John Hale (1636 - 1700) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Charlestown (within present Boston), (Present Suffolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: Died in Beverly, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts
Occupation: Minister
Managed by: David Kaleita
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About John Hale

Ordained September 20, 1667 after preaching three years. First

minister of Beverly. He wrote about the witchcraft delusion of 1692.

Residence - 1667; Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts;

Baptism - 5 JUN 1636; Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts;

Graduation - 1657; Harvard College, Boston North, Middlesex,

Massachusetts;

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hale_(Beverly_minister)

John Hale (3 June 1636 – 15 May 1700), commonly referred to as Reverend Hale, was the pastor of the Church of Christ in Beverly, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials in 1692. He was one of the most prominent and influential clergymen associated with the witch trials, and is most noted as having initially supported the trials, and then changing his mind, publishing a critique of them.


Biography


Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the oldest child of Robert Hale, a blacksmith, he was educated at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1657. He began preaching in Bass-river-side, later called Beverly, about 1664, and was ordained as the first minister of the parish church there on September 20, 1667, when the congregation formally separated from Salem, and he remained until his death in 1700. He married his first wife, Rebecca Byly, on December 15, 1664, and she died April 13, 1683, at the age of forty-five.


As a child, Hale had witnessed the execution of Margaret Jones, the first of 15 people to be executed for witchcraft in New England, between 1648-1663. He was present at the examinations and trials of various people who were accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692, and supported the work of the court. However, on November 14, 1692, 17-year-old Mary Herrick accused his second wife, Sarah Noyes Hale, and the ghost of executed Mary Esty of afflicting her, but his wife was never formally charged or arrested. A later commentator on the trials, Charles Upham suggests that this accusation was one that helped turn public opinion to end the prosecutions, and spurred Hale's willingness to reconsider his support of the trials.


Sarah Hale died on May 20, 1695, at age forty-one. Hale remarried the widow Elizabeth (Somersby) Clark on August 8, 1698.


In 1697, Hale wrote the book, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, challenging the legal precedents and biblical principles used by the court during the trials. The book was not published until 1702, after his death. A large portion of the book was also excerpted that same year in volume 2 of Cotton Mather's history, Magnalia Christi Americana. Hale's only other publication was an “election sermon” of nearly two hundred pages in 1684.


Hale's house at 39 Hale Street, Beverly, where he lived from 1694 until his death in 1700, is now a museum, the John Hale House.


Hale was the great-grandfather of American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale (1755-1776).


Fiction


In Arthur Miller's 1952 play The Crucible, a fictional portrayal of Hale appears in Act I in response to a request from Samuel Parris that he examine Betty Parris, the daughter of Reverend Parris. Hale's quick visit to help with Betty actually causes him to become one of the main characters in the play.


Hale is depicted as a young minister who has devoted most of his life to the study of witchcraft and other demonic arts in the hope of being able to destroy them in the name of God. He has found a 'witch' in his home town of Beverly, Massachusetts, where he preaches. Ironically, Hale is the impetus behind the witch trials and later is the advocate against them. As a devout Christian, Hale sees it as his duty to seek out the witches, and to 'save their souls'. Hale, after seeing the horrors of the witch trials and watching the loss of both civil and human rights, has a conversion of heart and speaks out against them telling Judge Danforth that they are morally wrong. Hale leaves the court when Mary Warren accuses John Proctor of witchcraft, famously declaring, "I denounce these proceedings. I quit this court!" to which Danforth replies, running after him, "Mister Hale, Mister Hale!"


In the 1957 screen adaptation of Miller's piece, he was depicted by Yves Brainville. In the 1996 film version of the play, he was portrayed by Rob Campbell, as a much younger man than would have been historically accurate. His wife is accused by Abigail Williams once she begins to suspect him of doubting her claims. This is quickly dismissed by Danforth, leading to Abigail escaping from the village. He then later sadly witnesses the hanging of Rebecca Nurse, Martha Corey and John Proctor.

