Judge Jonathan Corwin, Salem Witch Trials

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Jonathan Corwin

Birthdate: (77)
Birthplace: Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Death: Died in Salem, Essex County, Province of Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Captain George Curwen and Elizabeth 'Alice' (Herbert) Curwen
Husband of Elizabeth Corwin
Father of Elizabeth Corwin; Margaret Corwin; Sarah Corwin; Jonathan Corwin; George Corwin and 4 others
Brother of Abigail (Curwen) Russell; John Corwin; Hannah Browne and Elizabeth Corwin
Half brother of Penelope Wolcott; Susanna Lyde and George Corwin

Managed by: Ken Jon Schonberg
Last Updated:

About Judge Jonathan Corwin, Salem Witch Trials


Jonathan Corwin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jonathan Corwin (December 10, 1640 – June 9, 1718) was a wealthy New England merchant, and a judge in the Salem, Massachusetts area who was involved in the Salem Witch Trials. He married Elizabeth Gibbs, widow of Robert Gibbs, in 1675 and had ten children. One of them was George Corwin who after his studies at Harvard became minister at the First Church in Salem. Corwin served as a representative for Salem in the Massachusetts legislature. He was also appointed to the Superior Court of Massachusetts.


 [hide]  1 Salem witchcraft trials involvement
2 Notable events
3 The Corwin house
4 References and notes
5 External links

[edit] Salem witchcraft trials involvement

As a magistrate, Jonathan Corwin dealt with petty crimes and minor charges such as drunkenness and burglary. He was called to investigate the widespread accusations of witchcraft in Salem in 1692 and was appointed to be a judge on the Court of Oyer and Terminer after another judge Nathaniel Saltonstall had resigned in protest over the first hanging, the verdict of which had been based on so-called spectral evidence. Spectral evidence was judged to be a legitimate means of identifying a witch as many people believed that the Devil could not assume an innocent person's shape.

Corwin signed several arrest warrants and transcribed a few of the hearings but scarcity of records from the 1692 events makes it impossible to determine Judge Corwin’s overall import in the trials as well as his attitude towards spectral evidence.

The court of Oyer and Terminer, established by Sir William Phips, convicted nineteen of witchcraft and sentenced them to the gallows.

[edit] Notable events

March 1, 1692 - Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne.
May 27, 1692 - Gov. Phips establishes a Court of Oyer and Terminer to investigate the allegations of witchcraft. Lieutenant Gov. William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin are its members. [1]

[edit] The Corwin house

The house of Jonathan Corwin Corwin's house is the only remaining structure in Salem with direct ties to the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692. His home is now a museum that focuses on seventeenth-century furnishings, architecture, and lifestyle. [2]

[edit] References and notes

About the Salem Witch Trials

From wikipedia:


The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings before local magistrates followed by county court Trial (law)|trials to prosecute people accused of witchcraft in the counties of Essex County, Massachusetts|Essex, Suffolk County, Massachusetts|Suffolk, and Middlesex County, Massachusetts|Middlesex in Province of Massachusetts Bay|colonial Massachusetts, between February 1692 and May 1693. Despite being generally known as the Salem, Massachusetts|Salem witch trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in a variety of towns across the province: Danvers, Massachusetts|Salem Village, Ipswich, Massachusetts|Ipswich, Andover, Massachusetts|Andover and Salem Town. The best-known trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. Over 150 people were arrested and imprisoned, with even more accused but not formally pursued by the authorities. At least five more of the accused died in prison. All twenty-six who went to trial before this court were convicted. The four sessions of the Superior Court of Judicature in 1693, held in Salem Village, but also in Ipswich, Massachusetts|Ipswich, Boston, and Charlestown, Boston|Charlestown, produced only three convictions in the thirty-one witchcraft trials it conducted. The two courts convicted twenty-nine people of the capital felony of witchcraft. Nineteen of the accused, fourteen women and five men, were hanged. One man, Giles Corey, refused to enter a plea and was crushing|crushed to death under heavy stones in an attempt to force him to do so.

