John Proctor, II (1631 - 1692) MP

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Birthplace: Assington, Suffolk, England
Death: Died in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
Cause of death: execution by hanging
Occupation: Hung as a witch in the Salem witch trials, wizard, Farmer
Managed by: Steven Avery Kelley
Last Updated:

About John Proctor, II

Proctor had argued against the reliability of testimony from confessors...No one else had come as close as Proctor did to forcing the issue." Throughout the trials, Proctor stood up and questioned the credibility of spectral evidence. Proctor did not conceal his vehement opposition to the trials and is recorded remarking about his servant Mary Warren, "he [Proctor] would fetch his jade Home & thresh the Devil out of her." With such strong feelings in opposition of the court, Proctor became a prime target of accusations. Thus it can be stated that John Proctor directly and on several occasions threatened the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. When his wife was accused and questioned, he stood with her throughout the proceedings and staunchly defended her innocence. http://hausegenealogy.com/proctor.html

John Proctor, an early opponent of the witch hunt, lived in this house in 1692. One of the afflicted girls, Mary Warren, was a maidservant in his household. Proctor had cured her fits with a good whipping and maintained that the others could be cured with similar treatment. In April 1692, John and his wife Elizabeth were accused of witchcraft. John was tried in early August and hanged later that month. Elizabeth was found pregnant at the time of her condemnation and was granted a stay of execution. She would escape the gallows and eventually remarry.

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Proctor

--------------------

   He was the first male to be named a witch in the Salem Witch Trials. In
   addition, all of his children were accused. His wife was tried and
   condemned, but not executed.
   "The Magistrates, Ministers, Jewries, and all the People in general,
   being so much inraged and incensed against us by the Delusion of the
   Devil, which we can term no other, by reason we know in our own
   Consciences, we are all Innocent Persons" (written by John Proctor while
   in Salem Prison)
   In 1666. he bought a large farm called Groton in the town of Salem. He
   also operated a tavern about a mile south of the Salem Village boundary.
   This job allowed him to come into contact with many people on a regular
   basis. The Salem selectmen would only allow Proctor to serve people in
   his tavern who were not local residents. This made Proctor's tavern a
   central meeting place for strangers.
   John and Elizabeth had two sons (Benjamin & William) and one daughter
   Elizabeth. Elizabeth and her daughter would often tend to the tavern
   while John spent his days working on the farm. The Proctors disliked the
   Reverend Parris, and were included in an "Anti-Parris Network" led by
   Israel Porter. When his father died, Proctor inherited a portion of an
   estate worth 1200 pounds. He was fairly wealthy, but not fully accepted
   or respected by the townspeople of Salem. He was called "Goodman", which
   is a title not quite as respectable as "Mister". Proctor attended church
   in Salem and sat in the fourth row of seats. He was equally comfortable
   in Ipswich, Boston, and Salem. However, he seems to have had closer ties
   to Ipswich than to Salem, because citizens of Ipswich signed a petition
   asking for his release from jail after he was imprisoned in 1692.
   John Proctor and his wife were jailed for witchcraft in 1692. Joseph
   Bayley was a witness who provided evidence against Proctor. Bayley
   claimed that Proctor caused painful blows to his chest as he was riding
   by the tavern. John was hanged on August 19, 1692. In 1711, John
   Proctor's family received much more compensation money from the
   Massachusetts General Court than most families of accused witches.
   From "Salem Massachusetts Genealogy Project-Narratives", submitted by
   Fran Jones

_____

John Proctor has three wives, Martha Giddons (married about 1652at Ipswich, MA - Martha died 6/13/1659), Elizabeth Thorndike(Married 12/1662, Elizabeth died 8/30/1672) , and Elizabeth Bassett, (married 4/1/1674, Elizabeth died after 1699), - 17children in all.John Proctor and Elizabeth Bassett were two of the people accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.John Proctor was hung 8/19/1692

John was a Puritan. He was hanged after refusing to admit to being an ally of Satan, even though it may have spared his life.

