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SWP No. 071: William Hobbs

(See also: Sarah Wilds -- Warrant; George Jacobs, Sr. -- Mittimus.)

SWP No. 71.1

Figure ecca1164r

Figure ecca1164v

(Examination of William Hobbs)

[April 22, 1692]

The Examination of William Hobbs At the Same Court

[H]ath this man hurt you?

[S]everal answered yes.

[Goo]dy Bibber said no.

[W]hat say you, are you guilty or not?

[I] can speak in the presence of God safely, as

[I] must look to give account another day, that I am as clear as a new born babe.

Clear: of what?

Of Witchcraft

Have you never hurt these?


Have you not consented that they should be hurt?

Abigail Williams said, he was going to Mercy Lewes, & quickly after said Lewes was seized with a fit.

Then said Abigail cryed, he is coming to Mary Walcot , & said Mary presently fell into a fit also.

[How] can you be clear when the Children

[saw] somthing come from you & afflict

[th]ese persons?

Then they fell into fits & halloo'd [and]

[suffe]red greatly.

[torn]ur[=Your] wife before you God wa [torn]

[torn] open her mouth, & she ha [torn]

[torn] [conf]session: And you seen to [torn]

[torn] before us.

[I a]m clear of any Witch.

[Wh]at do you call it, and over-look[ing of]

[the]m? you look upon them & they are [hurt]

[I h]urt none of them

[T]hen they all fell into great fits again

When were you at any publick Religious meeting

Not a pretty while

Why so?

Because I was not well: I had a distemper that none knows.

Can you act Witchcraft here, & by casting your eyes turn folks into fits?

You may judge your pleasure, my soul is clear.

Do you not see you hurt these by your look

No. I do not know it.

You did not answere to that question, dont you over-look them?

No I don't over-look them.

What do you call that way of looking upon persons, & striking them downe?

You may judge your pleasure.

Well but what do you call it?

It was none of I.

Who was it then?

I cannot tell who they are.

Why they say, they see you going to hurt persons & immediatly hurt persons.

Abig: Williams said he is going to hurt Mercy Lewes [torn] & imediately s'd Mercy fell into a fit, & divers others

Can you now deny it?

I can deny it to my dying day.

What is the reason you go away when [there] is any reading of the Scripture in your [family]

He denyed it.

Nathanael Ingersol & Tho: Haynes tes[tifyed] that this Hobb's daughter had told them [so] As soon as your daughter Abigail , & aft[er] to day your wife confessed they left torturing & so would you, if you would confess: Can you still deny that you are guilty?

I am not guilty.

If you put away Gods ordinances, no wond[er] that the Devil prevails with you. to keep his Counsell. Have you never had any apparition.

No Sir.

Did you never pray to the Devill that your daughter might confess no more?

No Sir.

Who do you wo[r]ship?

I hope I worship God only.


In my heart.

But God requires outward worship [torn]

not worship him in publick, ne [torn]

[torn] I worship him in my heart [torn]

[torn] worship him in your family [torn]

[torn], speak the truth,

[torn] not given the Devil advant[age]

[torn] gainst you thereby? [torn]

He was silent a considerable spa[ce] then said Yes.

Have you not known a good while [how] that your daughter was a witc[h]

No Sir.

Do you think she is a witch now

I do not know.

Well if you desire mercy from God, own the truth.

I do not know anything of that nature.

What do you think these people aile?

More than ordinary?

But what more than ordinary

-- Silent

Why do you not answer what do they aile?

I do not know what they aile I am sorry

It is none of I.

What do you think they aile?

There is more than ordinary

What is that?

I cannot tell.

Do you think they are bewitcht.

I cannot tell

Not tell when your wife & daughter o [torn]

Did not you give consent that these should be [hurt]

Never in my dayes.

What do you think cured your wife, she was

[torn] these the other day [torn]

[torn]great God in Heaven knows. [torn]

[torn] know that. We do not ask that [but]

[whet] her you do not know what cured

[torn] t tell. I know nothing

[Pu]tnam man said he told me that if his wife

[torn] not write in the book he would kill her,

[torn] was the same time that she did signe

[torn] appears by the time of her appearing as a

[torm]enter to Mr. Parris family & others

Did not you say so?

I never said so.

