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Sarah Osborne

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Sarah Osborne

c. 1643 (age 48-49), Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony

May 29, 1692 (aged 48-49), Boston, Massachusetts, Province of Massachusetts Bay

Sarah Osborne (also variously spelled Osbourne, Osburne, or Osborn; née Warren, formerly Prince, born c. 1643 – died May 10, 1692) was one of the first women to be accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials of 1692.


A woman with a sad face surrounded by men during the witch trials in the late 17th century was accused to be a "witch".

1st March 1692: First of the Salem 'witches' face magistrates

Sarah Good Salem Witch Trials


An illustration by Howard Pyle in 1907 showing the Salem witchcraft trials, held in 1692 in Massachusetts, resulted in the execution of 19 people, both men and women, who were convicted as witches.

Sarah became one of the first accused of witchcraft at the beginning of the year 1692, when Betty Parris became ill with an unknown sickness. Both girls claimed that Sarah Osborne, along with Tituba and Sarah Good, had been afflicting them. Elizabeth (Betty) Hubbard also accused Osborne of afflicting her, describing it as her pinching and poking her with knitting needles.

All three women were considered social outcasts, albeit for different reasons. Osborne had not attended church in almost three years due to a long illness, and was still dealing with legal issues with the Putnam family. The accusations against Osborne likely were the product of powerful suggestions from the Putnam family. The warrant for Sarah Osborne's arrest was written for March 1, 1692. She was to be placed in the Boston jails for the duration of her examinations and trials. She died in jail on May 10, 1692, believed to have been 49 years of age.


A portrait of Sarah Mary Benjamin with a serious face and wearing a black dress.

  • Osborne is mentioned in the original version of Arthur Miller's The Crucible but does not appear as a character. Miller added her (along with other characters) into a courtroom scene when he wrote the screenplay for the 1996 film adaptation. In the drama, her name is spelled "Osburn". She was portrayed as a very pathetic character by actress Ruth Maleczech, an impoverished and obviously deranged beggar but also aware that she is in grave danger. As no evidence indicates that Osborne was mentally ill, her movie depiction may be a composite character of Osborne and Sarah Good, the latter of whom was known to mutter and insist she was reciting the Ten Commandments, as does the Osborne character in the movie.
  • "Goody Osburn" is mentioned in episode 5 of True Blood's season 3.
  • Meghan Carroll. Sarah Osborne profile, (2001); accessed September 1, 2016.

  • Sarah Ann Osborne Fuller with a serious face and wearing a black dress with a white collar.

    Illustration of the trial of Martha Corey, a wife of a Salem Village farmer who was convicted of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. (Illustration by John W. Ehninger in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Houghton/Public Domain)


    Sarah Osborne Wikipedia