Demons & Witches: Ann Glover & The Goodwin Children
This week, we have a tale of Devilry and witchcraft, demonic possessions and a good dose of Persecution on all fronts! Pre-dating Salem by 3 years, Ann Glover was an Irish immigrant living in Boston in 1688, hung for witchcraft, an event which laid the groundwork for what would happen up the road a few years later.
Cotton Mather – Extraordinary Providences (1689) – Cottom Mathers account of the events in his own words.
Archive.org – History of New England – John Palfrey (1858) – Palfreys history of New England that mentions the Goodwin children.
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Devils & Witches: Ann Glover & The Goodwin Children of Boston
“Go then, my little Book, as a Lackey, to the more elaborate Essays of those learned men. Go tell Mankind, that there are Devils and Witches; and that tho those night-birds least appear where the Day-light of the Gospel comes, yet New-Engl. has had Examples of their Existence and Operation; and that no only the Wigwams of Indians, where the pagan Powaws often raise their masters, in the shapes of Bears and Snakes and Fires, but the House of Christians, where our God has had his constant Worship, have undergone the Annoyance of Evil spirits. Go tell the world, What Prays can do beyond all Devils and Witches, and What it is that these Monsters love to do”
This account of “Devils and Witches”, written by Cotton Mather, a New England Minister, published in 1689, tells the story of Ann Glover, an Irish emigrant and of the Goodwin Children, four children from Boston afflicted by Demons. Preceding the Salem Witch Trials by four years, it’s a stepping stone between the Witchfinder General and his trials in England and the Salem Witch Trials in America, with links and ties to both. Theirs is a story of Demonic Possession and Witchcraft in the harsh environment of the new world. This is Dark Histories, where the facts are worse than fiction.
Boston, MA. 1688
Founded in 1630 with a heavily puritan based population, Boston, Massachusetts was built upon the ideals of religious freedom that the original “Holy Commonwealth” had left the shores of England with when they travelled to America to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony. These religious settlers had at first dug roots in Charlestown, though it’s soil was good for farming, it lacked a consistently available water source and so, the settlers moved across the river in 1630, to build the foundations of the town that would become known as Boston in September of the same year..
For the population of Boston, theirs was a destiny with a self-professed closeness to God. This “closeness” they would prove over the following decades as the citizens carried out persecutions against those whose religious views would differ from their own, one example being the many Quakers who suffered publicly by the hands of the puritans.
In the early days of Boston, the local economy was focused around farming and selling food to the richer, southern, tobacco colonies, as well as a robust shipbuilding, whaling and fishing industry, which held claims to the first sailing ship to be built on American soil. This basic economy made Boston a great degree poorer than the southern colonies, who had cash crops in abundance and survival throughout New England for the early settlers was tough going. Whilst the economy of Boston lacked great wealth, however, it made up for with a degree of stability.
Despite several outbreaks of Smallpox over the fifty years after its founding, the population of Boston flourished and sat around 4000 in 1676, an outcome not enjoyed by the earlier pox outbreaks that had killed over two thirds of the Native American population only 60 years prior. Boston’s growth could in no small part, be attributed to the religious fundamentals it was founded on. Rather than a colony built on extractive wealth, that is, an economic model and society built on export, the residents of Boston had every intention of staying in the area to build a new life, with it’s own fully functioning, firmly rooted, societal establishments. This was demonstrated early on in it’s founding, when Boston became home to America’s first public school, The Boston Latin School which opened in 1635 and a year later, a college was founded. Two years later, the college would gain a name, today instantly recognisable the world over, after a local benefactor named John Harvard died, leaving £776, a vast sum at the time akin to a not untidy fortune, and a hoard of over 400 books to the institution.
The strong roots supplied by the early institutions set up in Boston, along with the constant stream of fresh arrivals from England helped the colony to go from strength to strength and by 1688, Boston was home to 7000 residents. The colonists were smart, hardy and working tough shifts to survive in the difficult environment, but for them it held a deeper, affirming and spiritual purpose that lacked in the purely extractive colonies. Of these 7000 residents, John and Martha Goodwin and their six children carved out their own, small existence.
The Goodwin Family
John Goodwin was born in Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts in 1645. He had followed in his father’s footsteps to become a Mason and had married Martha Lathrop, a lady seven years his junior, who had also been born in Charlestown in 1652.