Salem Village Aprill 22th 1692

Mr. Sam'l parris being desired to take

[in] wrighting the Examination of

[Sar]ah Wilds and W'm Hobs delivered it as afores'd

[and up] on heareing the same and seeing

[what] wee did see at the tyme of her

[examin]ation togather with the Char[ge of]

[the af]flicted persons against he[r we]

[co]mmitted her to their M[aj'ts Goale]

*John Hathor[ne]

(Reverse) Examination of Sarah Wilds & William Hobbs 22. Apr. 1692

( Essex County Court Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1, no. 164, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Judicial Archives, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, MA. )

SWP No. 71.2

(Mittimus for William Hobbs , Deliverance Hobbs , Mary Esty , Sarah Wilds , Edward Bishop , Sarah Bishop , Mary Black , and Mary English )

[April 22, 1692 ]

To their Majesties Goal-keeper in Salem

You are in Their Majesties Names hereby required to take into your care, and safe custody, the Bodies of William Hobs , and Deborah his Wife, Mary Easty , the Wife of Isaac Easty , and Sarah Wild , the Wife of John Wild , all of Topsfield; and Edward Bishop of SalemVillage, Husbandman, and Sarah his Wife, and Mary Black , a Negro of Lieutenant Nathaniel Putmans of Salem-Village; also Mary English the Wife of Philip English, Merchant in Salem; who stand charged with High Suspicion of Sundry Acts of Witchcraft, done or committed by them lately upon the Bodies of Ann Putman , Mercy Lewis and Abigail Williams , of Salem-Village, whereby great Hurt and Damage hath been done to the Bodies of the said Persons, [as] according to the complaint of Thomas Putman and John Buxton of Salem-Village, Exhibited Salem, Apr 21, 1692, appears, whom you are to secure in order to their further Examination. Fail not.

John Hathorn , ] Assistants.

Jona. Curwin, , ] Assistants.
Dated Salem, April 22, 1692

To Marshal George Herrick of Salem Essex .
You are in their Majesties Names hereby required to convey the above-named to the Goal at Salem. Fail not.

John Hathorn , ] Assistants .

Jona. Curwin , ] Assistants
Dated Salem, Apr 22, 1692.

( Robert Calef , More Wonders of the Invisible World [ London, 1700 ] as excerpted in Burr, ed. , Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, pp. 347-348 .)

SWP No. 71.3

Figure MA070r

Figure MA070v

(Recognizance for William Hobbs by John Nichols & Joseph Town)

[December 14, 1692]


That on the fourteenth day of Decemb'r 1692 in the fowerth year of the reign of our Soveraign Lord & Lady William & Mary by the Grace of God of England &c. King & Queen defenders of the faith personally Appeared before us James Russell & Sam'll: Heyman Esq'r. of their Majests Councill & Province of the Massachusets Bay in New England & Justices of peace within the Same John Niccolls & Joseph Town of Topsfield in the County of Essex Husbandmen Acknowledged them Selves Each of Them to be indebted unto our Said Lord & Lady the King & Queen & the Survivor of Them their Heires & Successors in the Some of Two hundred pounds to be leavied on their or Either of their goods or Chattells Lands or Tennements for the use of our Said Lord & Lady the King & Queen or Survivor of them if default be made in the performance of the Condition und'rwritten viz

The Condition of the Above Recognizance is Such that whereas William Hobs of Topsfield in the County of Essex Aforesaid was committed to Boston Goal on suspition of witchcraft, If therefore the Said William Hobbs shal make his personall Appearance #[Appearance] before the Justices of our Said Lord & Lady the King & Queen at the next Court of Assize Oyer & Terminer & Generall Goal delivery to be holden for or within the County of Essex Afors'd to Answere what Shall be objected against [her] in their Majests. behalf refering to Witchcraft, and to do & receive that. w'ch. by said Court shall be then & there injoined [her] in their Majests behalf refering to Witchcraft, And to do & receive that. which by Said Court shall be then & there injoined [her] & not depart without licence, then the Above Recognizance to be void or Elce to remain & abide in full force & virtue

Capt. & Recognit die pdict Coram
*Ja: Russell
*Samuell hayman

(Reverse) John Niccolls & Jos. Towns Recognizance Wm Hobs of Topsfield
[Hand 2] Called
fforfeit for non Appearance
Apeard ye 11th day of May & ye fine remitted
11th day Cleared by proclamos//

( Massachusetts Archive Collection, Vol. 135, no. 70, Massachusetts State Archives, Boston, MA.)

Salem Witchcraft Papers