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Salem Witchcraft Papers

Case Files

SWP No. 9

William Barker, Sr.

SWP No. 9.1

(Indictment v. William Barker, Sr., for Covenanting )

[+ January 13, 1693 ]

Province of the Massachusetts Bay Essex In New England ss Anno RR's & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &c Qua'rto Anoq'e Dom 1692

The Juro'rs for our Sov'r lord & lady the King & Queen p'rsent
That William Barker senior of Andivo'r In the County of Essex aforsd
Husbandman About Three years past in the Towneship of Andivo'r
aforesd Wickedly mallitiously & felloniously A Covenant with the
Devill did make, And did Signe the Devills Booke with Blood,
& gave himselfe Soule & body to the Devill, By which Wicked & diabol-
licall Covenant with the Devill made in maner & forme Aforesaid The
Said William Barker is become A A detestable Witch Against the
peace of o'r Sove'r lord & Lady the King & Queen their Crowne
& dignity & the laws in that Case made & provided.

(Reverse) William Barker Senio'r for Covenanting with the Devill

Billa vera
*Robert: Payne foreman

( Massachusetts Archives Collection, vol. 135, no. 38. Boston.)


SWP No. 9.2

(Warrant for apprehension of William Barker, Sr. , Mary Marston and Mary Barker , ) [August 25, 1692]

Essex To the Constables of Andov'r

Complaint being made to me this day, by Sam'l Martin of Andover
& Moses Tyler sen'r of Boxford, against Willia Barker sen'r
Mary Marstone the wife of John Marstone jun'r & Mary Barker the
daughter of Lef't John Barker , all of Andov'r in that the aboves'd
William Barker Mary Marstone & Mary Barker, have woefully afflicted
& abused, Abigail Martin & Rose foster of Andov'r, & Martha Sprague
of Boxford by witchcraft, Contrary to the peace of o'r sovereigne
Lord & Lady #[King] William & Mary King & Queen of England &c: & to
their Majes'ts Laws in that Case provided:

These therefore require you in their Majes'ts names upon sight hereof,
to apprehend & seize the bodies of William Barker sen'r
Mary Marstone the wife of John Marstone jun'r & Mary Barker the
daughter of Lef't John Barker all of Andov'r & them safely Convey
to Salem, before their Majes'ts justices of the peace there, to be ex-
amined & proceeded with according to law, for which this shall be
yo'r warrant: given und'r my hand & seal this #[eighteenth] 25'th [25]
day of August Anno Domini 1692: in the fourth year of their Majes'ts
Reigne:/

*Dudley Bradstreet justice of Peace

The s'd Martin & Tyler have given suffitient bond to prosecute s'd
persons to effect, which bond remains with me:
(Reverse) [torn]
In Obediance Two this warant I have aprehended the within Riten
persons and have brought them to Salom the 29'th of August 1692
Before their honours mentined in the Rit:
[pbar ] me *Ephraim Foster
Constable of Andover

W'm Barker
Mary Marston
Mary Barker
Exa'd 29: 6. 92

( MS Ch K 1.40, vol. 2, p. 108, Boston Public Library.)

SWP No. 9.3

(Indictment v. William Barker, Sr., , for Afflicting Abagaill Martin)

[+ January 13, 1693]

Province of the Massathutetts Bay in New England Essex Anno RRs & Reginae Gulielmi & Mariae Angliae &'c Quarto: Annoq'e Dm: 1692

The Juro'r for our Sov'r Lord and Lady the King & Queen Presents
That William Barker Seino'r of Adivor in the County of Essex afore-
said Husbandm Sometime in August last 1692 afors'd - - - - - And
Divers other Dayes & times as well before as after Certaine Detestable
Arts called Witchcrafts & Sorceryes Wickedly Mallishiously & felon-
iously hath used Practised & Excercised at and in the Towne of An-
divor -- in the County of Essex afores'd upon & against one
Abagaiele Martin of Andivo'r Single Woman By which Wicked Arts the said
Abagaill Martin -- the Day and Year afores'd and Divers
other Dayes and Times as well before as after, was and is Tortured Afflicted.
Tormented Consumed Pined & wasted ag't the Peace of Sov'r Lord
& Lady the King and Queen their Crowne and Dignity & the Lawes
in that case made & Provided:

Wittnesses: Rose foster --
Matha Tyler



(Reverse) William Barker Seino'r for afflicting Abigaill Martin
Billa Vera
*Robert Payne foreman:
fled
fled Persons fled
( Massachusetts Archives Collection, vol. 135, no. 37. Boston.)

