Who was Wilmot Redd?
This is a very good question. There is very little actually known about Wilmot Redd. In fact, she's not in a few of the main historical references about the trial. Here's what we know for sure:
- Wilmot was married to Samuel Redd or Reed or Read, who was a fisherman.
- They lived in Marblehead, MA.
- According to some of her accusing neighbors, she was supposed to have been crabby.
We don't know how many children she had. We don't know how old she was or where she was born. A few websites suggest that she as born in the colony and was 54 years old, but there's no reference so we don't know where this idea came from.
At her examination, she was said to have been asked: "what she thought of these Persons ailed." Wilmot is reported to have said that the girls were in a "sad condition." She is also reported to have said at her trial: "I knew nothing of it." in response to the charges against her.
It's reported in Marion L Starkey's The Devil in Massachusetts that Wilmot Redd was known as Mammy. Amanda Minnie Douglas in her historical fiction, The Little Girl in Old Boston, claims that Wilmot Redd was known to mold churned milk and butter. Ms.Douglas created the following rhyme for her:
"Old Mammy Redd
Sweet milk could turn
To mold in churn."
This rhyme is reported to have been popular in the 19th century, but there's no way to know that.
Her ghost is said to haunt the Redd Pond in Marblehead.
She was hanged on September 22, 1692.
In the small town of Salem Village, Massachusetts in 1692, at least thirty-eight men and one-hundred and six woman where accused of the capital crime of witchcraft.
- Thirty-one people were tried by the Oyer and Terminer court, convened by Massachusetts governor, William Phipps.
- Fifty-four people confessed to the crime of witchcraft.
- Three women, one man, and several infants died as a result of their treatment while in custody.
- One four-year-old lost her mind after a year in custody.
- Two dogs were hanged as witches.
Despite extreme social pressure, physical torture, and what was perceived as overwhelming evidence, fourteen women and five men refused to confess to being witches. One man refused to acknowledge the Oyer and Terminer court and was pressed by stones to his death.
Suffer a Witch is about these twenty people.
Because the serial begins with so many characters, we've decided to, once a week, introduce you to the historic characters in the story. They will appear in their order of appearance in the story. You can find more information on the Suffer a Witch Wiki, where you can also participate in filling in the details from your own research or the story. (You must sign into Wikia to edit a page.)