Bishops fate is sealed

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Finally, Bishop's own husband testified against her in court, claiming he had witnessed her acts of witchcraft for many years as well as noting her absence from church each Sunday. (To miss attending church services on Sunday, the Christian day of worship, was punishable in some communities.) During her trial no evidence in her favor was allowed into the court. While she was being held in jail Bishop apparently spoke with Mary Warren, another accused witch, who believed that the teenage girls were making things up about her. Bishop tried to use this in her own defense in court, implying that the girls were simply being malicious, but the authorities would not allow these remarks to be put into court records. Bishop's son would have testified on her behalf but he was arrested during her trial for trying to beat the truth about the false accusations out of John Indian (husband of Tituba, another woman accused of being a witch, and who accused others of being witches; see biography entry) and for threatening to beat the accusing girls for playing games with the town. Even John Hale, the minister who had saved Bishop during previous charges of witchcraft, was now fully convinced she was guilty.

Bishop was declared guilty on June 4, 1692, and sentenced to be hanged. Although an old Massachusetts law forbade hanging, it was struck down on June 8: the courts applied an even earlier colonial law stating that witchcraft was a crime punishable by death. Thus, on June 10, Bishop was led through the streets of town bound to a cart as crowds of onlookers thronged around the first hanging of the Salem trials. On Gallows Hill she was hanged by High Sheriff George Cowan off the branch of a large oak tree in what was to be the first of twenty executions.

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