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Connecticut Witch Trials 101 Part 5: 1666 to 1691

Connecticut Witch Trials 101 Part 5: 1666 to 1691 Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast

This is Part 5  of Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast’s Connecticut Witch Trials 101 series. In this episode, we look at eight witchcraft accusations from 1666 through 1691, the period between the Hartford Witch-Hunt of 1662 to 1665 and the Fairfield/Stamford Witch-Hunt of 1692. This was after Governor John Winthrop Jr. came back from England with the colonial charter. You will learn from original records about the intense hunt against Katherine Harrison, the community conflicts she had, the wild allegations against her and how her trial played out .Podcast Cohosts, Josh Hutchinson and Sarah Jack continue the Connecticut Witch Trial History story with only fact backed, trustworthy research and sources. The lives of these historic individuals have been examined and we share what is known about them, from the historical record. How do we know what we know? We connect past witch trials to today’s witchcraft fear with a discussion answering our advocacy questions: Why do we witch hunt? How do we witch hunt? How do we stop hunting witches? LinksSupport Us! Shop Our Book ShopConnecticut Witch Trials 101 BibliographyWrite a Connecticut Legislator Resolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial Connecticut.Write a Connecticut Legislator Purchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial ButtonSupport Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!End Witch Hunts Movement Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast Book StoreSupport Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.Please sign the petition to exonerate those accused of witchcraft in ConnecticutSocial Media for Dr. Saud Anwar, State SenatorSocial Media for State Representative Jane GaribayFact Sheet for Connecticut Witch Trial HistoryWrite a Connecticut Legislator WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramPinterestLinkedInYouTubeSupport the show

Show Notes

This is Part 5  of Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast’s Connecticut Witch Trials 101 series. In this episode, we look at eight witchcraft accusations from 1666 through 1691, the period between the Hartford Witch-Hunt of 1662 to 1665 and the Fairfield/Stamford Witch-Hunt of 1692. This was after Governor John Winthrop Jr. came back from England with the colonial charter. You will learn from original records about the intense hunt against Katherine Harrison, the community conflicts she had, the wild allegations against her and how her trial played out .Podcast Cohosts, Josh Hutchinson and Sarah Jack continue the Connecticut Witch Trial History story with only fact backed, trustworthy research and sources. The lives of these historic individuals have been examined and we share what is known about them, from the historical record. How do we know what we know? We connect past witch trials to today’s witchcraft fear with a discussion answering our advocacy questions: Why do we witch hunt? How do we witch hunt? How do we stop hunting witches? 


Support Us! Shop Our Book Shop

Connecticut Witch Trials 101 Bibliography
Write a Connecticut Legislator
Resolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial Connecticut.

Write a Connecticut Legislator 

Purchase a Witch Trial White Rose Memorial Button

Support Us! Sign up as a Super Listener!

End Witch Hunts Movement 

Thou Shalt Not Suffer Podcast Book Store

Support Us! Buy Witch Trial Merch!

Support Us! Buy Podcast Merch!

Join us on Discord to share your ideas and feedback.

