Deposition of William Stacy v. Bridget Bishop

Summary:

Around 1678, Bishop visited William Stacy, who was sick with small pox. Bishop expressed an unusual love for Stacy during his illness.

 

Sometime after Stacy was well, Bishop hired him to do some work for her, but the three pence he was paid vanished from his pocket.

Later, when Stacy met Bishop in the street, she asked Stacy whether his father would grind her grist. Stacy asked why she would bother asking, to which Bishop replied that "folks counted her a witch". Stacy said his father would grind it, but as he pulled away in his cart, the wheel sinks into a hole and becomes so stuck, he needs help from another to free it. Later, Stacy went back to the location but could not find a hole.

One midnight in the winter, Stacy was woken by something between his lips pressing hard and cold against his teeth. He sat up in bed to find Bishop, dressed in a black cap, black hat, and red coat sitting at the foot of his bed. Night became day and Bishop began hoping upon the bed and about the room and then went out, at which point night returned. When Bishop discovered that Stacy had told the story to several others, she confronted him and asked him if it was true. Stacy said it was true and dared her to deny it. Bishop became very angry and said that Stacy was causing her mischief because people would believe him.

Some time Bishop threatened Stacy and told him he was responsible for calling her out about the brass she stole. 

During a dark night, Stacy was going to the barn and was suddenly hoisted from the ground and thrown against a stone wall. He was then hoisted up again and thrown down a bad at the end of his house. 

As Stacy passed Bishop on a hill, Stacy's horse stood still, causing the cart to fall down. As Stacy went to lift a a bag of 2 bushels of corn, he could not lift it with all his might.

Stacy claims to have met with several others about Bishops pranks on several occasions, but would take a great time to tell them all. 

Stacy believes that Bishop was instrumental in his daughets death in 1690. The child was a thriving child and suddenly continuted to scream out in an unusual manner for about a fortnight and died in that lamentable manner. 

Bridgett Bishop of the Towne of Salem aged [ ] Years or thereabouts dep. 


William Stacey Of the Towne of Salem Aged: Thirty Six Years or 
thereaboutes Deposeth and Saith:/.

That about fourteen years ago, this Deponant was Visited 
with the Small Pox, then Bridget Bishop did give him a visit, and 
with all Professed a great Love for this Deponant in his affliction, 
more then ordinary, at which this Deponant admired, some time 
after this Deponent was well, the said Bishop got him to do some 
work for her. for which she gave him three pence, which seemed to 
this Depo't as if it had been good Money,: but he had not gone not 
above 3 or 4 Rods before he Looked #[on the Said mone againe] 
in his Pockett where he put it. for it; but could not find any some 
time after this deponent met the said [ ] Bishop: in the Street 
agoeing to Mill; she askeing this Deponent whether his ["his" 
written over "her"] father would grind her grist: he put it to the said 
Bishop why she Asked: she answered because folks counted her a 
witch this Depo't made answear: he did not Question but that his 
fathe would grind it: but being gone about 6 Rod from her the said 
Bishop; with a small Load in his Cart: Suddenly the Off wheele Slum- 
ped or Sunk downe into a hole upon Plain grownd, that this Depon't 
was forced to gett one to help him gett the wheele out afterwards 
this Depon't went Back to look for said hole where his wheele sunk 
in but could not find any hole Some time after in the winter about 
midnight #[being awake] this Deponent felt something betweene his lips 
Pressing hard ag't his teeth: and withall was very Cold: insomuch that it did 
awake him so that he gott up and sat upon his beed: he at the same time 
seeing the said Bridgett Bishop sitting at the foot of his bed: being to 
his seeming, it was then as light as if it had been day: or one in the 
said Bishops shape: she haveing then a black cap, & a black hat, and a 
Red Coat with two Eakes of two Coulers. then she the said Bishop 
or her shape clapt her coate close to her Leggs. & hopt upon the bed 
and about the Roome and then went out: and then it was Dark: 
againe some time after the s'd Bishop went to this Depon't and asked 
him whither that #[above written] which he had reported was true, that he 
had told to severall: he answered that was true & that it was she, and bid her 
denigh it if she dare, the said Bishop #[could] did not denigh it. and went
away very Angry and said that this Dep't did her more Mischief: then 
any other body he asked Why: she answared because folks would 
beleive him before anybody Elce: some time after the said Bishop 
thretned this Deponent and told him he was the occasion of bringing 
her out about the brass she stole: some time after this Dep't in a 
dark night: was goeing to the Barn who was suddenly taken or hoisted 
from the Ground & threw ag't a stone wall after that taken up againe 
a throwed Down a Bank at the End of his howse: some time after 
this Deponent mett the said Bishop by Issaac Sternes Brick Kill: 
after he had Passed buy her: this Deponents Horse stood still with a 
small load goeing #[along] up the Hill so that the Horse striveing to draw All 
his Gears & tackeing flew in Peices. and the Cart fell downe afterward this 
Deponent went to lift a Bagg of Corne of about 2 bushells but could not budge it with all his might: This Deponent hath mett with severall other of her Pranks. at severall times: which would take up a great time to tell of: This Deponet doth veryly beleive that the said Bridget Bishop was Instumentall to his Daughter Prisillas Death: aboute two years agoe; the Child was a likely Thriveing Child. And sudenly Screaked out and soe continued in an unusuall Manner for aboute. a fortnight & soe dyed in that lamentable manner.

Sworne Salem May the 30'th 1692 
 before us

*John Hathorne ) 
) Assis'ts 
*Jonathan. Corwin ) 

Jurat in Curia June. 2'd 1692/ 
(Written on side of 
paper) William stacy 
(Reverse) William Stacy
May 30/92