it were not a possession. The chief Judge in this Commission was the Deputy Governour and the rest were persons of the best prudence and figure that could then be pitched upon. When the Court came to sitt at Salem in the County of Essex they convicted more than twenty persons of being guilty of witchcraft, some of the convicted were such as confessed their Guilt, the Court as I understand began their proceedings with the accusations of the afflicted and then went upon other humane evidences to strengthen that. I was almost the whole time of the proceeding abroad in the service of Their Majesties in the Eastern part of the County and depended upon the Judgment of the Court as to a right method of proceeding in cases of Witchcraft but when I came home I found many persons in a strange ferment of dissatisfaction which was increased by some hott Spiritts that blew up the flame, but on enquiring into the matter I found that the Devill had taken upon him the name and shape of severall persons who were doubtless inocent and to my certain knowledge of good reputation for which cause I have now forbidden the committing of any more that shall be accused without unavoydable necessity, and those that have been committed I would shelter from any Proceedings against them wherein there may be the least suspition of any wrong to be done unto the Innocent. I would also wait for any particular directions or commands if their Majesties please to give mee any for the fuller ordering this perplexed affair. I have also put a stop to the printing of any discourses one way or other, that may increase the needless disputes of people upon this occasion, because I saw a likelyhood of kindling an inextinguishable flame if I should admitt any publique and open Contests and I have grieved to see that some who should have done their Majesties and this Province better service have so far taken Councill of Passion as to desire the precipitancy of these matters, these things have been improved by some to give me many interuptions in their Majesties service and in truth none of my vexations have been greater than this, than that their majesties service has been hereby unhappily clogged, and the Persons who have made soe ill improvement of these matters here are seeking to turne it all upon mee, but I hereby declare that as soon as I came from fighting against their Majesties Enemyes and understood what danger some of their innocent subjects might be exposed to, if the evidence of the afflicted persons only did prevaile either to the committing or trying any of them, I did before any application was made unto me about it put a stop to the proceedings of the Court and they are now stopt till their Majesties pleasure be known. Sir I beg pardon for giving you all this trouble, the reason is because I know my enemies are seeking to turn it all upon me and I take this liberty because I depend upon your friendship, and desire you will please to give a true understanding of the matter if any thing of this kind be urged or made use of against mee. Because the justnesse of my proceeding herein will bee a sufficient defence. Sir

I am with all imaginable respect Your most humble Servt
*William Phips.

Dated at Boston the 12'th of october 1692.


That my Lord President be pleased to acquaint his Ma'ty in Councill with the account received from New England from Sir Wm. Phips the Governor there touching Proceedings against severall persons for Witchcraft as appears by the Governor's letter concerning those matters.

(George Lincoln Burr, ed., Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706 [New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1914], 196-198. The letter was addressed to William Blathwayt, clerk of the Privy Council, and it is he who added the memorandum.)

(Letter No. 2)

Boston in New England Febry 21st, 1692/3.
May it please yor. Lordshp.

