Skip to Content

Dudley Bradstreet and the Salem Witch Trials

Dudley Bradstreet was a resident of Massachusetts Bay and magistrate of Andover during the Salem Witch Trials.

He would be accused of witchcraft and then fled the area and returned after the Salem Witch Trial hysteria had calmed down. 

Early Life and Family

Dudley was a native to the New England Colonies and was born to Simon Bradstreet and Anne Dudley Bradstreet in 1648.

In 1648 the Massachusetts Bay Colony governor was John Winthrop whose deputy mayor was Thomas Dudley. Thomas would go on to become mayor ofthe colony after Winthrop.

Thomas Dudley was the father of Dudley’s mother Anne whose surname was the origin of his first name. 

Dudley’s paternal side also was successful in politics. His father Simon was elected governor of the colony twice for a total of en years.

The well connected Dudley Bradstreet served as a colonel in the colonial militia, a Deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts, and in the Massachusetts Governor’s Council from 1698 until 1702.

Bradstreet married Anne Wood Price, daughter of Richard and Anne (Priddeth) Wood and widow of Theodore Price. Their children were:

  1. Margaret Bradstreet
  2. Dudley Bradstreet
  3. Anne Bradstreet (died as an infant)

Salem Witch Trials

In 1692, Dudley Bradstreet was serving as a Justice of the Peace and was told to issue warrants to those that were accused of witchcraft. 

He went on to issue 48 warrants for the arrest and improsonment of the accused. He also head confessions from three of the accused children:

  • Elizabeth Johnson
  • Sarah Carrier
  • Thomas Carrier

Elizabeth was the granddaughter of Reverent Francis Dane and the Carrier children were those of the accused Martha Carrier.

After issuing the 48 warrants he refused to issue any more against his fellow citizens.

In reaction to his defiance he along with his wife Anne was accused of witchcraft. After being accused he and his wife fled to New York Colony  or New Hampshire (sources disagree) where they stayed until the hysteria died down.

Bradstreet returned to Andover and signed a petition to release the accused from prison in 1693.

He and his family would be captured by Native Americans in 1698, but released when the Indians were pursued. 

Dudley Bradstreet died November 13, 1702.

Site of Dudley Bradstreet Home

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.