Both John and Martha were from a familial line of Puritans who had fled to America from, England due to religious persecution. John Goodwin’s father had moved to Boston in 1633, his grandfather was Daniel Goodwin of Yoxford and had been a rich landowner in the Protestant stronghold of Suffolk, which lies in the Eastern English district of East Anglia, the stomping grounds of Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder general and an area of England that saw thousands of Puritan families leaving to seek a new life with a freedom to practice their religion as they wished throughout the first half of the 17th Century.
Martha’s family too held a similar background, if not more extreme. Marthas grandfather, the Reverend John lathrop had been arrested on religious grounds during the Reign of King Charles I and was only released from prison on condition of foreign exile. So it was that John Lathrop, along with his family, including his son and later, Martha’s father, found themselves aboard a ship bound for the New England Colonies in 1635 Martha’s father would later become one of the founders of Barnstable, Massachusetts.
First generation immigrants, by 1688, the new family had settled in Charlestown and had six children. Their eldest child, Nathaniel, aged 17, grew up to follow in his father’s footsteps and worked alongside John as a Mason. The family also consisted of their eldest daughter Martha, aged 15, Mercy, aged 7, Benjamin, aged 3 and the youngest, a daughter named Hannah who was just one year of age.
The life of the Goodwin family is, up until the summer of 1688, one of quiet normalcy. The children enjoyed a religious education and John Goodwin went about his business as a Mason, teaching his trade, and his fathers trade before him, to his eldest son, Nathaniel. They lived a pious life and endured to follow their spiritual path with a strict self-discipline. It was a singular, almost offhand encounter during that summer however, that would flip the life of the Goodwins upside down and enter them into the pages of religious writings for years to come.
One evening, The Goodwins eldest daughter, Marta was organising the families linens when she noticed that an item was missing. She took it upon herself to visit their neighbour, the daughter of an elderly Irish woman named “Goodwife Goody” Ann Glover, who worked as the families washerwoman to enquire about the missing item. Ann did not take kindly to this affront on her daughters character. Feeling accused of thievery, she “Bestowed very bad language” upon Martha and sent her on her way. That might have been the end of the story, Ann Glover, being an Irish Roman Catholic, had a rather unfortunate reputation in the neighbourhood however and as such, it was merely the beginning.
Ann Glover was born in Ireland during the early years of the 17th Century, where she lived with her husband up until the invasion of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell in 1649, kicking off the Cromwellian War. Prior to the fighting, Ireland had suffered a difficult period of rebellion, warfare and plague and as Cromwell and his men rolled ashore, they sought to pile on the misery. Whilst it can only be estimated, and poorly at that, a figure that moves between 20-40% of the Irish population were either killed directly by the English armies or indirectly through prolonged disease. Those that weren’t outright killed were displaced and their land ownership removed. Many of those unfortunate to be caught up in the whirlwind, though fortunate enough to have survived, were transported to England’s recently developed colonial enterprises on Barbados and Montserrat. The English were using the Carribean islands to foster sugar and tobacco plantations and these plantations were in need of a workforce. As was the spirit of the day, the Irish Catholics recently dispossessed of home and land by the English in Ireland served the purpose well enough for the Colonials. Along with 50,000 other irish, Ann Glover and her husband wound up being deported aboard merchant ships bound for the profitable isles. The Glovers were bound for Barbados, where her husband was later killed for failing to denounce his Catholic belief.
After her husband’s death on barbados, Anns history becomes unclear, though by 1680, she was living in Boston with her daughter and working as a housekeeper to the Goodwin family. Rumours had spread that as her husband died, he denounced her as a witch and she had become known around the neighbourhood as a hag by those that thought little of her and as a “despised, crazy, poor old woman” by those sympathetic towards her. In such an environment, especially one that treated the Irish Catholic minority with barely concealed resentment, her outburst towards Martha Goodwin could easily have acted as a primer to a powder keg, ready to blow up into something entirely disproportionate. All that would be needed was a small spark.
