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John Willard, born no later than 1672[1], was one of the people executed for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials of 1692. He was hanged on Gallows Hill on August 19. At the time of the first allegations of witchcraft Willard was serving as a constable in the village of Salem and his duties included bringing the accused before the court. Soon, however, he began to doubt the truth of the accusations and in May 1692 he refused to make any more arrests. He stated sarcastically: "Hang them all, they're all witches". In retaliation Ann Putnam and others accused him of witchcraft, and of murdering thirteen citizens.[2]

Timeline (1692)

  • May 10 — First warrant for arrest, subsequently fled from authority, and was arrested.
  • May 18 — Examination of John Willard.
  • June 3 — Grand jury endorsed the indictments formally charging Willard with witchcraft
  • August 5 — Pronounced guilty and sentenced to death.
  • August 19 — Hanged. [3]

References

  1. ^ WFA Genealogy Report on John Willard, accessed August 16, 2006.
  2. ^ Goss, K. D. (30 December 2007). The Salem Witch Trials: a reference guide. Westport, CT: Greenwood. pp. 105–106. ISBN 0-313-32095-0.  
  3. ^ Salem Witch Trials Chronology, accessed August 16, 2006.
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