The public hanging of Goody Knapp in Black Rock, CT for accusations of witchcraft as per testimony during the Goody Bassett trial.

May the thirteenth 1654

Hester Ward wife of Andrew Ward being sworne de poseth that aboute a day after that goodwife Knapp was condemned for a witch she goeing to ye prison house where the said Knapp was kept she ye said Knapp voluntarily w hout any occasion giuen her said that goodwife Staplyes told her the said Knapp that an Indian brought vnto her the said Staplyes two litle things brighter then the light of the day and told the said goodwife Staplyes they were Indian gods as the Indian called ym and the Indian w hall told her the said Staplyes if she would keepe them she should be so big rich all one god and that the said Staplyes told the said Knapp she gaue them again to the said Indian but she could not tell whether she did so or no.

Luce Pell the wife of Thomas Pell being sworne as follo we th that aboute a day after goodwife Knapp was condemned for a witch Mris Jones earnestly intreated her to to ya said Knapp who had sent for her and then this called the said Hester Ward and they went together then said Knapp voluntarily of her owne accord spake as the Hester Ward hath testifyed word by word and the said Mris Pell further saith that she being one of ye women that required by the court to search the said Knapp before she condemned & then Mris Jones presed her the said Knapp to confess whether ther were any other that were witches because goodwife goodwife Basset when she was condemned said there was another witch in Fairefeild that held her full high and then the said goodwife Knapp stepped a aside and told her this deponent goodwife Basset ment her she asked her whom she ment and she named Staplyes and then vttcred the same speeches as formerly concerning ye Indian gods and that goodwife Staplyes her Martha told the said goodwife Knapp that her sister stood by her by the fire in there house and she called her sister sister and she would not answer but she the Martha strucke at her and then she went away and ye day she asked her sister and she said she was not there Mris Ward doth also testify w h Mris Pell that the Knapp said the same to her and the said Mrs Pell saith that aboute two dayes after the search afforesaid she went to ye said Knapp in prison house and the said Knapp said to her told you a thing the other day and goodman Staplies had bine w h her and threatened her that she had told some thing his wife that would bring his wiues name in question and this deponent she told no body of it but her husband & she much moued at it

Elizabeth Brewster being sworne deposeth and saith that after goodwife Knap was executed as soone as she was cut downe she the said Knapp being caried to the graue side goodwife Staplyes w h some other women went to search the said Knapp concerning findeing out teats and goodwife Staplyes handled her verey much and called to goodwife Lock wood and said these were no witches teates but such as she herselfe had and other women might haue the same wringing her hands and takeing yc Lords name in her mouth and said will you say these were witches teates they were not and called vpon goodwife Lockwood to come & see them then this deponent desired goodwife Odell to come & see for she had bine vpon her oath when she found the teates and she this depon desired the said Odill to come and clere it to good 54 wife Staplies goodwife Odill would not come then the said Staplies still called vpon goodwife Lockwood to come will you say these are witches teates I sayes the said Staplies haue such myselfe and so haue you if you search yorselfe goodwife Lockwood replyed if I had such she would be hanged would you sayes Staplies yes saith Lockwood and deserve it and the said Staplies handeled the said teates very much and pulled them w h her fingers and then goodwife Odill came neere and she the said Staplies still questioning the said Odill told her no honest women had such and then all the women rebuking her and said they were witches teates then the said Staplies yeilded it.

Mary Brewsterbeing sworn & deposed saith as followeth that she was present after the execution of ye said Knapp and she being brought to the graue side she saw goodwife Staplyes pull the teates that were found aboute goodwife Knapp and was verey earnest to know whether those were witches teates wch were found aboute her the said Knapp wn the women searched her and the said Staplyes pulled them as though she would haue pulled them of and prsently she this depon went away as hauing no desire to looke vpon them

