Witches, Rakes, and Rogues: True Stories of Scam, Scandal, Murder, and Mayhem in Boston 1630-1775 [hardcover]


When most people think of Boston between its founding in 1630 and the height of the American Revolution, they probably imagine a procession of Puritan ministers in black followed by patriots like Paul Revere on horseback. In his new book, Brenton Simons will change a few minds and shock a few others. Witches, Rakes, and Rogues demonstrates convincingly that the narrow, twisting streets of colonial Boston were crawling with murderers, con men, and other blackguards. Bostonians may have been prayerful, but they were also prurient and violent. Added to this remarkable rogue's gallery are several women who were tried and executed as witches. Simons also uncovers the truth about Boston's first documented serial murder. “Great stories, astonishing characters, dastardly (often quite amusing) deeds … the research is as deep as the stories are fascinating; in sum, a remarkable achievement!” states John Demos, Samuel Knight Professor of History, Yale University. Jane C. Nylander writes “What an astonishing cast of characters Brenton Simons has pulled out of prim and proper Boston! Here are people and events that seem hard to imagine. Some of these people were victims, others just plain naughty. Their stories are fascinating, and revealing.”

D. Brenton Simons

2005, cloth, 260 pp.

ISBN: 9781889833545