In 1666 Proctor moved from Ipswich to Salem, where he leased a 700 acre estate called Groton, in Salem Farms, the section of Salem Township just south of Salem Village (now Danvers). Groton was adjacent to Proctor's own 15 acre farm. Proctor gained his first license to operate a tavern in 1668. His inn was located on the Ipswich Road in Salem, about a mile south of the Salem Village line. The men ran the farm while the women ran the tavern.[6]

In 1672, Proctor inherited one third of his father’s estate in Ipswich. His brothers, Benjamin and Joseph also each inherited one-third shares. John’s portion of the estate was worth 1200 pounds.

In April of 1674 Proctor married for a third time, to Elizabeth Basset, daughter of William and Sarah Basset, with whom he had six children: William (born 6 December 1674 (or 1675)), Sarah (28 January 1676), Samuel (11 January 1685 – 16 March 1765), Elisha (28 April 1687 – 11 September 1688), Abigail (born 27 January 1689) and John (born 27 January 1692 (or 1693))[7]

In 1678, the Proctors were charged for allowing a customer to pawn property in exchange for drinks, and for selling cider to a drunken Indian.[8]

In November of 1685, an action was filed in the courts in Salem for damages to John Proctor, relating to a land boundary dispute between him and Anthony Needham, when it was claimed that "land belonging to the plaintiff as being in possession of, and hiring the said land of the Worshipful Symon Bradstreet, Esq.", the said land being part of a farm "formerly belonging to Mr. Emanuel Downing". Emanuel's daughter was married to Symon Bradstreet. Zachariah Marsch testified at the 1685 trial and again in 1690 when the case was finally settled. The farm's ownership was later transferred to Proctor's son, Thorndike.[9]

Salem Witch Trials

Background to John Proctor's involvement

John Proctor was nearly 60 years old when the Salem Witch Trials began. His wife, Elizabeth was initially accused of witchcraft by 12 year old Abigail Williams on March 14, 1692 although no arrest warrant was drawn up until Friday April 4th when John was also named. On April 2nd Proctor kept his servant Mary Warren at home to prevent her from attending the examinations which proved to be an important error of judgment. During Elizabeth Bassett's examination on April 11th he disparaged the girls' claims and accused them of lying, which made him a prime target. He was named as afflicting several girls, primarily Abigail Williams who accused him of pinching her and sending out his spirit to hurt her both during the examination and for several days before their encounter in court. This led to his immediate arrest and imprisonment.

Letter to Boston

He wrote a letter to the authorities in Boston, Massachusetts to alert them to the issues taking place in Salem and asking them to intervene. In this letter he claimed that if a woman as well respected as Rebecca Nurse could be convicted, then no restraint was left in the town, and he asked that the trials be moved to Boston, Massachusetts or that new judges be appointed. His letter brought about a meeting of eight ministers at Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 1, 1692. No records survive of what took place at this meeting, but when the ministers emerged, they had drastically changed their position on spectral evidence, having previously decided that the devil could take on the form of innocent people. Unfortunately for John Proctor, their decision made no practical difference until after his execution.

Accusations and trial

Although Abigail Williams was John Proctor's chief accuser, he was also named by Mary Walcott who stated he tried to choke her and his former servant Mary Warren on April 21. Warren told magistrates that Proctor had beaten her for putting up a prayer bill before forcing her to touch the Devil's Book. Further allegations of an increasingly salacious nature followed.

John Proctor continued to challenge the veracity of spectral evidence and the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer which led to a petition signed by 32 neighbours in his favour. The signatories stated that Proctor had lived a 'Christian life in his family and was ever ready to help such as stood in need..'

John and Elizabeth Proctor were tried on August 5, 1692. They were both found guilty and sentenced to hang. Still maintaining his innocence, Proctor prepared his will to secure the welfare of his sons but left his wife with nothing. He was executed on August 19, 1692 along with George Burroughs, John Willard, George Jacobs and Martha Carrier.

Elizabeth, who was then pregnant, had her execution postponed until she had given birth. The baby was born in January and her execution was overlooked. She was released in May 1693 in a general release of those remaining in jail.

Accusations towards others in the Proctor family

In 1692, 141 complaints were filed. 12 were against relatives of the Proctor family. It should be noted, only John and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor were convicted and only John was executed.

