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Bridget Bishop

Bridget Bishop

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Bridget Bishop

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  1. Bridget Bishop Bridget Forbes Ms. DelGrego Junior English

  2. Birth/Childhood • Bridget was born sometime around 1632 in England. • There is not much known about her family but her maiden name was Playfer.

  3. Personal Life • She was a flamboyant dresser and was known as a fashion diva in her day in age. • Her scandalous and exotic outfits contributed to her conviction and execution. • She often publicly fought with her husbands and participated in the town gossip. • She hosted many parties that were held late into the night, played games and drank with her guests.

  4. Husbands • She was married three times. • She married her first husband when she was 20 and his name was George Wesselbe. They moved to Salem together and he died six years later. • Her second husband was Thomas Oliver and they had a daughter named Christian. They had a stormy marriage and were taken to court twice and when he died it was thought to be suspicious and she was accused of witchcraft, but it was eventually dismissed. • Her final marriage was to Edward Bishop who was well respected and owned a sawmill and helped to found the Beverly Church. They also had marital problems.

  5. Education • There is not much known about her education but like most Puritan women she received little education. • She was taught how to read from the bible, but other than that she was probably uneducated.

  6. Career • Her third husband, Edward Bishop, and her opened a tavern in their household. • She entertained guests a lot of the times and they would drink and play games.

  7. Religious Practices • She was a member of the Beverly Church • She was a Puritan but often disregarded the standards thus making her a prime target for witchcraft • She did not dress like a Puritan either because she would wear a bright red bodice which was not acceptable. • Bridget had public fights with her husbands which was not a Puritan act.

  8. Involvement in the Salem Witch Trials • Bridget was the first person to be hanged in the Salem Witch Trials. • When her second husband, Oliver, died it was suspicious but it was later dismissed. • Her flamboyant dress was also used against her in trial, as well as entertaining guests late at night and opening a tavern in her household. • On April 18, 1692 Bridget was arrested and charged for being a witch. • At the same time Bridget was arrested, so were three other women: Mary Warren, Giles Corey, and Abigail Hobbs • Her sister’s husband testified that he heard Bridget conversing with the devil one night.

  9. Involvement in the Salem Witch Trials Continued • A man named Richard Coman said that Bridget and three other women kept appearing to him at night, so he slept with a sword with him and he said the witch tried to take the sword away from him. • Another man named John Louder said that he told Bridget to keep her chickens off his masters lawn but instead her vision came to him and choked him all night long. • Another man named William Stacey testified that when he worked for Bridget she paid him and he put the money in his pocket but when he got home the money had disappeared. He also blamed Bridget for his daughter’s death because when she met Bridget she screamed for two weeks until she died.

  10. Death • Bridget’s trial went on for two days and was pronounced guilty. • She was hanged on June 10, 1637 and the whole town came to the gallows and watched her be hanged and the Puritans viewed it as a step to rid the village of witches.

  11. Works Cited • Booth, Sally Smith, and Paul Boyer. "Bridget Bishop." Law2, N.p., 2002. Web. 15 Oct. 2012. <>. • Wigington, Patti. "Bridget Bishop - The First to Die in Salem Witch Trials." Paganism / Wicca. N.p., 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2012.