Witches of Massachusetts – F-G

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Old Puritan Man

Old Puritan Man

Thomas Farrar – (1615-1694) – Of Lynn, Massachusetts, the elderly Mr. Farr was accused of witchcraft and spent five months in prison before he was released. He was born to Thomas and Athellred Thomas Farrar in Lancaster, England in about 1615. He married Elizabeth Thomas in about 1635 and the couple would have seven children. They immigrated to the United States in 1640 first settling in Boston, Massachusetts. Sometime later they moved to Lynn, where Thomas worked as a farmer. In January 1680, his first wife died and, he is alleged by some to have married Abigail Collins just a few months later, however genealogical records show Collins married his son Thomas instead. Familiarly called “Old Pharoah,” Thomas was allowed to sit in the pulpit at church, probably because he was hard of hearing. He was accused of witchcraft by Ann Putnam, Jr., who said that he was pinching her in her dreams. Despite that fact that his son, Thomas Farrar, Jr., was a selectman in Lynn, the elder Thomas was brought before the court in Salem on May 18, 1692. Ann Putnam, Jr. would testify that Farrar “appeared before me in the apparition of an old gray-headed man with a great nose, which tortured me and almost choked me and urged me to write in his book.” Farnum was then imprisoned and kept there until November 2, 1692. He died on February 23, 1694, in Lynn.

Edward Farrington (1662-1745?) – Edward was born in Lynn, Massachusetts to John and Elizabeth Knight Farrington on July 5, 1662. He was living in Andover when he was accused of witchcraft for afflicting Mary Warren. Witnesses against him included Martha Sprague and Ann Putnam, Jr. He spent some time in prison; but, any further information is unknown. He died in Andover on January 3, 1745/46.

Abigail Dane Faulkner, Sr. (1652-1730) – Accused of witchcraft, along with several other members of her family, Abigail was found guilty; but, her execution was delayed due to pregnancy. Abigail was born on October 13, 1652, in Andover, Massachusetts, to the Reverend Frances Dane and Elizabeth Ingalls Dane. On October 12, 1675, Abigail married Lieutenant Francis Faulkner and the couple would have at least seven children. Both the Dane and Faulkner families were early settlers of Andover who gained social prominence and were wealthy compared to most of their neighbors. In 1675, Francis Faulkner’s father gave him the bulk of his estate. At just 24 years-old that made young Francis an influential figure in Andover and an object of envy. When his father died 12 years later, Francis inherited the remainder of his father’s estate.

Not long after his father’s death, Francis Faulkner became ill, suffering from convulsions, confusion and memory loss, and he was unable to manage his affairs. His wife Abigail was granted control of her husband’s estate until their sons came of age. This put her in a position of power that exceeded most of the men in Andover. The envy of her neighbors as well as the contention in the community concerning her minister father, Reverend Frances Dane, made Abigail and her family targets for accusers.

The first of her family members to be accused was her niece, Elizabeth Johnson, Jr., in August. The 22-year-old Elizabeth quickly confessed, telling her examiners on August 10th, that she had consorted with the devil, meeting him at a gathering of “about six score”. The very next day, on August 11th, Abigail was arrested, having been accused by neighbors who claimed she had “afflicted” their children. She was taken to Salem Towne and interrogated the same day by Jonathan Corwin, John Hathorne, and Captain John Higginson. Most of her accusers were the “afflicted girls” of Salem Village including Ann Putnam, Jr. and Mary Warren. However, the middle-aged William Barker, Sr., also accused her, stating that the Reverend George Burroughs was the “ringleader” of the witches and that Abigail Faulkner and her sister, Elizabeth Johnson, Sr., were his “enticers to this great abomination.”

In the frenzy that followed, Abigail’s sister, Elizabeth Dane Johnson, her sister-in-law Deliverance Hazeltine Dane, two of her daughters, Abigail Faulkner, Jr. and Dorothy Faulkner, two of her nieces, and a nephew would all be accused of witchcraft and arrested. Abigail was convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, her execution was delayed because she was pregnant. In December 1692, four months after her arrest, Faulkner petitioned Governor Phips pleading for clemency, explaining that her husband was an invalid and her children had no caretaker. Governor Phips granted her request and Abigail was released from prison. Abigail Faulkner died in Andover, Massachusetts on February 5, 1730. Her husband died two years later.

