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The Salem witchcraft papers, Volume 3 : verbatim transcipts of the legal documents of the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692 / edited and with an introduction and index by Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum / revised, corrected, and augmented by Benjamin C. Ray and Tara S. Wood

Case Files

SWP No. 128

Mary Toothaker

(See also: Martha Carrier -- Complaint .)

SWP No. BoySal3-3.70

(Mary Warren and Mary Ireson v. Mary Toothaker )

one may the 24 mary waren being in afeet and grevosly aflectted then was in atranc for sum tim we hard her say who ar ye what is your name and agin she said what toth aker Doktr toothekers wiffe wee often herd her say I wont i wonte i will not touch that book and then the fet was over then she told us that Dockter toothekers wiff. brought the book to her and a basen and a winding shet and grav cloths and said that she must set her hand to the book or elce she would kil her and stil she urged to touch the book or elc be wrapt in that sheet this have ben Done this Day by tooth ekers wiff

mary iyerson , wiff to bengamin iyerson at lin hoe in the same maner hav tormented almost to deth and brought the book to her


Mary Warren ag't Jerson Toothaker [Note: the name "Jerson" refers to Ierson, thus this line should read "Mary Warren ag't Ierson Toothaker" omitting the first names of both accused.]

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 Page 55 )

SWP No. BoySal3-3.71

(Examination of Mary Toothaker)

30 July 92 The Examination and confession of widow Toothaker Taken before Major Gidney Mr Hauthorn Mr Corwin & Cap'n Higginson.

After many questiones and negative answers returned and her Stricking Down of severall of the afflicted persons with her looks, she was Desyred to tell the truth in this matter She then said that this May last she was under great Discontentednes & troubled w'h feare about the Indians, & used often to dream of fighting with them. Being asked what was the Devils temptation under her discontent[mbar ]t she said she would confess if she could But that there was something at her breast that hindered her. she said she had often prayed but thought she was the worse for praying and knows not but that the Devil has tempted her not to pray, for her breath has been often Stopt as it was just now; Being asked if the Devil did not Desier her to renounce her baptisme, she answered that she had thoughts she was rather the worse for her baptisme and has wished she had not been baptised because she had not improved it as she ought to have done she saith she used to get into a corner alone and Desryed to prey but her mouth would be Stopt but sometymes she had been helped to say Lord be merce full to me a sinner. Being again asked how far she had yeilded to Satan she said the Devil promised her she should not be discovered and if she was discovered & brought down that she should goe home Innocent & cleare but now find he has deluded her. Being again asked how long it is since saten furst wrought with her in this manner she said she could not well tell how long but thinks it is not two years. And confesses that she went In her Spirit [to Timo' Swans] and did often think of him & her hands would be clinched, and that she would grip the dishclout or anything else and so think of the person; And by this & afflicting of others since She came down she is convinced she is a witch -- she saith now, the Devil appeared to her in the shape of a Tawny man and promised to keep her from the Indians and she should have happy dayes with her sone -- she was asked if she did not signe the Devills book; answered he brought something which she [took] to bee a piece of burch bark and she made a mark with her finger by rubbing off the whit Scurff. And he promised if she would serve him she should be safe from the Indians (she was then a litle stopt again & believed it was the Devil that did it)// Being asked if the Devil did not say she was to serve him Answered Yes, and signed the mark upon that condition and was to praise him w'h her whole heart, and twas to that appearance she prayed at all tymes for he said he was able to delyver her from the Indians And it was the feare of the Indians that put her upon it. she confesses she hurt Timothy Swan and thinks she was twice at salem Village witch meeting and that Goody Bridges was one of her company -- she said as she came along in order to examination she promised herself twenty tymes by the way (but [seald] it was to the Devil) That if she should Dye upon the Gallowse yet she would not say any thing but that she was Innocent. & rejoyced In the thought of it that She Should goe home Inocent -- she saith that Goody Green and Goody Broomage were also her companions and that Broomage afflicted Swan by squeezing his arms, And is afrayd that she the s'd Toothaker squeezed his throat -- she said further that when Goody Bridges (who had confessed before) urged her also to confess she had then no remembrance of this but with the justices Discourse and the help of god it came into her mind. she saith she thought that that appearance was God her creator & being asked if she did not know otherwise answered The Devil is so subtel that when she would confess he stops her and deludes also by scripture and being asked what scripture he made inser of to her she mentioned that in the Psalmes where it is said Let my enemies be confounded, And so she had wished them all Destroyed that raised such reports of her she confesses that her sister was with her at all the meetings & particularly at Salem Village & there went with her Goody Bridges Goody foster Goody Green & Goody Broomage Several afflicted persons said they saw the black man before her in the tyme of her examination And she now, her self confesses she saw him upon the table before her. She sayes further there was a minister a litle man whose name is Burroughs that preached at the Village meeting of witches, and she heard that they used read & write at these meetings And, that they did talk of 305 witches in the country. she saith their discourse was about the pulling down the Kingdom of Christ and setting up the Kingdom of satan, and also Knew Goody How emong the rest. Being asked if there was not a woman that stirred them up to afflict Swan Answered yes there was a pretty [Elderly] woman that was most busie about him and encouraged the rest to afflict him. she thinks she set her hand to that book at Salem Village meeting. And thinks the [End] of all their setting their hand to that book was to come in, and afflict & set up the Devils Kingdome. she being asked if her husband did not speak to his daughter to Kill one Button a reputed witch answered yes, and that they used to read many historyes, especially one book that treated of the 12 signes, from which book they could tell a great Deale. -- she saith she never knew her daughter to be in this condition before this summer, But that she was at Salem Village meeting once with her, she cannot tell that her daughter did then signe the book but a great many did. Being asked how many were of her Society she said Goody Broomage , foster , green , the two Mary Laceyes older and younger, Richard Carrier , her sister Carryer and another aged woman -- she saith she heard the Beating of a drum at the village meeting And think also heard the sound of a trumpet.

