Samuel Parris

Born: 1653 London, England Died: 1720 Boston, Massachusetts

Minister of Salem Village church

Samuel Parris was the minister of the church in Salem Village during the witch trials in 1692-93. A controversial figure since his arrival in the community several years earlier, he actively encouraged the witch-hunts, which had started in his own household when his daughter and niece lapsed into unexplained fits. Parris used his position to damage the lives and reputations of innocent people, most of whom were members of his own congregation. Despite efforts to remove him from his post after the trials were over, he managed to remain as pastor until he was finally forced to leave Salem five years later. Although he issued an apology for his role in the witch trials, he continued to blame the devil for stirring up trouble among good Christians.

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