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Salem Witchcraft Papers

Case Files

SWP No. 14

Sarah Bishop

(See also: Sarah Wilds -- Warrant; William Hobbs -- Mittimus .)

SWP No. 14.1

(The Rev. John Hale et al. v. Sarah Bishop )

[May 20, 1692 ]

John Hale of Beverly aged about 56 yeares [torn] & saith that
about 5 or 6 years ago e Christian the wife of John Trask (living in
Salem bounds bordering on the abovesaid Beverly) beeing in full
comunion in o'r Church came to me to [de] sier that Goodwife Bish- op her Neighb'r wife of Edw: Bishop Jun'r might not be permitted
to receive the Lords Supper in our church till she had given her the
said Trask satisfaction for some offences that were against her.viz be-
cause the said Bishop did entertaine people in her house at unseason-
able houres in the night to keep drinking and playing at shovel-board
whereby discord did arise in other families & young people were in
danger to bee corrupted & that the s'd Trask knew these things
& had once gon into the house & fynding some at shovel-board had
taken the peices thay played with & thrown them into the fyre
& had reprooved the said Bishop for promoting such disorders, But re-
ceived no satisfaction from her about it.

I gave s'd Christian Trask direction how to proceed farther in
this matter if it were clearly prooved And indeed by the information
I have had otherwise I doe fear that if a stop had not been putt to
those disorders s'd Edw. Bishop's house would have been a house of
great prophainness & iniquity.

But as to Christian Trask the next news I heard of her was that
she was distracted & asking her husband Trask when she was so taken
[he told] mee shee was taken distracted that night after shee [came
from] my house when shee complained against Goody Bishop .

She continueing some time Distracted wee sought the Lord by
fasting & prayer & the Lord was pleased to restore the s'd [Trask]
to the use of her reason agen. I was s'th her often in [her] distraction
(& took it then to bee only distraction, yet fearing sometimes
somw't worse) but since I have seen the fitts of those bewitched at
Salem Village I call to mind some of hers to be much like some of

The said Trask when recovered as I understood it did manifest
strong suspicion that shee had been bewitched by the s'd Bishop's
wife & showed so much aversness from having any conversation that
I was then troubled at it hopeing better of s'd Goody Bishop at that
time for wee have since [torn] At length s'd Christian Trask [was]
agen in a distracted fit on a Sabboth day in the forenoon at the pub-
l [i]ck meeting to o'r public desturbance & so continued sometimes
better sometimes worse unto her death, manifesting that shee under
temptation to kill her selfe or somebody else.

I enquired of Marg'rt Ring who kept at or nigh the house, what
shee had observed of s'd Trask before this last distraction shee told
[mee.] Goody Trask was much given to reading & search the pro-
phecys of scrip[ture].

The day before shee made that disturbance in the meeting [house
she[e] came home & said shee had been w'th Goody Bishop & that
they two were now friend or to that effect.

I was oft praying w'th & councelling of Goody Trask before her
death and not many days before her end being there shee seemed
more rationall & earnestly desired Edw: Bishop might be sent for
that shee might make friends with him, I asked her if shee had
wronged Edw. Bishop shee said not that shee knew of unless it were
in taking his shovel-board pieces when people were at play w'th them
& throwing them into the fyre & if she did evill in it she was very
sorry for it & desiered he would be friends with her or forgive her.
this was the very day before she dyed, or a few days before.

Her distraction (or bewitching) continued about a month and in
those intervalls wherein shee was better shee earnestly desired prayers
& the Sabboth befere she dyed I received a note for prayers on her
behalf w'ch her husband said was written by her selfe & I judge was
her owne hand writing beeing well acquainted with her hand.

