This week in 1692

August 28th, 2013 by admin

Paraphrased account from Robert Calef, later a critic of the witch trials:
“[Burroughs] made a clear Speech for the clearing of his Innocency, with such Solemn and Serious Expressions,as were to the Admiration of all Present. [Burroughs then perfectly recited the Lord’s Prayer, which] drew Tears from many.”

— George Burroughs, convicted of witchcraft, hanging, Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Executed August 19, 1692

It was believed that witches could not say the Lord’s Prayer, thus the tearful crowd reaction. Burroughs’s recitation caused concerns that “the Spectators would hinder the Execution.” But as soon as Burroughs hanged, Rev. Cotton Mather told the crowd that the prisoner was “no ordained Minister” and “the Devil has often been transformed into an Angel of Light.”

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