Salem Witch Trials Timeline

Back to: The Salem, Massachusetts Witchcraft Hysteria

September 15, 1692 – Margaret Scott was examined in court. Mary Walcott, Mary Warren and Ann Putnam, Jr. gave testimony that they had been afflicted by Rebecca Eames.

September 16, 1692 – Abigail Faulkner Jr., age nine, was accused and arrested.

September 17, 1692 – Margaret Scott, Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Sr., Mary Ayer Parker, Abigail Faulkner, Sr., Rebecca Eames, Mary Lacey, Sr., Ann Foster and Abigail Hobbs are tried and sentenced to hang.

Dorothy Faulkner, age 12, was accused and arrested. She and her sister, Abigail Faulkner Jr., confessed and accused their mother, Abigail Faulkner, Sr..

Martha Tyler, Johannah Tyler, Sarah Wilson, Jr. and Joseph Draper also confessed.

Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing to make a plea

Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing to make a plea

September 17-19, 1692 – Sheriffs administer Peine Forte Et Dure (pressing) to Giles Corey after he refuses to enter a plea to the charges of witchcraft against him. After two days under the weight, Corey dies on September 19th.

September 18, 1692 – With testimony from Ann Putnam, Jr., Abigail Faulkner, Sr. was convicted of witchcraft. Because she was pregnant, her hanging was to be delayed until after she gave birth.

September 21, 1692 – Dorcas Hoar was the first of those pleading innocent to confess. Her execution was delayed.

September 22, 1692 – Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Wilmot Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Sr., and Mary Ayer Parker are hanged.

Dorcas Hoar, also condemned to be executed, had been granted a temporary stay at the urging of ministers, so that she could make a confession to God.

September 23, 1692 – Andrew Erickson is hung on the scaffold because he was accused of witchcraft.

September 28, 1692 – Timothy Gaetani is stoned to death after being accused by his wife of witchcraft.

October 3, 1692 – The Reverend Increase Mather, President of Harvard College and father of Cotton Mather, denounces the use of spectral evidence.

October 8, 1692 – After 20 people had been executed in the Salem witch hunt, Thomas Brattle wrote a letter criticizing the witchcraft trials. This letter had great impact on Governor William Phips, who ordered that reliance on spectral and intangible evidence no longer be allowed in trials.

Sir William Phips

Sir William Phips

October 12, 1692 – Governor Williams Phips writes the Privy Council of King William and Queen Mary saying that he has stopped the proceedings and referring to “what danger some of their innocent subjects might be exposed to, if the evidence of the afflicted persons only did prevail,” i.e., “spectral evidence.”

October 18, 1692 – Twenty-five citizens, including Reverend Francis Dane, wrote a letter condemning the trials, addressed to the governor and the General Court.

October 29, 1692 – Governor Williams Phips prohibits further arrests, releases many accused witches, and dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

November, 1692 – Mary Herrick reported that the ghost of Mary Easty visited her and told her of her innocence.

November 25, 1692 – The General Court of Massachusetts Colony created the Superior Court to try the remaining witchcraft cases which would take place between January and May, 1693.

December, 1692 – Abigail Faulkner, Sr., petitioned the governor for clemency. She was pardoned and released from prison.

December 3, 1692 – Ann Foster, who had been convicted and condemned on September 17, died in prison.

Rebecca Eames petitioned the governor for release, retracting her confession and stating she had only confessed because she had been told by Abigail Hobbs and Mary Lacey, Sr. that she would be hanged if she did not confess.

December 10, 1692 – Four year-old Dorcas Good is released from prison when £50 in fees were paid.

December 13, 1692 – A petition was sent to the governor, council and general assembly by prisoners in Ipswich: Hannah Bromage, Phoebe Day, Elizabeth Dicer, Mehitable Downing, Mary Green, Rachel Haffield or Clenton, Joan Penney, Margaret Prince, Mary Row, Rachel Vinson, and some men.

December 14, 1692 – William Hobbs, still maintaining his innocence, was released from jail in December when two Topsfield men (one a brother of Rebecca Nurse, Mary Easty and Sarah Cloyce) paid a bond of £200. He then left town without his wife and daughter who had confessed and implicated him.

December 15, 1692 – Mary Green was released from jail on payment of a bond of £200.

December 26, 1692 – Several members of Salem Village church were asked to appear before the church and explain their absences and differences. These included Joseph Porter, Joseph Hutchinson Sr., Joseph Putnam, Daniel Andrews and Francis Nurse.

“I cannot but condemn this method of the Justices, of making this touch of the hand a rule to discover witchcraft; because I am fully persuaded that it is sorcery, and a superstitious method, and that which we have no rule for, either from reason or religion.”

— Thomas Brattle, October 8, 1692

1 thought on “Salem Witch Trials Timeline”

  1. As an eighth generation descendant of The Putnams of Salem Village, I am deeply disturbed by the manipulation of personal disagreements that used ‘religion’ and a general worldwide witch hysteria, to attempt to disrupt civil questions. It’s easy looking back to see the power that Puritans assigned to their religion, and to see the strong control persons with money were able to utilize to bend the church and local government to their will. I am sorry for the role my ancestors played in this ugly period of history in our struggle to eventually win independence from European monarchies. And I am alarmed to see President Trump and Republicans fall back into government by monarchy.

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