SWP No. 037: Giles Corey Pressed to Death, September 16, 1692
(Warrant for apprehension of Giles Corey , Mary Warren, Abigail Hobbs , and Bridget Bishop, with Summons for Witnesses v. Giles Corey and others, and Officer’s Return )
[April 18, 1692 ]
Salem. April the 18'th 1692
There being Complaint this day made (Before us) by Ezekiell Chevers and John putnam Jun'r both of Salem Village Yeomen: in Behalfe of theire Majesties, for themselfes and also for theire Neighbours Against Giles Cory , and Mary Waren both of Salem farmes And Abigaile Hobbs the daughter of Wm Hobs of the Towne of Topsfeild and Bridgett Bushop the wife of Edw'd Bishop of Salem Sawyer for high Suspition of Sundry acts of Witchcraft donne or Committed by them, upon the Bodys of: Ann putnam . Marcy Lewis , and Abig'l Williams and Mary Walcot and Eliz. Hubert -- of Salem village --
whereby great hurt and damage hath benne donne to the Bodys of Said persons above named.therefore craved Justice
You are therefore in their Majest's names hereby required to apprehend and bring before us Giles Cory & Mary Waren of Salem farmes, and Abigail Hobs the daugter of Wm Hobs of the Towne of Topsfeild and Bridget Bushop the wife of Edward Bushop of Salem To Morrow about Eight of the Clock in the forenoone, at the house of Lt Nathaniell Ingersalls in Salem Village in order to theire Examination Relateing to the premises aboves'd and here of you are not to faile Dated Salem April 18'th 1692
To George Herrick Marshall of the County of Essex --
You are likewise required to summons Margret Knight Lidya Nichols Elizabeth Nichols and Elizabeth Hubert Jonathan putnam and Hephzibah Rea & John Howe all & every one of them to appeare before us at the aboves'd time & place to give in w't evedence thay know Relateing to the aboves'd or like cases depending. April 18'th 1692
(Reverse) April 18'th 1692
April 18'th 1692
I have sumoned the within named persons to apeare att the time and place within mentioned to Give in whatt Evidence thay know Relateing the premises P'r me *Geo: Herrick Marshall of Essex
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1, no. 112. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Summons for Witnesses v. Giles Cory, and Officer's Return)
[September 7, 1692 ]
Wm & Mary by the Grace of God of England Scotland France & Ireland King and Queen defend'rs of the faith &c
To the Constable of Salem Greeting
Wee Comand you to Warn & give notice unto Jno Derick the wife of Stephen Small the Widow Adams & Goody Golthite that they & Every of them be and personaly Appear at the pr'sent Court of Oyer & Terminer holden at Salem forthwith there to Testify the Truth to the best of thier knowledge On Certain Indictments Exhibited against Giles Cory hereof make return fail not Salem Sep'r 7'th 1692:
*Stephen Sewall Cl
I have warned the w'thin
persons to appear att the time
and place within
written by *Jno Tomkins
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no.84. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(The Examination of Giles Cory)
[April 19, 1692 ]
The examination of GILES CORY, at a Court at Salem Village, held by John Hathorn and Jona. Curwin, Esqrs. April 19, 1692.
Giles Cory, you are brought before authority upon high suspicion of sundry acts of witchcraft; now tell us the truth in this matter.
I hope through the goodness of God I shall, for that matter I never had no hand in, in my life. Which of you have seen this man hurt you? Mary Wolcott, Mercy Lewis, Ann Putnam, jr. and Abigail Williams affirmed he had hurt them
Hath he hurt you too? speaking to Elizabeth Hubbard. She going to answer was prevented by a fit. Benjamin Gold, hath he hurt you? I have seen him several times, and been hurt after it, but cannot affirm that it was he. Hath he brought the book to any of you? Mary Wolcott and Abigail Williams and others affirmed he had brought the book to them.
