Pennsylvania Witch Trial

Pennsylvania Witch Trial — Pennsylvania had its own witch trial that beat the more famous — and far more deadly  — ones in Massachusetts by a decade.

It was presided over by William Penn, himself, and it happened in Delaware County in Ridley.

Margaret Mattson, the wife of Neals, was accused of bewitching cows and indicted for the dastardly deed on Feb. 27, 1683. She pleaded not guilty and was remanded to trial with a jury of 12 and Penn as the judge.

Penn asked her “Art thou a witch? Has thou ridden through the air on a broomstick?” Margaret, a Swede who did not speak English very well, answered “yes.” Penn pointed out that riding a broomstick was not illegal. The jury went out and came back with verdict of guilty  of “having the common frame of being a witch” but not guilty of bewitching the cows. Her husband and son-in-law pledged 50 pounds each to guarantee her good behavior for the next six months. Presumably they never lost their money and Margaret lived to a nice old age.

This was Pennsylvania’s first and only witch trial.

Just gives us one more reason to feel superior to New England, we feel. Quidditch is cool in The Keystone State.

Pennsylvania Witch Trial


Pennsylvania Witch Trial

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