William Stoughton (1631?-1701)
English-born American minister, politician, and jurist.
Stoughton, who is thought to have been born in England between the years 1631 and 1637, was a minister and political leader in New England. He is best known for his role as Chief Justice in the Salem witch trials. Stoughton was appointed to the Court of Oyer and Terminer, which was created in 1692 by Governor William Phips in order to deal with the rising witch hysteria. The trials which Stoughton presided over resutled in the execution of nineteen accused witches. Widely respected in his own time, Stoughton is remembered today as a notoriously stern and remorseless judge.
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