10 June 2011
Bridget Bishop Hanged
Bishop's execution was the first. The witch-hunting fever would continue for months. A total of 19 people would be hanged, one would die of the pressing of stones, and several would die in prison.
The trial of Mrs Bishop included the following exchange:
Q: Bishop, what do you say? You stand here charged with sundry acts of witchcraft by you done or committed upon the bodies of Mercy Lewis and Ann Putman and others.
A: I am innocent, I know nothing of it, I have done no witchcraft .... I am as innocent as the child unborn. ....
Q: Goody Bishop, what contact have you made with the Devil?
A: I have made no contact with the Devil. I have never seen him before in my life.
I have to wonder whether the word "contact" in that exchange is a mistranscription of "contract," which is surely what the one party meant to ask about and the other meant to deny.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.