Biography of Lydia Dustin

Accused: Died in Prison

Salem Witch Trials - an Examination
Salem Witch Trials - an Examination. Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Lydia Dustin died in prison and is best known for being accused as a witch in the Salem witch trials of 1692.

Dates: 1626? - March 10, 1693
Also known as: Lidia Dastin

Family, Background:

Not much is known of her other than connections to others also accused in the Salem witch trials. Mother of Sarah Dustin and Mary Colson, grandmother of Elizabeth Colson.

More About Lydia Dustin:

Lydia, a resident of Reading (Redding), Massachusetts, was arrested on April 30 on the same day as George Burroughs, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey, and Philip English.

Lydia Dustin was examined on May 2 by magistrates Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne, on the same day as Sarah Morey, Susannah Martin, and Dorcas Hoar were examined. She was then sent to Boston's jail.

Lydia's unmarried daughter Sarah Dustin was the next in the family accused and arrested, followed by Lydia's granddaughter, Elizabeth Colson, who eluded capture until after the third warrant was issued (sources differ on whether she was ever captured). Then Lydia's daughter Mary Colson (Elizabeth Colson's mother), was also accused; she was examined but not indicted.

Both Lydia and Sarah were found not guilty by the Superior Court of Judicature, Court of Assize and General Gaol Delivery in January or February, 1693, after the initial trials had been suspended when criticized for their use of spectral evidence. However, they could not be released until they paid jail fees. Lydia Dustin died still in jail on March 10, 1693.

She is thus usually included on lists of those who died as part of the Salem witchcraft accusations and trials.