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Histories & mysteries of the genealogical variety.

The Latest on Margaret Mattson

Only Witch Prosecuted in the state of Pennsylvania

According to the transcription of the Mattson Family Bible (made, of course, by our old pal Joseph Camp), our Mattsons are probably descended from early Swedish immigrants to Pennsylvania - but that's not the cool part. The cool part is this...

One of the early Mattson wives, Margaret Mattson (AKA The Witch of Ridley Creek) was formally indicted on charges of Witchcraft and brought to trial before a 21 person Grand Jury and a 10 person Petit Jury in 1683, plus William Penn and his attorney General. Of those 33 people, one was a Swede. Oh and her daughter testified against her, saying the devil possessed her.

She was found guilty - but it was a toothless indictment: Guilty of having the
Comon Fame of a Witch, but not Guilty in manner and Forme as Shee stands

Allegedly, Penn asked her, "Art thou a witch? Hast thou ridden through the air on a broomstick?" and she (apparently confused, deeply sarcastic, or honest to a fault) said "Yes." And he then supposedly pointed out that it wasn't illegal to ride a broomstick and ordered her discharge.

I found the details at the trial in an online version of Amelia Mott Gummere's 1908 book, Quakerism and Witchcraft.

* November 18, 2003
©1994-2006, Julia Hayden. All Rights Reserved. Mine, All Mine. Mwahahahaha. [Details]