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John Hale vs Sarah Wilds 1692

( Rev. John Hale v. Sarah Wilds )

    I John Hale of Beverly aged 56 years beeing sumoned to appeare & give evidence against Sarah Wiles of Topsfeild July.2. 1692; Testify that about 15 or 16 yeares agoe came to my house the wife of John Hirrek of Beverly w'th an aged woeman she said was her mother. Goody Reddington of Topsfeild come to me for counsel beeing in trouble of spirit. When the said Reddington opned her greifs to me thir was one that she was assaulted by witchcraft that Goody wiles her neighb'r bewitched her & afflicted her many times greiviously, telling me many particular storys how & when she troubled her, w'ch I have forgotten. She said allso that a son in law of said Wiles did come & visit her (shee called him an honest young man named John as I take it) & did pitty her the said Reddington , signifying to her that he beleived his mother wiles was a witch & told her storys of his mother. I allso understood by them, that this Goody Wiles was mother in law to a youth named as I take it Jonathan Wiles who about twenty yeares agoe or more did act or was acted very strangly Insomuch that I was invited to [joyn] with Mr Cobbet & others at Ipswich to advise & pray for the said Youth; whome some thought to counterfeit, others to be possessed by the devill. But I remember Mr Cobbet thought he was under Obsession of the devil. Goody Reddingtons discourse hath caused me to have farther thoughts of the said Youths case whether he were not bewitched. 

Jurat in Curia ( Essex Institute MSS. Collection )

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Nathanial Cary's Description of Rev. Hale's Participation in Salem Witchcraft Trials


1692 , Salem

( Nathaniel Cary's Account of his Wife's Examination)

    I having heard some days, that my Wife was accused of Witch-

craft , being much disturbed at it, by advice, we went to Salem- Village , to see if the afflicted did know her; we arrived there, 24 May,

it happened to be a day appointed for Examination; accord- ingly soon after our arrival, Mr. Hathorn and Mr. Curwin , etc., went to the Meeting-house, which was the place appointed for that Work, the Minister began with Prayer, and having taken care to get a convenient place, I observed, that the afflicted were two Girls of about Ten Years old, and about two or three other, of about eight- een , one of the Girls talked most, and could discern more than the rest. The Prisoners were called in one by one, and as they came in were cried out of, etc. The Prisoner was placed about 7 or 8 foot from the Justices, and the Accusers between the Justices and them; the Prisoner was ordered to stand right before the Justices, with an

Officer appointed to hold each hand, least they should therewith afflict them, and the Prisoners Eyes must be constantly on the Jus- tices ; for if they look'd on the afflicted, they would either fall into their Fits, or cry out of being hurt by them; after Examination of the Prisoners, who it was afflicted these Girls, etc., they were put upon saying the Lords Prayer, as a tryal of their guilt; after the afflicted seem'd to be out of their Fits, they would look steadfastly on some one person, and frequently not speak; and then the Justices said they were struck dumb, and after a little time would speak again; then the Justices said to the Accusers, "which of you will go and touch the Prisoner at the Bar?" then the most couragious would ad- venture , but before they had made three steps would ordinarily fall down as in a Fit; the Justices ordered that they should be taken up and carried to the Prisoner, that she might touch them; and as soon as they were touched by the accused, the Justices would say, they are well, before I could discern any alteration; by which I observed that the Justices understood the manner of it. Thus far I was only as a Spectator, my Wife also was there part of the time, but no notice taken of her by the afflicted, except once or twice they came to her and asked her name.


But I having an opportunity to Discourse Mr. Hale (with whom I had formerly acquaintance) I took his advice, what I had best to do, and desired of him that I might have an opportunity to speak with her that accused my Wife; which he promised should be, I acquainting him that I reposed my trust in him.

Accordingly he came to me after the Examination was over, and told me I had now an opportunity to speak with the said Accuser, viz . Abigail Williams , a Girl of 11 or 12 Years old; but that we could not be in private at Mr. Parris's House, as he had promised me; we went therefore into the Alehouse, where an Indian Man attended us, who it seems was one of the afflicted: to him we gave some Cyder, he shewed several Scars, that seemed as if they had been long there, and shewed them as done by Witchcraft, and acquainted us that his Wife, who also was a Slave, was imprison'd for Witchcraft. And now instead of one Accuser, they all came in, who began to tumble down like Swine, and then three Women were called in to attend them. We in the Room were all at a stand, to see who they would cry out of; but in a short time they cried out, Cary ; and immediately after a Warrant was sent from the Justices to bring my Wife before them, who were sitting in a Chamber near by, waiting for this.


Being brought before the Justices, her chief accusers were two Girls; my Wife declared to the Justices, that she never had any knowl- edge of them before that day; she was forced to stand with her Arms stretched out. I did request that I might hold one of her hands, but it was denied me; then she desired me to wipe the Tears from her Eyes, and the Sweat from her Face, which I did; then she desired she might lean her self on me, saying, she should faint.

