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Text of the Examination of William Barker, Sr. August 29, 1692:

29. agust. 92.
Coram
Maj'r Gidney
Mr. hathorn
Mr. Corwin
Capt higginson

William Barker of Andovers examination & confession He confesses he has been in the snare of the devil three years, that the devil first appeared to him lyke a black man and perceived he had a cloven foot, That the devil demanded of him to give up himself soul & Body unto him, which he promesed to doe. He said he had a great family, the world went hard with him and was willing to pay every man his own, And the devil told him he would pay all his debts and he should live comfortably -- He confesses he has afflicted Sprague foster and martin, his three accusers. That he did syne the devils book with blood brought to him in a thing lyke an Inkhorn that he dip't his fingers there in and made a blott in the book which was a confirmation of the Covenent with the devil. He confesses he was at a meeting of witches at Salem Village where he judges there was about a hundred of them, that the meeting was upon a green peece of ground neare the ministers house, He said they mett there to destroy that place by reason of the peoples being divided & theire differing with their ministers

Satans design was to set up his own worship, abolish all the churches in the land, to fall next upon Salem and soe goe through the countrey, He sayth the devil promeised that all his people should live bravely that all persones should be equall; that their should be no day of resurection or of judgement, and neither punishment nor shame for sin -- He sayth there was a Sacrament at that meeting, there was also bread & wyne Mr. Burse was a ringleader in that meet- ing and name several persones that were there at the meeting, It was proposed at the meeting to make as many witches as they could, and they were all by Mr. Burse and the black man exhorted to pull down the Kingdome of christ and set up the kingdome of the devil, He said he knew Mr. Burroughs and Goody How to be such persones, And that he heard a trumpet sounded at the meeting and thinks it was Burse that did it, the sound is heard many myles off and then they all come one after another -- In the spring of the yeare the wit- ches came from Connecticut to afflict at Salem Village but now they have left it off And that he has been informed by some of the grandees that there is about 307 witches in the country, -- He sayth the witches are much disturbed with the afflicted persones because they are descovered by them, They curse the judges Because their Society is brought under, They wold have the afflicted persones count- ed as witches but he thinks the afflicted persones are Innocent & that they doe god good service And that he has not known or heard of one innocent persone taken up & put in prisone -- He saith he is heartily sorry for what he has done and for hurting the afflicted persones his accusers, prayes their forgiveness, desyres pray'rs for himself, promises to renounce the devil and all his works, And then he could take them all by the hand without any harme by his eye or any otherwise --

5. 7: 92 the aboveSaid is the Truth as wittnese my hand:

*William Barker (In left margin) he owned this in the Court of Oyre & Terminer as on the back Side

(Reverse) At a court of Oyer & Terminer held at Salem Sep'r 16. 92: Owned in Court at Salem Sept'r 16. 1692

Attest * St Sewall *William Barker (Massachusetts Archives Vol. 135 No. 39) (courtesy of the University of Virginia, Salem Witchcraft Papers site)




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