Please sign the petition to exonerate those accused of witchcraft in Connecticut

Social Media for Dr. Saud Anwar, State Senator

Social Media for State Representative Jane Garibay

Fact Sheet for Connecticut Witch Trial History

Write a Connecticut Legislator 








Support the show


[00:00:20] Josh Hutchinson: Welcome to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast. I'm Josh Hutchinson.
[00:00:26] Sarah Jack: And I'm Sarah Jack.
[00:00:27] Josh Hutchinson: This is part five of our Connecticut Witch Trials 101 series.
[00:00:33] Sarah Jack: In this episode, we cover the years 1666 through 1691.
[00:00:38] Josh Hutchinson: The period between the Hartford Witch-Hunt of 1662 to 1665, and the Fairfield-Stamford Witch-Hunt of 1692.
[00:00:47] Sarah Jack: John Winthrop, Jr. was governor through 1679.
[00:00:51] Josh Hutchinson: After he passed, his friend and colleague, the minister Gershom Bulkeley carried on his legacy of moderation in witch trial proceedings by providing advice to magistrates on various cases.
[00:01:05] Sarah Jack: This was a relatively calm period with fewer accusations.
[00:01:09] Josh Hutchinson: Only eight accusations of witchcraft are known to have been made in Connecticut between 1666 and 1691.
[00:01:17] Sarah Jack: These accusations resulted in only two indictments and one conviction.
[00:01:22] Josh Hutchinson: The first accusation in this timeframe was made against William Graves of Stamford in 1667.
[00:01:29] Sarah Jack: The trouble started when William Graves' daughter, Abigail, married Samuel Dibble.
[00:01:34] Josh Hutchinson: William Graves refused to give his daughter her marriage portion of her inheritance.
[00:01:41] Sarah Jack: Samuel Dibble took the matter to court.
[00:01:44] Josh Hutchinson: William Graves told Dibble he would always regret taking the matter to court.
[00:01:49] Sarah Jack: Ann Smith testified that William Graves believed his daughter would die during childbirth.
[00:01:55] Josh Hutchinson: And indicated that he suspected witchcraft.
[00:01:58] Sarah Jack: Though he wouldn't supply a name.
[00:02:00] Josh Hutchinson: He said, quote, "if his daughter died, he would bring out one in this town that he never thought to do and he said that she should not be buried presently, for he would have all the town lay their hands on her."
[00:02:17] Sarah Jack: This was a reference to the belief that the body of a murder or witchcraft victim would react to the touch of the culprit.
[00:02:23] Josh Hutchinson: Mary Scofield testified that William Graves said, "he had counseled his daughter to prepare herself to meet the Lord and said if she was not delivered suddenly she would die."
[00:02:36] Sarah Jack: According to Scofield, Graves went on to say, "though there was one in the town that both I and mind was the worst for him. Yet the whole town shall touch her and then none will take offense."
[00:02:48] Josh Hutchinson: Thomas Steedwell corroborated Ann Smith's and Mary Scofield's testimony.
[00:02:53] Sarah Jack: Midwife Mary Holmes testified that Abigail Graves Dibble had a normal labor, except for two fits of trembling and striving.
[00:03:02] Josh Hutchinson: Mary Scolfield testified that Abigail Graves Dibble's face changed as she delivered her baby.
[00:03:09] Sarah Jack: "One part of her mouth was drawn up and the other down, with her lips turning black, and her eyes staring out in a ghastly manner, and likewise her tongue hanging out and a dumb voice."
[00:03:22] Josh Hutchinson: "And upon this, the child was drawn away up into her body in likeness to the belly of a whale."
[00:03:30] Sarah Jack: "And this continuing for the space of half an hour until the child lay quivering within her body."
[00:03:36] Josh Hutchinson: "And about an hour after, as she apprehended with the pains of death and not by the former course of labor as other women have, the child came trembling into the world."
[00:03:49] Sarah Jack: Thomas Steedwell said he was helping Abigail Graves Dibble in her fits after she gave birth, when "presently falling of them fits into sounding fits with her tongue flaring out of her mouth near a handful long, and about as thick as his wrist and as black as possible might be, and her eyes out of her head in a ghastly manner. And when those fits went off, her tongue went in again, and there was such a smell with her breath that none in the room were able to abide the steam thereof." 
[00:04:17] Josh Hutchinson: Thomas Steedwell, Ann Smith, Elizabeth Steedwell, and Zachariah Dibble, brother of Samuel, testified that William Graves said, "my child will die, and I will be hanged for her."
[00:04:30] Sarah Jack: Zachariah Dibble, Ann Hardy, and Sarah Bates repeated the testimony of others about the things William Graves said.
[00:04:37] Josh Hutchinson: Samuel Dibble testified about how he had argued with William Graves about Abigail's portion.
[00:04:45] Sarah Jack: Graves was upset that Dibble never helped him reap.
[00:04:48] Josh Hutchinson: Dibble said he, quote, "got an attachment to try by a course of law for his wife's portion."
[00:04:55] Sarah Jack: William Graves allegedly told him he would, quote, "repent the bringing that attachment as long as I lived."
