Listen: John Richards, Cotton Mather, Bridget Bishop discussed on Unobscured
"Sergeant Sewell and Winthrop weren't the only judges to receive messages from the church that weekend. John Richards that self made man who started out life as a servant only to become one of the most powerful men in the colony received a letter from his own minister, cotton Mather, Mather offered a laundry list of advice for Richard's to follow in the weeks to come told him, not to lay more stress upon pure specter testimony than it will bear notice that he didn't tell Richards that stories about the spectres of which is were invalid as we might expect just that he shouldn't rely too much on them. It was advice the same to legitimize something. No sane person should accept as fact Mather went on which is he told him shouldn't be able to recite the Lord's prayer correctly. They should be on the lookout for pop. It's a sort of dollar used by witches to focus spells on another person. The also told Richards that another great source. Of physical evidence was which is marks. Which is marks were also known as which teats, and we're supposed to be physical marks that showed exactly where the which would suckle. They're familiar, even though men could also have them. It was a concept that played into the female Centric hatred that consumed which craft panics these marks could be anything though, dark spots on the skin large freckles skin tags, even moles as you can imagine most people had something on their body to worry about when viewed through such a lens. Nether closed out his letter to Richards by suggesting that the best evidence of all that they could find would be physical manifestations of spectral origins, which seemed to contradict his earlier warning not to lean too much on the spectral evidence. If Richards and the other judges noticed the contradiction. We don't see evidence of that. In fact, they clearly adopted Mathers list of proof in the weeks and months to come. On june. Second William Stoughton in his role as chief judge for the trial. Call the courts of oil and Terminator into session. Thomas. Newton was sworn in as attorney general and Stephen Sewell as the clerk of the court. The grand jury met and discussed their task while witnesses for later cases were called to testify. They were laying out the good silver. So to speak setting the table for the feast that was about to be served. While all of this was going on the suspects were split up to be examined by smaller. Juries John Proctor, and John Willard that former constable who had tried to escape both had their body search for which is marks by a group of men, but they were unsuccessful. The ladies were examined by group of women for the same reason, and the results were much more fruitful, Bridget Bishop Rebecca nurse and Elizabeth Proctor all showed signs of which is marks. Maybe. Because the other women didn't their examiners went back for a second. Look a couple of hours later this time they found nothing though. And while you, and I might chalk that up to human error or a trick of the light these women assumed it was because diabolical marks have the power to disappear and reappear at will. Because of course, they do. Finally, Bridget Bishop was brought forward to meet Thomas Newton and the team of judges. She stood before them in silence. As witness after witness was brought in to speak to her character. Each person brought a mixture of old stories of her rough end disobedient ways and new stories of seen her with devilish little creatures or spectral attacks the most unusual witness that day had been the builders who had helped tear down Bridget's old Salem town home. According to them pop its were found in holes in the walls of the building recrafted of rags and hog bristles and needles had been show through their bodies. It was proof. They said that something unnatural had gone on inside that house. After all of the witnesses and evidence were presented the judges charged Bridget with her crimes. She had and I quote tortured afflicted pined consumed wasted and tormented five individuals. Mercy Lewis Abigail Williams, Elizabeth Hubbard Anne Putnam and Mary Walcott to make it official. The judges wrote up five separate indictments. This wasn't the end for her. Not yet. At least then indictment was charge an accusation, essentially, the judges were declaring that yes. A crime had been committed.."