I underwritten being appointed to take the above & within examination in wryting Doe testify upon oath taken in Court That this is a true coppy, of the substance of it, to the best of my knowledge

6't Jan'ry in 1692/3

*Wm Murray

The within named Mary Toothaker was examined by their Majesties Justices of the peace in Salem

Mary Toothaker: Examined 30 July 1692 -- acused Goody Bridges 2 lacys Goody Gren Goody Brumage Rd. Carier

*Atest Jno Higginson Just'es peace. owned before the Grand Jury: 6 January 1692 Atest.

Goody Carrier

Goody Foster

Mr. Burroughs

Goody How

Math. Emerson

afflicted Timo Swan

*Robert Payne


( Suffolk Court Records Case No. 2713 Page 50 )

SWP No. BoySal3-3.72

(Indictment v. Mary Toothaker )

Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England ss ]

At A Superior Court of Judicature held in Charlston for the County of Midlesex the 31: Jan'ry: 1692 Annoq'e RR & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Quarto

The Jurors for our Sover lord & lady the King & Queen present that Mary Toothaker of Billrica in the County of Midlesex Widow on or about [] at & In the Towne of Balerica in the County of Midlesex -- aforesaid -- Wickedly felloniously And mallitiously A Covenant with the Devill did make & for Confirmacon of the Said Covenant made a Marke upon a peece of Birch Ryne which the Devill brought to her & promised to Serve the Devill, & to praise him with hir whole heart by which Diabolicall Covenant with the Devill made in maner & forme aforesaid the Said Mary Toothaker is become A Detestable Witch Against the peace of o'r Sov'r lord & lady the King & Queen their Crowne & Dignity & the Laws in that Case made & provided.

Billa Vera

Attest *Simon Stone foreman

(Reverse) “Pon't Se, Non Cull”

( Suffolk Court Records Case No. 2713 Page 50 )

SWP No. BoySal3-3.72b

(Examination of Mary Toothaker)

