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 Margarett Scott

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Administrator /co-founder /forum topics researcher
Administrator /co-founder /forum topics researcher

Posts : 6808
Join date : 2010-10-30

PostSubject: Margarett Scott   Fri May 04, 2012 11:29 pm


Below is the text for the indictment served on September 17 1692:

'The jurors for our sov. Lord and Lady the King and Queen doe present that Margarett Scott of Rowley in the County of Essex, widdow, about the latter end of July or the beginning of August in the yeare aforesaid and divers other days and times as well before as after, certaine detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries, wickedly, mallitiously and felloniously hath used, practised and exercised at and in the towne of Rowley in the County of Essex aforesaid in upon and against one Mary Daniell of Rowley aforesaid, single woman, by which said wicked acts the said Mary Daniell ye day & yeare aforesaid and divers other days and times both before and after was and is tortured, aflicted, consumed, pined, wasted, and tormented, and also for sundry other acts of witchcraft by the said Marg't Scott comitted and done before and since that time against the peace.'

'Her victim was left tortured, afflicted, consumed, pined, wasted, and tormented': Extraordinary indictment of Salem 'witch' hanged for 'detestable arts of witchcraft and sorceries'

In 1692, mass hysteria swept through Salem, Massachusetts.

Superstitious townspeople, fearful of the devil, began accusing men and women of witchcraft and hounded scores of 'witches' to put on trial. They eventually hanged 19 and pressed one to death.
Among them was Margaret Scott, an impoverished widow in her seventies whom a teenage servant accused of sorcery. She was found guilty on September 17, 1692 and hanged five days later.
Now the one-page indictment from her trial has gone on auction in New York City, fetching $26,000 - the first such manuscript spotted at an auction since 1983.

It accuses Scott of 'certaine detestable arts called witchcraft and sorceries' that she 'wickedly, mallitiously and felloniously hath used, practised and exercised'.

Mary Daniel, the girl who accused Scott of this hocus pocus, claimed the 'witch' left her 'tortured, aflicted, consumed, pined, wasted, and tormented', according to the indictment.
The pre-auction estimate was between $25,000 and $35,000. It sold to a private bidder at Swann Auction Galleries in New York for $26,000, totalling at $31,200 with the buyer's premium.

'I think the estimate is way low,' Richard Trask, an expert on the witch trials, said ahead of the auction.
'I've only seen witchcraft documents sold twice [since 1969]. They are very valuable, and this is an indictment - it's an important document. This kind of document comes along so infrequently.'
Rick Stattler, director of printed and manuscript Americana at Swann, told the Salem News nothing similar has been seen at auction since 1983.
'It's not that unusual to see a document from this early, but it's almost impossible to get one on the auction market from the witch trials,' he said. 'They just don't turn up.'
The indictment, which was part of a large private collection of historical documents up for auction at Swann, was published in a 1840 book by Thomas Gage entitled The History of Rowley.

Around 1900, it was acquired by a collector and remained in his family for the following 100 years, before being sold to the noted New York collector Eric Caren several years ago.

At the auction on Thursday, three phone bidders battled for the rare manuscript. Swann does not reveal the identity of the bidder unless it is an institution willing to come forward.

Richard Trask, the town archivist for Salem Village - now known as Danvers - told the Salem News that most of the known court records from the witch trials belong to the Essex County court system.
The Danvers archive has the largest collection of printed material on the trials but no court records, he said.

But he said that 'even if I had the money, there is no way I could justify spending that kind of public money, even though I would love to have it'.
Fearing it would be purchased by a private buyer, he added: 'The problem with these documents is they're really public records. They should be in a public institution.'
The mass hysteria in Salem began in January 1692 when young girls began to act oddly - having seizures, going into trances and blaspheming.
When doctors found nothing wrong with them, the town concluded it was the work of the devil, and the girls were pressurised into revealing who had been controlling their behaviour.

The young girls began to point fingers and people began telling local magistrates who the 'witches' were. The magistrates would then arrest the accused and interrogate them.

The 'witches' were indicted in front of a grand jury and sentenced, either to hangings or imprisonment. Five died in jail.
One of the accused, 80-year-old Giles Corey, was pressed to death after he refused to enter a plea.
Stones were piled on his chest until he couldn't breathe. After two days of the torture, he died.
When bodies were cut down from trees, they were thrown into shallow graves.
Families have since fought for their descendants to be exonerated and a memorial park in the town was created in 1992.

Margaret Scott was a poor widow living in Rowley, a few miles north of Salem, when teenager Mary Daniel accused her of witchcraft.
On August 4 1692, Daniel testified against Scott and other residents agreed they had noticed similar witchery from Scott.

Scott was found guilty and sentenced to death on September 17, and was hung five days later, part of the last group to die in the trials.

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