Giles Cory, they accuse you, or your appearance, of hurting them, and bringing the book to them. What do you say? Why do you hurt them? Tell us the truth. I never did hurt them. It is your appearance hurts them, they charge you; tell us what you have done. I have done nothing to damage them.
Have you ever entered into contract with the devil? I never did. What temptations have you had? I never had temptations in my life. What, have you done it without temptations?
What was the reason (said goodwife Bibber) that you were frighted in the cow-house? and then the questionist was suddenly seized with a violent fit.
Samuel Braybrook, goodman Bibber, and his daughter, testified that he had told them this morning that he was frighted in the cow-house. Cory denied it. This was not your appearance but your person, and you told them so this morning: why do you deny it? What did you see in the cow-house? I never saw nothing but my cattle. Divers witnessed that he told them he was frighted. Well, what do you say to these witnesses? What was it frighted you? I do not know that ever I spoke the word in my life. Tell the truth, what was it frighted you? I do not know any thing that frighted me.
All the afflicted were seized now with fits, and troubled with pinches. Then the court ordered his hands to be tied. What, is it not enough to act witchcraft at other times, but must you do it now in the face of authority? I am a poor creature, and cannot help it. Upon the motion of his head again, they had their heads and necks afflicted.
Why do you tell such wicked lies against witnesses, that heard you speak after this manner, this very morning? I never saw any thing but a black hog. You said that you were stopt once in prayer; what stopt you? I cannot tell; my wife came towards me and found fault with me for saying living to God and dying to sin.
What was it frighted you in the barn? I know nothing frighted me there. Why here are three witnesses that heard you say so to-day. I do not remember it.
Thomas Gold testified that he heard him say, that he knew enough against his wife, that would do her business. What was it that you knew against your wife? Why that of living to God, and dying to sin. The Marshal and Bibber's daughter confirmed the same, that he said he could say that that would do his wife's business.
I have said what I can say to that. What was that about your ox? I thought he was hipt.
What ointment was that your wife had when she was seized? You said it was ointment she made by major Gidney's direction. He denied it, and said she had it of goody Bibber, or from her direction. Goody Bibber said it is not like that ointment. You said you knew, upon your own knowledge, that she had it of major Gidney. He denied it.
Did not you say, when you went to the ferry with your wife, you would not go over to Boston now, for you should come yourself the next week? I would not go over, because I had not money. The Marshal testified he said as before.
One of his hands was let go, and several were afflicted. He held his head on one side, and then the heads of seve- ral of the afflicted were held on one side. He drew in his cheeks, and the cheeks of some of the afflicted were suckt in.
John Bibber and his wife gave testimony concerning some temptations he had to make away with himself. How doth this agree with what you said, that you had no temptations? I meant temptation to witchcraft. If you can give away to self murther, that will make way to temptation to witchcraft.
Note. There was witness by several, that he said he would make away with himself, and charge his death up- on his son. Goody Bibber testified that the said Cory called said Bibber's husband, damn'd, devilish rogue. Other vile expressions testified in open court by several others.
Salem Village, April 19, 1692.
Mr. Samuel Parris being desired to take in writing the examination of Giles Cory, delivered it in; and upon hearing the same, and seeing what we did see at the time of his examination, together with the charge of the afflicted persons against him, we committed him to their majesties' gaol.
Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World. London (1700), reprinted (Salem: John D. & T.C. Cushing, Jr. Cushing & Appleton, 1823): 310-312.
(Deposition of Ann Putnam, Jr. v. Giles Corey
[September 9, 1692 ]
The Deposistion of Ann putnam who testifieth and saith that on 13'th of April 1692, I saw the Apperishtion of Gilles Cory com and afflect me urging me to writ in his book and so he continewed hurting me by times tell the 19'th April being the day of his examination: and dureing the time of his examination #[the Apperishtion of] Giles Cory did tortor me a grat many times.and allso severall times sence #[the Apperishtion of] Giles Cory or his Apperance has most greviously afflected me by beating pinching and almost Choaking me to death urging me to writ in his book also on the day of his examination I saw Giles Cory or his Apperance most greviously afflect and torment Mary Walcott mercy lewes and sarah vibber and I veryly beleveue that Giles Cory is [is] a dreadfull wizzard for sence he has ben in prison he or his Apperance has come to me a grat many tims and afflected me.
