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Ann Glover, Last Person Executed for Witchcraft in Boston

Updated: May 10, 2023


This is Ann Glover; in 1688, she became the last person executed for being a witch in Boston.⁠


The British settlers believed she was speaking the Devil's language.⁠ Ann spoke limited English at best as a recent arrival from Ireland; she was most comfortable speaking Irish (Gaelic).⁠ This may well have been the underlying reason for the charges brought.


This true story points to the salient aspect of her language, speaking a language other than English in the home where she worked as a nanny. It makes one wonder how and why those who denounced her would declare Gaelic to be ¨be the devil's language¨. Those thousands of women who were executed for witchcraft, mainly in Europe, but many in the Americas as well, all were doing something that was not liked by the authorities. It is important to note that using a foreign language was also a factor. Examples such as that of Ann Glover keep us mindful of the depth of human depravity of which we are capable as a species, especially when we think collectively.


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