The episode is one the most famous cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and governmental intrusion on individual liberties.<ref>Harvnbp=</ref>

List of people of the Salem Witch Trials


The accused Found guilty and executed

  • Bridget Bishop (June 10, 1692) * Rebecca (Towne) Nurse (July 19, 1692) * Sarah (Solart) Good (July 19, 1692) * Elizabeth (Jackson) Howe (July 19, 1692) * Sarah (Averill) Wildes (July 19, 1692) * Susannah (North) Martin (July 19, 1692) * George Burroughs (August 19, 1692) * Martha (Allen) Carrier (August 19, 1692) * George Jacobs, Sr. (August 19, 1692) * John Proctor (August 19, 1692) * John Willard (August 19, 1692) * Martha Corey (September 22, 1692) * Mary (Towne) Eastey (September 22, 1692) * Alice Parker (September 22, 1692) * Mary (Ayer) Parker (September 22, 1692) * Ann Pudeator (September 22, 1692) * Margaret (Stevenson) Scott (September 22, 1692) * Wilmot Redd (September 22, 1692) * Samuel Wardwell Sr. (September 22, 1692) * Brett Vickerman (September 12, 1693)

Found guilty and pardoned

  • Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor - pregnant * Abigail (Dane) Faulkner Sr. - pregnant * Mary Post * Sarah (Hooper) Wardwell * Elizabeth Johnson Jr. * Dorcas Hoar

Found guilty and escaped

  • Mary (Perkins) Bradbury * Joseph Rosenbrock * Lisa Leal

Pled guilty and pardoned

  • Ann (Alcock) Foster -- died in custody, December 1692 * Mary (Foster) Lacey Sr. * Rebecca (Blake) Eames * Abigail Hobbs * Mary (Clements) Osgood

Refused to enter a plea and pressed to death

  • Giles Corey

Found not guilty

  • Abigail (Wheeler) Barker * Mary Barker * William Barker, Jr. * Mary Bridges, Jr. * Mary (Tyler) Bridges, Sr. * Sarah Bridges * Sarah (Smith) Buckley * Sarah (Aslebee) Cole * Lydia Dustin -- died in custody after trial * Sarah Dustin * Eunice (Potter) Frye * Sarah Hawkes, Jr. * Margaret Jacobs * Rebecca (Andrews) Jacobs * Elizabeth (Dane) Johnson, Sr. * Mary Lacey, Jr. * Mary (Osgood) Marston * Hannah Post * Susannah Post * Mary (Harrington) Taylor * Julie Kildunne * Mary (Allen) Toothaker * Hannah Tyler * Mary (Lovett) Tyler * Mercy Wardwell * Mary (Buckley) Witheridge * Tressa Wolever

Arrested, but never tried Died in custody

  • Sarah (Warren) Osborne * Roger Toothaker


  • John Alden * Edward Bishop Jr. * Sarah (Wilds) Bishop * William Barker Sr. * Edward Farrington * Katherine (Schneider) Cary * Phillip English * Mary (Hollingsworth) English

Indicted by a grand jury, but never tried

  • Stephen Johnson * William Barker Sr. * Edward Farrington * Johnathon Ferren

Not indicted by a grand jury

  • William Procter * Sarah (Towne) Cloyce * Phillip English * Mary (Hollingsworth) English * Tituba * Thomas Farrar * Katerina Biss * Phoebe Wildes (Day)

Released on bond

  • Dorcas Good * Sarah Carrier * Thomas Carrier Jr. * Dorothy Faulkner * Abigail Faulkner Jr. * Sarah (Lord) Wilson

Evaded arrest, never tried

  • George Jacobs Jr. * Daniel Andrews

Named, but no arrest warrant issued

  • Anne (Wood) Bradstreet * Dudley Bradstreet * John Bradstreet * John Busse -- minister in Wells, Maine * Francis Dane -- minister in Andover, Mass. * Sarah (Noyes) Hale -- wife of Rev. John Hale, minister in Beverly, Mass. * James How -- husband of Elizabeth (Jackson) How * Hezekiah Usher * Mary (Spencer) Phips -- wife of Massachusetts Governor William Phips * Sarah (Clapp) Swift * Margaret (Webb) Thatcher -- mother-in-law of magistrate Jonathan Corwin

