Perhaps our most famous resident, Eunice “Goody” Cole was tried for witchcraft in 1656 and again in 1673. Sentenced for life, she petitioned to take care of her aging husband and was released. In 1671 the town selectmen ordered the inhabitants to take turns supporting Goody Cole one week at a time. In 1671 she was again arraigned on charges of witchcraft but in 1673 she was found not guilty.
In 1938 an organization known as “The Society in Hampton for the Apprehension of Those Falsely Accusing Eunice “Goody” Cole of Having Familiarity with the Devil” was formed. They wanted to make amends to clear the reputation of the only woman in NH ever convicted of witchcraft.
On March 8, 1938 at the 300th Town Meeting the citizens passed a resolution restoring Eunice “Goody” Cole to her rightful place as a citizen of Hampton. During a public ceremony certified copies of all her court document were burned and mixed with soil from her last home and reputed resting place. The urn was to have been buried but many years later was given to the Tuck Museum.
A new book about Goody Cole, The Mark of Goody Cole: A tragic and true tale of witchcraft persecution from the history of early America, has been written by HHS volunteer Cheryl Lassiter. Read more about it on her website, goodycole.com, and also on our website
More info about Goody Cole can be found on the Lane Library's Goody Cole Page.
An interesting article about Goody Cole can be found on the SeacoastNH website. It is titled The Hex-ploitation of Goody Cole.
A pamphlet about Goody Cole entitled Witch of Hampton is available at the Tuck Museum's store
|Below are snapshots of the Urn and a Memorial stone, dedicated in 1963 by the citizens of Hampton. The urn is in the Tuck Museum building and the memorial stone is on the edge of Meeting House Green, among other monuments of the Tuck Museum Complex.|
Because of the publicity surrounding the efforts to restore her citizenship in 1938, the “Goody” Cole story was told in practically every newspaper in the country. The National Broadcasting Company dramatized the story on radio coast to coast. Eunice “Goody” Cole became famous. Her memorial service August 25, 1938 was broadcast nation wide.
Below are 3 reformatted newpaper articles about this event:
Below is a graphic from a lurid article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, April 3, 1938. (Located in the Tuck Museum building)