By the Capn. of the Samuell and Henry I gave an account that att my arrival here I found the Prisons full of people committed upon suspition of witchcraft and that continuall complaints were made to me that many persons were grievously tormented by witches and that they cryed out upon severall persons by name, as the cause of their torments. The number of these complaints increasing every day, by advice of the Lieut Govr. and the Councill I gave a Commission of Oyer and Terminer to try the suspected witches and at that time the generality of the people represented to me as reall witchcraft and gave very strange instances of the same. The first in Commission was the Lieut. Govr. and the rest persons of the best prudence and figure that could then be pitched upon and I depended upon the Court for a right method of proceeding in cases of witchcraft. At that time I went to command the army at the Eastern part of the Province, for the French and Indians had made an attack upon some of our Fronteer Towns. I continued there for some time but when I returned I found people much disatisfied at the proceedings of the Court, for about Twenty persons were condemned and executed of which number some were thought by many persons to be innocent. The Court still proceeded in the same method of trying them, which was by the evidence of the afflicted persons who when they were brought into the Court as soon as the suspected witches looked upon them instantly fell to the ground in strange agonies and grievous torments, but when touched by them upon the arme or some other part of their flesh they immediately revived and came to themselves, upon [which] they made oath that the Prisoner at the Bar did afflict them and that they saw their shape or spectre come from their bodies which put them to such paines and torments: When I enquired into the matter I was enformed by the Judges that they begun with this, but had humane testimony against such as were condemned and undoubted proof of their being witches, but at length I found that the Devill did take upon him the shape of Innocent persons and some were accused of whose innocency I was well assured and many considerable persons of unblameable life and conversation were cried out upon as witches and wizards. The Deputy Govr. notwithstanding persisted vigorously in the same method, to the great disatisfaction and disturbance of the people, untill I put an end to the Court and stopped the proceedings, which I did because I saw many innocent persons might otherwise perish and at that time I thought it my duty to give an account thereof that their Ma'ties pleasure might be signifyed, hoping that for the better ordering thereof the Judges learned in the law in England might give such rules and directions as have been practized in England for proceedings in so difficult and so nice a point; When I put an end to the Court there ware at least fifty persons in prison in great misery by reason of the extream cold and their poverty, most of them having only spectre evidence against them, and their mittimusses being defective, I caused some of them to be lett out upon bayle and put the Judges upon considering of a way to reliefe others and prevent them from perishing in prison, upon which some of them were convinced and acknowledged that their former proceedings were too violent and not grounded upon a right foundation but that if they might sit againe, they would proceed after another method, and whereas Mr. Increase Mathew and severall other Divines did give it as their Judgment that the Devill might afflict in the shape of an innocent person and that the look and touch of the suspected persons was not sufficient proofe against them, these things had not the same stress layd upon them as before, and upon this consideration I permitted a spetiall Superior Court to be held at Salem in the County of Essex on the third day of January, the Lieut Govr. being Chief Judge. Their method of proceeding being altered, all that were brought to tryall to the number of fifety two, were cleared saving three, and I was enformed by the Kings Attorny Generall that some of the cleared and the condemned were under the same circumstances or that there was the same reason to clear the three condemned as the rest according to his Judgment. The Deputy Govr. signed a Warrant for their speedy execution and also of five others who were condemned at the former Court of Oyer and terminer, but considering how the matter had been managed I sent a reprieve whereby the execucion was stopped untill their Maj. pleasure be signified and declared. The Lieut. Gov. upon this occasion was inraged and filled with passionate anger and refused to sitt upon the bench in a Superior Court then held at Charles Towne, and indeed hath from the beginning hurried on these matters with great precipitancy and by his warrant hath caused the estates, goods and chattles of the executed to be seized and disposed of without my knowledge or consent. The stop put to the first method of proceedings hath dissipated the blak cloud that threatened this Province with destruccion; for whereas this delusion of the Devill did spread and its dismall effects touched the lives and estates of many of their Ma'ties Subjects and the reputation of some of the principall persons here, and indeed unhappily clogged and interrupted their Ma'ties affaires which hath been a great vexation to me, I have no new complaints but peoples minds before divided and distracted by differing opinions concerning this matter are now well composed.

I am Yor. Lordships most faithfull humble Servant
*William Phips
To the Rt. Honble
The Earle of Nottingham att Whitehall London
R[i. e., received] May 24, 93 abt. Witches
(George L. Burr, ed., Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, pp. 198-202.)

Other Herrick's (George, Zachariah, and John of no known relationship to me):


(Examination of Sarah Wilds )

The examination of Sarah Wilds At a Court held at Salem Village [torn] 1692

by the wop:_ John Hathorn & Jonathan Corwin.

The Sufferers were siezed with sou[torn] the accused came into the Court

Hath this woman hurt you?

Oh she is upon the beam.