Magistrates of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, 1692

  • William Stoughton, Chief Magistrate * John Richards * Nathaniel Saltonstall * Waitstill Winthrop * Bartholomew Gedney * Samuel Sewall * John Hathorne * Jonathan Corwin * Peter Sergeant

Justices of the Superior Court of Judicature, 1693

  • William Stoughton, Chief Justice * Thomas Danforth * John Richards * Waitstill Winthrop * Samuel Sewall


  • Cotton Mather, Boston * Increase Mather, Boston * John Hale, Beverly * Nicholas Noyes, Salem * Samuel Parris, Salem Village * Francis Dane, Andover * Samuel Willard, Groton, Boston


  • Capt. Thomas Fisk, Sr., Foreman * William Fisk * John Bacheler * Capt. Thomas Fisk, Jr. * John Dane * Joseph Evelith * Thomas Pearly, Sr. * John Peabody * Thomas Perkins * Andrew Eliot * Henry Herrick, Jr.

Public figures and politicians

  • William Phips -- Governor * Thomas Brattle * Robert Calef


-"The Afflicted Girls"-

  • Betty Parris * Abigail Williams * Mercy Lewis * Ann Putnam, Jr. * Elizabeth (Betty) Hubbard * Mary Walcott * Susannah Sheldon * Mary Warren

Physician Who Diagnosed "Bewitchment"

  • William Griggs


  • Sarah Bibber * Jessica Titus * Ann (Carr) Putnam Sr. * Basheba Pope * Benjamin Abbot

http://www.hawthorneinsalem.org/ScholarsForum/MMD1705.html -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Birth: Nov. 14, 1640 Death: Jul. 25, 1718

Jurist. He was a judge in the infamous Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692, assisting in conducting examinations of many of those accused of witchcraft, which helped create a hysteria in the coastal Massachusetts town. As a result of the witchcraft trials, 20 people from in and around Salem Village (now Danvers), Massachusetts were hanged, and several other died in jail awaiting trial. (bio by: M.J. Beard)

Burial: Broad Street Cemetery Salem Essex County Massachusetts, USA GPS (lat/lon): 42.51797, -70.89931

Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?]

Maintained by: Find A Grave Originally Created by: M.J. Beard Record added: Nov 28, 2005 Find A Grave Memorial# 12540466 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John CORWIN [1638-1683] m.1665 Margaret WINTHROP [ -1697]

 John;  s/o George Corwin & Elizabeth Waite; born 25 Jul, 1638 in England;  married Margaret Winthrop;  a merchant;  a freeman in 1665;  a representative in 1679;  died 12 Jul, 1683
 Margaret,  d/o of Gov. John Winthrop of Conn., USA;  died 28 Sep, 1697 in Boston

Sources: - from The Early Germans for New Jersey/Corwin/Hunterdon And Warren Counties: children: George, Elisabeth, Lucy, Hannah, Samuel http://www.paulturner.ca/Phillips/Harris/Corwin/corwin-dossiers.htm

view all 14

Judge Jonathan Corwin, Salem Witch Trials's Timeline

November 14, 1640
Salem, Massachusetts Bay Colony

John Corwin
in the Family Data Collection - Births
Name: John Corwin
Father: George Corwin Corwen
Mother: Elizabeth Herbert White
Birth Date: 25 Jul 1638
County: Was
Country: England
Source Information
Edmund West, comp.. Family Data Collection - Births [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2001.
The Family Data Collection - Births database was created while gathering genealogical data for use in the study of human genetics and disease. Learn more...
© 2015, Ancestry.com


May 5, 1678
Age 37
April 15, 1679
Age 38
August 12, 1680
Age 39
October 2, 1681
Age 40
May 21, 1683
Age 42
July 9, 1684
Age 43
November 30, 1685
Age 45