J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Trial of Bathsheba Spooner

At the Early American Crime blog, Anthony Vaver discussed one of the exciting scandals of Revolutionary Massachusetts: the trial of Bathsheba Spooner of Brookfield for arranging the murder of her husband. 


This 1778 crime gained an unavoidable political dimension because Spooner was the daughter of a leading Loyalist exile, Timothy Ruggles, and her alleged accomplices included two British prisoners of war—as well as a young Continental Army veteran. 

What’s more, as part of the 150th anniversary of the Massachusetts Superior Court, the trial of Bathsheba Spooner was reenacted at the Worcester Trial Court last week. Vaver provides lots of photographs, including some of men portraying prosecutor Robert Treat Paine and local newspaper publisher Isaiah Thomas

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