Rebecca Eames Facts
Known for: arrested for witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692.
Age at time of Salem witch trials: 51
Dates: February 1641 - May 8, 1721
Also known as: appears as Rebecca Easmes in some transcriptions of documents
Rebecca Eames Before the Salem Witch Trials
Rebecca Eames was born in Gloucester in Massachusetts in 1641. Her father was George Blake and her mother's name was Dorothy. Rebecca Blake married Robert Eames in 1661 in Andover. Robert Eames was an immigrant from England. They had eight children living in 1692, the eldest born in 1661 and the youngest in 1685. The family lived in Boxford.
Rebecca Eames and the Salem Witch Trials
Rebecca Eames was in the crowd at the August 19, 1692, hanging of witches in Salem when she was accused of causing a pinprick in the foot of another spectator. She was arrested.
Rebecca Eames was examined in Salem on that same day. Rebecca Eames testified that the devil had appeared to her as a colt and had persuaded her to follow him. She also testified that she had allowed her son Daniel (born 1663) to be baptized by the devil. She confessed to afflicting Timothy Swan. Examined with her was Mary Lacey.
Rebecca Eames was examined again on August 31 by John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin. She repeated her confession and implication of her son Daniel as a wizard and her confession of afflicting Timothy Swan. She also implicated "Toothaker Widow" and Abigail Faulkner as fellow witches.
Mary Walcott, Mary Warren and Ann Putnam Jr. gave testimony on September 15 that they had been afflicted by Rebecca Eames.
She was tried and convicted on September 17, with nine others. They were all condemned to die. Four of those nine were executed on September 22.
In October, the Court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved. Rebecca Eames remained in Salem prison.
On December 5, she submitted a petition to Governor Phips retracting her "false and untrue" confession, saying she had been "hurried out of my Senses" by Abigail Hobbs and Mary Lacey who had said she would be hanged if she did not confess.
Rebecca Eames After the Trials
In March of 1693, Rebecca Eames was released from prison. Robert Eames died on July 22 of that same year.
In 1711, Rebecca Eames and 21 others were named in an act of the Massachusetts legislature and her civil rights were restored.
She died in Boxford in 1721 at 82 years old.
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