[00:05:03] Josh Hutchinson: He also threatened that Dibble "shall live never the longer for it."
[00:05:08] Sarah Jack: Two weeks before his daughter's delivery, William Graves went to her house and told her to fit herself to meet the Lord.
[00:05:15] Josh Hutchinson: Samuel Dibble had a warrant issued to order William Graves to appear at Mr. Lane's house to discuss Abigail's marriage portion.
[00:05:25] Sarah Jack: William Graves returned to the Dibble House and said, "my child will die and I shall be hanged for her."
[00:05:30] Josh Hutchinson: This testimony evidently did not lead to further court proceedings.
[00:05:36] Sarah Jack: No indictment or other court documents exist.
[00:05:40] Josh Hutchinson: But this is not the last we'll hear of the Dibbles. 
[00:05:43] In 1667, Matthew Griswold of Saybrook filed a defamation suit on behalf of his wife, Anna.
[00:05:54] Sarah Jack: Matthew was a stone cutter by trade, and there is a receipt for payment of a tombstone for Lady Fenwick, wife of Saybrook governor George Fenwick. She died in childbirth.
[00:06:04] Josh Hutchinson: Governor Fenwick bequeathed land east of the Connecticut River to Matthew In 1644. Governor Fenwick sold the colony of Saybrook to Connecticut when he returned to England to fight in Cromwell's forces.
[00:06:18] Sarah Jack: Fenwick was appointed commissioner to the trial of King Charles I.
[00:06:23] Josh Hutchinson: Hannah or Anna Wolcott Griswold was the daughter of a powerful Windsor founder.
[00:06:29] Sarah Jack: Her father was Henry Wolcott. A wealthy, well-connected, significant figure in the American colonies.
[00:06:36] Josh Hutchinson: Because he was a primary funder of the voyage of the Mary and John, he bought himself significant alliances with other powerful men, including Roger Ludlow, Edward Rossiter, and Israel Stoughton.
[00:06:50] Sarah Jack: Henry Wolcott was Windsor's first constable. He was appointed a deputy of the General Court in Hartford and served as a magistrate from 1643 until his death in 1655.
[00:07:01] Josh Hutchinson: According to records, Henry was involved in four witch trials, Mary Johnson, Joan and John Carrington, and Lydia Gilbert. He possibly was also connected to the trials of Goody Bassett, Goody Knapp, and Alice Young.
[00:07:18] Sarah Jack: Hannah was one of few women who held property in her own name. This indicates her familial connections, wealth, and status allowed for this exception.
[00:07:27] Josh Hutchinson: Hannah's accuser was John Tilleston.
[00:07:31] Sarah Jack: He had allegedly called Hannah a witch.
[00:07:34] Josh Hutchinson: Ten years prior, in 1657, Tilleston faced magistrates for "scandalous and reproachful speeches cast upon the elders and others in a public church meeting."
[00:07:48] Sarah Jack: He also later faced prosecution for "abusing his wife on Sabbath day and chaining her leg to the bedpost with a plow chain to keep her within doors."
[00:07:57] Josh Hutchinson: On another occasion, Tilleston was fined for giving a false oath.
[00:08:01] Sarah Jack: Matthew Griswold won the suit, but the court worried how Tilleston would be able to afford to compensate the wealthy Griswolds.
[00:08:09] Josh Hutchinson: Tilleston's first wife was charged with not believing in infant baptism and speaking contemptuously of it.
[00:08:19] Sarah Jack: Which likely indicates that Goody Tilleston and her husband were dissenting Baptists. New Englanders generally associated such faults, insubordination, irreverence, domestic discord, and religious deviance with witchcraft.
[00:08:33] This was the case between the rich and the poor, between status and bad reputation.
[00:08:38] Josh Hutchinson: Next up we have the case of Katherine Harrison of Wethersfield. Katherine Harrison first came to Connecticut in 1651 and settled in Hartford.
[00:08:50] Sarah Jack: She worked as a servant in the household of Captain John Cullick.
[00:08:54] Josh Hutchinson: While there, she developed a reputation as a fortune teller.
[00:08:58] Sarah Jack: She was also considered a notorious liar and a Sabbath breaker.
[00:09:02] Josh Hutchinson: Captain Cullick reportedly fired her for her quote, "evil conversation in Word and deed."
[00:09:09] Sarah Jack: Shortly after being sacked, Katherine moved to Wethersfield by May, 1653.
[00:09:14] Josh Hutchinson: And married wealthy farmer John Harrison.
[00:09:18] Sarah Jack: They had three daughters.
[00:09:19] Josh Hutchinson: Rebecca, Mary and Sarah,
[00:09:22] Sarah Jack: In Wethersfield. John served at times as town crier, fence viewer, surveyor, and constable.
[00:09:30] Josh Hutchinson: He died in 1666, leaving his large estate to his wife and daughters.
[00:09:35] Sarah Jack: His will left 60 pounds to Rebecca and 40 pounds each to Mary and Sarah.
[00:09:41] Josh Hutchinson: Katherine received the bulk of the estate, valued at 789 pounds.
[00:09:46] Sarah Jack: Two years later, Katherine was accused of witchcraft.
[00:09:49] Josh Hutchinson: On May 27th, 1668, the unnamed wife of Jacob Johnson wrote or dictated an account of a time when Katherine Harrison helped Jacob with an illness.