Abigail Faulkner, Jr. (1683-17??) – The daughter of Lieutenant Francis Faulkner and Abigail Dane Faulkner, Abigail, Jr. was born on August 12, 1683, in Andover, Massachusetts. Nine-year-old Abigail, Jr., as well as her 12-year-old sister, Dorothy, were arrested shortly after their mother for allegedly practicing witchcraft. When they were examined, they confessed under pressure and said it was their mother who had made them witches. With the help of her grandfather, the Reverend Frances Dane, she and her sister, along with their cousins, Stephen and Abigail Johnson, were released from prison on bond. Her mother, Abigail Faulkner, Sr. would be convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, her execution was delayed because she was pregnant. She was later pardoned by Governor Phips and released. Abigail, Jr. would grow up to marry Thomas Lamson on April 6, 1708.

Dorothy Faulkner (1680-17??) – The daughter of Lieutenant Francis Faulkner and Abigail Dane Faulkner, Dorothy was born on February 15, 1680, in Andover, Massachusetts. Twelve-year-old Dorothy, as well as her nine-year-old sister, Abigail, Jr., were arrested shortly after their mother for allegedly practicing witchcraft. When they were examined, they confessed under pressure and said it was their mother who had made them witches. With the help of her grandfather, the Reverend Frances Dane, she and her sister, along with their cousins, Stephen and Abigail Johnson, were released from prison on bond. Her mother, Abigail Faulkner, Sr. would be convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. However, her execution was delayed because she was pregnant. She was later pardoned by Governor Phips and released. Dorothy would grow up to marry Thomas Lamson on Samuel Nurse on November 25, 1708.

Captain John Floyd (1636?-1701) – Like Captain John Alden, Jr., John Floyd had been involved in the Indian Wars in Maine, causing him become a target of some of the accusers in Salem Village. John Floyd married Sarah Doolittle in about 1661 in Lynn, Massachusetts and the couple would have eight children. They were living in Lynn in 1662 at the time their first child was born. In about 1670 the family moved to Malden where he owned a farm. In 1676 he served as a lieutenant in Captain Henchman’s company in King Philip’s War. In about 1680, he moved his family again, this time to Rumney Marsh, but, retained his land in Malden. Rumney Marsh, the northernmost district of Boston, would later become part of Chelsea and today is called Revere.

Captain Floyd was in Governor Andros’ expedition of 1688 against the Indians to the east, and in 1689 was in command of a military post on the Saco River. In 1690 he was made captain of a troop and stationed at Portsmouth, and for about three years after this, he saw service against the Indians in what was called King Phillips War. It was his ties to Maine during this war that most likely made him a target of Salem accusers. Some of these young girls had been orphaned during an Indian attack in 1690 at Saco, Maine. Captain Floyd and other military men had connections with some of the local Indians, often trading with them, which was seen by the young girls of Salem Village as scandalous. In late May 1692, a number of people from Maine were charged with witchcraft, including Captain John Floyd. No examination records survive regarding Captain Floyd, but, he was obviously released at some point. He remained in Rumney Marsh until his death on February 1, 1701 (or 1702). He was buried at Lynn, Massachusetts.

Dana Michael Foley (16??-1692) – While hanged along with eight other people accused of witchcraft on September 22, 1692, we were unable to find any other information on this individual.

Elizabeth Betts Fosdick (1660-1716) – The wife of John Fosdick, a carpenter in Malden, a complaint of witchcraft was made against Elizabeth Fosdick on May 30, 1692, by Lieutenant Nathaniel Putnam and Joseph Whipple of Salem Village. She was charged with allegedly afflicting Marcy Lewis and Mary Warren. While it is known, that she was imprisoned, there is nothing more known of the disposition of the complaint.