    Justice Hathorn replied, she had strength enough to torment 

those persons, and she should have strength enough to stand. I speaking something against their cruel proceedings, they commanded me to be silent, or else I should be turned out of the Room. The Indian before mentioned, was also brought in, to be one of her Accusers: being come in, he now (when before the Justices) fell down and tumbled about like a Hog, but said nothing. The Justices asked the Girls, who afflicted the Indian? they answered she ( mean- ing my Wife) and now lay upon him; the Justices ordered her to touch him, in order to his cure, but her head must be turned another way, least instead of curing, she should make him worse, by her looking on him, her hand being guided to take hold of his; but the Indian took hold on her hand, and pulled her down on the Floor, in a barbarous manner; then his hand was taken off, and her hand put on his, and the cure was quickly wrought. I being extreamly troubled at their Inhumane dealings, uttered a hasty Speech (That God would take vengeance on them, and desired that God would deliver us out of the hands of unmerciful men.) Then her Mittimus was writ. I did with difficulty and charge obtain the liberty of a Room, but no Beds in it; if there had, could have taken but little rest that Night. She was committed to Boston Prison; but I obtained a Habeas Corpus to remove her to Cambridge Prison, which is in our County of Middle- sex . Having been there one Night, next Morning the Jaylor put Irons on her legs (having received such a command) the weight of them was about eight pounds; these Irons and her other Afflictions, soon brought her into Convulsion Fits, so that I thought she would have died that Night. I sent to intreat that the Irons might be taken off, but all intreaties were in vain, if it would have saved her Life, so that in this condition she must continue. The Tryals at Salem

coming on, I went thither, to see how things were there managed; and finding that the Spectre-Evidence was there received, together with Idle, if not malicious Stories, against Peoples Lives, I did easily perceive which way the rest would go; for the same Evidence that served for one, would serve for all the rest. I acquainted her with her danger; and that if she were carried to Salem to be tried, I feared she would never return. I did my utmost that she might have her Tryal in our own County, I with several others Petitioning the Judge for it, and were put in hopes of it; but I soon saw so much, that I under- stood thereby it was not intended, which put me upon consulting the means of her escape; which thro the goodness of God was ef- fected , and she got to Road Island, but soon found her self not safe when there, by reason of the pursuit after her; from thence she went to New-York, along with some others that had escaped their cruel hands; where we found his Excellency Benjamin Fletcher , Esq; Governour, who was very courteous to us. After this some of my Goods were seized in a Friends hands, with whom I had left them, and my self imprisoned by the Sheriff, and kept in Custody half a day, and then dismist; but to speak of their usage of the Prisoners, and their Inhumanity shewn to them, at the time of their Execution, no sober Christian could bear; they had also tryals of cruel mockings; which is the more, considering what a People for Religion, I mean the profession of it, we have been; those that suffered being many of them Church-Members, and most of them unspotted in their Con- versation , till their Adversary the Devil took up this Method for accusing them.


Per Nathaniel Cary.

NOTE: Ms. Cary, a higher class accused, escaped with her husband's help (bribing the Boston jailer) to NY and survived the hysteria. Unclear from this recounting whether Hale was duplicitous.

( Robert Calef, More Wonders of the Invisible World [London 1700] as excerpted in Burr, ed., Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, pp. 350-352 .)

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John Hale Deposition against Dorcas Hoar


(The Rev. John Hale v. Dorcas Hoar )

John Hale aged 56 yeares Testifieth 6. 7 [sic] . 1692 That for severall yeares agoe formerly were storys told concerning Dorcas Hoar her beeing a fortune teller. And that she had told her owne fortune, viz that she should live poorely so long as her husband willm Hoar did live, but the said will should dye before her, & after that shee should live better. Allso the fortune of Ens: Corning & his wife who should dye.first & that shee had had a book of fortune telling. About twenty two yeares agoe the s'd Dorcas manifested to me great repentance for the sins of her former life & that she had borrowed a book of Palmstry, & their were rules to know what should come to pass. But I telling her that it was an evill book & evill art shee seemed to me to renounce, or reject all such practices: whereupon I had great charity for her severall yeares. But 14 yeares agoe last spring I discovered an evillractice had been between a servant of mine & some of s'd Hoars children in conveying goods out of my house to the s'd Hoars . and I had a daughter Rebecca then between 11 & 12 years old, whome I asked if she knew of the Hoars stealing: she told me yea, But durst not reveale it to me, & one reason was, she was threatened that Goody Hoar was a witch & had a book by w'ch shee could tell what s'd Rebecca did tell me in my house & if the s'd Rebecca told me of the stealing, the said Hoar would raise the devill to kill her, or bewitch her, or words to that effect. (but whether she said that Dorcas her selfe or her chilldren told Rebecca those words I remember not) I asked Rebecca if she saw the book she said yea, she was shewed that book & their were many streaks & pictures in it by w'ch (as she was told) the said Hoar could reveale secretes & work witchcrafts. I asked her how big the book was, she said it was like a gramer, that lay on the table. And said shee now I have told you of the stealing Goody Hoar will bewitch me. I perswaded my daughter not to think so hardly of Goody Hoar . But she replyed I know Goody Hoar is a witch (or to the effect) & then told storys of strange things that had been acted in or about my house, when I & my wife were abroad to fright s'd Rebecca into silence about the theft, w'ch s'd Rebecca judged to be acts of s'd Hoars witchcraft the particulars I have now forgotten. I called to minde that the s'd Hoar had told me of a book of palmstry she had, but not the bigness of it; therefore that I might be better satisfyed I asked Thomas Tuck if he knew Goody Hoar to have a book of fortune telling & he said yea shee had, such a kind of book w'ch he had seen w'th streaks & pictures in it and that it was about the bigness of such a book poynting to a gramer, or book of like magnitude. this confirmed me in the opinion that my daughter had seen such a book. And after my daughters death a freind told me that my daughter said to her shee went in fear of her life by the hoars till quieted by the script'r. Fear not them w'ch can kill the boady &c.


