Ann Pudeator

Salem Witch Trials - Key People

Salem Village Map from Upham
Salem Village 1692. Public Domain Image, originally from Salem Witchcraft by Charles W. Upham, 1867.

Ann Pudeator Facts

Known for: in the 1692 Salem witch trials 
Occupation: worked as a nurse and, possibly, as a midwife
Age at time of Salem witch trials: unknown
Dates:   ? – September 22, 1692, age at death about 70
Also known as: Anne

Family, Background:

We don’t know Ann Pudeator’s birth name or date, but she was probably born in the 1620s, still in England.  She had lived in Falmouth, Maine.  Her first husband was Thomas Greenslade (spelling varies).

They had five children; he died in 1674.  She married Jacob Pudeator in 1676, the year after his wife died.  She had originally been hired as a nurse to his wife, whose had trouble with alcohol (references to her as an “alcoholic” are anachronistic). Jacob Pudeator died in 1682.  He was relatively wealthy, leaving her somewhat comfortable.  She lived in Salem Town.

Ann Pudeator and the Salem Witch Trials

She was accused mostly by Mary Warren, but also by Anne Putnam Jr., John Best Sr., John Best Jr. and Samuel Pickworth.  Her son had testified as an accuser against George Burrough’s trial May 9 and 10, and Ann was arrested on May 12, the same day as Alice Parker was also arrested.  She was examined on May 12.

She was held until her second examination on July 2. She petitioned the court saying that the evidences against her in court “were all of them altogether false & untrue…” Among the charges were the usual one of forcing Mary Warren to sign the Devil’s book, possession of witchcraft objects (which she claimed were grease for soap-making), and using witchcraft to cause the death of her second husband’s wife (whom she had been nursing) and then the death of her second husband himself.

She was indicted on September 7 and on September 9, she was tried, convicted and sentenced to hang, as were Mary Bradbury, Martha CoreyMary Easty, Dorcas Hoar and Alice Parker.

On September 22, Ann Pudeator, Martha Corey (whose husband had been pressed to death on September 19),Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Mary Parker, Wilmott Redd, Margaret Scott and Samuel Wardwell were hanged for witchcraft; the Rev.

Nicholas Noyes called them “eight firebrands of hell.”  It was the last executions in the Salem witch craze of 1692.

Ann Pudeator After the Trials

In 1711, when the province’s legislature restored all rights to those who had been accused in the trials, including a number of those executed (thus re-establishing property rights for their heirs), Ann Pudeator was not among those named.

In 1957, the commonwealth of Massachusetts legally exonerated the remaining accused in the trials; Ann Pudeator was named explicitly.  Bridget Bishop, Susannah Martin, Alice Parker, Wilmott Redd and Margaret Scott were included implicitly.

Motives

Her occupation as a nurse and midwife may have been a motivation for others to charge her with witchcraft; that . She was also a well-off widow, and there may have been property issues involved, though that is not documented explicitly.  It’s interesting that, though she had descendants, no family members participated in the suit leading to the 1710/11 reversal of convictions of others who had been executed.

Ann Pudeator in Fiction

Ann Pudeator does not appear as a named character in either The Crucible (Arthur Miller’s play) or the 2014 television series, Salem.

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