“Giles Corey”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1958 (Burt)
Keywords: witch execution
Found in: US


"Come all New England men And hearken unto me And I will tell what did befalle Upon the Gallows tree." "In Salem village was the place." "This Goody Corey was a witch." Wife and husband are accused; he is pressed to death and she is hung


Salem did not invent accusations of witchcraft; Samuel Elliot Morrison reports that there had been 44 witchcraft trials, and three executions, prior to 1692.

But in that year, 14 women and five men were hanged, with Giles Corey, as the broadside states, being pressed to death (i.e. having weights placed on him until he suffocated). Four others died in prison, and hundreds more were awaiting trial when sanity prevailed. - RBW

Historical references


  1. Burt, pp. 105-108, "Giles Corey and Goodwyfe Corey -- a Ballad of 1692" (1 text)
  2. BI, Burt105