[00:10:02] Sarah Jack: Katherine treated him with, quote, "diet, drink, and plasters."
[00:10:06] Josh Hutchinson: The treatment evidently didn't help, so the Johnsons sent for Captain Atwood to help.
[00:10:12] Sarah Jack: That same night, Goodwife Johnson walked in the door, saw Katherine Harrison standing in front of her husband.
[00:10:19] Josh Hutchinson: While Goodwife Johnson turned around to lock the door, Harrison disappeared.
[00:10:24] Sarah Jack: Afterwards, Jacob Johnson had a bad nose bleed.
[00:10:28] Josh Hutchinson: Forever after, his nose bled when it was quote, "meddled with."
[00:10:32] Sarah Jack: This testimony was sworn in court October 29th, 1668, along with many other depositions.
[00:10:39] Josh Hutchinson: On June 29th, 1668, John Wells testified that seven or eight years earlier, when he was a boy, his mother sent him to fetch the cows.
[00:10:50] Sarah Jack: As he crossed the street, his legs stopped as if they were invisibly bound.
[00:10:54] Josh Hutchinson: He "looked toward the cattle that were in the street by Goodman Not's shop and saw Goodwife Harrison rise from a cow that was none of her own with a pail in her hand and made haste home. And when she was over her own stile, he was loosed."
[00:11:14] Sarah Jack: On July 29th, 1668, Elizabeth Bateman Smith told the court that when she and Katherine Harrison had lived in the home of Captain Cullick, quote, "Katherine was noted by the said Elizabeth and others, the rest of the family, to be a great or notorious liar, a Sabbath breaker, and one that told fortunes."
[00:11:33] Josh Hutchinson: Katherine reportedly forecast that Elizabeth would marry a man named Simon, even though Elizabeth's love interest at the time was William Chapman. Captain Cullick did not approve of the marriage of Elizabeth Bateman and William Chapman.
[00:11:49] Sarah Jack: So Elizabeth wound up marrying Simon Smith.
[00:11:53] Josh Hutchinson: Thomas Waples submitted testimony on August 7th, 1668.
[00:11:59] Sarah Jack: He told the court that Katherine Harrison had said she read Mr. Lilly's book in England.
[00:12:04] Josh Hutchinson: William Lilly was a famed astrologer and author of Christian Astrology and several other books.
[00:12:12] Sarah Jack: He also claimed that before her execution, Rebecca Greensmith had said that Harrison was a witch.
[00:12:18] Josh Hutchinson: On August 8th, 1668, Mary Olcutt testified about Katherine Harrison predicting that Elizabeth Bateman would marry a man named Simon.
[00:12:28] Richard Montague testified on August 13th, 1668.
[00:12:33] Sarah Jack: He said Katherine Harrison retrieved her roaming bees with unnatural speed.
[00:12:38] Josh Hutchinson: On August 13th, 1668, Joseph Dickinson testified that Katherine Harrison made her cattle run home by calling, "hoccanum, hoccanum, come hoccanum."
[00:12:51] Sarah Jack: Dickinson claimed two other men witnessed the cattle run with unnatural speed.
[00:12:57] Josh Hutchinson: On August 13th, John Graves testified that his cattle refused to graze on Harrison Land.
[00:13:06] Sarah Jack: The rope tying his oxen to his cart mysteriously untied, and the oxen ran away with great speed.
[00:13:13] Josh Hutchinson: Also on August 13th, Thomas Bracy testified that he once saw a hay cart approach John Harrison's property.
[00:13:21] Sarah Jack: What was unusual was that Thomas saw a red calf's head atop the hay.
[00:13:26] Josh Hutchinson: When the cart reached the barn, the calf's had vanished and Katherine Harrison appeared.
[00:13:32] Sarah Jack: Young Thomas rushed over and accused Katherine Harrison to her face of being a witch.
[00:13:38] Josh Hutchinson: Katherine allegedly threatened that she would be even with Thomas.
[00:13:43] Sarah Jack: Later, Thomas was reportedly visited by the apparitions of James Wakeley and Katherine Harrison.
[00:13:49] Josh Hutchinson: The two stood at his bedside discussing how to kill him.
[00:13:53] Sarah Jack: Wakeley wanted to, quote, "cut out his throat."
[00:13:56] Josh Hutchinson: Harrison attempted to strangle Thomas.
[00:13:59] Sarah Jack: And, quote, "pulled or pinched him so as if his flesh had been pulled from the bones."
[00:14:04] Josh Hutchinson: Thomas groaned a couple times, and his father came to him and laid his hand on him, at which point Thomas was finally able to speak.
[00:14:13] Sarah Jack: The next day, his parents saw the marks left by the spectral assault.
[00:14:17] Josh Hutchinson: On October 6th, Katherine Harrison filed a list of grievances with the magistrates.
[00:14:23] Sarah Jack: She said neighbors had been vandalizing her crops and assaulting her animals.
[00:14:28] Josh Hutchinson: She had an ox, quote, "spoiled at our stile before our door with blows up on the back and sides so bruised that he was altogether unserviceable."
[00:14:40] Sarah Jack: "A cow spoiled, her back broke and two of her ribs."
[00:14:45] Josh Hutchinson: "A heifer in my barnyard, my earmark of which was cut out and other earmarks set on."
[00:14:50] Sarah Jack: "I had a sow that had young pigs earmarked in the sty after the same manner."
[00:14:57] Josh Hutchinson: "I had a cow at the side of my yard. Her jaw bone broke, and one of her hooves and a hole bored in her side."
