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 Grace Sherwood

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taixyz1992
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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Grace Sherwood   Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:21 pm

Grace White Sherwood (1660 – late 1740), known as the Witch of Pungo to historians and locals, was a healer, midwife,[1] and farmer who spent her entire life in the old Princess Anne County and Pungo, Virginia.[2][3] She married James Sherwood, a planter, in April 1680 in the Lynnhaven Parish Church (Number 1). The couple had three sons: John, James, and Richard.[4] Her husband died in 1701; she inherited his property and never remarried.[5][6]

Sherwood's neighbors claimed that she ruined crops, killed livestock, and conjured storms.[2] She was tried for witchcraft several times, first in 1697 when she was accused of casting a spell on a bull, resulting in his death. The following year she was charged again, for bewitching the hogs and cotton crop belonging to one of her neighbors. Her final trial took place in 1706, when she was accused of bewitching Elizabeth Hill, causing Hill to miscarry. The court ordered that Sherwood's guilt or innocence should be determined by ducking her in water. If the water rejected her and she floated, then she was guilty; if the water accepted her and she drowned, then she was innocent. Sherwood floated to the surface, and subsequently spent up to seven years and nine months in the jail next to Lynnhaven Parish Church. She was free by 1714 and succeeded in recovering her property from Princess Anne County, after which she lived quietly until her death in 1740 at the age of 80.

On July 10, 2006, the 300th anniversary of her conviction, Sherwood's good name was officially restored by the Governor of Virginia. A statue depicting her with a raccoon and a basket containing garlic and rosemary was erected near Sentara Bayside Hospital on Independence Boulevard, close to the site of the colonial courthouse where she was tried. The raccoon represents her love of animals and the herbs her knowledge of herbal healing.[7]

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