   * John Proctor, husband of Elizabeth(Bassett) Proctor and the father of Benjamin, William and Sarah Proctor.
   * Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor,
   * Benjamin Proctor, son of John and his first wife
   * William Proctor,
   * Sarah Proctor, *Mary DeRich, maiden name Bassett, was the sister of Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor
   * Sarah Bassett, Elizabeth's sister-in-law (wife of William Bassett, Jr., Elizabeth's brother)
   * Extended family:
         o Thomas Farrar, Sr., father-in-law of Elizabeth (Hood) Farrar, sister of Sarah (Hood) Bassett
         o Elizabeth Hart, wife of Isaac Hart whose sister, Deborah Hart, was married to Benjamin Proctor, brother of John Proctor
         o Rebecca Nurse, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Sarah (Towne) Cloyce & Mary (Towne) Esty and the wife of Francis Nurse. Elizabeth Proctor, daughter of John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor, married Thomas Very in 1681. His sister, Elizabeth Very was the second wife of John Nurse, the eldest son of Rebecca Nurse.
         o Mary Easty, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and Sarah (Towne) Cloyce and the wife of wife of Isaac Esty.
         o Sarah Cloyce, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and Mary (Towne) Esty and the wife of Peter Cloyce.

Aftermath

In January 1693, while still in jail, Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor gave birth to a son, John Proctor III. Elizabeth and John III remained in jail until May 1693, when a general release freed all of those prisoners who remained jailed. Unfortunately, even though the general belief of the people was that innocent people had been wrongly convicted, Elizabeth had in fact been convicted and was considered guilty. In the eyes of the law she was considered a "dead woman" and could not claim any of her husband's estate. Elizabeth petitioned the court for a reversal of attainder to restore her legal rights. No action was taken for seven years.

In June 1696, Elizabeth filed an appeal to contest her husband's will. At the time John wrote his will, he had assumed that Elizabeth would be executed and had left her nothing. On September 22, 1696 Elizabeth married again to Daniel Richards.

In July 1703, several more people filed petitions before any action was taken on Elizabeth’s appeal for reversal of attainder. The Massachusetts House of Representatives finally passed a bill disallowing spectral evidence. However, they only gave reversal of attainder for those who had filed petitions. This basically applied to only two people – Elizabeth Proctor and Rebecca Nurse.

In 1705, another petition was filed requesting a more equitable settlement for those wrongly accused. In 1709, the General Court received a request to take action on this proposal. In May 1709, 22 people who had been convicted of witchcraft, or whose parents had been convicted of witchcraft, presented the government with a petition in which they demanded both a reversal of attainder and compensation for financial losses.

On October 17, 1711, the General Court passed a bill reversing the judgment against the 22 people listed in the 1709 petition. There were still an additional 7 people who had been convicted, but had not signed the petition. There was no reversal of attainder for them.

On December 11, 1711, monetary compensation was finally awarded to the 22 people in the 1709 petition. The sum of ₤578 and 12 shillings was authorized to be divided among the survivors and relatives of those accused. Most of the accounts were settled within a year. The award to the Proctor family for Elizabeth was ₤150, much more money from the Massachusetts General Court than most families of accused witches.

Thorndike Proctor purchased the Groton Farm from the Downings of London, following the hanging of his father. The farm was renamed Downing Farm. Eight generations of Proctors resided, until 1851. Thorndike subsequently sold nearly half of the Downing Farm to his half-brother Benjamin.

By 1957, not all the condemned had been exonerated. Descendants of those falsely accused demanded the General Court clear the names of their family members. In 1957 an act was passed pronouncing the innocence of those accused, however, it only listed Ann Pudeator by name and the others as "certain other persons", still failing to include all names of those convicted.

In 1992, the Danvers Tercentennial Committee persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to issue a resolution honoring those who had died. After much convincing and hard work by Salem school teacher Paula Keene, Representatives J. Michael Ruane and Paul Tirone and a few others, the names of all those not previously listed were added to this resolution. When it was finally signed on October 31, 2001 by Governor Jane Swift, more than 300 years later, all were finally proclaimed guiltless.

