About Wilmot Redd
Wilmot Redd (c1638 - 1692) - Wilmot was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts about 1638, and executed for witchcraft by hanging at the age of 54 on 22 September 1692 in Salem Towne, Essex County, Massachusetts. The wife of Samuel Redd, a fisherman in Marblehead, she was known as a crusty old woman who was not popular with the womenfolk of the area. Local fisherman knew her as “Mammy.”
New Englanders of the nineteenth century remembered Wilmot Redd in a popular rhyme:
"Old Mammy Redd of Marblehead,
Sweet milk could turn to mold in churn."
Her abrasive manner caused one neighbor to bring her before a magistrate for her "mis-demeanures". Quarrels with a neighbor and disputes involving her butter business had inspired rumors that she was a witch as early as 1687. Furthering this belief was the fact that her daughter had been married to the Reverend Reverend George Burroughs, who had been identified as the "ringleader" of the witches.
Accused by several of the "afflicted girls" of Salem Village, a warrant was issued for her arrest by Magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne. She was arrested 28 May 1692, by local constable James Smith on charges of having "committed sundry acts of witchcraft on bodies of Mary Walcott and Mercy Lewis and others in Salem Village to their great hurt."
She was taken to Salem Village for a preliminary examination in the home of Nathan Ingersoll on 31 May 1692. Upon her arrival, the "afflicted girls," which she had never met before, promptly fell into fits. When asked what she thought ailed them, Redd said, "I cannot tell." Urged to give an opinion, she stated, "My opinion is they are in a sad condition." She was indicted as a witch and jailed.
Four months later she was tried in Salem Town without benefit of defense counsel. Testifying against her were Marblehead residents Ambrose Gale, Charity Pitman and Sarah Doddy, who said that Wilmott Redd had cursed a Mrs. Syms with an enduring case of constipation.
On 17 September 1692 she was found guilty and condemned to hang. Four days later, she and seven others were executed on Gallows Hill in Salem. She was the only Marblehead resident to be executed. Afterwards she was probably buried in an unmarked grave near her home because the law would not allow her to be buried in consecrated ground.
Her small house once stood next to Old Burial Hill, on the southeast corner of the Redd's Pond, which bears her name today. A memorial marker now stands next to her husband's grave in Old Burial Hill. Centuries later, on 31 October 2001 Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift signed a bill pardoning Wilmot Redd along with four other victims who had been executed for witchcraft.