Witches of Massachusetts – F-G

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.

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