The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a fictionalized version of the trials casts John Proctor as one of the main characters in the play. Proctor is portrayed as being in his thirties and Abigail Williams is 17 and a half years old, while the real John Proctor and Abigail Williams were respectively about sixty and eleven years old at the time of the witch trials. In the play, they have an affair, as a result of which Abigail accused Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. In reality, Elizabeth Proctor was initially named by Ann Putnam on March 6 after her spectre allegedly attacked the girl. She was accused by Abigail on March 14 and further accusations were made by Mercy Lewis. Miller has Mary Warren accuse Proctor of afflicting her but this followed his initial accusation by Abigail in early April 1692. There is no historical evidence to suggest that Abigail even knew John Proctor before she accused him of witchcraft.

In the film based on the play, Proctor was played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Robinson, Enders A: "The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692", pg. 281, Waveland Press, 2001
  2. ^ Robinson, Enders A: "The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692", pg. 281, Waveland Press, 2001
  3. ^ Perley, Sidney: "The History of Salem Massachusetts", pgs. 22-25, Volume 2, 1639-1670 http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/Perley/vol2/images/p2-22.html
  4. ^ Proctor, A. Carlton: "Proctor Genealogy circa 1546 to 1982",self published 1982
  5. ^ "House of John Procter, witchcraft martyr, 1692", Peabody : Press of C.H. Shepard, 1904.
  6. ^ Robinson, Enders A: "The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692", pg. 283, Waveland Press, 2001
  7. ^ Robinson, Enders A: "The Devil Discovered: Salem Witchcraft 1692", pg. 282, Waveland Press, 2001
  8. ^ Roach, Marilynne K.: "The Salem Witch Trials, A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege", copyright 2002, Cooper Square Press, New York, NY
  9. ^ Upham, William P.: "House of John Proctor, Witchcraft Martyr, 1692" 1904, Press of C.H. Shephard, Peabody, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

_______

The Petition of John Proctor

SALEM-PRISON, July 23, 1692.

Mr. Mather, Mr. Allen, Mr. Moody, Mr. Willard, and Mr. Bailey

Reverend Gentlemen.

The innocency of our Case with the Enmity of our Accusers and our Judges, and Jury, whom nothing but our Innocent blood will serve their turn, having Condmened us already before our Tryals, being so much incensed and engaged against us by the Devil, makes us bold to Beg and Implore your Favourable Assistance of this our Humble Petition to his Excellency, That if it be possible our Innocent Blood may be spared, which undoubtedly otherwise will be shed, if the Lord doth not mercifully step in. The Magistrates, Ministers, Jewries, and all the People in general, being so much inraged and incensed against us by the Delusion of the Devil, which we can term no other, by reason we know in our own Consciences, we are all Innocent Persons. here are five Persons who have lately confessed themselves to be Witches, and do accuse some of us, of being along with them at a Sacrament, since we were committed into close Prison, which we know to be Lies. Two of the 5 are (Carriers Sons) Youngmen, who would not confess any thing till they tyed them Neck and Heels till the Blood was ready to come out of their Noses, and 'tis credibly believed and reported this was the occasion of making them confess that they never did, by reason they said one had been a Witch a Month, another five Weeks, and that their Mother had made them so, who has been confined here this nine Weeks. My son William Proctor, when he was examin'd, because he would not confess that he was Guilty, when he was Innocent, they tyed him Neck and Heels till the Blood gushed out of his Nose, and would have kept him so 24 Hours, if one more Merciful than the rest, had not taken pity on him, and caused him to be unbound. These actions are very like the Popish Cruelties. They have already undone us in our Estates, and that will not serve their turns, without our Innocent Bloods. If it cannot be granted that we can have our Trials at Boston, we humbly beg that you would endeavour to have these Magistrates changed, and others in their rooms, begging also and beseeching you would be pleased to be here, if not all, some of you at our Trials, hoping thereby you may be the means of saving the shedding our Innocent Bloods, desiring your Prayers to the Lord in our behalf, we rest your Poor Afflicted Servants,

JOHN PROCTOR, etc.