Shortly after the confrontation between Martha Goodwin and Ann Glover, Martha fell ill, convulsing in fits, apparewntly more violent than any epilepsy. Soon after her two brothers and sister also fell ill, so that in total, four of the Goodwin children, Martha, Mercy, Benjamin and John, were affected by pains in their bodies, all in the same place. Only Nathaniel, the eldest son and Hannah, the baby escaped the fits of pain. The local doctor and friend fo the Goodwin family, Doctor Thomas Oakes was called in to inspect the children. He was told by the children that the pains were sharp as lightning, though even in their swiftness, each child felt the pain at the same time as the other, even when they were not together or ones pain was unknown to another. This left Doctor Oakes to form the only natural conclusion:
“nothing but an hellish Witchcraft could be the Original of these Maladies.”
Over the following weeks, the children’s symptoms grew progressively worse until they were suffering from so many different ailments that witnesses spoke of how iit would take “almost as much time to relate them all, as it did to endure them”.
“Sometimes they would be Deaf, sometimes Dumb, and sometimes Blind, and often, all this at once. One while their Tongues would be drawn down their Throats; another-while they would be pull’d out upon their Chins, to a prodigious length. They would have their Mouths opened unto such a Wideness, that their Jaws went out of joint; and anon they would clap together again with a Force like that of a strong Spring-Lock. The same would happen to their Shoulder-Blades, and their Elbows, and Hand-wrists, and several of their joints. They would at times ly in a benummed condition and be drawn together as those that are ty’d Neck and Heels;’ and presently be stretched out, yea, drawn Backwards, to such a degree that it was fear’d the very skin of their Bellies would have crack’d. They would make most pitteous out-cries, that they were cut with Knives, and struck with Blows that they could not bear. Their Necks would be broken, so that their Neck-bone would seem dissolved unto them that felt after it; and yet on the sudden, it would become, again so stiff that there was no stirring of their Heads; yea, their Heads would be twisted almost round; and if main Force at any time obstructed a dangerous motion which they seem’d to be upon, they would roar exceedingly.”
The children would suffer these bizarre symptoms throughout the day, until around 10pm at night, at which time they would promptly cease, allowing the children to rest and recuperate until the symptoms struck again, sometimes days, sometimes weeks apart.
One of the witnesses to these events, and the author of the original source material on the subject was the Minister, Cotton Mather. Cotton Mather’s father, Increase Mather was a powerful Puritan clergyman of the time and president of Harvard, as well as theologian and writer. He had already displayed an interest in demonology and witchcraft in his writings on the matter, published in a work titled “Remarkable Providences”, published four years prior in 1684. Cotton Mather supported his fathers beliefs and visited the Goodwin children to pray by their side on several occasions and to document their symptoms. He prayed for their health for hours at a time, though he noticed that as he did so, the children would fall deaf to his words until he finished his prayers, at which time they would become able to hear again. At other times he found that as soon as a bible was picked up and inspected by anyone in the room of the children, they would scream with anger until the book be placed away. The children’s ailments were relatively widely spoken of and soon, the Goodwin family were offered many superstitious cures, snake-oils and family remedies for their children’s ailments, but as a religious family, they decided it best to continue with Cotton Mather and to ttreat them with prayer.
Speaking privately with Mather, John Goodwin arranged for a day of prayer to take place in the household and Mather duly obliged, enlisting the help of the four ministers of Boston, alongside the minister of Charlestown and various devout people from the neighbourhood. The ministers lead a day long prayer service at the Goodwins home, involving meditations, fasting and prayers, the result of which was semi-successful, noted for delivering John, the youngest son aged just 3, free from his troubles. After this day, no one in the family saw him suffer or show any signs or symptoms of sickness, nor any tells of what were now being quietly spoken of by the ministers, in agreement with Dr Oakes’ earlier diagnosis, as potential demonic possessions.
The strange events happening over in the goodwin home could, of course, only fail to be kept quiet and it was not long before higher authorities would take action concerning the rumours they heard. The magistrates of Boston visited John Goodwin to enquire about his children’s sickness and to enquire after any suspected persons surrounding the Demonic diagnosis of Doctor Oakes. John Goodwin was not shy in supplying the name of his neighbour, Ann Glover and she was immediately called to present herself to the magistrates. Upon meeting with the authorities, she was immediately imprisoned on account that she had “given such a wretched account of herself”.
“Goodwin had no proof that could have done her any Hurt; but the Hag had not power to deny her interest in the Enchantment of the Children; and I when she was asked, Whether she believed there was a God? her Answer was too blasphemous and horrible for any Pen of mine to mention. An Experiment was made, Whether she could recite the Lords Prayer; and it was found, that tho clause after clause was most carefully repeated unto her, yet when she said it after them that prompted her, she could not Possibly avoid making Nonsense of it, with some ridiculous Depravations.”
