Monday, May 26, 2008

No priests for Massachusetts

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1647 A new law banned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts, the penalty being banishment, or death for a second offence.

On the same day at Meeting House Square in Hartford, Connecticut, America's first witch execution occurred. Alse Young (also known as Alice, or Achsah), of Windsor, became first known person in America to be executed as a witch, her execution anticipating the 1692 Salem witch trials (which took place not in Salem, Massachusetts but in nearby Salem Village, modern-day Danvers) by some 45 years. There is no further record of the trial or the details of the charge or charges. John Winthrop, the Governor of Massachusetts wrote in his diary that "One of Windsor was hanged", and the Second Town Clerk of Windsor, Matthew Grant, wrote the May 26, 1647 diary entry, "Alse Young was hanged". Not much ado about very much. From 1715, the crime of witchcraft was struck from the list of capital crimes in Connecticut, and was not prosecuted.

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