Samuel Wardwell (Salem witch trials)

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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 eighty-eight-acre estate, which she had 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 all confessed the very day they were interrogated.[2]

Samuel was executed after retracting a "forced" confession.[3] Eventually Sarah Wardwell was reprieved and released. In 1712, his mother meanwhile having died, Samuel Wardwell, Jr., left destitute, later sued and won some compensation for the family's ordeals.[1]


  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)

Further reading[edit]

  • Upham, Charles (1980). Salem Witchcraft. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., 2 vv., v. 2 pp. 324, 384, 480.
  • "Samuel Wardwell". Retrieved 2009-03-02.