Ignoring the fact that English was more than likely not her first language, if she spoke it at all, it was enough to damn her to a prison cell. Whilst Ann Glover awaited her trial under lock and key, the cold snap of Autumn fell upon Boston. All the while, the three Goodwin children continued to suffer the same, bizarre maladies that had been haunting them throughout the Summer.
As Ann Glovers trial for Witchcraft begun in November of 1688, she faced the court, lead by Cotton Mather. It soon became apparent that the hearing was to be anything but straightforward, however, when, as proposed by Mathers himself, through some sort of “charm” Ann Glover was unable to utter a word of English. She addressed her charge speaking her native Gaelic which required the aid of “two honest and faithful men” to act as interpreters between Ann and her accusers. Through these interpreters, rather than plead innocent, Ann Glover confessed to being a witch and an order was given to search her house.
“from whence there were brought into the Court, several small Images, or Puppets, or Babies, made of Raggs, and stuff’t with Goat’s hair, and other such Ingredients. When these were produced, the vile Woman acknowledged, that her way to torment the Objects of her malice, was by wetting of her Finger with her Spittle, and streaking of those little Images.”
When asked if she had any persons that would stand alongside and support her during her trial:
She replied, She had; and looking very pertly in the Air, she added, No, He’s gone. And she then confessed, that she had One, who was her Prince, with whom she maintained, I know not what Communion. For which cause, the night after, she was heard expostulating with a Devil, for his thus deserting her; telling him that Because he had served her so basely and falsly, she had confessed all. However to make all clear, The Court appointed five or six Physicians one evening to examine her very strictly, whether she were not craz’d in her Intellectuals, and had not procured to her self by Folly and Madness the Reputation of a Witch. Diverse hours did they spend with her; and in all that while no Discourse came from her, but what was pertinent and agreeable: particularly, when they asked her, What she thought would become of her soul? she reply’d “You ask me, a very solemn Question, and I cannot well tell what to say to it.” She own’d her self a Roman Catholick; and could recite her Pater Noster in Latin very readily; but there was one Clause or two alwaies too hard for her, whereof she said, “She could not repeat it, if she might have all the world.” In the up-shot, the Doctors returned her Compos Mentis; and Sentence of Death was pass’d upon her.
Sentenced to death, she was lead back to jail to await her punishment. During the days between the conclusion of her trial and her execution, she was visited by a woman named Mrs Hughes, whose son had been suffering the same demonic symptoms as the Goodwin children. Mrs Hughes had given testimony against Ann Glover, telling a story that her neighbours, neighbour had at one time before her death told the first neighbour of how she blamed her demise upon Ann Glover and of how she had seen the old lady climb down her chimney at night. As soon as she gave this testimony, her son fell ill. Her son told her of how he too had seen a figure in a blue cap climb down the chimney in their house and attempt to rip out his bowels with its bare hands. Mrs Hughes asked Ann Glover why she tortured her son and Ann Glover replied that she had done so because of how Mrs Hughes had done wrong by her and her daughter. The conversation continued:
“I was at your house last night.” Sayes Hughes, “In what shape?” Sayes Glover, “As a black thing with a blue Cap.” Sayes Hughes, “What did you do there?” Sayes Glover,”with my hand in the Bed I tryed to pull out the boyes Bowels, but I could not.”
Mrs Hughes denied any wrongdoing towards the old lady and Ann Glover conceded to end her tortures against her son. From the next day onwards, his symptoms were said to have lifted.
During this same period of limbo for Ann Glover, Cotton Mather visited her twice in prison to pray for her and to deliver her from her evil. Of her current predicament, he later wrote that:
“She never denyed the guilt of the Witchcraft charg’d upon her; but she confessed very little about the Circumstances of her Confederacies with the Devils; only, she said, That she us’d to be at meetings, which her Prince and Four more were present at. As for those Four, She told who they were; and for her Prince, her account plainly was, that he was the Devil.”
