English Competency

By Elizabeth Rolfe

Reverend George Burroughs (1650-1692)

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In 1680, years before the witchcraft outbreak began, George Burroughs became a minister in Salem. During that time, the citizens of the village stopped paying their taxes, so in turn, Reverend George Burroughs did not have much money to survive on by not receiving his salary. He went to the Putnam family to borrow money to keep him afloat, and soon after Reverend Burroughs was called back to Casco Bay, where he was a former preacher. During the witchcraft trials of 1692, he was sued by the Putnam family. Even though he was a former minister of the village, he was charged with witchcraft, arrested, and brought back to Salem for trial in court. "Although he eventually repaid his loan, many members of the Salem Village and Andover testified against him and called him the "ring leader" of the witches, a virtual priest of the devil" (Weiser-Alexander). The Reverend was found guilty and executed in May of 1692. He was the only minister during the witchcraft trials that was executed in history.

Works Cited

Ray, Benjamin. Important Persons in the Salem Court Records. The University of Virginia, 2002. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.

Weiser-Alexander, Kathy. The "Witches" of Massachusetts. Legends of America, 2003-2013. Web. 02 Jan. 2014.