Susan Lockwood wife of Robert Lockwood being sworne & examined saith as foH that she was at the execution of goodwife Knapp that was hanged for a witch and after the said Knapp was cut downe and brought to the graue goodwife Staplyes w h other women looked after the teates that the women spake of appointed by the magistrats and the said goodwife Staplies was handling of her where the teates were and the said Staplies stood vp and called three or foure times and bid me come looke of them & asked her whether she would say they were teates and she made this answer no matter whether there were teates or no she had teates and confessed she was a witch that was sufficient if these be teates here are no more teates then I myselfe haue or any other women or you either if you would search yor body this depon saith she said I know not what you haue but for her selfe if any finde any such things aboute me I deserved to be hanged as she was and yet afterward she the said Staplyes stooped downe againe and handled her ye said Knapp verey much aboute ye place where the teates were and seuerall of ye women cryed her downe and said they were teates and then she the said Staplyes yeilded & said verey like they might be teates.

Thomas Sheruington & Christopher Combstocke & goodwife Baldwine were all together at the prison house where good wife Knapp was and ye said goodwife Baldwin asked her whether she the said Knapp knew of any other and she said there were some or one that had receiued Indian gods that were very bright the said Baldwin asked her how she could tell if she were not a witch hcrselfe and she said the party told her so and her husband was witnes to it and to this they were all sworne & doe depose

Rebecka Hull wife of Cornelius Hull being sworne & examined deposeth & saith as followeth that when goodwife Knapp was goeing to execution Mr Ludlow and her father Mr Jones pressing the said Knapp to confess that she was a witch vpon wch goodwife Staplies said why should she the said Knapp confess that wch she was not and after she the said goodwife Staplyes had said so on that stood by why should she say so she the said Staplyes replyed she made no doubt if she the said Knapp were one she would confess it.

Knapp Deborah Lockwood of the age of 17 or thereaboute sworne & examined saith as followeth that she being present when goodwife Knapp was goeing to execution betweene Tryes & the mill she heard goodwife Staplyes say to goodwife Gould 55 she was pswaded goodwife Knapp was no witch good wife Gould said sister Staplyes she is a witch & hath confessed had had familiarity w h the Deuill Staplies replyed I was w h her yesterday or last night and she said no such thing as she heard

Aprill 26 1654

Bethia Brandish of the age of sixteene or thereaboutes maketh oath as they were goeing to execution of goodwife Knapp who was condemned for a witch by the court & jury at Fairfeild there being present herselfe & Deborah Lockwood and Sarah Cable she heard goodwife Staplyes say that she thought the said goodwife Knapp was no witch and goodwife Gould presently reproued her for it.

Witnes Jurat die & anno prdicto Andrew Warde Coram me Ro Ludlowe

The plant replyed that he had seuerall other witnesses wch he thought would cleere the matters in question if the court please to heare them wch being granted he first presented a testimony of goodwife Whitlocke of Fairfeild vpon oath taken before Mr Fowler at Millford the 27th of May 1654 wherein she saith that concerning goodwife Staplyes speeches at at the execution of goodwife Knapp she being present & next to goody Staplyes when they were goeing to put the dead corpes of goodwife Knapp into the graue seuerall women were looking for the markes of a witch vpon the dead body and seuerall of the women said they could finde none & this depon said nor I and she heard goodwife Staplyes say nor I then came one that had searched the said witch & shewed them the markes that were vpon her and said what are these and then this depon heard goodwife Staplyes say she never saw such in all her life and that she was pswaded that no honest woman had such things as those were and the dead corps being then prsently put into the graue goodwife Staplyes & myselfe came imediately away together vnto the towne from the place of execution

Goodwife Barlow of Fairfeild before the court did now testify vpon oath that when Knapps wife was hanged and ready to be buried she desired to see the markes of a witch and spake to one of her neighbours to goe w h her and they looked but found them not then goodwife Staplyes came to them and one or two more goodwife Stapleyes kneeled downe by them and they all looked but found ym not & said they saw nothing but what is coiTion to other women but after they found them they all wondered and goodwife Staplyes in pticular and said they neuer saw such things in their life before so they went away

away The wife of John Tompson of Fairefeild testifyeth vpon oath that goodwife Whitlock goodwife Staplyes and herselfe were at the graue and desired to see ye markes of the witch that was hanged they looked but found them not at first then the midwife came & shewed them goodwife Staplyes said she neuer saw such and she beleeved no honest woman had such