Elderly "witch"

Elderly “witch”

Ann Alcock Foster (1617-1692) – The mother of Mary Foster Lacey, Sr, and grandmother of Mary Lacey, Jr., all three were accused of witchcraft. Born in 1617 to the Reverend Thomas Alcock and Ann Hooker Alcock, Ann came to Massachusetts from London in 1635. She then married Andrew Foster and settled in Andover, Massachusetts and the couple had five children. In 1692, when a woman named Elizabeth Ballard came down with a fever that baffled doctors, witchcraft was suspected, and a search for the responsible witch began. Two of the “afflicted girls” from Salem Village, Ann Putnam Jr., and Mary Walcott, were taken to Andover to seek out the witch and fell into fits at the sight of Ann Foster. Ann, 72, a widow of seven years, was arrested in July and taken to Salem prison. Ann resisted confessing to the “crimes” she was accused of, despite being tortured multiple times over a period of days. However, her resolve broke when her daughter Mary Foster Lacey, Sr., similarly accused of witchcraft, pointed the finger at her own mother in order to save herself and her child. The transcripts reveal the anguish of a mother attempting to shield her child and grandchild by taking the burden of guilt upon herself. She said: “Me and Martha Carrier did both ride on a stick or pole when we went to witch meetings at Salem Village.” Mary Walcott, Mary Warren, and Elizabeth Hubbard would add their accusation to the elderly Widow Foster. She was indicted and tried on September 17, 1692. She, along with her daughter, Mary Foster Lacey, Sr., tried on the same day, were both sentenced to hang. The executions of several others who were tried and condemned on that date were followed through on September 22, 1692. These included Margaret Stevenson Scott, Samuel Wardwell, Sr., Wilmot Redd, and Mary Ayer Parker. However, for whatever reasons, Mary Foster Lacey, Sr. and her mother Ann, would not be immediately executed. But, for Ann, it wouldn’t be enough. After spending 21 weeks in prison, she died there on December 3, 1692, before the trials were discredited and ended. Her daughter, Mary Foster Lacey, Sr., and granddaughter, Mary Lacey, Jr., would be spared. Ann’s son, Abraham, later petitioned the authorities to clear her name and reimburse the family for the expenses associated with her incarceration and burial.

Eunice Potter Frye (1641-1708) – Of Andover, Eunice was born to Luke and Mary Edmunds Potter on February 2, 1641, in Concord, Massachusetts. She grew up to marry John Frye and the couple lived in Andover. Though both she and her husband were solid members of the church and her husband a deacon, she was arrested for witchcraft in about September 1692. When another Andover woman named Mary Osgood was examined on September 8, 1692, she confessed under pressure and named Eunice Potter Frye, Abigail Barker, and Mary Lovett Tyler as having baptized her by the devil. There are no records of Eunice’s examination, but she would spend some 15 weeks in prison. After hers and several other arrests had taken place in Andover, the Reverend Francis Dane gathered dozens of signatures on petitions pleading for the release and innocence of the Andover accused. Specifically, speaking of Mary Osgood , Eunice Frye, Deliverance Dane, Sarah Wilson, and Abigail Barker, it would state: “…who are women of whom we can truly give this character and commendation, that they have not only lived among us so inoffensively as not to give the least occasion to any that know them to suspect them of witchcraft, but by their sober godly and exemplary conversation have obtained a good report in the place, where they have been well esteemed and approved in the church of which they are members.” Eunice Frye was later released under a £100 bond and does not appear to have ever been tried. She died on November 24, 1708, in Andover.

Child in Jail

Child in Jail

Dorcas Good (1678-17??) – Dorcas was the daughter of Sarah Solart Poole Good, one of the first three women accused of witchcraft during the hysteria of 1692. Sometimes called Dorothy in historical records, her father was William Good, who was a poor man and her parents lived a life of homelessness and begging, earning them a reputation as unsavory people. Her mother, Sarah Solart Poole Good, was accused of witchcraft on February 25, 1692, when Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris claimed to be bewitched under her hand. She was soon arrested and was tried for witchcraft on March 1st. She would never confess to any guilt. She was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged. However, Sarah was pregnant and her execution was delayed until she gave birth to her child.

