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John Hathorne

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The Resume

    (August 1641-May 10, 1717)
    Born in Salem, Massachusetts
    Merchant and magistrate of the Massachusetts Bay Colony
    Leading judge in the Salem witch trials (1692-93)
    Ancestor of author Nathaniel Hawthorne
    Portrayed by H.B. Warner and Robert Breuler

Why he might be annoying:

    He got rich off of daddy's land dealings.
    His tactics were deemed intense even by the standards of the day.
    He was shown in court transcripts to have harshly interrogated accused witches, often deliberately confusing them to entrap them into confessing.
    He helped to convict Rebecca Nurse - famously one of the oldest and most pious of all the accused - on charges of witchcraft (her death sentence generated a huge outcry).
    Even after it became clear that the accusers were discredited and the convicted 'witches' were posthumously exonerated, he remained one of the few living magistrates to show no remorse and remain unrepentant for his actions.
    His great-great grandson was haunted his entire life by his ancestor's role in the trials, and that shame figured prominently into his books (most notably The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He inspired great works of literature.
    He was active in the colonial militia, including during King William's War.
    He had a much more minimal and limited role in the Salem trials than is commonly thought.
    But, the fact that he had a famous descendant who wrote classic works of literature generally means that he is put out in front over more prominent leaders like - say - Cotton Mather or William Stoughton - for the sake of identifiability.
    He figures prominently into both Arthur Miller's The Crucible and Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Webster.
    He was said to have regretted playing a role in Rebecca Nurse's interrogation and sentencing (his sister was one of her staunchest defenders and even publicly signed a petition on Nurse's behalf).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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    In 2023, Out of 1 Votes: 0% Annoying
    In 2022, Out of 10 Votes: 100% Annoying