SWP No. 9.4

(Examination of William Barker, Sr. )

[August 29, 1692. ]

29. agust. 92.
Coram
Mag'r Gidney
m'r hathorn
m'r Corwin
Cap't higginson

William Barker of Andove'rs examination
& confession

He confesses he hes been in the snare of the devil three yeares,
that the devil first appeared to him lyke a black man and perceived
he had a cloven foot, That the devil demanded of
him to give up himself soul & Body unto him, which he promesed to
doe, He said he had a great family, the world went hard with him and
was willing to pay every man his own, And the devil told him he
would pay all his debts and he should live comfortably. -- He confesses
he hes afflicted #[?]sed Sprague foster and martin, his three accusers. That
he did syne the devils book with blood brought to him in a thing
lyke an Inkhorn that he dipt his finger therein and made a blott in
the book which was a confirmation of the Covenant with the devil.
He confesses he was at a meeting of witches at Salem Village
where he judges there was about a hundred of them, that the meeting
was upon a green peece of ground neare the ministe'rs house, He said
they mett there to destroy that place by reason of the peoples being
divided & theire differing with their ministe'rs

Satans design was to set up his own worship, abolish all the
churches in the land, to fall next upon Salem and soe goe through
the countrey, He sayth the devil promeised that all his people should
live bravely that all persones should be equall; that their should be no
day of resurection or of judgement, and neither punishment nor
shame for sin. -- He sayth there was a Sacrament at that meeting,
theire was also bread & wyne m'r Burse was a ringleader in that meet-
ing and named several persones that were there at the meeting, It was
proposed at the meeting to make as many witches as they could,
And they were all by m'r Burse and the black man exhorted to pull
down the Kingdome of christ and set up the Kingdome of the devil,
He said he knew mr Burroughs and Goody How to be such persones,
And that he heard a trumpet sounded at the meeting and thinks it
was Burse that did it, The sound is heard many myles off, And then
they all come one efter another -- In the spring of the yeare the wit-
ches came from Connecticut to afflict at Salem Village but now
they have left it off And that he hes been informed by some of the
grandees that there is about 307 witches in the country, -- He sayth
the witches are much disturbed with the afflicted persones because
they are discovered by them, They curse the judges because their
Society is brought under, They wold have the afflicted persones count-
ed as witches But he thinks the afflicted persones are Innocent
& that they doe god good service And that he hes not known or
heard of one Innocent persone taken up & put in prisone -- He saith
he is heartily sorry for what he has done and for hurting the afflicted
persones his accuse'rs, prayes their forgiveness, desyres praye'rs for
himself, promises to renounce the devil and all his works, And then
he could take them all by the hand without any harme by his eye or
any otherwise
5.7:92 the above Said is the Truth as wittnese my hand:

*William Barker
(In left margin) he owned this is the Court of Oyre & Terminer as
on the back Side
(Reverse) Wm Barkers Exa.
acused.
mr Buse
mr Buroughs
Goody How
Coneticut witches
& Severall others
aflicted
martha Sprage
Rose foster
Abigall martin
at A Court of Oyer & Termine'r held at Salem Sep'r 16 92.:
owned in Court at Salem Sepr. 16. 1692
attest * St: Sewall

( Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 135, No. 39. Boston. )

SWP No. 9.5

(Examination of William Barker, Sr. , copy)

[August 29, 1692 ]