An Putnam owned upon her oath that the above written evidence is the truth to the Jury of inquest Sept 9: 92
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 86. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Deposition of Mercy Lewis v. Giles Corey)
[September 9, 1692 ]
The Deposistion of Mercy lewes agged about 19 years who testifieth and saith that on the 14'th April 1692 I saw the Apperishtion of Giles Cory com and afflect me urging me to writ in his book and so he contineued most dreadfully to hurt me by times beating me & almost braking my back tell the day of his examination being the 19th April and then allso dureing the time of his examination he did afflect and tortor me most greviously: and also several times sence urging me vehemently to writ in his book and I veryly beleve in my heart that Giles Cory is a dreadfull wizzard for sence he had ben in prison he or his Apperance has com and most greviously tormented me.
Mercy Lewis: affirmd to the Jury of Inquest. that the above written evidence: is the truth upon the oath: she has formerly taken in the Court of Oyer & terminer: Sept'r 9: 1692
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2 no. 85. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Deposition of Sarah Bibber v. Giles Corey )
[September 9, 1692 ]
The deposistion of Sarah vibber who testifieth and saith that I have ben most greviously affleted by giles Cory or his Appearance and allso I have seen Giles Cory or his Apperance most greviously (affleted by giles Cory or his Appearance #[also on the day of his Examination if he did but looke on me he would strick me down or or allmost choake me] and allso I have seen Giles Cory or his Apperance most greviously affleting and tormenting the bodyes of Mary Walcott mercy lewes and ann putnam and I beleve in my heart that Giles Cory is a wizzard and that he has very often afflected and tormented [me] and the persons above mentioned by his actts of wicthcraft
I testifie that on the fourteenth of August & ever since: at times s'd Cory [has] afflicted me by whipping me & beating me: & urgeing me Vehemently.to read [&] writ in his book: and cote me with his knife
Sarah Vibber: affirmed to the Jury of Inquest: that the above written evidence: is the truth upon oath: Sep'r 9: 1692
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 87. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Statements of Mary Warren, Eliz Woodwell, Mary Walcot: & Eliz Hubbard. v. Giles Corey )
[September 9, 1692 ]
Mary Warin affirmed: to the Jury of Inquest:that: she hath been afflicted by Giles Cory or his appearition and that by beating of me with his staffe: & by: biting me & pinching & choaking me greatly torturing me & cutting me with a knife. & perticulerly at the time of his examination he did greviously torment me: also: at the time of his examination I saw: s'd Cory or his appearition most: dred fully afflect: Mary Walcot An putnam. Mercy lewes & Sarah Vibber Sept'r 9. 1692
Eliz Woodwell upon the oath she formerly has taken in this Court: did affirm to the Jury of Inquest: that: she saw Giles Cory at meeting at Salem on a lecture day.since he has ben at prison he or his apearition came in & sat in the middlemost seat: of the mens seats: by the post this was the lecture day before. Bridget Bishop was hanged and I saw him come out: with the rest of the people mary Walcot: affirmed: that she saw s'd Cory: as above. sit in the same place at the same time he or his appearance & that she did se him goe out with the rest of the people: this she affirmed
to the Jury of Inquest. Sept 9: 1692
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 89. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Deposition of Benjamin Gould v. Giles Cory, Martha Cory, & John Proctor )
[++ April 19. 1692 ]
The deposistion of benjamin gould aged about 25 yeares ho testifieth and saith one the 6 day of april 1692 giles Cory and his wife Came to my bead side and looked upon me sum time and then went away and emediately I had two penches upon my side: all so another time I saw giles Cory and John proctir and I had then shuch a paine in one of my feet that I Cold not ware my shue for 2: or 3.days
& I doe beleive in my: -- Ben: gould
