Tuesday, November 1, 2016

FInal Boston 'witch' a potential martyr

Last person hanged for witchcraft could be considered a Catholic martyr
Representation of the Salem witch trials, lithograph from 1892. (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)
An Irish immigrant to Boston was sentenced for witchcraft and wizardry during the final years of the witchcraft craze in 1688.

Ann Glover, an Irish Catholic, was enslaved along with her family by Englishman Oliver Cromwell during the occupation of Ireland. She was shipped with others to the island of Barbados, where they were sold as indentured servants.

She eventually moved with her daughter to Boston, where she worked as a housekeeper and nanny for John Goodwin.
Father Robert O'Grady, director of the Boston Catholic Directory for the Archdiocese of Boston, said that after working for the Goodwins for a few years, Ann Glover became sick, and the illness spread to four of the five Goodwin children. "She was, unsurprisingly, not well-educated, and in working with the family, apparently she got sick at some point and the kids for whom she was primarily responsible caught whatever it was," Father O'Grady told CNA.
She was accused of being a witch, and Reverend Cotton Mather, one of the main perpetrators of witch hysteria, brought her to the last witch trial in Boston. Because Ann refused to speak English, and only answered in native Irish Gaelic, she was asked to recite the Lord's prayer, the Our Father.

"But because it was kind of mixed in with Irish Gaelic (and Latin), it was then considered proof that she was possessed because she was mangling the Latin," Father O'Grady said.

The anti-Catholic sentiments of Mather led to Ann being hanged as a witch and an "Idolatrous Roman Catholick."
For more on Ann's story, read the CNA article here.

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