Salem Witch Trials 1692 Sites Tour
Boston

38. King's Chapel Burial Ground
(located at the intersection of Tremont and School Streets).
Two people connected with the witchcraft are buried here.

a. Major General Wait Still Winthrop, a grandson of Massachusetts's first governor, John Winthrop, is buried in the Winthrop tomb (Plate 24). Wait Still served Massachusetts as a member of the council and as commander-in-chief of the provincial forces. In 1692, he sat on the Court of Oyer and Terminer and later on the Superior Court which tried the remaining witchcraft cases in 1693. He died in 1717 at the age of seventy-five.

b. Thomas Brattle, one of the most outspoken opponents of the witchcraft, is buried beneath a black table stone with a brick foundation in the northeast portion of the cemetery (Plate 29). The inscription on the stone can barely be discerned. It reads:

HERE LYES THE BODY OF THOMAS BRATTLE ESQR ONE OF HER MAJESTYES JUSTICES FOR THE COUNTY OF SUFFOLK & TREASURER OF HARVARD COLLEGE WHO DYED MAY THE 18th 1713 ANNO AETATIS 55.

Brattle graduated from Harvard College in 1676 and later became a fellow of London's Royal Society. In October 1692, he wrote his famous "Letter" which denounced the witch trials and helped bring them to a close. It is widely believed that Brattle supplied much of the material contained in Robert Calef's More Wonders of the Invisible World.

c. On the inside walls of the King's Chapel building can be found a monument to Thomas Newton, who served as King's Attorney and prosecuted the witchcraft cases until 26 July 1692. On that day he was succeeded by Anthony Checkley, the colony's attorney general. Newton had come to Massachusetts from England in 1688 and was one of the first legally trained lawyers in Massachusetts. Capital cases must have been his specialty. In 169I, he served as attorney general for New York where he successfully prosecuted several cases of high treason. Checkley, on the other hand, was a merchant by vocation and lacked any legal training. Governor Phips reprieved three persons condemned in January 1693 after Checkley informed him "that there was the same reason to clear the three condemned as the rest according to his Judgment." Phips's action so enraged Chief Justice William Stoughton that he temporarily refused to participate in the trials. Both Newton and Checkley died in Boston, Newton in 1721 and Checkley in 1708.

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