Elizabeth Hubbard of Salem Village

Elizabeth Hubbard was one of the afflicted girls of Salem Village. She was considered one of the main accusers in the Salem Witch Trials.

Hubbard was born about 1674/5 in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was an orphan who lived with her aunt and uncle, Rachel Hubbard Griggs and Dr. William Griggs, in Salem Village and worked as their maidservant.

Elizabeth Hubbard & the Salem Witch Trials:

After fellow afflicted girls Abigail Williams and Betty Parris began suffering mysterious fits in January of 1692, a local doctor, who is believed to be Dr. Griggs, was called in at the end of February to examine the afflicted girls but couldn’t find anything physically wrong with them and suggested they were bewitched.

Shortly after, Hubbard began to suffer fits and, on February 29, the girls accused Tituba, Sarah Osbourne and Sarah Good of afflicting them.

On March 1, Hubbard testified against Tituba at her examination, telling the court she had been afflicted by Tituba since February 25, as well as during her examination, but explained that as soon as Tituba confessed at her examination that day, her symptoms ceased.

Tituba and the Children, Illustration by Alfred Fredericks published in A Popular History of the United States, circa 1878
Tituba and the Children, Illustration by Alfred Fredericks published in A Popular History of the United States, circa 1878

In addition, Hubbard also testified against Sarah Osbourne and Sarah Good that day, telling the court she had been afflicted by Osbourne since February 27 and had been afflicted by Good since February 28.

More accusations and testimonies followed, which mostly consisted of the same stories about Hubbard being pinched, choked and struck by the specters of the accused and being urged to write in their books.

On March 19, Hubbard accused Martha Corey of afflicting her and testified against her on the 23rd. That same day, Hubbard also accused Rebecca Nurse of afflicting her.

The next month, on April 4, Hubbard accused Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce of afflicting her. On the 11th, she testified against both John and Elizabeth Proctor.

On April 18, Hubbard accused Giles Corey, Mary Warren, Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop of afflicting her and then testified against them the next day at their examinations, except for Giles Corey’s examination when Hubbard was unable to speak due to suffering from a fit.

At the end of the month, on April 30, Hubbard accused George Burroughs, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey and Philip English of afflicting her.

In May, Hubbard mostly spent the month testifying. She testified against Susannah Martin on May 2, George Burroughs on May 9 and John Willard on May 18, but she also accused Roger Toothaker of afflicting her on the 18th and accused Mary DeRich, Benjamin Proctor and Sarah Pease of afflicting her on the 23rd.

For the rest of the summer, Hubbard didn’t accuse anyone new and spent her time testify against people. In June, she testified against Rebecca Nurse on the 3rd and Job Tookey on the 4th.

Friends of Rebecca Nurse showed their support for her by trying to discredit Hubbard as a witness against her. On June 3rd, Clement Coldum testified in support of Nurse and told the court how Hubbard had once confessed to him that the woods were full of Devils and said she often spoke to the Devil and James Kettle told the court how he once caught Hubbard telling several lies about her whereabouts on sabbath.

This testimony against Hubbard seemed to do little good since Nurse was convicted at the end of June and hanged the next month.

In July, Hubbard testified against Martha Carrier on the 1st and Dorcas Hoar on the 2nd.

In August, she testified against George Jacobs Sr, Martha Corey, Mary Easty, John Willard and Mary Witheridge on the 4th. Then on the 10th, she testified against William Proctor, Sarah Proctor, Benjamin Proctor.

In September, Hubbard spent the first two weeks testifying against a slew of people, such as Ann Pudeator on the 6th, Alice Parker on the 7th, William Parker on the 8th, Mary Bradbury and Giles Corey on the 9th, Rebecca Jacobs on the 10th, Ann Foster on the 13th, Sarah Buckley and Mary Lacey Sr and Wilmot Redd on the 14th, and Mary Witheridge and Margaret Scott on the 15th.

After that, Hubbard didn’t testify again until November 9th when she testified against the accused Gloucester witches, Abigail Rowe, Esther Elwell and Rebecca Dike, according to the court records on the Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project website.

In January of 1693, a new court was set up to hear the remaining witchcraft cases and new rules were implemented that made spectral evidence, which was witness testimony that a person’s spirit or specter appeared to the witness in a dream or vision, inadmissible in court, thus making Hubbard’s testimony unnecessary.

Of the people Hubbard accused and/or testified against, a total of 15 people were executed, one person died in jail and one person was tortured to death for refusing to move forward with his trial:

Bridget Bishop, executed June 10, 1692

George Burroughs, executed August 19, 1692

Martha Carrier, executed August 19, 1692

Giles Corey, tortured to death September 19, 1692

Martha Corey, executed September 22, 1692

Mary Easty, executed September 22, 1692

Sarah Good, executed July 19, 1692

Sarah Osbourne, died in jail May 10, 1692

John Proctor, executed August 19, 1692

Susannah Martin, executed July 19, 1692

Rebecca Nurse, executed July 19, 1692

George Jacobs Sr, executed August 19, 1692

Ann Pudeator, executed September 22, 1692

Alice Parker, executed September 22, 1692

Wilmot Redd, executed September 22, 1692

Margaret Scott, executed September 22, 1692

John Willard, executed August 19, 1692

Elizabeth Hubbard After the Salem Witch Trials:

It’s not exactly known what happened to Hubbard after the Salem Witch Trials. Historian Mary Beth Norton states, in her book In The Devil’s Snare, that Hubbard eventually moved to Gloucester and married a man named John Bennett, with whom she had four children.

This information is based on a marriage record of a woman named Elizabeth Hibbert, so it is not exactly clear if Elizabeth Hibber was definitely Elizabeth Hubbard.

Sources:
Records of Salem Witchcraft: Copied from the Original Documents. W.E. Woodward, 1864.
“Case Files Referencing Elizabeth Hubbard.” Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project. salem.lib.virginia.edu/tag/hubbard_elizabeth.html

About Rebecca Beatrice Brooks

Rebecca Beatrice Brooks is the author and publisher of the History of Massachusetts Blog. Rebecca is a freelance journalist and history lover who got her start in journalism working for small-town newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire after she graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Visit this site's About page to find out more about Rebecca.

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