Salem Witch Trials


Timeline of the Salem Witch Trials


    • Rev. Samuel Parris preaches in Salem Village for the first time.


    June 18
    • Samuel Parris is officially hired as the Salem Village minister.


    • Joseph Porter, Joseph Hutchinson, Joseph Putnam, Daniel Andrew and Francis Nurse become the elected majority to the Salem Village committee.


    January 20
    • Samuel Parris' nine year old daughter, Betty, falls ill.
    • More young girls in Salem Village also fall ill.
    • The Salem Village physician, Dr. William Griggs, concludes the girls are bewitched.
    February 25
    • Parris' servant, Tituba, and her husband, John Indian, are advised by Mary Sibley to bake a witch cake. She hopes the cake will help the girls identify the person(s) who are bewitching them.
    February 29
    • Thomas and Edward Putnam, Joseph Hutchinson and Thomas Preston swear complaints against Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne. They are later arrested for suspicion of witchcraft.
    March 1
    • Salem Town Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin examine Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne.
    • Tituba confesses to witchcraft.
    March 7
    • Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good and Tituba are sent to a Boston prison.
    March 14
    • Martha Corey is summoned to appear before the magistrates and answer questions.
    March 19
    • A warrant is issued for Martha Corey's arrest.
    • Rebecca Nurse is accused of witchcraft by Abigail Williams.
    March 21
    • Martha Corey's hearing begins.
    March 23
    • Edward and Jonathan Putnam file complaints against Rebecca Nurse.
    March 24
    • Rebecca Nurse appears before the Salem Magistrates.
    March 28
    • One of the afflicted girls, possibly Mercy Lewis, accuses Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft.
    April 4
    • Jonathan Walcott and Nathaniel Ingersoll file complaints against Sarah Cloyce.
    April 8
    • Warrants are issued for Sarah Cloyce and Giles Corey for the suspicion of witchcraft.
    April 11
    • Sarah Cloyce and Elizabeth Proctor appear before the Salem Magistrates.
    • John and Elizabeth Proctor, Rebecca Nurse, Sarah Cloyce, Martha Corey and Dorcas Good are sent to a Boston prison on this night.
    April 19
    • Mary Warren appears before the Salem Magistrates under witchcraft charges.
    April 21
    • Arrest warrants are issued for Mary Easty, Edward and Sarah Bishop, Deliverance and William Hobbs, Sarah Wilds, Mary Black, Nehemiah Abbott, Jr. and Mary English.
    • Abigail Williams identifies the Rev. George Burroughs as the "Black Minister."
    April 22
    • Mary Easty is found guilty of witchcraft by the Salem Magistrates.
    April 30
    • Upon the request of the Salem Magistrates, Boston Magistrate Elisha Hutchinson issues a warrant for the Rev. George Burroughs' arrest.
    May 4
    • George Burroughs is arrested at his home in Wells, Maine. He is then extradited to Salem Town.
    May 8
    • George Burroughs is examined by the Salem Magistrates.
    May 10
    • Arrest warrants are issued for George Jacobs, Sr. and John Willard for the suspicion of witchcraft.
    • Sarah Osborne dies in prison
    May 14
    • Increase Mather and Massachusetts Royal Gov. Sir William Phips return to Boston after securing the new colonial charter.
    May 18
    • Mary Easty is released from prison.
    May 20
    • Mercy Lewis becomes gravely ill and Mary Easty is blamed for her illness. She is arrested again for witchcraft.
    May 21
    • An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's daughter, Sarah.
    May 23
    • An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's son, Benjamin.
    • Susannah Sheldon testifies Joseph Rabson, a deceased man, appeared to her and stated that Philip English had murdered him.
    May 27
    • Gov. Phips establishes a Court of Oyer and Terminer to investigate the allegations of witchcraft. Lieutenant Gov. William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin are its members.
    May 28
    • An arrest warrant is issued for John and Elizabeth Proctor's second son, William.
    • An arrest warrant is issued for John Alden.
    • Martha Carrier is arrested upon the complaints of Joseph Holton and John Walcott.
    May 31
    • Philip English, husband of Mary English, is examined by the court.
    June 1
    • Mary English testifies that Mary Warren had confessed to lying in court.
    June 2
    • Susannah Sheldon reports that the specters of Mary English, Bridget Bishop and Giles Corey appeared to her.
    • Bridget Bishop's trial begins under the Court of Oyer and Terminer and she is found guilty. She is sentenced to hang.
    June 10
    • Bridget Bishop is hanged on Gallows Hill.
    June 15
    • Twelve ministers of the colony advise the court not to rely on spectral evidence for convicting suspected witches.
    June 29
    • The cases of Sarah Good, Sarah Wilds, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin and Rebecca Nurse are heard by the court.
    July 19
    • Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Wilds, Susannah Martin and Rebecca Nurse are hanged on Gallows Hill.
    July 23
    • Fearing that they can't get a fair trial in Salem Town, John Proctor and other prisoners write a letter from prison to the Reverends Increase Mather, James Allen, Joshua Moody, Samuel Willard and John Bayley. In the letter, they ask the ministers to support their request for a change of venue for the trials.
    August 2
    • William Beale testifies before an Essex County grand jury that when he was laid up in bed sick in March, Philip English's specter appeared to him. The next day his son, James--who had been recovering from smallpox--complained of a pain in his side and later died.
    August 5
    • The Court of Oyer and Terminer reconvenes to try the Rev. George Burroughs, John and Elizabeth Proctor, George Jacobs Sr., John Willard and Martha Carrier.
    August 19
    • George Burroughs, John Proctor, George Jacobs Sr., John Willard and Martha Carrier are hanged on Gallows Hill.
    September 9
    • Six accused are tried and condemned by the court.
    September 16
    • Giles Corey refuses to stand trial, so the Court of Oyer and Terminer orders the sheriff to pile rocks on him.
    September 17
    • Nine accused are tried and condemned by the court.
    September 19
    • Giles Corey is pressed to death.
    September 22
    • Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Margaret Scott, Wilmot Reed, Samuel Wardwell and Mary Parker are hanged on Gallows Hill.
    • Mary Herrick of Wenham, Massachusetts reports that the ghost of Mary Easty appeared to her and proclaimed her innocence of witchcraft.
    October 19
    • Increase Mather visits the Salem jail and finds that several confessors wish to renounce their earlier testimonies.
    October 29
    • Gov. Phips dissolves the Court of Oyer and Terminer
    November 25
    • A Superior Court of Judicature is created to try the remaining persons accused of witchcraft. William Stoughton, Samuel Sewall, John Richards, Wait Still Winthrop and Thomas Danford are its members. Spectral evidence is no longer considered in the remaining trials.


    • Gov. Phips pardons the remaining accused of witchcraft.


Salem Witch Trials:


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The Afflicted

The Accused

The Victims


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