Giles Corey

1234761_649908545027795_1127804875_nDuring the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, nineteen people were hanged as witches and one person was pressed to death. That man was 71 year-old Giles Corey who, on September 19, 1692 died after being pressed under a board, piled with heavy stones, for the preceding two days.

Corey (whose wife Martha was one of the hanged) refused to plead guilty or not guilty. The punishment for that was pressing, in hopes of squeezing out a response. It was a rare punishment, and even a rarer man who could withstand the pain.

After two days of pressing, legend has it that Corey was asked three times—guilty or innocent?—to which he reportedly replied “more weight!”

Because Corey refused to plead, he died in full possession of his estate, which was passed to his heirs, rather than to the government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Proudly powered by WordPress
Theme: Esquire by Matthew Buchanan.