Another innocent death due to the influence of the murderer Cotton Mather.
“At the trial of Martha (Allen) Carryer, wife of Thomas, b. in England; (he died in Colchester, CT. 16 March 1735 aged 108 – 109 years), of Andover, for witchcraft, Aug 2 1692, which resulted in her being condemned and hanged Aug 19 on the gallows that was erected not only for those who were thought to be possessed by the evil spirit but for those also who might ridicule the idea of this popular delusion as stated by Dr. Mather, Phebe Chandler, then not twelve years old was called as a witness. She testified:
That about a fortnight before the apprehension of Martha Carryer, on the Lord’s day, while the psalm was singing in Church, this Carryer took her by the shoulder, shaking her, and asked her where she lived. She made no answer although Carryer, who lived next door to her father’s house, could not in reason but know who she was. Quickly after this as she was several times crossing the fields, she heard a Voice that she took to be Martha Carryer’s and it seemed as if it were overhead. The voice told her she should be poisoned within two or three days; accordingly, within such a little time, one half of her right hand became greatly swollen and very painful as also part of her face. Whereof she could give no account how it came. It continued very bad for several days and several times since she had had great pain in her breast, and been so seized in her legs that she has hardly been able to go.
She added that lately going to the house of God, Richard, the son of Martha Carryer, looked very earnestly upon her and immediately her hand which had been formerly poisoned as said above began to pain her greatly and she had a strange burning in her stomach; but was then struck deaf so that she could not hear any of the prayer, or singing, till the two or three last words of the psalm.
After finishing his account, Cotton Mather makes this Memorandum:
This rampant hag, Martha Carryer, was the person of whom, the Confessions of the Witches and of her own children among the rest, agreed that the Devil had promised her she should be Queen of Hell.
Bridget Chandler, the mother of Phebe, “corroborates” the daughter’s story in the trial of Martha Carryer.Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2011-08-10 12:51:00
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