[00:15:05] Sarah Jack: "I had a three year old heifer in the meadow, stuck with a knife or some weapon, and wounded to death."
[00:15:11] Josh Hutchinson: "I had a cow in the street, wounded in the bag as she stood before my door in the street."
[00:15:17] Sarah Jack: "I had a cow went out into the woods, came home with ears luged and one of her hind legs cut off."
[00:15:24] Josh Hutchinson: "My corn in my own meadow much damnified with horses. They being staked upon it."
[00:15:30] Sarah Jack: "I had my horse wounded in the night as he was in my pasture no creature save three calves with him."
[00:15:36] Josh Hutchinson: "More I had one two-year-old steer, the back of it broke in the barnyard."
[00:15:42] "More 
[00:15:42] Sarah Jack: I had a matter of 30 poles of hops cut and spoiled."
[00:15:46] Josh Hutchinson: " All which things have happened since my husband's death, which was last August was two year."
[00:15:53] Sarah Jack: She named witnesses.
[00:15:55] Josh Hutchinson: On October 12th, Rebecca Smith testified that Jonathan Gilbert's wife loaned Katherine Harrison a hat.
[00:16:03] Sarah Jack: Katherine wanted to buy the hat, but Goodwife Gilbert refused to sell it to her.
[00:16:08] Josh Hutchinson: After Katherine returned the hat, Goodwife Gilbert put it on and was afflicted in the head and shoulders.
[00:16:15] Sarah Jack: When she removed the hat, she was well again.
[00:16:18] Josh Hutchinson: This happened every time she tried to wear the hat.
[00:16:21] Sarah Jack: Eventually, the Gilberts burned the hat.
[00:16:25] Josh Hutchinson: William Warren testified on October 27th that Katherine Harrison was, quote, "a common and professed fortune teller."
[00:16:33] Sarah Jack: On October 29th, Joan Francis testified that in November of 1664, she was lying in bed with her husband and child when the apparition of Katherine Harrison appeared.
[00:16:44] Josh Hutchinson: Joan placed the child between herself and her husband.
[00:16:48] Sarah Jack: That night, the child became ill.
[00:16:50] Josh Hutchinson: And suffered for 20 days before dying.
[00:16:54] Sarah Jack: Joan Francis further said that Harrison's daughter came to ask for her emptying in the summer of 1668.
[00:17:00] Josh Hutchinson: Joan told the girl that she had none and went to brew some beer.
[00:17:05] Sarah Jack: the beer barrel exploded loudly, terrifying the children, and sending hops and head flying down to the end of the hall.
[00:17:11] Josh Hutchinson: On October 29th, Mary Kercum told the court that she and Mrs. Wickham had seen the apparitions of Katherine Harrison and her dog appear in Mrs. Wickham's house in the night.
[00:17:26] Sarah Jack: On October 30th, William Warren said that Katherine told his fortune and those of his master's daughter, Simon Sackett, and Elizabeth Bateman in about 1651.
[00:17:36] Josh Hutchinson: She told fortunes by looking at hands.
[00:17:40] On May 11th, 1669, Katherine Harrison was indicted. 
[00:17:46] Indictment reads, "Katherine Harrison, thou standest here indicted by the name of Katherine Harrison of Wethersfield as being guilty of witchcraft. For that thou not having the fear of God before thy eyes has had familiarity with Satan, the grand enemy of God and mankind, and by his help has acted things beyond and besides the ordinary course of nature, and has thereby hurt the bodies of diverse, of the subjects of our sovereign Lord, the king, for which by the law of God and of this corporation, thou oughtest to die. What sayest thou for thyself, guilty or not guilty?
[00:18:27] May 11th, 1669."
[00:18:29] Sarah Jack: The prisoner returned not guilty and referred herself to a trial by the jury present.
[00:18:35] Josh Hutchinson: On May 25th, Samuel Martin Sr. testified that Katherine Harrison had predicted the deaths of Josiah Willard and Samuel Hale Sr.
[00:18:45] Sarah Jack: Also on May 25th, 1669, Mary Hale testified that on the 29th of November, 1668, she was lying in bed when something heavy fell on her legs.
[00:18:56] Josh Hutchinson: The heavy object turned out to be a dog-like creature with a head like Katherine Harrison's.
[00:19:03] Sarah Jack: The creature walked around the room and disappeared.
[00:19:07] Josh Hutchinson: But returned a week later.
[00:19:09] Sarah Jack: It crawled up her legs onto her belly
[00:19:12] Josh Hutchinson: She reached up to feel it
[00:19:14] Sarah Jack: And felt a human face.
[00:19:16] Josh Hutchinson: Presently then she had a great blow on her fingers, which pained her two days after.
[00:19:22] Sarah Jack: While the beast was present, Mary was unable to call out to her parents.
[00:19:27] Josh Hutchinson: They finally heard her when the thing disappeared again.
[00:19:30] Sarah Jack: Unfortunately for Mary, this was not her last encounter with this creature.
[00:19:35] Josh Hutchinson: It returned December 19th and spoke to her.
[00:19:40] Sarah Jack: " You said that I would not come again, but are you not afraid of me?"
[00:19:45] Josh Hutchinson: Mary said, "no."
[00:19:48] Sarah Jack: The voice replied, " I will make you afraid before I have done with you."
