Day 87 – The New Salem Witch Spoon

On March 28, 1652, my 9th great uncle, Samuel Sewall, was born in Bishopstoke, Hampshire, England. My 9th-great grandfather, John Sewall, was born two years later on October 10, 1654 in Badesley, England.

A painting of Massachusetts colonial magistrate, Samuel Sewall.
Massachusetts colonial magistrate, Samuel Sewall (1652-1730).
Samuel is probably best known for his involvement in the Salem witch trials. He was one of nine judges appointed in 1692 to the court which would preside over the trials of the people from Salem and other areas who were accused of witchcraft.

In the five years following the Trials, two of Sewall’s daughters and his wife’s mother died, and then his wife gave birth to a stillborn child. Rumor has it that he felt his family was cursed and was receiving punishments from God and, possibly because of this, Sewall became the only justice to publicly apologize for his involvement in the trials, calling for a public day of prayer, fasting, and reparations.

Samuel Sewall passed away in 1730 at the age of 77 and was buried in Boston’s Granary Burial Ground.

I’ve already shared the Daniel Low-designed Salem Witch spoon (first pattern), which started the spoon collecting craze in the early 1890s, so here’s a more modern take on the original. Made of pewter, this short spoon has a detailed witch on a broom at the top. Obviously haunted.