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 88. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Statement of Susannah Sheldon v. Giles Corey, Elizabeth Proctor, Sarah Buckley, and John Willard ? )
[? May 31, 1692
Susanna.Shelden saith that the Spectre of Giles Corey Murdered his first wife & would have murdered this to #[only she] if she had not been a Witch that his first wife gave him nothing but Skim Milke.and I for one he did it & that Goody Procters Spectre told her she Murdered her owne child & that it was sick & she did it because she would not be troubled w'th it & that she allso saies that Goody Buckley & Jno Willard app'd w'th Hen. Wilkins app'en
(Reverse) [lost] Sheldon
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 90. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
( Testimony of John DeRich v. Giles Corey and Sarah Pease )
[? September 5, 1692
the testomeny of John derech Eaged about sixten years testefieth and sayeth that gils Cory also Came to me and aflicted me this 5 of September as wel be fore as after he al so Came a bout the 20 of ogus [August?] and told me that he wanted som platers for he was gowen to afeast he told me that he had a good mind to ask my dame but he sayd that she wouled not let him have them so he took the platers and cared them a way being gown a bout half a oure with them then he brot them a gaine gowen a way and sayd no thing
also Sary pese afliceth me at several times she Came to me af the fast day last at Salam She pinched me then and i have not sene har sencs --
(Reverse) Jno Derich agt Giles Cory
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 92. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
The deposition of Elizabeth Booth and Alice Booth v. Giles Cory
[? September 16, 1692]
The deposistion of Eliz: booth the wife of George booth & Allies Booth who testifie and say that on the 12'th of this Isant Sept'r at the widow Shaflin's house in Salem their appeared to us a grate number of wicthes as neare as we could tell about fifty thirteen of which we knew:who did Receive the sacriment in our right amongst whicth we saw Giles Cory who brought to us bread and wine urging us to pertake thereof: but because we Refused he did most greviously afflect and torment us: and we beleve in our hearts that Giles Cory is a wizzard and that he has often affleted us and sevroll others by acts of wicthcraft
Elizabeth Booth's mark
Allice Booth's mark,
(Reverse) Boothese Giles Cory
( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 2, no. 91. Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. MA. )
(Letter from Thomas Putnam to Judge Samuel Sewall, an "Extract")
The Last Night my Daughter Ann was grievously Tormented by Witches, Threatning that she should be Pressed to Death, before Giles Cory . But thro' the Goodness of a Gracious God, she had at last a little Respite. Whereupon there appeared unto her (she said) a man in a Winding Sheet; who told her that Giles Cory had Murdered him, by Pressing him to Death with his Feet; but that the Devil there appeared unto him, and Covenented with him, and promised him, He should not be Hanged. The Apparition said, God Hardened his Heart, that he should not hearken to the Advice of the Court, and so Dy an easy Death; because as it said, “It must be done to him as he has done to me.” The Apparition also said, That Giles Cory was Carry'd to the Court for this, and that the Jury had found the Murder, and that her Father knew the man, and the thing was done before she was born. Now Sir, This is not a little strange to us; that no body should Remember these things, all the while that Giles Cory was in Prison, and so often before the Court. For all people now Remember very well, (and the Records of the Court also mention it,) That about Seventeen Years ago, Giles Cory kept a man in his House, that was almost a Natural Fool: which Man Dy'd suddenly. A Jury was Impannel'd upon him, among whom was Dr. Zorobbabel Endicot ; who found the man bruised to Death, and having clodders of Blood about his Heart. The Jury, whereof several are yet alive, brought in the man Murdered; but as if some Enchantment had hindred the Prosecution of the Matter, the Court Proceeded not against Giles Cory , tho' it cost him a great deal of Mony to get off.
( Cotton Mather, Wonders of the Invisible World. Boston, 1693, p. 47.)