November 16th, 1688 was the end of an era in Boston, namely the era of executing random people accused of witchcraft. The famous Salem Witch Trials wouldn’t be in full swing for another four years, but down in Boston pretty much everyone was getting sick and tired of all the witchcraft shenanigans. The last person to be killed was Ann Glover, a laundress originally from Ireland.
Glover was keeping house for the Goodwin family of Boston in the summer of 1688 when four of the five Goodwin children became extremely ill. After examining them, a doctor concluded that “nothing but a hellish Witchcraft could be the origin of these maladies.” Today, doctors simply call this illness diarrhea, but it’s understandable that back in the seventeenth century, medical professionals would have assumed satanic practices were involved.
Glover was arrested and tried for witchcraft, at which point she did some things that didn’t exactly help her cause. She refused to speak in English during the trial, for instance, instead reverting to her native Gaelic. She also pled guilty, admitting that puppets found in her home were in fact used to make the Goodwin children sick. On November 16th, 1688 she was hanged.
Three hundred years later, the Boston City Council decided the conviction had been unjust and declared November 16th “Goody Glover Day” in honor of Goodwife Glover. There was no word on whether or not the Council had been haunted by a witch-ghost before making this proclamation. These days, there is even a North End restaurant named after Ann Glover that features a plaque recognizing her as a Catholic martyr.