About those times other things were spoken of the s'd Hoares suspicians of her witchcraft whereupon a frend of mine did as I was informed acquaint Maj'r Denison w'th them, for his consideration & as I was informed Maj'r Denison took an opportunity to examine s'd W'm Hoare about a fortune book his wife had & W'm Hoar answered the book was John Samsons & his wife had returned the book long agoe & so the matter was left for that time. When discourses revived of Goody Hoars fortune telling of later times, & she beeing comited to Boston I did last may speak w'th her of may things that I had known & heard of her. Shee told me that he owne fortune that she spake of, she was told by a shipmaster when she was first marryed. & Ens: Corning fortune viz that his first wife should dye before him (w'ch is since come to pass) she sapke it from observing a certain streak under the eye of s'd Corning or his wife: But as I take it it was his wife had the streak. And for seeing the devill, or any spirit but ones, & that was soon after old Thomas Tuck dyed (w'ch I take to be about ten yeare since) & that shee took it to be the Ghost of Thom: tuck coming to speak w'th her about some land s'd Tuck had told her of before his death. But that shee fled from the Ghost & got away.


The fortune book she said was about the bigness of a childs Psalter (w'ch agrees w'th that of a gramer) But owned no other but that of John Samsons w'ch he had from her as she said above 20 years agoe & that shee had not told fortunes since the time I had layed before her the evill of it. w'ch is about 20 or 22 years since. I lately spake w'th John Samson & he told me that he had a book of Palmstry when he lived at Goody Hoars w'ch shee had seen: but that it was a book in quarto. & he sold it at Casco-Bay about 30 yeares since & had not seen it since

Jurat in Curia (On reverse side of paper)

Mr. Jno. Hale

( Essex County Archives, Salem -- Witchcraft Vol. 1 Page 80 )

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Witch Trials

As a child, Hale had witnessed the execution of Margaret Jones, the first of 15 people to be executed for witchcraft in New England between 1648-1663.[5] He was present at the examinations and trials of various people who were accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692, and supported the work of the court. However, on November 14, 1692, 17-year-old Mary Herrick accused his second wife, Sarah Noyes Hale, and the ghost of executed Mary Esty of afflicting her, but his wife was never formally charged or arrested.[6] A later commentator on the trials, Charles Upham suggests that this accusation was one that helped turn public opinion to end the prosecutions, and spurred Hale's willingness to reconsider his support of the trials.[7]

An Account Received from the mouth of Mary Herrick aged about 17 

yeares having been Afflicted [by] the Devill or some of his instruments, about 2 month. She saith she had oft been Afflicted and that the shape of Mrs. Hayle had been represented to her, One amongst others, but she knew not what hand Afflicted her then, but on the 5th of the 9th [i. e., November] She Appeared again with the Ghost of Gooddee Easty, and that then Mrs. Hayle did sorely Afflict her by pinching, pricking and Choaking her. On the 12th of the 9th she Came again and Gooddee Easty with her and then Mrs. Hayle did Afflict her as formerly. Sd Easty made as if she would speake but did not, but on the same night they Came again and Mrs. Hayle did sorely Afflict her, and asked her if she thought she was a Witch. The Girl answered no. You be the Devill. Then said Easty sd and speake, She Came to tell her She had been put to Death wrongfully and was Innocent of Witchcraft, and she Came to Vindicate her Cause and she Cryed Vengeance, Vengeance, and bid her reveal this to Mr. Hayle and Gerish, and then she would rise no more, nor should Mrs. Hayle Afflict her any more. Memorand : that Just before sd Easty was Executed, She Appeared to sd Girl, and said I am going upon the Ladder to be hanged for a Witch, but I am innocent, and be- fore a 12 Month be past you shall believe it. Sd Girl sd she speake not of this before because she believed she was Guilty, Till Mrs. Hayle appeared to her and Afflicted her, but now she believeth it is all a Delusion of the Devil. "This before Mr. Hayle and Gerish 14th of the 9th 1692." "Gerish" means the Rev. Joseph Gerrish, of Wenham, who is doubtless here the scribe. [SOURCE: Narratives of Witchcraft,

