Elizabeth Hubbard (Salem witch trials)
Elizabeth Hubbard was one of the original girls to begin the Salem witchcraft accusations, and she continued to be a leading accuser throughout the summer and fall of 1692.
Hubbard was the seventeen-year-old orphaned maidservant to Dr. William Griggs, who purchased Hubbard from Boston after the death of his son, Isaac Griggs. Scholars connect the origins of her afflictions to her position in Griggs household. As an indentured servant to Griggs, the doctor to originally diagnose bewitchment, she was familiar with the initial fits of Abigail Williams and Betty Parris on January 3, 1692.
Hubbard experienced her first recorded fit on February 27, 1692. Because of her age, she was the first of the accusers old enough to testify under oath, moving the accusations to the legal domain. Along with seeing the apparition of Tituba, she was among the first to accuse Sarah Osborne and Sarah Good of practicing witchcraft. Throughout the witchcraft crisis in Essex County she filed forty legal complaints against various tormentors and testified thirty-two times, the last of her testimony given on January 7, 1693.
By the end of the trial Elizabeth Hubbard had testified against twenty-nine people, seventeen of whom were arrested, thirteen of those were hanged and two died in jail. As a strong force behind the trials, she was able to manipulate both people and the court into believing her. One way she and the other girls did this was through their outrageous fits in the courtroom. The fits, they would claim, were brought on by the accused. Elizabeth was especially known for her trances. She spent the whole of Elizabeth Proctor's trial in a deep trance and was unable to speak. After the trials she moved to Gloucester and eventually married John Bennett in 1711 and had four children.
- Norton, Mary Beth. In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2002.
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