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Bridget Bishop - Essay Example

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In the Bridget Bishop Trial where the Bishop was accused of bewitching several persons, the initial evidence put before the jury was the testimony of the person who were suspected to be the victim of witchcraft and undergone some miseries in life. Along with them the beholders…
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Bridget Bishop
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Bridget Bishop Trial Sort of evidences used in the Bridget Bishop Trial In the Bridget Bishop Trial where the Bishop was accused of bewitching several persons, the initial evidence put before the jury was the testimony of the person who were suspected to be the victim of witchcraft and undergone some miseries in life. Along with them the beholders to some supposed infliction of the witchcraft were taken into consideration as well. This testimony of the inflicted person and of the beholders proved very important in this trial. The testimony of the Samuel Gray who narrated an event of fourteen years before the occurrence of the trial proved to be quite important for the tenure of Bridget’s practice of witchcraft (Boyer & Nissenbaum, “Bridget Bishop”).
John Crook’s evidence in the same manner proved the witchcraft of the Bishop and narrated the event of five to six years’ before. Testimony of John Bly evolved a sow which turned out to be one of the important evidences as it was used by the Edward Bishop, the husband of the convicted and the sow was suspected of performing some uncanny activities soon after the quarrel of Bishop and Bly.
Also the testimony of Richard Coman, who witnessed an unnatural circumstance eight years previous to the trial while lying awaken on his bed and saw an apparition of Bishop, was added as important evidence in the trial. Also the testimony of Samuel Shattock, John Louder and William Stacy were taken into serious considerations for the evidence of Bridget Bishop’s trial. Apart from these the witch cake, the spectral evidences and various touch tests suggested strong indication towards infliction of witchcraft.
Motivation behind the Accusations
A thorough study of Bridget Bishop case indicates there are myriad social, political, local and religious motifs involved. Amid all these reasons, the local motifs are quite pertinent. In the village of Salem, issues pertaining to the demarcation of property and grazing land were disputed and quarrel related to these disputes were very commonplace in the neighbourhood. And among all these turmoil the privileges of church and its property along with the issues of the grazing rights performed a cliché role in this case. But the obvious motif behind this case seems to be superstitions and contemporary puritan visions which protested many of the orthodox and protestant rituals of church. Apart from this, motif of jealousy and usurping of the property is one of the important motives that evolve out. Bishop was childless though she married thrice so definitely her property was actually heirless and therefore her captivation or early death would have been very much fruitful for many people.
Yet a detailed study of the Bridget Bishop Trial would enable to understand myriad socio-political and religious overtones that were the obvious issues of the time and were well reflected through the case. Also many superstitions and exaggeration is involved in the narration of the trial which confuses the scientific base of the case and inherent psychological and sociological issues related with it.
Works Cited
Boyer, P. & Nissenbaum, S. Bridget Bishop. September 15, 2011. University of Virginia. No Date.
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