Alse (Alice) Young
Outcome: Guilty, hanged
As mentioned above, Alse Young was the first recorded person to be executed for witchcraft in New England. According to local historian Katherine Spada-Basto, she was hanged on May 26th of the year, most likely in the area of Hartford where Trinity College now stands and was formerly known as Gallows Hill. Others claim that she was hanged at Meeting House Square, which is the current location of the Old State House. Her execution is mentioned in a single sentence in Massachusetts Bay Colony Gov. John Winthrop’s journal, and also in the diary of Matthew Grant, the town clerk of Windsor. Sadly, there is scant other information about Alse, other than she was most likely the wife or daughter of John Young, and that she had a daughter named Alice Young Beamon, who would be accused—although not executed—of the same crime in Springfield, Mass., 30 years later.
Of course, our favorite version of the story is The Grimm Generation’s song “Alse Young.”