Sarah Hale died on May 20, 1695, at age forty-one. Hale remarried the widow Elizabeth (Somersby) Clark on August 8, 1698.[8]

In 1697, Hale wrote the book, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft,[9] challenging the legal precedents and biblical principles used by the court during the trials. The book was not published until 1702, after his death. A large portion of the book was also excerpted that same year in volume 2 of Cotton Mather's history, Magnalia Christi Americana.[10] Hale's only other publication was an “election sermon” of nearly two hundred pages in 1684.[4]

Hale's house at 39 Hale Street, Beverly, where he lived from 1694 until his death in 1700, is now a museum, the John Hale House.[11]

Hale was the great-grandfather of American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale (1755-1776).

-- wikipedia

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Rev. Hale- Witch Trials

A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1697, by John Hale. Title Page of Rev. John Hale's brief history of the Salem Witchcraft trials, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, 1697. Hale was the Pastor of the Church in Beverly, Massachusetts until 1700 and an ardent supporter of the witch hunts of 1692. His opinion changed, however, when his second wife, Sarah (Noyes), was accused.

In 1697, Hale wrote the book, A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft,[8] challenging the legal precedents and biblical principles used by the court during the trials. The book was not published until 1702, after his death. A large portion of the book was also excerpted that same year in volume 2 of Cotton Mather's history, Magnalia Christi Americana.Hale's house at 39 Hale Street, Beverly, where he lived from 1694 until his death in 1700, is now a museum, the John Hale House. Hale was the great-grandfather of American Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale (1755-1776).

John Hale (3 June 1636 – 15 May 1700), commonly referred to as Reverend Hale, was the pastor of the Church of Christ in Beverly, Massachusetts, during the Salem witch trials in 1692. He was one of the most prominent and influential clergymen associated with the witch trials, and is most noted as having initially supported the trials, and then changing his mind, publishing a critique of them.

Born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the oldest child of Robert Hale, a blacksmith, he was educated at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, graduating in 1657. He began preaching in Bass-river-side, later called Beverly, about 1664, and was ordained as the first minister of the parish church there on September 20, 1667, when the congregation formally separated from Salem, and he remained until his death in 1700

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The Rev. John Hale (1636-1700), a native of the colony and a graduate of Harvard in its class of 1657, had since 1665 been pastor at Beverly, the parish lying north of Salem, from which it was severed by a narrow arm of the sea, and at the west adjoining yet more closely Salem Village, through which lay the land route connecting Beverly with Salem and with Boston. Many of those connected with the beginnings of the witch panic had, prior to the erection of the Village parish, been in attendance at the Beverly church. Some were still so; and the spreading suspicion soon invaded this parish itself. It was not strange, then, that from the first, as we have seen already, Hale's interest in the proceedings was close and atten- tive.^ There can be no question that, as Calef says, "he had been very forward in these Prosecutions, and, like his neigh- bor pastors Parris and Noyes, had held the most credulous views as to the worth of the testimony of the "afflicted." How those views changed after the accusation of his loved and honored wife...

Introduction to Hale's book

"my Reverend Brother Mr. Hale, having for above Thirty Years been Pastor of the Church at Beverly (but Two Miles from Salem, where the Tryals were) was frequently present, and was a diligent Observer of all that passed,"

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Rev. John Hale's Timeline

1636
April 4, 1636
Charlestown (within present Boston), (Present Suffolk County), Massachusetts Bay Colony
1664
December 15, 1664
Age 28
Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States
1666
April 28, 1666
Age 30
1668
November 3, 1668
Age 32
1684
March 3, 1684
Age 47
Newbury, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
1685
October 14, 1685
Age 49
Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
1687
August 13, 1687
Age 51
Beverly,, Essex, MA, United States
1688
November 3, 1688
Age 52
Massachessetts
1689
June 15, 1689
Age 53
Beverly, Essex, Massachessetts
1692
December 24, 1692
Age 56