Personality in Suffer a WitchEdit
Margaret Scott is a smart, professional woman who keeps to herself. Talented at forecasting, Em goes to her whenever she needs a sense of what is to come. While Margaret doesn't seem to get involved in the chaos of the group, she is there whenever Em needs her.
Like many of the men and women hanged in Salem Village, there is little known about Margaret Scott's personality or life. Here are a few facts:
- Margaret was born in England and married Benjamin Scott in 1642.
- She was nearly eighty when she was hanged.
- She had seven children, but only three suvived childhood. Her neighbors were said to have suspected that she was a witch because of the death of her children.
- Her husband, Benjamin Scott, died in 1671 and bequeathed Margaret with a house, cattle, and a small property in Rowley.
- Margaret was very poor and had to resort to begging to survive.
- There is some evidence that the people of Rowley believed Margaret to be a witch. It's even possible that Margaret used their fear of her as a way of encouraging people to help her.
Why was Margaret hanged?
There are two likely reasons. The first reason is that Margaret Scott owned and controlled the property her husband bequeathed her. At this time, it was unusual for women to own property outright. Property was usually passed from father to son or grandfather to grandson. Given that the main testimony against her was given by two prominent families in Rowley, it's likely that she was tried and executed for her property.
The second reason is that at the time Margaret was tried, the Oyer and Terminer court was straining to prove its legitimacy. Margaret was tried on the fifteenth of August, just days before the hanging of George Burroughs. Risking their own lives, people had come forward to in support of Reverend Burrough. One of Reverend Burrough's accusors had publicly said that she had lied in her testimony against him.
The court needed an easy conviction to prove to the community that it was ridding the community of witches. Margaret Scott happened to be just such a case. She was elderly, poor, owned property, and four of her seven children had not suvived to adulthood. Further, her community believed she practiced witchcraft.
Why was Margaret Scott hanged? She was an easy target and an even easier conviction.