MARTHA CARRIER WAS HUNG AS A WITCH
Martha and her sister Mary
Martha Allen was born about 1654 in Andover,Mass, the daughter of Faith Ingalls and Andrew Allen. In 1674 she married Thomas Carrier of Billerica, who was at least 20 years her senior.
When first married, the Carriers lived in Billerica, where
Martha's sister Mary Toothaker lived. About 1686, the Carrier Family moved to Andover. In the fall of 1690, the smallpox epidemic, which began in Boston, reached Andover, killing over a dozen people. Included in these deaths were seven members
of the Allen family.
The Carriers were accused of bringing smallpox to andover and were banned from entering public places.
On May 18th 1692, the conspiracy of accusers in Salem Village filed a complaint against Dr. Roger Toothaker. They charged him with afflicting, among others, Elizabeth Hubbard, servant of his rival, Dr. William Griggs of Salem Village. Dr.
Toothaker was arrested and sent to Boston Prison.
On May 28th the Salem Village conspiracy filed a complaint against his wife,Mary (Allen) Toothaker, his young daughter Margaret Toothaker, and his sister-in-law, Martha (Allen) Carrier of
On May 31st they were arrested and imprisoned in Salem.
On July 23d 1692, Mary's daughter Martha (Toothaker) Emerson was accused and arrested. Mary Toothaker now a widow made a confession before the Magistrates at Salem. Mary confessed to having made a covenant with the Devil in the past May for protection from the Indians.
About a week later, on August 1st 1692, the Indians attacked Billerica and at least six persons were slain. The Indians returned a few days later and burned down the deserted Toothaker farm.
On August 5th 1692, Mary's sister Martha (Allen) Carrier was condemned by the Court of Oyer and Terminer, and on August 10th she was hanged at Salem.
On February 1st 1693, at the Superior Court of Judicature at Charlestown for Middlesex County, Mary Toothaker was found not guilty in a trial by jury. Her daughter Margaret was also released. In 1695 the Indians raided Billerica. They killed widow Mary (Allen) Toothaker and carried off Margaret, now 12, who was never heard of again.
EXAMINING A 'WITCH' FOR "THE MARK"
MORE ON MARTHA CARRIER AND THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST HER
From Salem-Village Witchcraft: a Documentary Record of Local
Conflict in Colonial New England. Paul Boyer & Stephen
Nissenbaum, eds., pp. 376-378.
When first married, the Carriers had lived in Billerica where Martha's sister, Mary (Allen) Toothaker, and her family lived.
About 1686, the Carrier family moved to Andover. In the fall of 1690, the smallpox epidemic, which had begun in Boston in late 1689, reached Andover, killing over a dozen people there. Included in this number were seven members of the Allen family. The Carriers were accused of bringing smallpox to Andover and were banned from entering public places.
In May of 1692 during the Salem Village conspiracy, the Carriers were imprisoned; Martha Carrier was committed to the chains of Salem Prison.
On June 28th 1692, a summons for witnesses against Martha (Allen) Carrier included Samuel Preston, Jr. Phoebe Chandler, and John Rogers. Phoebe Chandler, age 11, testified: claiming "I was struck deaf, and could hear no prayer, nor singing, till the last two or three words of the singing" during a Sabbath Day meeting.
On August 11, 1692, Thomas Carrier Jr.,age 10, Sarah Carrier, age 7, were tricked by Magistrate Hathorne(gg grandfather of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne) into naming their mother as a witch. The abuse of Martha Carrier's four children was a tactic used by the court to induce her to confess; she never did. On August 19th,1692, Martha Carrier was hanged at Salem.