[00:19:53] Josh Hutchinson: " And then presently, Mary was crushed and oppressed very much. Then Mary called often to her father and mother, they lying very near."
[00:20:03] Sarah Jack: Then the voice said, "so you do call. They shall not hear till I am gone... You said that I preserved my cart to carry me to the gallows, but I will make it a death cart to you."
[00:20:14] Josh Hutchinson: "Mary replied, she feared her not, because God had kept her and would keep her still."
[00:20:21] Sarah Jack: The voice said she had a commission to kill her.
[00:20:24] Josh Hutchinson: Mary asked, "who gave you the commission?"
[00:20:28] Sarah Jack: The voice replied, "God gave me the commission."
[00:20:31] Josh Hutchinson: Mary replied, "the devil is a liar from the beginning, for God will not give commission to murder. Therefore, it must be from the devil."
[00:20:40] Sarah Jack: "Then Mary was again pressed very much."
[00:20:44] Josh Hutchinson: Then the voice said, "you will make known these things abroad when I am gone. But if you will promise me to keep these aforesaid matters secret, I will come no more to afflict you."
[00:20:57] Sarah Jack: Mary replied, "I will tell it abroad."
[00:21:00] Josh Hutchinson: On May 25th, 1669, the jury could not reach a verdict.
[00:21:07] Sarah Jack: The magistrates ordered Katherine Harrison to remain in jail until the October session of the Court of Assistants.
[00:21:13] Josh Hutchinson: The magistrates posed four questions to a group of ministers.
[00:21:17] Sarah Jack: One. Whether a plurality of witnesses be necessary legally to evidence one and the same individual fact.
[00:21:26] Josh Hutchinson: Two. Whether the preternatural apparition of a person legally proved be a demonstration of familiarity with the devil.
[00:21:34] Sarah Jack: Three. Whether a vicious person's foretelling some future event or revealing of a secret be a demonstration of familiarity with the devil.
[00:21:43] Josh Hutchinson: Four. Whether harm inflicted by a person's specter or apparition, if legally proven, was proof of diabolism.
[00:21:52] Sarah Jack: May 26th, 1669. Samuel Hurlbut and Alexander Rony testified that Josiah Gilbert denied being Katherine Harrison's cousin and said that he only knew her as, quote, "one that followed the army in England."
[00:22:07] Josh Hutchinson: This may have been an implication that Harrison had been a sex worker in England.
[00:22:12] Sarah Jack: In undated testimony, Eleazer Kinnerly testified that his late wife, Mary Robbins Kinnerly, had complained that her mother had been killed by witchcraft.
[00:22:24] Josh Hutchinson: Mary once spoke with Katherine Harrison about the death of her father, John Robbins, and Katherine said, "when your father was killed," implying that she knew Mr. Robbins did not die a natural death.
[00:22:38] Sarah Jack: Alice, the wife of James Wakeley also submitted undated testimony. She reported that when Mrs. Robbins was ill, her body was stiff as a board.
[00:22:47] Josh Hutchinson: But when she died, her body became extraordinarily limber.
[00:22:52] On October 12th, 1669, the jury found Katherine Harrison guilty and the court ordered her to compensate the witnesses who had traveled from Wethersfield to Hartford to testify.
[00:23:05] Sarah Jack: Marshall Gilbert acted as Harrison's attorney in requesting that those who owed money to Harrison should appear before the assistants to settle their debts. The court granted this motion.
[00:23:15] Josh Hutchinson: Daniel Garrett was awarded 12 shillings for attending Katherine Harrison at the special court.
[00:23:22] Sarah Jack: On October 20th, the group of ministers at last returned their answers to the four questions, which had been submitted by the magistrate.
[00:23:29] Josh Hutchinson: "To the first question, whether a plurality of witnesses be necessary legally to evidence one and the same individual fact, we answer that if the proof of the fact do depend wholly upon testimony, there is then a necessity of a plurality of witnesses to testify to one and the same individual fact, and without such a plurality, there can be no legal evidence of it.
[00:23:56] John 8: 17, the testimony of two men is true. That is legally true or the truth of order, and this chapter alleges to vindicate the sufficiency of the testimony given to prove that individual truth that he himself was the Messiah or light of the world. Verse 12. Matthew 26: 59 to 60."
[00:24:21] Sarah Jack: "To the second question, whether the preternatural apparitions of a person legally proved be a demonstration of familiarity with the devil? We answer that it is not the pleasure of the most high to suffer the wicked one to make an undistinguishable representation of any innocent person in a way of doing mischief before a plurality of witnesses. The reason is because this would utterly evacuate all human testimony. No man could testify that he saw this person do this or that thing, or it might be said that it was the devil in his shape."
