Samuel Wardwell

Samuel Wardwell (May 16, 1643 - September 22, 1692) was a man accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials of 1692. He was executed by hanging on September 22, 1692, along with Alice Parker, Martha Corey, Mary Eastey, Ann Pudeator, Mary Parker, Wilmot Redd, and Margaret Scott.

Wardwell was born on May 16, 1643, to Thomas Wardwell and Elizabeth Woodruff in Boston, Massachusetts. His father had been a follower of John Wheelwright and Anne Hutchinson.

Samuel's wife, Sarah, controlled a one hundred and eighty-eight-acre estate, which she had inherited from her first husband, Adam Hawkes, upon his death. The Province of Massachusetts Bay passed a law which provided attainder for "conjuration, witchcraft, and dealing with evil and wicked spirits", which meant the loss of civil, inheritance, and property rights of those accused.

William Baker Jr., 14 years old, accused Samuel, Sarah, and their 19-year-old daughter Mercy Wardwell of witchcraft. All three confessed the very day they were interrogated.

Samuel was executed at Proctor's Ledge in Salem after retracting a "forced" confession. Eventually, his widow, Sarah Wardwell was reprieved and released. In 1712, after Sarah died, their son, Samuel Wardwell Jr., was left destitute and later sued the Colony and won some compensation for the family's ordeals.

Per the TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, actor Scott Foley is a direct descendent of Samuel Wardwell.

This page was last edited on 1 June 2018, at 10:56 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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