Andrew Elliot was one of the jurors on the Witch Trials in Salem. He later made a public recantation along with other jurors for the part he had taken in the trial. The other jurors were:
Thomas Fisk, Foreman
William Fisk, John Batcheler, Thomas Fisk Jr., John Dane, Joseph Evelith
Thomas Pearly,Sr., John Peabody, Thomas Perkins, Samuel Sayer
Andrew Elliot-already mentioned, Henry Herrick Sr
Benjamin Abbot accusses Martha
In the testomony of Benjamin Abbot v. Martha Carrier:
The teastymony of Benjamin Abbutt aged about 31 years
Saith: last march was
twelfe months: then haveing Some land granted to me by
the Touwne of Andover
Near to good man Carriers his land, & when this land
Came to be laied out
goodwiffe Carrier was very Angery, & said that she
would stick as Closs to
Benjamin Abbut as the bark stooke to the Tree & that I
should Repent of it
afore Seven years Came to an Eand & that I doctor
prescott Could Never Cure
me: These words were heard by Allin Toothaker She
also Said to Ralph farnam
Jun'r that she whould hold my noss so Closs to the
grindstone as Ever it was
held since my Name was Benjamin Abbut: presently after
I was taken with a
swelling in my foott & then was taken with a payne in
my side Ecksidiengly
Tormented, wich bred to a sore: which was lancit by
docter prescott &
severall gallons of Corruption did Run ou as was
Judged & so Continued about
six weeks Very bad, & then one other sore did breed in
my grine wich was
lancit by doct. prescott also: & Continued very bad a
while & then on other
sore breedin my grine which was also Cutt: & putt me
to very great missery,
so that it brough me almost to Deaths doore, &
Continued, untill goodwiffe
Carrier was Taken & Carried a waye by the Constable &
that very day I begun
to grow better, my soers grew well & I grew better
Every day: & so have been
well Ever since: & have great cause to think that the
s'd Carrier had a
great hand in my sickness & misery.
WARRANT FOR ARREST OF MARTHA CARRIER
To the Marshall of Essex or his dept or to the Constables of Andover
You are in theire Majests names hereby required [to] apprehend and
secure, and bring before [us] Martha Carrier the wife of Thomas Currier of
An[dover] on Tuesday next being the 31't day of this Instant mo[nth] of May
about ten of the clock in the forenoon or as soon as may be afterwards at
[the] house of L't nathaniell Ingersalls in Salem Village who stands
with haveing Committed Sundry [acts] of Witchcraft on the Bodys of Mary
Walcot adn Abi[gail] Williams of Salem Village to theire great hurt &
[injury] in order to her Examination Relateing to the prem[ises] abovesaid
Dated Salem May 28'th 1692
(Reverse) I have apprehend the w'tin named parson and brought her to the
by me John Ballard, const andover
THE HOUSE OF JUDGE JONATHAN CORWIN WHERE THE INTEROGATION OF THE ACCUSED WITCHES TOOK PLACE
REDEMPTION IN 1999
Taken from the Lowell Sun newspaper dated Tuesday March 16 1999:
Billerica family's 323-year exile ends
by Pierre Comtois, Sun Correspondent
BILLERICA- The Carrier family won redemption last night-although it came 323
years too late.
The Board of Selectmen, seeking to undo a wrong committed by their
predecessors during colonial times, voted last night to rescind the banishment
of the entire Carrier family.
In 1676, Thomas and Martha Carrier and family were told by selectmen to
leave town forthwith or pay a surety of 20 shillings per week if they wanted
Selectman Edward Hurd, who's wife is a descendant from the family, said town
records aren't clear but he believes that "a member of the family had the
smallpox virus" and town officials didn't want them to be a burden on their
This immediate family moved to Andover, only to see Martha accused of
witchcraft in the 1690's and sentenced to hang atop Gallows Hill in Salem.
Members of the family later moved to Colchester, CT, Hurd said, though somestayed behind in Billerica.
In the early 1700's, said Hurd, the Massachusetts government apologized to
Thomas Carrier for the hanging of his wife and paid him a settlement.
Last night was the town's turn to make good. Hurd asked his colleagues to
rescind the banishment as an "appropriate gesture" to the Carrier family.
It was unanimously approved.
George Jacobs, Sr
Her trial was from August 2-August 6
During which Martha said:
"...I am wronged. It is a shameful thing that you should mind these folks that are out of their wits."
(Taken from 'The Salem Witchtrial 1692
A Chronology of Events')
Which can be found in it's entirety here:
Just out in 2008 a wonderful book called Heritic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
This page made by Gloria Steele
MORE ON MARTHA CARRIER