[00:24:51] Josh Hutchinson: "To the third and fourth questions together, whether a vicious persons foretelling some future event or revealing of a secret be a demonstration of familiarity with the devil. We say this much, that those things, whether past, present, or to come, which are indeed secret, that is cannot be known by human skill and arts or strength of reason arguing from the course of nature, nor are made known by divine revelation either mediate or immediate, not by information from man must needs to be known, if at all, by information from the devil. And hence the communication of such things in way of divination. The person pretending the certain knowledge of them seems to us to argue familiarity with the devil in as much as such a person doth, thereby declare his receiving of the devil's testimony and yield up himself as the devil's instrument to communicate the same to others."
[00:25:55] Sarah Jack: Katherine Harrison remained in jail while the magistrates considered the minister's words.
[00:25:59] Josh Hutchinson: On May 30th, 1670, the court finally rejected the guilty verdict and released Katherine Harrison upon payment of fees and agreement to leave Wethersfield.
[00:26:12] Sarah Jack: In June, Katherine moved to Westchester, New York, now Westchester Square in the Bronx.
[00:26:17] Josh Hutchinson: Her oldest daughter, Rebecca, had married a man named Josiah Hunt from Westchester.
[00:26:24] Sarah Jack: By July 7th, Josiah's father, Thomas Hunt Sr., had gathered signatures a petition to remove Harrison from town.
[00:26:32] Josh Hutchinson: Notice she moved in June, and this guy's got a petition ready on July 7th. He's, "lady, you're outta here."
[00:26:41] Governor Francis Lovelace initially granted their request and ordered Harrison to move.
[00:26:47] Sarah Jack: However, Harrison refused to leave.
[00:26:51] Josh Hutchinson: Instead, she found shelter in the home of Richard Panton.
[00:26:54] Sarah Jack: On August 20th, 1670, Governor Lovelace summoned Panton and Katherine Harrison.
[00:27:01] Josh Hutchinson: Panton and Harrison traveled 14 miles to Fort James to talk with the governor.
[00:27:06] Sarah Jack: After meeting with the pair, Governor Lovelace ordered an inventory of Harrison's estate.
[00:27:12] Josh Hutchinson: He then reversed his decision and permitted Harrison to remain in Westchester, in exchange for an unspecified bond for her good behavior.
[00:27:22] Sarah Jack: In October, the governor released Harrison from her bond.
[00:27:26] Josh Hutchinson: Some records indicate that Katherine Harrison moved on to Long Island.
[00:27:32] Sarah Jack: Others believe she may have died in 1682 in the Dividend community outside Wethersfield, Connecticut. Now Rocky Hill.
[00:27:40] Josh Hutchinson: I just wanna say on these last two theories, we don't have exact records to. Absolutely confirm either of these are just the theories that are out there that some historians have stated.
[00:27:57] Sarah Dibble, sister-in-law of Abigail Graves Dibble, accused her husband of abuse in 1669.
[00:28:06] Sarah Jack: Zachary Dibble claimed the bruises and other marks on her body were the result of her witchcraft.
[00:28:11] Josh Hutchinson: He also claimed, quote, "she had a teat in the secret part of her body that was sometimes bigger and sometimes lesser, but was half a finger long."
[00:28:24] Sarah Jack: No formal complaint of witchcraft was filed.
[00:28:28] Josh Hutchinson: And the court did not proceed against Sarah Dibble.
[00:28:32] Sarah Jack: Instead, they released her from her marriage to Zachary. 
[00:28:36] Josh Hutchinson: We want to just tell you for those who are new, witch teats found in the secret parts of their body are often the clitoris. They're talking about her clitoris.
[00:28:53] Sarah Jack: Not a birthmark.
[00:28:54] Josh Hutchinson: As if it's a foreign object attached to her body and not an important component of said body. 
[00:29:06] Edward Messenger sued Edward Bartlett in 1673 for saying that Messenger's wife was, quote, "an old witch, or whore."
[00:29:16] Sarah Jack: In 1678, Goodwife Burr of Wethersfield sued for slander.
[00:29:23] Josh Hutchinson: An unidentified suspect was accused of witchcraft in Hartford in 1682.
[00:29:28] Sarah Jack: Next is Goodwife Bowden of New Haven. Sued for slander in 1689 after being called a witch.
[00:29:36] Josh Hutchinson: Unfortunately, not much information is available about these later accusations.
[00:29:41] Sarah Jack: The next accusation was made in 1692.
[00:29:45] Josh Hutchinson: We'll have more on that in the sixth and final episode in this series.
[00:29:49] Sarah Jack: Now here's Mary Bingham with a Minute with Mary. 
[00:29:53] Mary Bingham: Alice Young. The following wonderful and thoughtful question was put forth to several people by Sarah Jack, a co-founder of the Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration project and co-host of this podcast. How are you planning to remember Alice Young on May 26th, this 376th anniversary of her execution? I responded, "I'm going to Windsor that afternoon." Now I ask myself, "why do I wanna go to Windsor?" Now that I am somewhat educated about Alice Young, I want to go and experience the area where she lived to develop a deeper understanding of her life, to stand where she stood to walk, where she walked. To bend and touch the soil where she lived, to connect to the earth where she lived is almost like reaching out and touching her personal history.