Goody Bibber that never saw her before sayd she saw her now upon the beam, & then said Bibber fell into a fit

What say you to this are you guilty or not?

I am not guilty Sir.

Is this the woman? speaking to the afflict[ed]

Thay all, or most, said yes, & then fell into fits.

What do you say, are you guil[ty]

I thank God I am free.

Here is a clear evidence that [you have] been not only a Tormenter [but that] you have caused one to sig[ne the] book, the night before last [What] you say to this?

[I n]ever saw the book in my life [and I never] [saw these per]sons before

[Some of th]e afflicted fell into fits


[Do] you deny this thing that is [torn]

All fell into fits, & con[firmed] that the accused hurt th[em]

Did you never consent that [these should] be hurt?

Never in my life.

She was charged by some [with] hurting John Herricks mo[ther]

The accused denyed it.

Capt How gave in a relation [and] confirmation of the charge before made.

She was ordered to be taken away, & they all cryed out she was upon the Beam, & fell into fits.

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 54 )

( George Herrick and Others v. John Willard and Sarah Buckley )

To the Hon'ble John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin Esq'rs att Boston Humbly Thees Dated Salem Village May 17'th 1692


This day Goeing to Salem village by yo'r order I found all the five persons brought their which wee was in persute of we had no sooner secured them in the watch house but Counstable John Puttnam came i n with John Willard haveing seized him att Nashaway hee beeing att worke w'th a howe, he No sooner arrived butt the afflicted persons made such an out crye that I was forced to pinion him I have an accompt from thees whoos names are under written that on the 14'th day of Instant may Daniell Willkins about tenn of the clock in the morning was taken speechless and never spoak untell the 16'th day in the intervale of time wee often Endeavoured to make him take something in A spoon but what hee took in which was but little hee spitt it out in our faces w'th that wee sent to the french Doctor but hee sent word againe that it was not a naturall Cause but absolutly witchcraft to his Judgment that same day two of the afflicted persons came up to vissett to Daniell Willkins The last night beeing the 16'th day Marcy Lewis and Mary Wallkott beeing their both did see the s'd John Willard and Goodwife Buckly upon the s'd Daniell Willkins and said that they would Kill him and in three hours after the s'd Daniell Departed this life in a Most dolful and solome Condition Therefore wee humbley begg of Yo'r Honnors to Dispach A Returne for an Examination to prevent any farther murther in the afflicted creatours who Continue in a lemetable Condition and so wee Remaine yo'r Hon'rs most humble servants

*G Herrick

This breeiffe accompt was taken from Benj Willkins by the consent of wee whoos names are under written and sent by me Ezekiell Cheever

* Geo. Herrick Marshall


Marshal GEORGE HERRICK [listed as a son of Henry (29) (youngest brother of Henry (30)), but also listed as being born in England and just having come from England. There is no record of Henry and Edith, after the birth of their son Benjamin in Salem in 1652 going to England, having George in 1658, then returning to Salem, especially since Henry served on the jury in Essex County from 1648 to 1667.]

"George Herrick was Marshal of Salem village during the early part of the Witchcraft delusions, and on the organization of a new government the official title of marshal ceased. George Corwin was appointed sheriff of the county of Essex, and Herrick appears to have continued in the service as deputy. "-Id.,Vol. II, p. 

"That individual, indeed, had justly incurred the resentment of the sufferers and their friends, by eager zeal in urging on the prosecutions, perpetual officiousness, and unwarrantable interference against the prisoners at the preliminary examinations. The odium originally attached to the marshal seems to have been transferred to his successor, and the whole was laid at the door of the sheriff.

Marshal George Herrick does not appear to have been connected with Joseph Herrick, who lived on what is now called Cherry Hill, but was a man of an entirely different stem. He was thirty-four years of age, (1692), and had not been very long in the country. John Dunton speaks of meeting him in Salem, in 1686, and describes him as a ' very tall, handsome man, very regular and devout in his attendance at church, religious without bigotry, and having every man's good word.'

