Return to The Salem Witchcraft Papers | Print

The Salem witchcraft papers, original volumes edited by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum (1977) / revised, corrected, and augmented by Benjamin C. Ray and Tara S. Wood (2010)

Abigail Hobbs

(See also: Giles Corey -- Warrant.)

(Examination of Abigail Hobbs , April 19, 1692)

The Examination of Abigail Hobbs, at Salem Village, 19 April, 1692, by John Hawthorn and Jonath. Corwin, Esqs., and Assistants.

Abig. Hobbs . you are brought before Authority to answere to sundry acts of witchcraft, committed by you against and upon the bodies of many, of which severall persons now accuse you. What say you? Are you guilty, or not? Speak the truth.

I will speak the truth. I have seen sights and been scared. I have been very wicked. I hope I shall be better, if God will help me.

What sights did you see?

I have seen dogs and many creatures.

What dogs do you mean, ordinary dogs?

I mean the Devil.

How often, many times?

But once.

Tell the truth.

I do tell no lye.

What appearance was he in then?

Like a man.

Where was it?

It was at the Eastward at Casko-bay.

Where, in the house, or in the woods?

In the woods.

In the night or in the day?

In the day.

How long agoe?

About 3 or 4 years agoe.

What did he say to you?

He said he would give me fine things, if I did what he would have me.

What would he have you do?

Why, he would have me be a witch.

Would he have you make a covenant w'th him?


And did you make a covenant with him?

Yes, I did, but I hope God will forgive me.

The Lord give you Repentance.

You say you saw dogs, and many sorts of creatures.

I saw them at that time.

But have you not seen them at other times too?



At our house.

What were they like?

Like a cat.

What would the cat have you do?

She had a book and would have me put my hand to it.

And did you?

No, I did not.

Well, tell the truth, did you at any other time?

Yes, I did, that time at the Eastward.

What other creatures did you see?

I saw things like men.

What did they say to you?

Why they said I had better put my hand to the Book.

You did put your hand to the book you say?

Yes, one time.

What, would they have you put your hand to their book too?


And what would they have you do then, would they have you worship them?

They would have me make a bargain for so long, and do what they would have me do.

For how long?

Not for above 2 or 3 years.

How long did they agree with you for?

But for (2) two years.

And what would they then do for you?

They would give me fine clothes.

And did they?


When you set your hand the last time to book, how long was that for?

It was for (4) years.

How long is that agoe?

It is almost 4 years. The book was brought to me to get my hand to it for 4 years, but I never put my hand but that once at Eastward.

Are you not bid to hurt folks?


Who are you bid to hurt?

Mercy Lewes and Ann Putman.

What did you do to them when you hurt them?

I pinch't them.

How did you pinch them, do you goe in your own person to them?


Doth the Devil go for you?


And what doth he take, your spirit with him?

No. I am as well as at other times: but the Devil has my consent, and goes and hurts them.

Who hurt your mother last Lord's day, was it not you?


Who was it?

I heard her say it was Goody Wilds at Topsfield.

Have you been in company with Goody Wilds at any time?

No, I never saw her.

Well, who are your companions?

Why I have seen Sarah Good once.

How many did you see?

I saw but two.

Did you know Sarah Good was a witch, when you saw her?


How did you know it?

The Devil told me.

Who was the other you saw?

I do not remember her name.

Did you go and do hurt with Sarah Good ?

No, she would have me set my hand to her book also.

What mark did you make in the Devil's book when you set your hand to it?

I made a mark.

What mark?

Have you not been at other great meetings?


Did you not hear of great hurt done here in the village?


And were you never with them?

No, I was never with them.

But you know your shape appeared and hurt the people here.


How did you know?

The Devil told me, if I gave consent, he would do it in my shape.

How long agoe?

About a fortnight agoe.

What shape did the Devil appear in then?

Like a black man with an hat.

Do not some creatures suck your body?


Where do they come, to what parts, when they come to your body?

They do not come to my body, they come only in sight.

Do they speak to you?


How do they speak to you?

As other folks.

What do they speak to you, as other folks?

Yes, almost.

