Roger Toothaker

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Roger Toothaker (November 27, 1634, England – June 1692, Massachusetts) was a physician who came to Massachusetts from England shortly after he was born. He was one of the victims of the Salem witch trials who died in prison.


Roger Toothaker was born in England in 1634. In 1635 Toothaker travelled to Boston from London sailing from August 21 to September 11 on the Hopewell, led by Captain Babb. Afterwards in 1638 his father, Roger Toothaker, died, possibly in Plymouth on February 5. Later that year his mother Margaret married Ralph Hill on December 21 and they lived in Billerica. He served as an assistant to Samuel Eldred, and later became a physician although he had no formal medical training. Around 1662 to 1663 his stepfather Ralph Hill died. In 1665 he married Mary Allin and had nine children, Nathaniel, Martha, Allin, Roger, Sarah, Mary, Mary, Andrew, and Margaret.[1] His daughter Mary died the year she was born, and another child born the next year was given her name. In 1683 Margaret was born and Nathaniel, the second-born Mary, and Dr. Toothaker's mother died.

Salem witch trials[edit]

Dr. Toothaker claimed to many people that his daughter, Martha, had killed a witch. On May 18, 1692 Elizabeth Hubbard, Ann Putnam, Jr., and Mary Walcott accused Dr. Toothaker of witchcraft. Elizabeth was the servant of Dr. William Griggs, Dr. Toothaker's competitor. On May 28 Mary Toothaker, his nine-year-old daughter Margaret, Martha Carrier, and Elizabeth Jackson were arrested. John Willard of Salem, Thomas Farrar of Lynn, and Elizabeth Hart were arrested along with Dr. Toothaker. Dr. Toothaker was sent to Boston Prison where he remained until his death. In June 1692, Dr. Toothaker died in prison. As his body was examined, by 24 different men, it was confirmed that he died of natural causes although it is believed that his death resulted from maltreatment.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Roger Toothaker". Retrieved 2007-02-14. 

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