Samuel Wardwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Samuel Wardwell of Andover, Massachusetts, was a man accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. He was hanged on September 22, 1692, with Alice Parker, Martha Corey, Mary Eastey, Ann Pudeator, Mary Parker, Wilmot Redd, and Margaret Scott.

Samuel Wardwell was born on May 16, 1643, to Thomas Wardwell and Elizabeth Hooper in Boston, Massachusetts. His father Thomas Wardwell had been a follower of John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson.

Samuel's wife Sarah controlled a one hundred and eight-eight-acre estate, which she'd inherited from her first husband, Adam Hawkes, upon his death. Massachusetts passed a law which provided attainder for "conjuration, witchcraft, and dealing with evil and wicked spirits", which meant the loss of civil, inheritance, and property rights of those accused.[1]

William Baker, Jr, 14 years old, accused Samuel, Sarah, and their 19-year-old daughter Mercy Wardwell of witchcraft. They each confessed the very day they were interrogated.[2] Samuel was executed due to his retracting a "forced" confession.[3]

Although she confessed, Sarah Wardwell was sentenced to death. She lost her entire estate, leaving the family destitute.[1]

Samuel's son, too young at the time, later sued and won some compensation for the family's ordeals.


  1. ^ a b Carol F Knutsen (1987) Devil in the Shape of a Woman New York: W.W. Norton and Co. pp. 105–106
  2. ^ Mary Beth Norton (2002) In the Devil's Snare Alfred A. Knopf
  3. ^ Elizabeth Wardwell Stay (1906) Wardwell, Sketch of the Antecedents of Solomon Wardwell .. E.A. Hall & Co (via Internet Archive)

"Samuel Wardwell". Retrieved 2009-03-02. 

Further reading[edit]

Upham, Charles (1980). Salem Witchcraft. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 2 vv., v. 2 pp. 324, 384, 480.