Then other questions were propounded to her, but she was taken D E A F: and Mary Walcot , Mercy Lewes, Betty Hubbard, Abig. Williams and Ann Putman jun'r , said they saw Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn run their fingers into the examinant's ears; by and by, she this examinant was blind, with her eyes quite open.

A little after, she spake and said, Sarah Good saith I shall not speak; And so the Court ordered her, being seized with dumbness, to be taken away.

Note. The afflicted, i.e., the bewitched persons, were none of them tormented during the whole examination of this accused and confessing person, Abigail Hobbs .

Note. -- After this examination, Mercy Lewes, Abigail Williams , and Ann Putman , three of the sufferers, said openly in Court, they were sorry for the condition this poor Abig. Hobbs was in, which compassion they expressed over and over again.

SALEM VILLAGE, April the 19th, 1692.

Mr. Samuell Parris being desired to take in wrighting the examination of Abigail hobs , hath delivered it as aforesaid.

Upon heareing the afores'd and seing what wee then did see, together with the charge of the persons then present, wee comitted said Abigail Hobs to theire Majestie's Gaole

*John Hathorne , ] Assis'tts.

*Jonathan Corwin , ] Assis'tts.

This confession and examination is the Truth as witness my hand 9th Sept. 1692 ] The Marke of ABIGAIL


Abigail Hobs signed and owned this confession and examination before me 9th Sept. 1692.

*JOHN HIGGINSON , Justice Peace.

(The Diaries of Benjamin Lynde and of Benjamin Lynde, Jr. with an Appendix [ Boston, 1880 ], pp. 211-216 .)

(Examination of Abigail Hobbs , April 20, 1692)

Abigail Hobb's Examination 20. Apr. 1692 in Salem Prison

This Examinant declares that Judah White , a Jersey maid that lived with Joseph Ing'rson at Cascoe, but now lives at Boston, with whome this Examinant was very well formerly acquainted, came to her yesterday in apparition, together with Sarah Good , as this Examinant was going to Examination, and advised her to fly, and not goe to be Examined, shee told them that She would goe; They Charged her if she did go to Examination not to Confess anything. She Said she would Confes all that She knew; They told her also Goody Osburn was a witch This Judah White came to her in fine Cloaths in a Sad coloured Silk Mantel, with a Top knot and an hood She Confesseth further that the Devil in the Shape of a Man came to her and would have her to afflict Ann Putnam, Mercy Lewis, and Abigail Williams , and brought their images with him in wood like them, and gave thorns, and bid her prick them into those images, which She did accordingly into Each of them one.and then the Devil told her they were afflicted which accordingly they were and Cryed out they were hurt by Abigail Hobbs . She Confesseth, She was at the great Meeting in Mr Parris's Pasture when they administered the Sacram'tt, and did Eat of the Red Bread and drink of the Red wine att the same Time.

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 50 )

(Examination of Abigail Hobbs , May 12, 1692)

Abigail Hobbs Examination att Salem Prison May. 12. 1692 --

Q. Did Mr Burroughs bring you any of the poppets of his wives to stick pinns into?

An: I do not Remember that he did.

Q. Did he of any of his Children, or of the Eastward Souldres.

A. No.

Q. Have you known of any that have been killed by witchcraft.

A. No. No -- Body.

Q. How came you to speak of mr Burrougs's Wifes yesterday?

A. I dont know.

Q. Is that true about Davis's Son of Cascoe, and of those of the Village?

A. yes it is true

Q. What Service did he put you upon? and who are they you afflicted?

A. I cannot tel who, neither do I know whether they dyed.

Q. were they Strangers to you, that Burrougs would have you afflict?

A. Yes

Q. and were they afflicted accordingly?

A. Yes.

Q. cant you name Some of them?

A. No I cannot Remember them

Q. where did they Live?

A. att the Eastward

Q. Have any vessells been cast away by you?

A. I do not know.

Q. Have you Consented to the Afflicting any Other besides those of the village?

A. Yes.

Q. Who were they?

A. I cannot tell, But it was of such who lived att the fort side of the River about half a mile from the fort, toward Capt. Bracketts .

Q. What was the hurt you did to them by Consent?

A. I dont know.

Q. was their any thing brought to you like them?

An. yes.

Q. what did you stick into them?

A. Thorns.

Q. did some of them dy?

A. Yes. one of them was Mary Laurence [that dyed.]

[Q. Wher]

[Q. where] did you stick the thorns?