The wife of Richard Lyon and goodwife Squire of Fairefeild affirme to the same purpose as appeares by a wrighting prsented but not vpon oath

Goodwife Sherwood of Fairefeild testifyeth vpon oath that that day Knapps wife was condemned for a witch she was there to see her all being gone forth but goodwife Odill and her selfe then their came in Mris Pell and her two daughters Elizabeth & Mary goody Lockwood and goodwife Purdy Mr Pell told Knapps wife she was sent to speake to her to 56 haue her confess that for wch she was condemned and if she knew any other to be a witch to discover them and told her before she was condemned she might thinke it would be a meanes to take away her life but now she must dye and therefore she should discouer all for though she and her family by the providence of God had brought in nothing against her yet ther was many witnesses came in against her and she was cast by the jury & godly magistrats hauing found her guilty and that the last evidence cast the cause So the next day she went in againe to see the witch w h other neighbours there was Mr Jones Mris Pell & her two daughters Mris Ward and goodwife Lockwood where she heard Mris Pell desire Knapps wife to lay open herselfe and make way for the minister to doe her good her daughtr Elizabeth bid her doe as the witch at the other towne did that is discouer all she knew to be witches Goodwife Knapp said she must not say anything wch is not true she must not wrong any body and what had bine said to her in private before she went out of the world when she was vpon the ladder she wordd reveale to Mr Ludlow or ye minister Elizabeth Bruster said if you keepe it a litle longer till you come to the ladder the diuill will haue you quick if you reveale it not till then Good Knapp replyed take heed the devile haue not you for she could not tell how soone she might be her com panyon and added the truth is you would haue me say that goodwife Staplyes is a witch but I haue sinns enough to answer for allready and I hope I shall not add to my condemnation I know nothing by goodwife Staplyes and I hope she is an honest woman Then goodwife Lockwood said goodwife Knapp what ayle you goodman Lyon I pray speake did you heare vs name goodwif Staplyes name since we came here Lyon wished her to haue a care what she said and not breed differenc betwixt neighbours after she was gone Knapp replyed goodman Lyon hold yor tongue you know not what I know I haue ground for what I say I haue bine fished w hall in private more then you are aware of I apprehend goodwife Staples hath done me some wrong in her testimony but I must not render euill for euill Then this depon spake to goody Knapp wishing her to speake w h the jury for she apprehended goodwife Staplyes witnessed nothing contrary to other witnesses and she supposed they would informe her that the last evidenc did not cast ye cause she replyed that she had bine told so w hin this halfe houre & desired Mr Jones and herselfe to stay and the rest to depart that she might speake w h vs in private and desired me to declare to Mr Jones what they said against goodwife Staplyes the day before but she told her she heard not goodwife Staplyes named but she knew nothing of that nature she desired her to declare her minde fully to M Jones so she went away

Further this depon saith that comeing into the house where the witch was kept she found onely the wardsman and goodwife Baldwine there goodwife Baldwin whispered her in the eare and said to her that goodwife Knapp told her that a woman in ye towne was a witch and would be hanged w hin a twelue moneth and would confess herselfe a witch and cleere her that she was none and that she asked her how she knew she was a witch and she told her she had received Indian gods of an Indian wch are 57 shining things wch shine lighter then the day Then this depon asked goodwife Knapp if she had said so and she denyed it goodwife Baldwin affirmed she did but Knapps wife againe denyed it and said she knowes no woman in the towne that is a witch nor any woman that hath received Indian gods but she said there was an Indian at a womans house and offerred her a coople of shining things but the woman neuer told her she tooke them but was afraide and ran away and she knowes not that the woman euer tooke them Goodwife desired this depon to goe out and speake w h the wardsmen Thomas Sherrington who was one of them said hee remembred not that Knapps wife said a woman in the towne was a witch and would be hanged but spake something of shining things but Kester Mr Pells man being by said but I remember and as they were goeing to the graue goodwife Staplyes said it was long before she could beleeve this poore woman was a witch or that their were any witches till the word of God convinced her wch saith thou shalt not suffer a witch to Hue