29 August 1692 Wm Barker Sen'r of Andivers Examination
&

Confession
Before Maj'r Gidney M'r Hathorne M'r Corwine Jn'o Higginson Esq'rs
He Confesses he has been in the Snare of the Divel @ Three
Years that the Divel first apeared to Her
in the Shape of a black man & perceived he had a Cloved
foott that the Divel demand of him to give
up himself Soul & body to him w'ch he promised to doe he
Said he had a greate family the world went hard w'th him & was
willing to pay Every Man his owne & the Divel told him he would
pay all his Debts & he Should live Comfortably He Confesses
he has afflicted Sprauge fostter & Martin his three akusers that he
did Sign the Divel book w'th blood brought to him In a thing like
an Inkhorn that he dipt his finger therin and made a bloot #[therein] in the
book w'ch was a Confermation of the Covenant Made w'th the divel --
He Confesses he was at a metting of the witches at Salem Village
where he Judges there was about a hundred of them that the Mett-
ing was Upon a green peice of ground Near the Ministers house he
Says they Meet their to destroy that place by reason of the peoples
being devided & their differing w'th there Ministers -- Satans desire
was to Sett up his one worship, abolish all the Churches in the Land
to fall next Upon Salem & Soe goe through the Country he Saith
the Divel promised al his people Should live Bravely that al p'rsons
Should be Equal that their Should be no day of resurection or
Judgment And Nither Punishment nor Shame for Sin -- he Saith
their was a Sacrement at the Metting there was also bread & wine M'r
Burseughs was a Ring Leader in that Metting & Named Several p'rsons
that ware there at the Metting It was proposed at the Metting to
Make as Many witches as they Could & they were al by M'r Burseughs
& the black Man Exhorted to pull dwone ye Kingdome of of Christ
& Sett Up the Kingdome of the Divel, He S'd he knew M'r Burooughs
& Goode How to be Such p'rsons & that he heard a trumpet Sounded
at the Metting & thinks it Was Burse that did it the Sound is heard
Many miles of and then they all Come one after another -- In the
Spring of the Year the witches Came from Connecticut to afflict at
Salem Village butt now they have left it of, & that he has been In-
formed by Some of the Grandees that there is @ 307 witches in
the Country
He Saith the witches are much disturbed w'th the
afflicted p'rsons because they are Discovered by them, they Curse
the Judges because their Society is brought under they would have
the afflicted p'rsons Counted as witches but hee thinks they the afflicted
p'rsons are Inocent & that they doe god good Service & that he has
not knowne or heard of one Inocent p'rson taken up And "Yett putt In prison -- he Saith he is hartyly Sorry for w't he
has done & for hurting the afflicted p'rsons his accusers, prays there
forgivenes: desire prayers for him Self promises to Renounce the Divel & al
his works & then he could take them all by the hand w'thout any
harme by his Eye or otherwise the above Said is the truth as wittnese my hand --


SWP No. 9.6

(Confession from Prison of William Barker, Sr. )

[? August 29, 1692 ]

God having called me to Confess my sin and Apostasy in that fall
in giving the Devil advantage over me appearing to me like a Black,
in the evening to set my hand to his Book, as I have owned to my
shame. He told me that I should not want so doing. At Salem Village,
there being a little off the Meeting-House, about an hundred five
Blades, some with Rapiers by their side, which was called and might
be more for ought I know by B and Bu[rroughs] and the Trumpet
sounded, and Bread and Wine which they called the Sacrament, but I
had none; being carried all over on a Stick, never being at any other
Meeting. I being at Cart a Saturday last, all the day, of Hay and English
Corn, the Devil brought my Shape to Salem, and did afflict M[artha] S[prague]
and R[ose] F[oster] by clitching my hand; and a Sab-
bath day my Shape afflicted A[bigail] M[artin] and at night afflic-
ted M[artha] S[prague] and A[bigail] M[artin] . E[lizabeth] J[ ohnson ]
and A[bigail] F[aulkner] have been my Enticers to this great
abomination, as one have owned and charged her to her Sister with
the same. And the design was to Destroy Salem Village, and to begin
at the Ministers House, and to destroy the Church of God, and to set
up Satans Kingdom, and then all will be well. And now I hope God
in some measure has made me something sensible of my sin and apos-
tasy , begging pardon of God, and of the Honourable Magistrates and
all Gods people, hoping and promising by the help of God, to set to
my heart and hand to do what in me lyeth to destroy such wicked
worship, humbly begging the prayers of all Gods People for me, I
may walk humbly under this great affliction and that I may procure
to my self, the sure mercies of David, and the blessing of Abraham.

(John Hale. A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft (Boston: Green & Allen, 1702), pp. 33–34. )