The Scotts were not wealthy and never appeared in any positions suggesting importance or prominence. The Scotts lacked the money to purchase their own land. Instead, in 1664, the town donated land to Benjamin Scott.
Benjamin died when Margaret was 56 years old, leaving an estate worth only 67 pounds, not much by the standards of that time. She lived on this meager estate for the next twenty-one years until her death, and must have been very poor.
Certain aspects of Margaret's character made her a likely candidate as a witch suspect. One such aspect was the high infant mortality rate among her children. Women in New England who had trouble raising their children were very vulnerable to witchcraft charges. Of Margaret's seven children, only three made it to adulthood. The residents of Salem would have been aware of this.
Also, Margaret was a widow for twenty-one years. The most dangerous aspect of being a widow was the lack of a husband for legal support and influence. She was forced to live off her husband's small estate for twenty-one years. Often poor widows were reduced to poverty and begging. By begging, Margaret would have been exposed to witchcraft suspicions according to what historians called the "refusal guilt syndrome". This phenomenon occurred when a beggar's needs were refused, causing feelings of guilt and aggression on the refuser's part. The refuser often projected this aggression onto the begger and grew suspicious of her. It appears that Margaret's accusations occurred at the hands of her town's most wealthy and distinguished citizens who had accused others of witchcraft as well.
Margaret Scott was a victim of bad luck and bad timing. These two aspects, more than any supernatural forces, led to her demise. She must have suffered extremely from the time of her arrest until her death three weeks later. She was unjustly accused, tried, convicted, incarcerated and hanged on Gallows Hill on Sept 22,1692. Margaret was 75 years old at the time of her death, possibly the oldest woman tried and hung in the Salem witch trials.
In 1711, all those accused were exonerated and their relatives offered retribution; but none of Margaret's family turned up. Whether out of fear or shame, not all the families came forward to accept the apology.
In 1993 the town of Rowley erected a monument to Margaret, calling the witch trials a "delusion". They dedicated this grassy area to her memory.
Margaret’s name was finally cleared on Oct 31, 2001, 309 yrs after her death.
Ancestral Line: Janeal Kindred Smith...Kent Lewis Kindred...Chloris Hill...Jasper Hill...Lurancy Chase...Sisson Chase...Amy Scott...Amos Scott...William Scott...William Scott...William Scott...Margaret Kinsey Stephenson