Whilst Mathers writes of her confession as being plain, he then mentions, rather tellingly that:
“She entertained me with nothing but Irish ‘, which Language I had not Learning enough to understand without an Interpreter;”
Ann thanked Mather for his prayers, though he then states that as soon as his back was turned, she would torment a stone, a clear sign of witchcraft apparently, though he does admit, after condemning her, that,
“whom or what she meant, I had the mercy never to understand.”
Ann Glover was held in prison until the 16th November, 1688 when the day of her execution fell upon her. As she walked to the gallows, she told of how her death would do no good for the children’s situation. There was, Mather wrote, one other involved in the witchcraft, though he does not name this second suspect due to a lack of evidence and fear of tarring an innocent with an unwelcome reputation. His forethought in this case may have been appreciated by the unnamed suspect, but it did little for Ann Glover, who stepped onto the wooden platform, placed her head in the noose and was hung for Witchcraft in the streets of South Boston.
The Demons Return
With the supposed perpetrator now dead, one might imagine that the Goodwin children’s ailments would be lifted, however, unfortunately for all involved that was not to be the case. In fact, their symptoms only worsened, going as far as to be likened to possession by evil spirits. As Autumn turned to Winter, dark happenings were falling over the Goodwins family home.
“The Fits of the Children yet more arriv’d unto such Motions as were beyond the Efficacy of any natural Distemper in the World. They would bark at one another like Dogs, and again purr like so many Cats. They would sometimes complain,, that they were in a Red-hot Oven, sweating and panting at the same time unreasonably: Anon they would say, Cold water was thrown upon them, at which they would shiver very much. They would cry out of dismal Blowes with great Cudgels laid upon them; and tho’ we saw no cudgels nor blowes, yet we could see the Marks left by them in Red Streaks upon their bodies afterward. And one of them would be roasted on an invisible Spit, run into his Mouth, and out at his Foot, he lying, and rolling, and groaning as if it had been so in the most sensible manner in the world; and then he would shriek, that Knives were cutting of him. Sometimes also he would have his head so forcibly, tho not visibly, nail’d unto the Floor, that it was as much as a strong man could do to pull it up. One while they would all be so Limber, that it was judg’d every Bone of them could be bent. Another while they would be so stiff, that not a joint of them could be stir’d. They would sometimes be as though they were mad, and then they would climb over high Fences, beyond the Imagination of them that look’d after them. Yea, They would fly like Geese; and be carried with an incredible Swiftness thro the air, having but just their Toes now and then upon the ground, and their Arms waved like the Wings of a Bird. One of them, in the House of a kind Neighbour and Gentleman (Mr. Willis) flew the length of the Room, about 20 foot, and flew just into an Infants high armed Chair; (as tis affirmed) none seeing her feet all the way touch the floor.”
“Diverse times they went to strike furious Blowes at their tenderest and dearest friends, or to fling them down staires when they had them at the Top, but the warnings from the mouths of the children themselves, would still anticipate what the Devils did intend.”
This lead Cotton Mather to take the eldest daughter, Martha into his care in his own home in order to document her sickness and to attempt to deliver her from the evil that possessed her. This at first seemed to give Martha some temporary relief, but eventually, as she would profess to Mather, “the devils found her” again.
Martha found herself unable to read any religious text, or even be in the presence of another that was in possession of a religious text.
“it would kill her to look into any Book, that (in my Opinion) it might have bin profitable and edifying for her to be reading of. These Experiments were often enough repeated, and still with the same Success, before Witnesses not a few.”
“besides the forementioned Ails returning upon her, she often would cough up a Ball as big as a small Egg, into the side of her Wind-pipe, that would near choak her, till by Stroking and by Drinking it was carried down again. At the beginning of her Fits usually she kept odly Looking up the Chimney, but could not say what she saw. When I bad her Cry to the Lord Jesus for Help, her Teeth were instantly sett; upon which I added, “Yet, child, Look unto Him,” and then her Eyes were presently pulled into her head, so farr, that one might have fear’d she should never have us’d them more. When I prayed in the Room, first her Arms were with a strong, tho not seen Force clap’t upon her ears; and when her hands were with violence pull’d away, she cryed out, ” They make such a noise, I cannot hear a word!” She likewise complain’d, that Goody Glover’s Chain was upon her- Leg, and when she essay’d to go, her postures were exactly such as the chained Witch had before she died. But the manner still was, that her Tortures in a small while would pass over, and Frolick succeed; in which she would continue many hours, nay, whole days, talking perhaps never wickedly, but alwaies wittily, beyond her self; and at certain provocations, her Tortures would renew upon her, till we had left off to give them. But she frequently told us, that if she might but steal, or be drunk, she should be well immediately.”
