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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1711 :: Reversal of Attainder for Rebecca Eames

On this date in our family history . . . the 17th day of October . . . in the year 1711 . . . there was passed an act to reverse the attainders of a number of persons previously accused of witchcraft . . . among those accused was one Rebecka Eames nee Blake . . . who is a 9th great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . the following is from The Salem Witchcraft Papers . . .

Province of the Massachusets Bay: Anno Regni Anna Reginae Decimo.

An Act to reverse the attainders of George Burroughs and others for Witchcraft

Forasmuch as in the year of our Lord one Thousand six hundred ninety two several Towns within this Province were Infested with a horrible Witchcraft or possession of devils; And at a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer holden at Salem in the County of Essex in the same year 1692. George Burroughs of Wells, John Procter , George Jacobs , John Willard , Giles Core , and [] his wife, Rebecca Nurse and Sarah Good all of Salem aforesaid Elizabeth How of Ipswich, Mary eastey , Sarah Wild and Abigail Hobbs all of Topsfield, Samuel Wardell , Mary Parker* ; Martha Carrier , Abigail Falkner : Anne Foster , Rebecca Eames , Mary Post and Mary Lacey all of Andover, Mary Bradbury , of Salisbury, and Dorcas Hoar of Beverley Were severally Indicted convicted and attainted of Witchcraft and some of them put to death, others lying still under the like sentance of the said Court, and liable to have the same Executed upon them.

The Influence and Energy of the Evil Spirits so great at that time acting in and upon those who were the principal accusers and Witnesses proceeding so far as to cause a Prosecution to be had of persons of known and good reputation, which caused a great disatisfaction and a stop to be put thereunto until theire Majesty's pleasure should be known therein:

And upon a Representation thereof accordingly made her late Majesty Queen Mary the second of blessed memory by Her Royal Letter given at her Court at Whitehall the fifteenth of April 1693. was Graciously pleased to approve the care and Circumspection therein; and to Will and require that in all proceedings ag't persons accused for Witchcraft, or being possessed by the devil, the greatest Moderation and all due Circumspection be used, so far as the same may be without Impediment to the Ordinary course of Justice.

And some of the principal Accusers and Witnesses in those dark and severe prosecutions have since discovered themselves to be persons of profligate and vicious conversation.

Upon the humble Petition and suit of several of the s'd persons and of the children of others of them whose Parents were Executed. Be it Declared and Enacted by his Excellency the Governor Council and Representatives in General Court assembled and by the authority of the same That the several convictions Judgments and Attainders against the said George Borroughs , John Procter , George Jacob , John Willard , Giles Core and [] Core , Rebecca Nurse , Sarah Good , Elizabeth How , Mary Easty , Sarah W[ild] Abigail Hobbs , Samuel Wardell , Mary Parker* , Martha Carrier , Abigail Falkner , Anne Foster , Rebecca Eame[s], Mary Post , Mary Lacey , Mary Bradbury , and Dorcas [Hoar] , and every of them Be and hereby are reversed made and d[eclared] to be null and void to all Intents, Constructions and purposes wh[atso] ever, as if no such convictions, Judgments or Attainders had ever [been] had or given. And that no penalties or forfeitures of Goods or Chattels be by the said Judgments and attainders or either of them had or Incurrd.

Any Law Usage or Custom to the contrary notwithstanding. And that no Sheriffe, Constable, Goaler or other officer shall be Liable to any prosecution in the Law for anything they then Legally did in the Execution of their respective offices.

Made and Pass'd by the Great and General Court or Assembly of her Majestys Province of the Massachusets: Bay: in New England held at Boston the 17th day of october. 1711.

See also . . . Salem Witch Trials Aftermath 1711 where you can view images of this document from the Library of Congress . . .

*P.S. . . . this Mary Parker is also a 9th great-grandma to the Keeper of this family history blog . . . she was hanged as a witch on the 22nd day of September in the year 1692 . . .

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