His impatient activity against the victims of the witchcraft delusion wrought a great change in the condition of this popular and ' handsome' man, as is seen in a petition presented by him, Dec. 8, 1692, to 'His Excellency Sir William Phips, Knight, Captain-general and Governor of Their Majesties' Territories and Dominions of Massachusetts Bay in New England; and to the Honorable William Stoughton, Esq., Deputy-Governor; and to the rest of the Honored Council.'

It begins thus: 'The petition of your poor servant, George Herrick, most humbly showeth.' After recounting his great and various services 'for the term of nine months, as marshal and deputy-sheriff in apprehending many prisoners and conveying them unto prison, and from prison to prison,' he complains that his whole time had been taken up so that he was incapable of getting anything for the maintenance of his poor family;' he further states that he had become so impoverished that necessity had forced him to lay down his place; and that he must certainly come to want, if not in some measure supplied. 'Therefore I humbly beseech Your Honors to take my case and condition so far into consideration, that I may have some supply this hard winter, that I and my poor children may not be destitute of sustenance, and so inevitably perish; for I have been bred a gentleman, and not much used to work, and am become despicable in these hard times.' He concludes by declaring, that he is not' weary of serving his king and country,' nor very scrupulous as to the kind of service; for he promises that 'if his habitation could thereby 'be graced with plenty in the room of penury, there shall be no services too dangerous and difficult, but your poor petitioner will gladly accept, and to the best of my power accomplish. I shall wholly lay myself at Your Honorable feet for relief:

 Marshal George Herrick died in 1695."-Id., Vol. II, p. 47l.

The following are from" Records of Salem Witchcraft, Copied from the Original Documents. Privately printed for W. Elliott Woodward. Roxbury, Mass.

MDCCCLXIV-V. 2 vols.,8vo.

" George Herrick v. George Jacobs, Jr.

" The Testimony of George Herrick aged thirty fouer years or their abouts Testyfeyeth and Saith some time in May last by order of their Majesties Justices. I went to the Prison in Salem to search George Jacobs Senr and likewise William Dounton the Goale Keeper and Joseph Neal constable was in presence and concerned with us in the search, where under ye sd Jacobs his Right sholder wee found a tett about a quarter of an inch longue or better with a sharpe point Drupeing downwards so that I tooke A pinn from Sd Dounton and Run it through the sd tett but there was neither matter blood nor corruption nor any other matter and so we make Return .

•• William Dounton testyfyeth the above written and we farther Testify and say ye sd Jacobs was not in the least Senceable in what wee had done for after I had made Returns to the maiestrates and Returned I tould ye sd Jacobs. And he knew nothing before.

"Sworne in Court Augt 4, 92."-Vol. I, pp. 260-l.

Also, George Herrick v. Mary Easty: Vol. II, pp. 30-31; 

May 20th 1692 . The testimone of Geo: Herrick aged thirty
four or thereaboutes and John Puttnam Jun'r of Salem Village aged
thirty five yeares or there aboutes and saith that beeing att the
house of the above s'd John Puttnams both saw Mercy Lewis in a
very Dreadfull and Solemn Condition: So that to our aprehention
shee could not continue long in this world without A mittigation
of thoes Torments wee saw her # [in] which Caused us to Expediate
A hasty dispacth to apprehend Mary Estick in hopes if possable
it might save her Life and Returneing the same night to s'd John Puttnams house aboute middnight wee found the s'd Mercy Lewis
in A Dreadfull fitt but her Reason was then Returned Againe she
said what have you brought me the winding Sheet Goodwife Estice ,
well I had rather goe into the winding Sheet then Sett my hand to
the Book but affter that her fitts was weaker and weaker but still
Complaining that Shee was very Sick of her Stomake aboute break
of Day She fell a sleep but still Continues Extream sick and was
taken with A Dread fitt Just as wee left her so that wee perceaved
life in her and that was all

Jurat in Curia
Sep'r. 9th. 92:
#[ Benj Huchinson testifieth the same as]

Atest *Geo: Herrick

(Reverse) George Herrick against mary Estick
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 119 )

and George Herrick

v. Mary Bradbury: Vol. II, p. 163.