As to the wounds she dyed of I observed 3 deadly ones; apeice
of her wind pipe cutt out. & another wound above that threww the
windpipe & Gullet & the veine they call jugular. So that I then judge
& still doe apprehend it impossible for her w'th so short a pair of
cissars to mangle her selfe so without some extraordinary work of
the devill or witchcraft

signed. 20. may 1692 by
*John Hale.
To severall parts of this testimony can wittness Maj'r Gidney .
Mr Paris Joseph Hirrek Ju'r & his wife Thomas Raiment & his wife
John Traske Marget King , Hanah wife of Cornell Baker , []
Miles & others.
As also about the s'd Goody Bishop Capt W'm Raiment , his son
W'm Raiment about creatures strangely dying. James Kettle , & the
abovs'd Jos: Hirreck & Tho: Raiment about sundry actions that
[have] the apearance of witchcraft.
(Reverse) Deposition 16 John Hale
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem - Witchcraft vol. 1, no. 142.)

SWP No. 14.2

(James Kettle v. Sarah Bishop )

[+ May 20, 1692 ]

The deposition of James Kettle aged twenty seven years or there
about testyfieth & saith that I was att Docter Grigs his hous on the
tenth of this instant may & there saw Elizebeth Hubbard in severall
Fitts: and after her fits ware over she told me that she saw my two
Childdren Laying before her & that thay cry'd for vengance & that
Sarah Bishop bid her Look on them & said that she kiled them
& and thay were by her description much as they were when they
ware put in to there Coffins [to?] be buried & she told me that Sarah bishop told her [th]at I was going to burn akiln of potts & that she
would break them if she Could: & i took notice that while she was in
her Fitts that she Cried & held her apron before her face saying that
she would not se them Docter Grigs & his wife and John hues ware
thare present

(Reverse) [Sar]ah Bishop

( Essex County Court Archives, Salem - Witchcraft vol. 2, no. 116.)

SWP No. 14.3

( Elizabeth Balch & Abigail Waldon v. Sarah Bishop )

[+ May 20, 1692 ]

The Depotion of Elizabeth Balch of Beverly Aged aboute Eight
& thirty years & wife unto Benjamin Balch ju'r This Deponant Testi-
fieth hereby & saith that she being at Salem on the very Day that
Cap't Georg Curwin was buried & in the evening of s'd Day Cominge
from s'd Salem unto s'd Beverly on horse back with her sister then
known by the name of Abigaile Woodburie now Abigaile Waldon Liv-
ing in Wenham wife unto Nathaniell Waldon Rideing behinde her
& as they were Rideing as befour & were Come soe far as Crane River
Common soe Called Edward Bishop & his wife over tooke us (on
horse back) who are both now in prison under suspition of witch-
craft & had some words of Difference it seemed unto us. s'd Bishop
rideing in to the brooke pretty hastily she finding fault with his soe
doing & said that he would throw her in to the water or words to
that purpose s'd Bishop Answered her that it was noe matter if he
Did or words to that Effect: & soe wee Rode along all together to-
ward Beverly & she blamed her husband for Rideing soe fast & that
he would Doe her a mischeife or words to that purpose & he An-
swered her that it was noe matter what was Done unto her or words
to that purpose: And then s'd Bishop Directed his speech unto us
as we Rode along & s'd that she had ben a bad wife unto him ever
since they were marryed & reckoned up many of her miscarriages to-
wards him but now of Late she was worse then Ever she had ben
unto him before (and that the Devill Did Come bodyly unto her
& that she was familiar with the Devill & that she sate up all the night
Long with the Devill) or words to that purpose & with such kinde of
Discourse he filled up the time untill we Came to s'd Bishops Dwell-
ing house & this Deponant Did reproove s'd Bishop for speaking in
such a manner unto his wife s'd Bishop Answered it was nothing but
what was truth & s'd Bishops wife made very Little reply to all her
husbands Discourse Dureing all the time we wer with them & farther
said not

the mark of

elezebeth Balch.
the mark

of Abigail walden .

her Answer
if it be soe, you had neede pray, for mee
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem - Witchcraft vol. 1, no. 151.)