Luckily, his letter influenced the Boston clergy to take action and stop the Salem madness and, hopefully, saved other lives. Regardless, it is generally accepted that the Salem trials were one of the defining moments that changed American jurisprudence from the English system of "guilty, 'til proven innocent" to the current American system of "innocent until proven guilty". In addition, the jury pool in trials was changed from "church-members only" to "all those who have property" in an act which was passed by the General Court on 25 November 1692. Finally, these cases caused Americans to take their first steps away from what we now know as "cruel & unusual punishment" when trying to get someone to confess. It had been a staple of the English legal system, but after 1692 even Cotton Mather urged judges to use "Crosse and Swift Questions" rather than physical torture to gain the truth. These were three significant changes to the nascent American legal system.

--------------------

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Proctor -------------------- John Proctor was an innkeeper. He was hung as a witch in the hysteria of 1692. Daniel Day Lewis played his role in the movie "The Crucible". The actual location of his body is unknown. It was likely cast off in a ditch, not deserving of a Christian burial due to the witchcraft charge.

-------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Proctor

John Proctor (1632–1692) was a farmer and tavern keeper in 17th century Massachusetts. During the Salem witch trials he was accused of witchcraft, convicted and hanged. Background to John Proctor's involvement

John Proctor was in his 60s when the Salem Witch Trials began. His wife, Elizabeth was initially accused of witchcraft by 12-year-old Abigail Williams on March 14, 1692, although no arrest warrant was drawn up until Friday April 4 when John was also named. On April 2 Proctor kept his servant Mary Warren at home to prevent her from attending the examinations which proved to be an important error of judgment. During Elizabeth Proctor's examination on April 11 he disparaged the girls' claims and accused them of lying, which made him a prime target. He was named as having afflicted several girls, primarily Abigail Williams, who accused him of pinching her and sending out his spirit to hurt her both during the examination and for several days before their encounter in court. This led to his immediate arrest and imprisonment.

Letter to Boston

He wrote a letter to the authorities in Boston, Massachusetts to alert them to the issues taking place in Salem and asking them to intervene. In this letter he claimed that if a woman as well respected as Rebecca Nurse could be convicted, then no restraint was left in the town, and he asked that the trials be moved to Boston, Massachusetts or that new judges be appointed. His letter brought about a meeting of eight ministers at Cambridge, Massachusetts on August 1, 1692. No records survive of what took place at this meeting, but when the ministers emerged, they had drastically changed their position on spectral evidence, having previously decided that the devil could take on the form of innocent people. Unfortunately for John Proctor, their decision made no practical difference until after his execution.

Accusations and trial

Although Abigail Williams was John Proctor's chief accuser, he was also named by Mary Walcott who stated he tried to choke her and his former servant Mary Warren on April 21. Warren told magistrates that Proctor had beaten her for putting up a prayer bill before forcing her to touch the Devil's Book. Further allegations of an increasingly salacious nature followed.

John Proctor continued to challenge the veracity of spectral evidence and the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer which led to a petition signed by 32 neighbours in his favour. The signatories stated that Proctor had lived a 'Christian life in his family and was ever ready to help such as stood in need..'

John and Elizabeth Proctor were tried on August 5, 1692. They were both found guilty and sentenced to hang. Still maintaining his innocence, Proctor prepared his will to secure the welfare of his sons but left his wife with nothing. He was executed on August 19, 1692 along with George Burroughs, John Willard, George Jacobs and Martha Carrier.

Elizabeth, who was then pregnant, had her execution postponed until she had given birth. The baby was born in January and her execution was overlooked. She was released in May 1693 in a general release of those remaining in jail.

Accusations towards others in the Proctor family

In 1692, 141 complaints were filed. 12 were against relatives of the Proctor family. It should be noted, only John and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor were convicted and only John was executed.

   * John Proctor, husband of Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor and the father of Benjamin, William and Sarah Proctor.
   * Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor, third wife of John Proctor
   * Benjamin Proctor, son of John and his first wife Martha Giddons
   * William Proctor, son of John and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor
   * Sarah Proctor, daughter of John and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor
   * Mary DeRich, maiden name Bassett, was the sister of Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor
   * Sarah Bassett, Elizabeth's sister-in-law (wife of William Bassett, Jr., Elizabeth's brother)
   * Extended family:
         o Thomas Farrar, Sr., father-in-law of Elizabeth (Hood) Farrar, sister of Sarah (Hood) Bassett
         o Elizabeth Hart, wife of Isaac Hart whose sister, Deborah Hart, was married to Benjamin Proctor, brother of John Proctor
         o Rebecca Nurse, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Sarah (Towne) Cloyce & Mary (Towne) Esty and the wife of Francis Nurse. Elizabeth Proctor, daughter of John Proctor and Elizabeth Proctor, married Thomas Very in 1681. His sister, Elizabeth Very was the second wife of John Nurse, the eldest son of Rebecca Nurse.
         o Mary Easty, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and Sarah (Towne) Cloyce and the wife of wife of Isaac Esty.
         o Sarah Cloyce, maiden name Towne, was the sister of Rebecca (Towne) Nurse and Mary (Towne) Esty and the wife of Peter Cloyce.