Things continued in this manner for days upon days, ebbing and flowing as Martha went through periods of calm and normalcy, interspersed by severe bouts of “possessions”. She began to ride an invisible horse, taking a riding position in her chair and appearing to clock out entirely to an otherworldly plane, visible only to herself where she rode to meet and commune with three beings that she said were the cause of her troubles. These fantastical adventures were punctured with bouts of pain, as Martha claimed to have an invisible ball and chain wrapped around her ankle.
“An Invisible Chain would be clapt about her, and shee, in much pain and Fear, cry out, When They began to put it on. Once I did with my own hand knock it; off as it began to be fastned about her. But ordinarily) Wlien ‘it was on, shee’d be pull’d out of her seat with such violence towards the Fire, that it has been as much as one or two of us could do to keep her out. Her Eyes were not brought to be perpendicular to her feet, when she rose out of her Seat, as the Mechanism of a Humane’ Body requires in them that rise, but she was one dragg’d wholly by other Hands: and once, When I gave a stamp on the Hearth, just between her and the Fire, she scream’d out, (tho I think she saw me not) that I Jarr’d the Chain, and hurt her Back.”
On the 27th November, Cotton mather held a further day of fasting and prayer at the Goodwins house, with all children present. It was a violent and dramatic affair. The ministers exhaustively prayed for deliverance whilst the children were “Miserably tortured.”
The deliverance was however, a success. Following the events, the childrens possessions lessened with every passing day until their suffering ceased altogether. Only on two occasions was anything further documented, when two days after the day of prayer, Martha suffered a desperate attempt at an attack on her life.
“Once, they were Dragging her into the Oven that was then heating, while there was none in the Room to help her. She clap’t her hands on the Mantletree’ to save her self; but they were beaten off; and she had been burned, if at her Out-cryes one had not come in from abr6ad for her Relief. Another time, they putt an unseen Rope with a cruel Noose about her Neck, Whereby she was choaked, until she was black in the Face; and though it was taken off before it had kill’d her, yet there were the red Marks of it, and of a Finger and a Thumb near it, remaining to be seen for a while afterwards.”
Martha stayed for the rest of the winter of 1688 in the house of Cotton mather, though eventually her own ailments too receded entirely. By the spring of 1689, the Goodwin families children were entirely cured and their lives returned to one of peace and quiet.
The case of the Goodwin Children and the trial of Ann Glover are an important precedent to the later witch trials that took place in Salem in which both Both Cotton and his father, Increase Mather would play central roles. Historians have pointed towards the events in Boston and of the Goodwin Children as a direct influence on the events and one of the main precursors, nevertheless, in common knowledge, it remains a tale overshadowed by the latter, infamous trials.
Whether or not you believe in Demonic possession, witchcraft, or any other spiritual influence that might have affected the Goodwin children, it seems that Ann Glover was the unfortunate victim of a society founded on ideals of religious freedom, yet one that acted in direct contradiction, as they sought to carry out their own injustice and persecution. Many have since suggested that Ann Glover could speak very little English at all, and that her “mad ravings” were in fact her simply speaking her native tongue which the Puritans could little understand. It has even been proposed that the small, handmade dolls, supposedly of the Goodwin children and found in her house during trial were in fact, the dolls of Catholic saints, rather than tools of witchcraft. It is certainly no stretch to imagine, rather grimly, exactly how just and honest the interpreters were during the trial, or if they were competent at interpreting in the first place.
Ann Glovers story is as tragic as the Goodwin childrens is bizarre. Fortunately, history has judged her rather more kindly than the courts of 1688, and in 1988, to mark the tercentenary of her execution, the Boston City Council declared November 16th “Goody Glover Day”.
Perhaps the most truthful contemporary account of the entire affair is that of Ann Glovers only established sympathiser, a Mr Robert Calef. Calef was a prominent Bostonian merchant who said of her trial and execution:
“Goody Glover was a despised, crazy, poor, old woman, an Irish Catholic who was tried for afflicting the Goodwin children. Her behavior at her trial was like that of one distracted. They did her cruel. The proof against her was wholly deficient.