( George Herrick v. Mary Bradbury , Sarah Rice , Wilmott Reed , and Elizabeth Fosdick )

May 26'th 1692 Beeing at Salem village w'th Constable Josp Neale the persons under written was afflicted much and Complain-
ed ag'st viz Mary Walcott Ann Putnam upon Capt Bradberys wife of
Salsbury & Mary Walcott Ann Putnam: mrs Marshall upon Goodwife Rice of Reding & Mary Walcott ann Puttnam Marcy Lewis upon
Goodwife Read of Marblehead & Mary Walcott Marcy Lewis Ann Puttnam upon Goody Fosdick the same woemen tells them that shee
afflicts mr Tufts Negro

attest *Geo Herrick Marshall
( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2. p. 35 )


" Henry Herrick and Jonathan Batchelor v. Sarah Good.

"The deposition of Henry Herrick, aged about 21 one years

this deponent testifieth and saith that in Last March was two yeare; Sarah Goode came to his father's house and desired to lodge there; and his father forbid it and she went away Grumbling and my father bid us follow her and see that see went away clear, lest she should lie in ye barn: and by smoking of her pipe should fire ye barn and s'd deponent with Jonathan Batchelor seeing her make a stop near ye barn, bid her be gone or he would would set her further off, to which she replied that then it should cost his father Zachariah Herick one or two of ye best Cowes which he had.

" And Jonathan Batchelor aged 14 year testifieh ye same above written and doth further testifie that about a weeke after two of his grandfathers Master Catle were removed from their places and other younger Catle put in rooms and since that several of their Catle have bene set loose in a strange manner.

Jurat in Curia."-ld., Vol. I, p. 29.

(Physical Examination of George Jacobs, Sr. )

The Testimony of George Herrick aged thirty fouer yeares or theirabouts Testyfeyeth and Saith that Some time in May Last by order of their Majesties Justices I went to the prison in Salem to Search George Jacobs Sen'r and likewise William Dounton the Goale keeper and Joseph Neale constable was in presence and concerned with mee in the search where under the s'd Jacobs his Right Sholder wee found A tett aboute A quarter of an Inch longue or better with A Sharpe point Drupeing downwards so that I tooke A pinn from s'd Dounton and Run it through the s'd tett but their was nither watter blood nor curruption nor any other matter and so wee make Returne:

William Dounton testifeyeth the above written and we farther Testefy and say that the s'd Jacobs was not in the least Senceable in what wee had done for after I had made Returne to the majestrates and Returned I tould the s'd Jacob And hee knew nothing before

Sworne in Court Aug't. 4. 92

(Reverse) Herik



( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 88 )

(Examination of Alice Parker )


The Examination of Alice Parker 12 May. 1692.


Q Mary Warren Charges you with Several acts off witchcraft; what Say you to it Guilty or not Guilty: A. I am not Guilty. You told her this day you cast away Thomas Westgate -- A. -- I know nothing of it -- You told her John [Lapthons] was [lost] in [] A. I never spoke a word to her in my Life. You told her also you bewitched her Sister, because her father would not mow your grass. I never saw her -- Warren desiring to go to strike her, was permitted, but Could not Come near so much as to touch her, but fel backward immediately into a dreadful fitt. Margaret Jacobs Charged her also to her face with seeing her in the North feild on fryday night last about #[nine oClock] an hour within Night in apparition -- Marshal Herrick also affirmed to her face that she told him this day after he had apprehended her and was bringing her to Examination, that there were threscore Witches of the Company, which he denyed not, But said she did not Remember, how many she said there was.



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