In January 1693, while still in jail, Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor gave birth to a son, John Proctor III. Elizabeth and John III remained in jail until May 1693, when a general release freed all of those prisoners who remained jailed. Unfortunately, even though the general belief of the people was that innocent people had been wrongly convicted, Elizabeth had in fact been convicted and was considered guilty. In the eyes of the law she was considered a "dead woman" and could not claim any of her husband's estate. Elizabeth petitioned the court for a reversal of attainder to restore her legal rights. No action was taken for seven years.

In June 1696, Elizabeth filed an appeal to contest her husband's will. At the time John wrote his will, he had assumed that Elizabeth would be executed and had left her nothing. On September 22, 1696 Elizabeth married again to Daniel Richards.

In July 1703, several more people filed petitions before any action was taken on Elizabeth’s appeal for reversal of attainder. The Massachusetts House of Representatives finally passed a bill disallowing spectral evidence. However, they only gave reversal of attainder for those who had filed petitions. This basically applied to only two people – Elizabeth Proctor and Rebecca Nurse.

In 1705, another petition was filed requesting a more equitable settlement for those wrongly accused. In 1709, the General Court received a request to take action on this proposal. In May 1709, 22 people who had been convicted of witchcraft, or whose parents had been convicted of witchcraft, presented the government with a petition in which they demanded both a reversal of attainder and compensation for financial losses.

On October 17, 1711, the General Court passed a bill reversing the judgment against the 22 people listed in the 1709 petition. There were still an additional 7 people who had been convicted, but had not signed the petition. There was no reversal of attainder for them.

On December 11, 1711, monetary compensation was finally awarded to the 22 people in the 1709 petition. The sum of ₤578 and 12 shillings was authorized to be divided among the survivors and relatives of those accused. Most of the accounts were settled within a year. The award to the Proctor family for Elizabeth was ₤150, much more money from the Massachusetts General Court than most families of accused witches.

Thorndike Proctor purchased the Groton Farm from the Downings of London, following the hanging of his father. The farm was renamed Downing Farm. Eight generations of Proctors resided, until 1851. Thorndike subsequently sold nearly half of the Downing Farm to his half-brother Benjamin.

By 1957, not all the condemned had been exonerated. Descendants of those falsely accused demanded the General Court clear the names of their family members. In 1957 an act was passed pronouncing the innocence of those accused, however, it only listed Ann Pudeator by name and the others as "certain other persons", still failing to include all names of those convicted.

In 1992, the Danvers Tercentennial Committee persuaded the Massachusetts House of Representatives to issue a resolution honoring those who had died. After much convincing and hard work by Salem school teacher Paula Keene, Representatives J. Michael Ruane and Paul Tirone and a few others, the names of all those not previously listed were added to this resolution. When it was finally signed on October 31, 2001 by Governor Jane Swift, more than 300 years later, all were finally proclaimed guiltless.

 The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a fictionalized version of the trials casts John Proctor as one of the main characters in the play. Proctor is portrayed as being in his thirties and Abigail Williams is 17 and a half years old, while the real John Proctor and Abigail Williams were respectively about sixty and eleven years old at the time of the witch trials. In the play, they have an affair, as a result of which Abigail accused Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. In reality, Elizabeth Proctor was initially named by Ann Putnam on March 6 after her spectre allegedly attacked the girl. She was accused by Abigail on March 14 and further accusations were made by Mercy Lewis. Miller has Mary Warren accuse Proctor of afflicting her but this followed his initial accusation by Abigail in early April 1692. There is no historical evidence to suggest that Abigail even knew John Proctor before she accused him of witchcraft


