Return to The Salem Witchcraft Papers | Print

Salem Witchcraft Papers

Case Files

SWP No. 137.5

(Examination of John Willard )

View Entire Case File

The Examination of John Willard. .18 May. 1692

All the afflicted in most miserable fits when he came in, except John Indian.

When the Warrant was read, he lookt upon severall & they fell into fits.

Here is a returne of the warrant that you were fled from Authority that is acknowledgment of guilt, but yet notwithstanding this we require you to confesse the truth in this matter.

I shall, as I hope, I shall be assisted by the Lord of Heaven, & for my #[flying away I] going away I was affrighted & I thought by my withdrawing it might be better, I fear not but the Lord in his due time will make me as white as snow.

What do you say? Why do you hurt them, it is you or your appearance?

I know nothing of appearance.

Was this the man?

Severall said yes.

They charge you, it is you or your appearance.

I know nothing of appearance, & the God of Heaven will clear me --

Well they charge you not only with this but with dreadfull murthers, & I doubt not if you be guilty, God will not suffer evidences to be wanting.

Eliz: Hubbard testifyed against him & he lookt upon her, & she fell into a fit.

Mercy Lewis testimony read.

If you desire mercy from God, then confesse & give glory to God.

S'r as for sins I am guilty of if the Minister askt me I am ready to confess.

If you have thus revolted from God you are a dreadfull sinner

Mary Warren cryed out, oh! he bites me

Ann Putnam cryed out much of him

Open your mouth, don't bite your lips

I will stand with my mouth open, or I will keep it shut, I will stand any how, if you will tell me how

An: Putmans testimony read.

Do you hear this evidence read?

Yes I do hear it

Sus: Sheldons testimony read.

What do you say to this murdering and bewitching your relations?

One would think (said he) that no creature except they belong to [torn] their Cradle would be guilty of such things.

You say you would bewitch your Grand-father because you, or your appearance saith he prays that the Kingdom of Satan may be thrown down.

He offered large talk

We do not send for you to preach

Benja. Wilkins gave in evidence of his unnaturall usage to his wife.

You had much need to boast of your affections

There are a great many lyes told, I would desire my wife might be called

Peter Prescot testifyed that he with his own mouth told him of his beating of his wife

He urged Aaron Wey to speak

Aaron Wey thereupon said if I must speak, I will, I can say you have been very cruell to poor creatures.

Let some person go to him

Ann Putman said she would go.

He said let not that person but another come

John Indian #[said] cryed out he cuts me

Susan: Sheldon said there is the black man whispering in his ear, & he should not confesse

What do you say to this

S'r I heard nothing nor see any thing.

Susan: Sheldon tryed to come to him, but fell down immediately.

What is the reason she cannot come near you?

They cannot come near any that are accus'd.

Why do you say so, they could come near Nehemiah Abbot , the children could talk with him

Mary Warren in a great fit carryed to him, & he clasping his hand upon her arm, she was well presently.

They all or most of the afflicted testifyed that the dead those that he had murdered were now about him.

Do you think these are bewitcht.

Yes, I really beleive it.

Well, others they have accused it is found true that they are the guilty persons, why should it be false in you?

Susan: Sheldon & Mary Warren testifyed that now his appearance comes from his body & afflicts them.

How do you think of this, how comes it to pass?

It is not from me, I know nothing of it.

If you can find in your heart to confess it is possible you may obtain mercy & therefore bethink your [torn]

S'r I cannot confess that which I do not know

Well but if these things are true Heaven and Earth will rise up against you.

I am as innocent as the child that is now to be borne.

Can you pray the Lords prayer?

Yes

Let us hear you.

He stumbled at the thresh hold & said Maker of heaven & earth

He began again & mist

It is a strange thing, I can say it at another time. I think I am bewitcht as well as they, & laught

Again he mist

Again he mist & cryed well this is a strange thing I cannot say it

Again he tryed & mist

Well it is these wicked ones that do so overcome me

Joshua Rea gave in testimony that last night he said he hoped he should confesse, but had a hard heart, but he hoped he should confesse.

Well say what you will confesse

I am as innocent as the child unborne.

Do you not see God will not suffer you to pray to him? Are not you sensible of it?

Why it is a strange thing?

No it is no strange thing that God will not suffer a Wizard to pray to him. There is also the jury of Inquest that will bear hard against you -- therefore confesse. Have you never wisht harm to your neighbors?

No never #[in my life] since I had a being.

Well confesse & give glory to God, take counsell whilst it is offered

I desire to take good counsell, but if it was the last time I was to speak, I am innocent

(On Reverse) John Willards Examination

Exam[ination] ag't Willard

( Boston Public Library -- Dept. of Rare Books and Manuscripts [ 1939 acquisition ])