Thomas Lyon of Fairfeild testifyeth vpon oath taken before Mr Fowler the 27th May 1654 that he being set by authority to watch w h Knapps wife there came in Mris Pell M Ward goodwife Lockwood and Mris Pells two daughters the fell into some discourse that goodwife Knapp should say to them in private wch goodwife Knapp would not owne but did seeme to be much troubled at them and said the truth is you would haue me to say that goodwife Staplyes is a witch I haue sinnes enough allready I will not add this to my condemnation I know no such thing by her I hope she is an honest woman then goodwife Lockwood caled to mee and asked whether they had named goodwife Staplyes so I spake to goodwife Knapp to haue a care what she said that she did not make differrence amongst her neighbours when she was gon and I told her that I hoped they were her frends and desired her soules good and not to accuse any out of envy or to that effect Knapps wife said goodman Lyon hold yor tongue you know not so much as I doe you know not what hath bine said to me in private and after they was gon of her owne accord betweene she & I goody Knapp said she knew nothing against goodwife Staplyes of being a witch

Richard Lyon of Fairfeild affirmeth to the same purpose as Tho Lyon doth as appeares by a wrighting vnder his hand but not vpon oath

Goodwife Gould of Fairfeild testifyeth vpon oath that good wife Sherwood & herselfe came in to see the witch there was one before had bine speaking aboute some suspicious words of one in the towne this depon wished her if she knew anything vpon good ground she would declare it if not that she would take heede that the deuill pswaded her not to sow malicious seed to doe hurt when she was dead yet wished her to speake the truth if she knew anything by any pson she said she knew nothing but vpon suspicion by the rumours she heares this depon told her she was now to dye and therefore she should deale truly she burst forth into weeping and desired me to pray for her and said I knew not how she was tempted neuer neuer poore creature was tempted as I am tempted pray pray for me Further this depon saith as they were goeing to ye graue Mr Buckly goodwife Sherwood goodwife Staplye and myselfe goodwife Staplyes was next me she said it was a good while before she could beleeue this woman was a witch and that she could not beleue a good while that there were any witches till she went to ye word of God and then she was convinced and as she remembers goodwife Stapleyes went along w h her all the way till they came at ye gallowes Further this deponent saith that Mr Jones some time since that Knapps wife was condemned did tell her and that w h a very cherefull countenance & blessing God for it that Knapps wife had cleered one in ye towne & said you know who I meane sister Staplyes blessed be God for it.

Ensigne Bryan informed the court that one pticular in ye charge he heard not of before and therefore is not prepared to answer but desires further time for that pt and he will be bound to answer Thomas Staplyes in it when the court shall appointe wch the court told him they would consider of 58 The plant and defendt haueing spoken what they pleased in ye case the court considered of what hath bine alleadged and proved on both sides and though they are not satisfyed in the evidences prsented by Ensigne Bryan yet they haue considered what the seuerall witnesses speake therein and finde not that they take of the testimony giuen in on the other side nor doe they justify Mr Ludlow in ye defameing expressions of goodwife Staplyes yet w hall they consider that he said hee thought them not true yet they tend to defamation the court in their sentence shall incline to more fauour then possibly they should doe if Mr Ludlow was here but the third pt of the charge being left till another time vpon Ensigne Bryans ingagm to answer it at the next court of magistrats here or sooner if called to it for ye former parts of the charge they see no cause to lay any blemish of a witch vpon goodwife Staplies but must judg that Mr Ludlow hath done her wrong and therefore is by this court ordered to pay to Thomas Staplies by way of fine for reparation of his wiues name tenn pounds and for his trouble & charge in following the suit fiue pounds more the latter pt of ye charge being left as before expressed.

expressed Capt Nathaniell Siluester entered an action of defamation against John Scott wherein John Youngs was included and John Youngs entered an action of defamation against Capt Silvestr but afterward they all made a private agreem among themselues and so ceased to psecute any further