Return to The Salem Witchcraft Papers | Print

Salem Witchcraft Papers

Case Files

SWP No. 10.1

(Examination of William Barker, Jr.)

View Entire Case File

[September 12, 1693 ]

2nd Paper

Sep't 92
Before Maj'r Gidney m'r Hawthorn m'r Corwin & Cap't Higginsone.

The Examination and confession of W'm Barker aged 14 yeares or

He is accused for exerciseing acts of witchcraft upon the bodyes
of Martha Sprague Rose foster and Abigail Martin, which he did not
deny but could not remember it.
He confesses now that he hath not been in the snare of the devil
above six dayes, That as he was goeing in the woods one evening
to look efter cowes he saw the shape of a black dog which looked
very fiercely upon him And he was much disturbed in his mynd
about it and could not sleep well that night
And betymes next morneing he mett with a black man (he calls him a black man be-
cause he had black cloaths and thinks he had a black skin) who
bid him set his hand to a book and serve him as long as he the said
Barker Lived, which he promeised
And thereupon set his hand to the
book by putting his finger thereon, He saith the black man brought
red stuff along with him in an Inkhorn
And he the said Barker dipt
his finger into it and therewith made a red mark on the paper He
confesses he was to doe any service the black man appoynted him
and was to have a sute of cloaths for it. he said further the black
man would have him baptised but he never was.
He saith further that Goody Parker went with him last night to
afflict martha Sprague, And that he afflicts by clincheing his hands to-
gether. He now Saith he is sorry & hates the devill but yet struck
down the afflicted with his eyes,
And martha Sprague being re-
covered out of a fitt said that Barkers apparition and Goody Parker
rid upon a pole. and was baptised at five myle pond,-- He now sayes
there was such a load upon his Stomack that he could not speak,
A litle after he owned he was baptised by the black man at five
myle pond and did also renounce his former baptisme, he knowes
Goody Parker to be a witch
And sayes the devil dipt his head into
the water & spoke these words that he the said Barker was his
for ever and ever.
He said he could not think of his baptisme before,
And that the load that was upon his stomak is not so heavy as it was but just before
He #[said] still afflicted martha Sprague & shut her mouth but by layeing
his hand thereon opened it again. -- and afterwards confessed that
there were of his Company Goody Parker Goody Johnson Samuel Wardwell & his wife and two daughte'rs. And then could take the af-
flicted persones by the hand without doeing them any harme.

W'm Barker Jun'r Signed & owned the abovesaid
Examination & Confession.
before me

*John Higginson Just'e peace:
The marke
X of
William Barker Jun'r
(Reverse) Confession of William Barker Jun'r
acused. Goody parker
Goody Johnson
Sam'll wardell.
his wife
& 2 Daughters
martha. Sprage
( Suffolk Court Files, vol. 32, docket 2761, p. 103, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. )