A. I do not know

Q. was is about the middle of her body?

A. Yes and I stuck it right in.

Q. what provoked you, had she displeased you?

A. Yes by some words she spoke of mee.

Q. who brought the image to you?

A. It was Mr Burroughs .

Q. How did he bring itt to you?

A. In his own person Bodily.

Q. where did he bring it to you?

A. Abroad a little way of from o'r house.

Q. and what did he say to you then?

A. He told me He was angry with that family.

Q. How may years Since was it?

A. Before this Indian Warr.

Q. How did you know mr. Burroughs was a Witch?

A. I dont know. She owned againe She had made two Covenants with the Devil, first for two years, and after that for four years, and She Confesseth herslef to have been a Witch these Six years.

Q. did the Maid Complain of pain about the place you stuck the thorn in.

A. yes But how long she Lived I dont know.

Q. How do you know burroughs was Angry w'th Lawrences family?

A. Because he told me so:

Q. where did any other live that you afflicted?

A. Just by the Other toward James Andrews's , and they dyed also.

Q. How many were they more than one?

A. Yes.

Q. And who brought those Poppets to you?

A. Mr Burroughs .

Q. what did you stick into them?

A. Pinns, and he gave them to mee.

Q. Did you keep those Poppets?

A. No, he carryed them away with him.

Q. was he there himselfe with you in Bodily person?

A. yes, and So he was, when he appeared to tempt mee to set my hand to the Book, he then appeared in person, and I felt his hand att the Same time

Q. were they men, Women or Children you killed?

A. They were both Boys and Girls.

Q. Was you angry with them yourself?

A. Yes, tho I dont know why now.

Q. Did you know mr Burroughs's Wife?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you know of any poppits prickd to kill her?

A. No I dont

Q. Have you seen several Witches at the Eastward

A. Yes, But I dont know who they were.

(Reverse) Abigail Hobs Examinations.

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 50 )

(Examination of Abigail Hobbs , June 29, 1692)

Examinacon of Abigall Hobbs [before theire] Maj'ties Justices June 29 1692.

Saith that on Friday last John Procter Sen'r being in a room w'th her alone told her that She had better to aflict then be aflicted & that She Should not be hanged but Enjoyned her to aflict Ann Putman & perswaded her to Set her hand to the Booke & Guided her hand personaly to do it & after this his appearance brought me a poppet & a Thorne w'ch I Stuck into the poppet to aflict s'd Ann Putman a friday

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 51 )

( Lydia Nichols v. Abigail Hobbs )

lidea Nickals aged about 17 years testifieth & saith that a boute a yeare & halfe agoe I asked abigaill hobs how She darst lie out a nights in the wods alone She told me she was not a fraid of any thing for She told me She had Sold her selfe boddy & Soull to the old boy and sins this about a fortnight agoe the said abigaill hobs & her mother came to our hous my father & mother being not at home she begane to be rude & to behave her selfe unseemly I told her I wondred she was not ashamed She bide me hold my tonge or else she would rays all the folks thereabouts & bid me look there was old nick or else old cratten sate over the bedsted then her mother told her shee little thought to a bin the mother of such a dauter

Elisabeth Nickals aged about 12 years testifieth the same she said at our hous about a fortnight agoe

(On reverse side of paper)

Lydia & Elizabeth Nickolls ag'st Abig'll. Hobbs

These may certify whome it may concerne

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 51 )

(Indictment v. Abigail Hobbs , No. 1)

Essex in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England ] Anno RRs & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Quarto Anno'qe Domini 1692


The Juriors for our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King and Queen doe [pbar ]sent that Abigaill Hobbs of Topsfeild -- In the County of Essex Single Womā At Salem aforesaid in the County of Essex aforsaid the Ninteenth daÿ of Aprill In the Yeare aforesaid and divers other days and times as well before as after Certaine detestable Arts Called Witchcraft and Sorceries Wickedly Mallitiously and Felloniously hath used practized and Exercised At and in the Towne of Salem. Aforesaid in upon and against one Mercÿ Lewiss of Salem in the County of Essex aforesaid Single Woman -- by which Said Wicked Acts the Said Mercy Lewis the day & years -- Aforesaid & divers other days and times both before and after was and is Tortured Afflicted Consumed Pined Wasted and Tormented, and also for Sundry other Acts of Witchcraft by the Said Abigail Hobbs -- Comitted and done before and Since that time against our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King and Queen theire Crowne and dignity and the forme in the Stattute in that case made and Provided.