In the meantime, her four-year-old daughter was also accused of practicing witchcraft in a complaint was filed by Edward Putnam and Jonathan Putnam of Salem Village. She was arrested on March 24, 1692, and taken to the house of Nathiel Ingersol to be examined. There, Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, Jr., and Mary Walcott would all testify that the small girl had afflicted them by pinching, biting, and choking them. Examined over several days, the little girl finally broke down crying and confessed and incriminated her mother. She was soon imprisoned with her mother at the Ipswich Jail. While imprisoned, Sarah Good gave birth to a daughter she named Mercy. But, the infant would die a short time later. While little Dorcas remained in jail, her mother was taken away and hanged on July 19, 1692. Because Dorcas’ father was a poor laborer, he would not be able to come up with the money to bond out his child for some time. Dorcas was in custody for over eight months, from March 24, 1692, when she was arrested until she was released on a £50 bond on December 10, 1692. She was never indicted or tried. After her release, she was never the same — psychologically damaged for the rest of her life. By some historical accounts, she was insane.

Sarah Solart Poole Good (1653-1692) – One of the first three women to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692, Sarah Good was born to a prosperous innkeeper named John Solart on July 11, 1653. However, her father’s estate became entangled in litigation leaving Sarah Good in poverty. Her first marriage was to a poor indentured servant named Daniel Poole who died in debt in 1686. After he died, Sarah married William Good. Also a poor man, the Goods lived a life of homelessness and begging, earning Sarah a reputation as an unsavory person, who was described by the people of Salem as being filthy, bad-tempered, and strangely detached from the rest of the village. She was often associated with the death of residents’ livestock and would wander door to door, asking for charity. If the resident refused, Good would walk away muttering under her breath.

Sarah was accused of witchcraft on February 25, 1692, when Abigail Williams and Elizabeth Parris claimed to be bewitched under her hand. The young girls asserted they had been bitten, pinched, and otherwise abused by her and would have fits, where their bodies appeared to involuntarily convulse, their eyes rolling into the back of their heads and their mouths hanging open. When Reverend Samuel Parris asked “Who torments you?” the girls eventually shouted out the names of three townspeople: Tituba, Sarah Osborne, and Sarah Good. On March 1, 1692, Good was tried for witchcraft. Sarah was the first of three accused women to testify; but, never confessed guilt. When Good was allowed the chance to defend herself in front of the twelve jurors in the Salem Village meetinghouse, she argued her innocence, proclaiming Tituba and Osborne as the real witches. Dorcas Good, Sarah’s daughter, who was only four-years-old at the time, was forced to testify against her, claiming that she was a witch and she had seen her mother consorting with the devil.

While she was jailed, her four-year-old daughter Dorcas Good was also accused of witchcraft and was imprisoned. At the time, Sarah Good was pregnant and when she was condemned to hang, she was allowed to wait for the execution until the birth of her child. She gave birth to Mercy Good in her cell in Ipswich Jail. Mercy died shortly after birth, most likely due to malnutrition, lack of medical care, and unsanitary conditions.

On July 19, 1692, Sarah Good was hanged along with four other women convicted of witchcraft – Elizabeth Jackson Howe, Susannah North Martin, Rebecca Towne Nurse, and Sarah Wildes. While the other four quietly awaited execution, Good firmly proclaimed her innocence. In the meantime, her daughter Dorcas, was imprisoned for over eight months. Although the child of four years was eventually released on bond, she was psychologically damaged for the rest of her life.

Mary Green (1658-??) – Mary’s maiden name was also Green, so perhaps she married a cousin. Living in Haverhill with husband Peter, Green, Mary was accused of witchcraft on July 28, 1692, for having afflicted Timothy Swan of Andover and Mary Walcott and Ann Putnam, Jr. of Salem Village. She doesn’t appear to have ever been tried. She remained in prison until December 16, 1692, when she was released on a bond of £200.

 

©Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated November 2020.

Also See:

The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria (Main article)

Accused “Witches”

The “Afflicted” Girls

Procedures, Courts & Aftermath

Timeline of the Witchcraft Hysteria

Towns Involved

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