30th July 1692 / The Examination & Confession of Widow Toothaker Taken
Before Majr Gidney Mr. Hathorne Mr Corwin Jno Higginson -
After many Questions propounded & negative Answers propounded Returnd
& her Pricking Devers of Several of ye afflicted persons wth Her Looks,
She was Desired to tell the truth in this Matter, She then sd yt this May last
She was Under great Discontentednes & troubled wth fear @ ye D[rest of word crossed out]
Indns & Used often to Dream of fighting wth ym being asked what was ye
Divels Temptation under her Discontentment She Said She would Confes if She
Could But yt theire was something at her breast yt hindered her, She sd She had
often prayed but thought she was ye worse for praying & knows not but
that ye Divel has tempted her Not to pray for her breath was almost Stopt
as it was Just Now, Being asked if ye Divel did not tempt her to renounce
her baptism She anwered yt that She had that though She was neather ye
worse for her baptism & has wished She had not ben baptised because
She had not Improved as She ought to have done She saith She used
to gett into a Corner alone & Desired to pray but her mouth was Stopt
but Sometimes She has ben helped to Say Lord be Mercyfull to me a Siner
being asked again how far She had yelded to Sattan she sd the Divel
Promised her She Should not be Discovered, And if she were Discovered
& brought Dwone yett She should goe home Innocent & Clear but now
finds he has Deluded her, Being again asked how long it is Since Satan first
wrought wth her in this Manner She sd She could not tell how long but thinks
it is not two Years & Conffessed yt She went In her Spirit to Timoy Swan:
& did often think of him & her hands Would be Clinched together And yt
She would grip the Dishclout or any thing Else & soe think of persons
And by this & afflicting of others Since She came Dwone She is Convinced
She is a witch ---- She saith now the\ Divel apeared to her in ye Shap
of a Tawny Man & promised to Keep her from ye Indians & Should have
happy Days wth her Son ---- She was asked if She did not Signe ye ---
Divels booke Answd he brought me like ^which she to be a piece^ of burch bark & she
made a mark wth her finger by Rubing of ye white Scruf & he promised
if She would Serve him She Should be Safe from ye Inds (She was then
a little Stopt again & believed it was ye Divel yt did it) being asked
if ye Divel did not Say She was to Serve him A Yes and Signed ye
Mark Upon that Condition & was to praise him wth her whole heart &
it was to yt aperance She prayed at all times for he Said he

[next page]

[In left margin: 15]

was able to Deliver her from ye Indians. & it was ye ^fear of ye^ Inds yt put her upon
it. She Confesses She hurt Timo Swan and thinks She was ^twice^ at Salem Village
witch Metting & that Goode Bridges was one of her Company She sd as She
Came along in order to her Examination She promised her Self twenty times
By ye way (but feeles it was to ye Divel) that if She Should Dye upon ye
Gallows yett She would not Say any thing but yt She was Innocent & rejoycsd
In ^ye thought of^ it that She Should goe home Inocent ---- She saith yt Goode Green
& Goode Broomage were also her Companyons & yt broomage afflicted Swan
by Squesing his armes And is afraid that She the sd Toothaker Squeezed his ---
Throate ----She sd further yt when Goode bridges (who Had Conffesed befor)
Urged her also to Confes She had no Remembrance of this but wth ye Justices ---
Discourse & ye help of god it Came unto her mind She Saith She thought
yt that apperance was god her Creator & being asked if She did not now
otherwise & ye Divel is Soe Subtil yt when she wo^u^ld Confes he Stops her
& Deluds also by Scripture & being asked wt Scripture he made Use of to her
She mentioned yt In the [word crossed out] Psalmes where it is Said Lett my Enimies Be
Confounded And So She has wished ym all destroyed yt raised such reports of her
She Confesses yt her Sister was wth her at ^all^ ye metngs & particularly at Salem
Village & their went wth her Goode Bridges ffoster Green & Goode Broomag^e^
---- Severall of ye afflicted persons Said thay Saw ye black man before her
In ye time of her Examination & She Now her Self Conffeses She Saw him
Upon ye table befor her She Says further ther was a Minister a little man
Whose Name Is Burroughs yt preached at ye Village Metting of witches, &
She He^a^rd yt they Used bread & wine thes metting & yt they did talk of 305
Witches in ye Country She Saith their Discourse was about pulling Dwone ye
Kingdome of Christ & Setting Up the Kingdome of Satan And also knew Goody
How among the Rest Being asked if their was not a woeman that Stured
ym Up to afflict Swan---- Ad Yes their was a pretty Elderly woeman yt was
most busie about him & Encouraged ye rest. to afflict him She thinks
[two words crossed out] She Sett her hand to that book at Salem Village Metting & --
thinks ye End of all ther Setting their hands to yt Book was to Come In & afflict
& Sett Up ye Divel Kingdome. She being asked if her husband did not Speak
to his Daughter to Kill on Button a reputted witch Ad Yes & yt thay
Used to read many Hist Histories Especially one book yt treated of ye 12
Signes from wch book they could told tell a greate Deal, She Saith
She Never New her Daughter to be in yt Condision before this Summer
Butt yt She was at Salem Village Metting once wth her, She can not
tell yt her Daughter then Did Signe ye book, but a great many ^did^ being askd
how many ware of her Society She sd Goode Broomage ffoster & Green
the two Mary Laceys Richd Carrier her Siste Carrer & another aged
Woeman She Saith She heard ye bettinge of a Drum at ye Village
Metting & Thinks also She heard ye Sound of a Trumpet ------------------

[In lower left corner: 24]

[No signatures, no concluding remarks]

Essex Institute Archives