John Hale was born on June 3rd, 1636 in Charlestown Massachusetts. He
attended the prestigious Harvard College in Boston and graduated in 1657.
Ten years later on September 20th, he was ordained as the first minister
of the First Parish Church in Beverly.
Rev. Hale is best known for his involvement with the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692. After being at the forefront of the prosecutions he was stricken by a dramatic change of heart when his second wife Sarah was accused of witchcraft. She was never convicted as much of what is now Beverly Ma. strongly believed that such a pure and honest woman could never be a witch. Shortly thereafter the trials were concluded. After Sarah's death in 1697 Rev. Hale wrote a book titled A Modern Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, which condemns those who took leading roles in the trials. His book can be found at the Beverly Historical Society or online at etext.lib.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/archives/ModestEnquiry/
Reverend hale lived in this house from 1694 until his death on May 15th, 1700. He was buried in the graveyard behind the First Parish Church were he ministered for 32 years and was survived by his three children Rebeckah Hale, Dr. Robert Hale, and James Hale. His house still stands at 39 Hale street in Beverly Ma, although much altered from it's original state when it was inhabited by Rev. Hale. It is open for touring June 30, 2001 through August 25, Saturday 1:00 pm to 4:00
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