300 Years After Her Conviction, Governor Restores Grace Sherwood's Good Name
On July 10, 1706, a forty-six-year-old Princess Anne County woman named Grace Sherwood faced an unusual legal procedure. Her hands were tied and she was about to be thrown from a boat into a river as a test to see if she was a witch. For several years neighbors talked of how the midwife, healer, and widowed mother of three had ruined crops, killed livestock, and conjured up storms. Then in January of 1706 Luke Hill formally accused Sherwood of witchcraft. The case passed from the county court to the attorney general of Virginia without any judgment.