Samuel Wardwell

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

Samuel Wardwell (May 16, 1643 - September 22, 1692) was a man accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of 1692. He was executed by hanging on September 22, 1692, along with Alice Parker, Martha Corey, Mary Eastey, Ann Pudeator, Mary Parker, Wilmot Redd, and Margaret Scott.

Wardwell was born on May 16, 1643, to Thomas Wardwell and Elizabeth Hooper in Boston, Massachusetts. His father 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. The Province of Massachusetts Bay 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. All three confessed the very day they were interrogated.[2]

Samuel was executed at Proctor's Ledge in Salem after retracting a "forced" confession.[3] Eventually, his widow, Sarah Wardwell was reprieved and released. In 1712, after Sarah died, their son, Samuel Wardwell, Jr., was left destitute and later sued the Colony and won some compensation for the family's ordeals.[1]

Samuel Wardwell is the eight-times great-grandfather to American actor Scott Foley and to American author Anne Greenwood Brown as well as Heather, Holly and Matthew. He is one of the 19 innocents who were executed by hanging during the trials.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Carol F Karlsen (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.