-------------------- Originally from Ipswich, where he and his father before him, had a farm of considerable value. In 1666 he moved to Salem, where he worked on a farm, part of which he later bought. He seems to have been an enormous man, very large framed, with great force and energy. Although an upright man, he seems to have been rash in speech, judgment and action. It was his unguarded tongue that would lead to his death. From the start of the ourbreak of the witchcraft hysteria in Salem, Proctor pronounced the whole proceedings and the afflicted girls as a scam. When his wife was accused, he staunchly stood by her, proclaiming her innocence. It was during her questioning, that he too was accused of being a witch. In addition, all of his children were accused. His wife, Elizabeth, was the granddaugher of an accued witch. Although tried and condemned, she was never executed because she was pregnant.

Mary Warren, a 28 yr. old maid in the household, first accused him. She, herself, would later be accused. Proctor was tried on Aug 5th and hanged on Aug 19th. While in prison, on July 23, he wrote a letter to the clergy of Boston, who were known to be uneasy with the witchcraft procedings, asking them to intervene in the trials, by having them moved to Boston or appoint new judges.

Proctor's family was given 150 pounds in 1711 in recompense, for his execution and his wife's imprisonment.

(Wikipedia) John Proctor (March 30, 1632 – August 19, 1692) was a farmer in 17th century Massachusetts. He married three women in his life, and divorced the first two. The last one he married was Elizabeth Proctor, who gave birth to two children, William and Sarah. During the Salem Witch Trials he was accused of witchcraft, convicted and hanged.

Although Abigail Williams was John Proctor's chief accuser, he was also named by Mary Walcott, who stated he tried to choke her and his former servant Mary Warren on April 21. Mary Warren told magistrates that Proctor had beaten her for putting up a prayer bill before forcing her to touch the Devil's Book. Further allegations of an increasingly salacious nature followed. John Proctor continued to challenge the veracity of spectral evidence and the validity of the Court of Oyer and Terminer which led to a petition signed by 32 neighbors in his favor. The signatories stated that Proctor had lived a "Christian life in his family and was ever ready to help such as they stood in need." John and Elizabeth Proctor were tried on August 5, 1692. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. Still maintaining his innocence, Proctor prepared his will but left his wife with nothing. Some people[who?] believe that he did this as he assumed his wife would be executed as well. Proctor was executed on August 19, 1692, along with George Burroughs, John Willard, George Jacobs, Sr., Rebecca Nurse and Martha Corey. Elizabeth, who was then pregnant, was given a reprieve until she gave birth.

The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller, a fictionalized version of the trials, casts John Proctor as one of the main characters in the play. Proctor is portrayed as being in his thirties and Abigail Williams is 17 and a half years old, while the real John Proctor and Abigail Williams were respectively about sixty and eleven years old at the time of the witch trials. In the play, they had an affair, as a result of which Abigail accused Elizabeth Proctor of witchcraft. In reality, Elizabeth Proctor was initially named by Ann Putnam on March 6, alleging that Proctor's spectre attacked the girl. She was accused by Abigail on March 14 and further accusations were made by Mercy Lewis. Miller has Mary Warren accusing Proctor of afflicting her but this followed his initial accusation by Abigail in early April 1692. There is no historical evidence to suggest that Abigail even knew John Proctor before she accused him of witchcraft. In the 1957 screen adaptation of Miller's piece, Proctor was depicted by Yves Montand. In the 1996 film based on the play, Proctor was played by Daniel Day-Lewis.

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John Proctor, Salem Witch Trials's Timeline

1631
October 9, 1631
Assington, Suffolk, England
October 9, 1631
Suffolk, England
October 1631
Assington, Suffolk, England
1653
1653
Age 21
Ipswich, Essex Co, Massachusetts
1655
1655
Age 23
Ipswich, Essex Co., MA, USA
1655
Age 23
Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1657
January 1, 1657
Age 25
Ipswich, Essex Co., MA, USA
1659
June 10, 1659
Age 27
Ipswich, Essex Co, Massachusetts
1662
December 1662
Age 31
Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts
1663
1663
Age 31
Ipswich, Essex Co., MA