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After he was sworn in as a new Salem magistrate in July of 1692, Higginson Jr. joined fellow Salem judges Hathorne, Corwin, and Gedney in several examinations in Salem Town. He was present for the questioning of three generations of an Andover family: accused – and confessed – witches Ann Foster, her daughter Mary Lacey Sr., and her granddaughter Mary Lacy Jr. He was also on hand for the examination of Martha and Thomas Carrier’s teenage sons Richard and Andrew in Beadle’s Tavern. Despite the fact that Higginson’s own sister Ann Dolliver was accused and jailed for witchcraft, he himself appeared to believe in both spectral evidence and the touch-test, witnessing the “cure” of Mary Warren’s afflictions by the touch of Mary Lacy Jr.’s hand.


John Higginson Jr., who sired nine children, died at the age of 73 in 1719. His son, Capt. John Higginson, died at the age of 46 in 1718, and is buried in the Old Burying Point Cemetery.