Martha Corey was brought before Judge John Hawthorne to be examined. Keeping with the theme of every other Witch Trial in Salem, Corey was presented with a barrage of questions that had no right answer. As with them all, there was no way for her to properly defend herself. That did not stop her from trying. Throughout the entire investigation, Corey professed her innocence. She even went so far as to laugh at the notion of Witchcraft in general. As a note to anyone planning on defending themselves in court anytime soon, laughing in the face of your accuser is a good way to not get yourself acquitted. It did not help her case that the “afflicted” girls kept swooning and panicking every time Corey looked in their direction.
It should surprise no one that Corey was found guilty of two accounts of Witchcraft. She was placed in the Salem jail for a while, until overcrowding forced them to transfer her to Boston. She stayed there from March until September, when they finally had her trial. What were they doing in the meantime? Desperately gathering evidence to use against her, probably.
Giles Corey, her husband, was no help in this matter. He was, in fact, the opposite of help. He provided testimony against her, claiming that he could not pray while his wife was around, that one of his oxen had fallen mysteriously ill, that Martha had tried to get him to kill a cat, and he felt a general sense of anxiety. However, he changed his tune when he was accused of Witchcraft himself in April. He refused to testify any more against his wife, and tried to go back on what he had said before. By refusing to cooperate, he was found guilty as well.
At the end of Corey’s trial on September 8th, 1692, she was found guilty of Witchcraft and sentenced to death. On September 11th, she was excommunicated from the church, just to rub salt into the wound.
On September 19th, days before Martha Corey’s execution, Giles was tortured to death via pressing for his refusing to testify against his wife. On September 22th, she was hanged along with seven other convicted witches. According to eyewitness reports, her last act was to pray as she walked up the gallows stairs.
Information taken from:
Robert Calef’s “More Wonders of the Invisible World”