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SWP No. 69.1

(Examination of Abigail Hobbs , April 19, 1692)

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The Examination of Abigail Hobbs, at Salem Village, 19 April, 1692, by John Hawthorn and Jonath. Corwin, Esqs., and Assistants.

Abig. Hobbs . you are brought before Authority to answere to sundry acts of witchcraft, committed by you against and upon the bodies of many, of which severall persons now accuse you. What say you? Are you guilty, or not? Speak the truth.

I will speak the truth. I have seen sights and been scared. I have been very wicked. I hope I shall be better, if God will help me.
What sights did you see?
I have seen dogs and many creatures.
What dogs do you mean, ordinary dogs?
I mean the Devil.
How often, many times?
But once.
Tell the truth.
I do tell no lye.
What appearance was he in then?
Like a man.
Where was it?
It was at the Eastward at Casko-bay.
Where, in the house, or in the woods?
In the woods.
In the night or in the day?
In the day.
How long agoe?
About 3 or 4 years agoe.
What did he say to you?
He said he would give me fine things, if I did what he would have me.
What would he have you do?
Why, he would have me be a witch.
Would he have you make a covenant w'th him?
Yes.
And did you make a covenant with him?
Yes, I did, but I hope God will forgive me.
The Lord give you Repentance.
You say you saw dogs, and many sorts of creatures.
I saw them at that time.
But have you not seen them at other times too?
Yes.
Wher?
At our house.
What were they like?
Like a cat.
What would the cat have you do?
She had a book and would have me put my hand to it.
And did you?
No, I did not.
Well, tell the truth, did you at any other time?
Yes, I did, that time at the Eastward.
What other creatures did you see?
I saw things like men.
What did they say to you?
Why they said I had better put my hand to the Book.
You did put your hand to the book you say?
Yes, one time.
What, would they have you put your hand to their book too?
Yes.
And what would they have you do then, would they have you worship them?
They would have me make a bargain for so long, and do what they would have me do.
For how long?
Not for above 2 or 3 years.
How long did they agree with you for?
But for (2) two years.
And what would they then do for you?
They would give me fine clothes.
And did they?
No.
When you set your hand the last time to book, how long was that for?
It was for (4) years.
How long is that agoe?
It is almost 4 years. The book was brought to me to get my hand to it for 4 years, but I never put my hand but that once at Eastward.
Are you not bid to hurt folks?
Yes.
Who are you bid to hurt?
Mercy Lewes and Ann Putman.
What did you do to them when you hurt them?
I pinch't them.
How did you pinch them, do you goe in your own person to them?
No.
Doth the Devil go for you?
Yes.
And what doth he take, your spirit with him?
No. I am as well as at other times: but the Devil has my consent, and goes and hurts them.
Who hurt your mother last Lord's day, was it not you?
No.
Who was it?
I heard her say it was Goody Wilds at Topsfield.
Have you been in company with Goody Wilds at any time?
No, I never saw her.
Well, who are your companions?
Why I have seen Sarah Good once.
How many did you see?
I saw but two.
Did you know Sarah Good was a witch, when you saw her?
Yes.
How did you know it?
The Devil told me.
Who was the other you saw?
I do not remember her name.
Did you go and do hurt with Sarah Good ?
No, she would have me set my hand to her book also.
What mark did you make in the Devil's book when you set your hand to it?
I made a mark.
What mark?
Have you not been at other great meetings?
No.
Did you not hear of great hurt done here in the village?
Yes.
And were you never with them?
No, I was never with them.
But you know your shape appeared and hurt the people here.
Yes.
How did you know?
The Devil told me, if I gave consent, he would do it in my shape.
How long agoe?
About a fortnight agoe.
What shape did the Devil appear in then?
Like a black man with an hat.
Do not some creatures suck your body?
No.
Where do they come, to what parts, when they come to your body?
They do not come to my body, they come only in sight.
Do they speak to you?
Yes.
How do they speak to you?
As other folks.
What do they speak to you, as other folks?
Yes, almost.
Then other questions were propounded to her, but she was taken D E A F: and Mary Walcot , Mercy Lewes, Betty Hubbard, Abig. Williams and Ann Putman jun'r , said they saw Sarah Good and Sarah Osborn run their fingers into the examinant's ears; by & by, she this examinant was blind, with her eyes quite open.

A little after, she spake & said, Sarah Good saith I shall not speak; And so the Court ordered her, being seized with dumbness, to be taken away.

Note. The afflicted, i.e., the bewitched persons, were none of them tormented during the whole examination of this accused and confessing person, Abigail Hobbs .

Note. -- After this examination, Mercy Lewes, Abigail Williams , & Ann Putman , three of the sufferers, said openly in Court, they were sorry for the condition this poor Abig. Hobbs was in, which compassion they expressed over and over again.

SALEM VILLAGE, April the 19th, 1692. Mr. Samuell Parris being desired to take in wrighting the examination of Abigail hobs , hath delivered it as aforesaid.

Upon heareing the afores'd and seing what wee then did see, together with the charge of the persons then present, wee comitted said Abigail Hobs to theire Majestie's Gaole

*John Hathorne , ] Assis'tts.

*Jonathan Corwin , ] Assis'tts.

This confession and examination is the Truth as witness my hand 9th Sept. 1692 ] The Marke of ABIGAIL

HOBS.

Abigail Hobs signed and owned this confession and examination before me 9th Sept. 1692.

*JOHN HIGGINSON , Justice Peace.

( UNCAT MS, Miscellaneous Photostats (1692). Positive Photostat, Massachusetts Historical Society. Boston. .)