mercy lewes

mary walcott

Eliz Hubbrd

Ann putnam

(On reverse side of paper)

indictm't. ags't. Abigail Hobbs for

bewitching Mercy Lewis. bil a Vera


( Essex Institute, MSS. Collection )

(Indictment v. Abigail Hobbs , No. 2)

Essex in the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England Ss

Anno RRs & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Quarto Annoq 3 Domini 1692

The Juriors for our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King and Queen doe present that Abagaile Hobbs of Topsfeild in the County aforesaid Single Wooman In the yeare of our Lord 1688. In Cascoe Bay in the Province of Mayne in New England. Wickedly and Felloniously a Covenant with the Evill Spirritt the Devill did make Contrary to the peace of our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King & Queen theire Crowne and Dignity, and the forme of the Stattute In that case made and Provided.

( Essex Institute, MSS. Collection )

( Priscilla Chub v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposistion of prisceller chub aged about 31: years, this deponent testifieth and saith that sum time the last winter I was a discorsing with Abigaill Hobbs about her wicked cariges and disobedience to hir father and Mother and she tould me she did not care what any body said to hir for she had seen the divell and had made a covenant or bargin with him.

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 51 )

( Margaret Knight v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposition of margaritt knight aged about 18 years who testifeith and saith that about ayear agoe Abigail Hoobs . and hir mother ware att my fathers house: and Abigail Hoobs said to me Margaritt are you baptized: and I said yes; then said she my mother is not baptized. but said I will baptize her and immediatly took watter and sprinckeled in hir mothers face and said she did baptized hir in the name of the ffather Son and Holy Ghost

(Reverse) Ma. Knight

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 51 )

(Mercy Lewis v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposistion of mircy lewes agged about 19 years who testifieth that about the 17th of April 1692 I saw the Apperishtion of Abigail Hoobs the daughter of william Hoobs com and afflect me by pinching and almost choaking me urging me to writ in hir book and so she continewed hurting of me by times tell the 19th of April: being the day of hir examination but as soon as she began to confess she left ofe hurting me.

(Reverse) Mercÿ.Lewis against Abigall.Hobbs .

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 52 )

(Mary Walcott v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposistion of Mary Walcott aged about 17 years who testifieth and saith that about the 14 April 1692 I saw the Apperishtion of Abigail Hoobs the daughter of William Hoobs com and afflect me by pinching and all most choaking me urging me to writ in hir book and so she continewed to afflect me by times tell the day of hir examination being the 19th April but as soon as she began to confess she left ofe afflecting me

(Reverse) Mary Walcott ag'st. Abigail Hobbs

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 52 )

(Ann Putnam, Jr. v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposistion of Ann putnam who testifieth and saith that about the 13th of April 1692 I saw the Apperishtion of Abigail Hoobs the daughter of william Hoobs com and afflect me by biting pinching and almost choaking me urging me to writ in hir book and so she continewed by times hurting me twll the 19th of April being the day of hir Examination but as soon as she began to confess she left ofe hurting me.

(Reverse) Ann puttnam. Ag'st Abigall. Hobbs

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 52 )

(Elizabeth Hubbard v. Abigail Hobbs )

The deposistion of Eliz: Hubburd who testifieth and saith that I was afflected and tormented by Abigail Hoobs: several times before hir examination allso on the day of hir examination she did most greviously torment me also I saw Abigail Hoobs or hir Aperance most greviously afflet and torment Mercy lewes mary walcott and Ann putnam: on the: 19th April 1692 being the day of hir examination but as soon as she began to confess she left ofe afflecting of us: and I beleve in my heart that Abigail Hoobs was a wicth and that she has often affleted both me and the above said parsons by acts of wicthcraft

Eliz Hubbard owned the truth of the above-written evidence: To the Jury of Inquest upon oath Sep'r. 10: 1692.

(Reverse) Eliza: hubard

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 52 )