THE SALEM WITCH TRIALS!
The Athenian Mercury, London
Thursday, February 28, 1693
Amazingly, under the heading, “ADVERTISEMENTS” of this early newspaper is a notice for a new book by the Boston clergyman, Cotton Mather, “The TRYALS of several WITCHES lately Executed in New-England, and of several remarkable Curiosities therein occurring.” Quite unique as references to the Salem Witch Trials are seldom found anywhere. But, this special issue has more! The front and back pages contain two fascinating pieces on “Witch Tryals” in Kent, England, beginning: “Divers Persons in the County of Kent being accused for Practising Witchcraft, were examined by a Justice of the Peace, from whom I had a Copy of their Examination and Confessions.”
The second piece asks the question: “Is it Lawfull to attempt the Discovery of Witches by Swimming, and how far is it an Evidence against them?” I’ve scanned both pieces so you can read them yourself–I’d love to hear your comments on tossing people into the water to see if they sink or swim in order to determine whether or not they are witches!
Single sheet in absolutely superb condition. This is one incredible 17th century newspaper!