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SWP No. 68.10

(Testimon of the Rev. John Hale v. Dorcas Hoar )

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[September 6, 1692 ]

John Hale aged 56 yeares Testifieth 6. 7. 1692 That for severall yeares agoe formerly were storys told concerning Dorcas Hoar her beeing a fortune teller. And that she had told her owne fortune, viz that she should live poorely so long as her husband willm Hoar did live, but the said will should dye before her, & after that shee should live better. Allso the fortune of Ens: Corning & his wife who should dye.first & that shee had had a book of fortune telling. About twenty two yeares agoe the s'd Dorcas manifested to me great repentance for the sins of her former life & that she had borrowed a book of Palmstry, & their were rules to know what should come to pass. But I telling her that it was an evill book & evill art shee seemed to me to renounce, or reject all such practices: whereupon I had great charity for her severall yeares. But 14 yeares agoe last spring I discovered an evillractice had been between a servant of mine & some of s'd Hoars children in conveying goods out of my house to the s'd Hoars . and I had a daughter Rebecca then between 11 & 12 years old, whome I asked if she knew of the Hoars stealing: she told me yea, But durst not reveale it to me, & one reason was, she was threatened that Goody Hoar was a witch & had a book by w'ch shee could tell what s'd Rebecca did tell me in my house & if the s'd Rebecca told me of the stealing, the said Hoar would raise the devill to kill her, or bewitch her, or words to that effect. (but whether she said that Dorcas her selfe or her chilldren told Rebecca those words I remember not) I asked Rebecca if she saw the book she said yea, she was shewed that book & their were many streaks & pictures in it by w'ch (as she was told) the said Hoar could reveale secretes & work witchcrafts. I asked her how big the book was, she said it was like a gramer, that lay on the table. And said shee now I have told you of the stealing Goody Hoar will bewitch me. I perswaded my daughter not to think so hardly of Goody Hoar . But she replyed I know Goody Hoar is a witch (or to the effect) & then told storys of strange things that had been acted in or about my house, when I & my wife were abroad to fright s'd Rebecca into silence about the theft, w'ch s'd Rebecca judged to be acts of s'd Hoars witchcraft the particulars I have now forgotten. I called to minde that the s'd Hoar had told me of a book of palmstry she had, but not the bigness of it; therefore that I might be better satisfyed I asked Thomas Tuck if he knew Goody Hoar to have a book of fortune telling & he said yea shee had, such a kind of book w'ch he had seen w'th streaks & pictures in it and that it was about the bigness of such a book poynting to a gramer, or book of like magnitude. this confirmed me in the opinion that my daughter had seen such a book. And after my daughters death a freind told me that my daughter said to her shee went in fear of her life by the hoars till quieted by the script'r. Fear not them w'ch can kill the boady &c.

About those times other things were spoken of the s'd Hoares suspicians of her witchcraft whereupon a frend of mine did as I was informed acquaint Maj'r Denison w'th them, for his consideration & as I was informed Maj'r Denison took an opportunity to examine s'd W'm Hoare about a fortune book his wife had & W'm Hoar answered the book was John Samsons & his wife had returned the book long agoe & so the matter was left for that time. When discourses revived of Goody Hoars fortune telling of later times, & she beeing comited to Boston I did last may speak w'th her of may things that I had known & heard of her. Shee told me that he owne fortune that she spake of, she was told by a shipmaster when she was first marryed. & Ens: Corning fortune viz that his first wife should dye before him (w'ch is since come to pass) she sapke it from observing a certain streak under the eye of s'd Corning or his wife: But as I take it it was his wife had the streak. And for seeing the devill, or any spirit but ones, & that was soon after old Thomas Tuck dyed (w'ch I take to be about ten yeare since) & that shee took it to be the Ghost of Thom: tuck coming to speak w'th her about some land s'd Tuck had told her of before his death. But that shee fled from the Ghost & got away.

The fortune book she said was about the bigness of a childs Psalter (w'ch agrees w'th that of a gramer) But owned no other but that of John Samsons w'ch he had from her as she said above 20 years agoe & that shee had not told fortunes since the time I had layed before her the evill of it. w'ch is about 20 or 22 years since. I lately spake w'th John Samson & he told me that he had a book of Palmstry when he lived at Goody Hoars w'ch shee had seen: but that it was a book in quarto. & he sold it at Casco-Bay about 30 yeares since & had not seen it since

Jurat in Curia
(On reverse side of paper)
Mr. Jno. Hale
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 no. 211 )