[00:30:53] The other reason I wanna go to Windsor is to connect with other co-founders who will be there. This solemn afternoon will be spent with people who, at the center of their hearts and minds desire greatly to exonerate Alice, along with all of the others who were convicted and hanged for the capitol crime of witchcraft in colonial Connecticut, a crime they did not commit.
[00:31:17] This wonderful group of people banded together late spring of 2022 to fulfill the dreams and help with the previous ongoing effort by Tony Griego and Beth Caruso to finally bring justice for the innocent people who lived over 375 years ago. Please visit the Facebook page titled CT Witch Memorial, founded by Beth and Tony established in 2016 to learn of the stories of the victims and to read about how Tony started the exoneration process in the late two thousands before Beth joined him about the year 2015.
[00:32:00] The current co-founders of the Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project are myself, Sarah Jack, Joshua Hutchinson, author Beth Caruso and Tony Griego. Our powerhouse representatives at the state level are Representative Jane Garibay and Senator Dr. Saud Anwar. We are all of like minds, like hearts, and work 150% so that all of the wrongfully convicted will see justice.
[00:32:29] To find out more about Alice Young, please listen to the episode of this podcast titled Connecticut Witch Trials 101 Part Two, Witchcraft Belief, the Founding of Connecticut, and Alice Young, and also consider reading One of Windsor by Beth Caruso. You won't be disappointed. Thank you.
[00:32:49] Sarah Jack: Thank you, Mary.
[00:33:03] Sarah Jack: End Witch Hunts News. 
[00:33:05] We had the privilege of spending the week of May 15th, 2023 with Dr. Leo iWay, director of advocacy for alleged witches of Nigeria for a New England speaking tour. He had the opportunity to share the striking parallels between the historic accused witches and the alleged witches being attacked around the globe today with several audiences, including Connecticut legislators and constituents.
[00:33:26] He told us about recent circumstances of targeting vulnerable members of society with blame and punishment for natural misfortunes. He showed us their faces. He told us their stories. He has let us know how significant it is when local or state governments in the United States make a formal acknowledgement of the wrongs of witchcraft persecutions.
[00:33:46] Therefore, the Connecticut Witch Trial Exoneration Project's work for an official state exoneration of the 17th century accused and hanged witches of the Connecticut colony resonates globally. It is that important. Thou Shalt Not Suffer podcast supports the Joint Committee on Judiciary's bill, HJ Number 34, Resolution Concerning Certain Witchcraft Convictions in Colonial Connecticut. We still need your additional efforts as we are waiting for the Senate to take HJ 34 to vote shortly. 
[00:34:15] Will you take time today to write a Connecticut senator asking them to recognize the relevance of acknowledging the Connecticut witch trial victims? You can do this whether you are a Connecticut resident or anywhere else in the world. You can do this as any political party member. This is a bipartisan effort. You should do it from right where you are. You can find the information you need to contact a member of the Connecticut State Senate with a letter in the show links, the house has passed the bill. We need the Senate to follow suit. Your message to them gets this done. 
[00:34:44] We have a very exciting update out of Stratford, Connecticut due to the thoughtfulness and effort of town historian David Wright. Mayor Laura Hoydick has signed a proclamation declaring May 15th Goody Bassett Day. Goody Bassett's first name is unknown, and she was executed in Stratford in 1651. The Town Council of Stratford will be voting on a resolution acknowledging her innocence next month. Their decision will be heavily influenced by the decision of the Senate on their vote for HJ 34.
[00:35:11] Please send your message of support to the Senate, for Goody Bassett and the other accused witches of Connecticut Colony, who need their good names cleared and for the victims suffering right now, each week from mob witch attacks across the globe.
[00:35:24] Get involved. Visit To support us purchase books from our bookshop, merch from our Zazzle shop, or make a financial contribution to our organization. Our links are in the show description.
[00:35:46] Josh Hutchinson: Thank you for listening to Thou Shalt Not Suffer: The Witch Trial Podcast.
[00:35:51] Sarah Jack: Join us next week.
[00:35:53] Josh Hutchinson: Subscribe in whatever app you use to get your podcasts.
[00:35:58] Sarah Jack: Visit
[00:36:01] Josh Hutchinson: Remember to tell your friends and family about Thou Shalt Not Suffer.
[00:36:06] Sarah Jack: We want your support for our efforts to End Witch Hunts. Visit to learn more.
[00:36:13] Josh Hutchinson: Have a great today and a beautiful tomorrow.
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