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Title: Witch Hunter: The Impact and Influence Of The Reverend Samuel Parris On The Salem Village Witch Trials 1692
Contributor(s): Fensom, Selina Anne (author); Quaife, Geoff (supervisor); Kent, David  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2002
Copyright Date: 2002
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: During the last three hundred years many have studied and speculated about the witchcraft episode which occurred in Salem Village in 1692. Some have concluded that the ministers of New England played key roles in this episode. While many men of God, such as Increase and Cotton Mather, clearly did play some part in the formal witch trials, one cleric stood out in the prominent role that he played in the origins of the crisis and during the trials. Samuel Parris, as minister of Salem Village, played one of the most crucial roles in the whole of the witchcraft episode. Although many aspects of these events have been extensively researched, surprisingly the role of Parris has been largely neglected. The purpose of this investigation is to provide a detailed examination of the life and role of Samuel Parris, and in particular to suggest that Parris calculatingly provoked the outbreak of witchcraft hysteria to secure his own position against the challenges of his opponents. The thinness of the evidence prevents absolute proof of this but it is the thesis of this dissertation that nevertheless sufficient evidence exists to indicate that such an interpretation is at least plausible.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 2002 - Selina Anne Fensom
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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