28. Old Wenham Burying Ground
(located on Main Street (Route 1A) in Wenham, a short distance north of Wenham Lake).
Here are buried several men of Wenham who played parts in the witchcraft hysteria.
a. Joseph Gerrish,
minister of the First Church of Wenham in 1692,
is buried here beneath a red sandstone table stone (Plate 32). The inscription
on his tomb reads: "Rev. Joseph Gerrish Born at Newbury Mar. 23,
165o Graduated at Harvard College 1669 Ordained at Wenham Jan I2, 1674
Died in the Pastoral Office Jan 6, I720." In 1692, four of Gerrish's
parishioners were members of the jury which sat in judgment in Salem.
In November 1692, Mary Herrick came to Gerrish complaining that Reverend
John Hale's wife afflicted her. Her accusation caused Hale to oppose
finally the witchcraft proceedings.
b. "Here Lyes Buried the Body of Capt. Thomas Fisk
Who Decd Februry ye 5th 1723 in ye 70th Year of His Age. The Righteous shall
be had in Everlasting Remembrance" (Plate 33). Fisk served as
a member of the jury which convicted many of those condemned and executed
for witchcraft in 1692. He was the son of the jury foreman, Thomas
Fisk, Sr. Both men signed a public confession in 1697 stating that
they "were sadly deluded and mistaken" in 1692.
c. "Here Lyeth ye body of Decn [Deacon] William Fisk
who died Febry ye 5th 1727/8 Aged 85 years." William Fisk also served
as a juror at the Salem trials in 1692 and later signed the 1697 confession
(Plate 6; 106 Main Street in Wenham, a short distance north
of the Wenham Burying Ground).
This house was built around 1670 and was the home of John Solart,
Sr. who kept an inn here. His daughter Sarah, who was born 14 July 1653,
later married William Good and moved away to Salem Village. Sarah Good
was one of the first three persons accused of witchcraft in 1692 and
was hanged on July 19. The house is privately owned.
30. Claflin-Gerrish-Richards House
(Plate 31; 132 Main Street,
opposite its intersection with Monument Street).
Reverend Joseph Gerrish lived here in 1692. It was here that Mary
Herrick met with John Hale, and Joseph Gerrish and told them that the
specter of Hale's wife afflicted her. The house dates from the time
period 1662-73 and is the office of the Wenham Historical Association.
It is open to the public.