“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Northwest in Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

The Trial of 1706

The Trial of 1706 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 29, 2019
1. The Trial of 1706 Marker
At Witchduck Point, 10am July 10th 1706 Grace Sherwood, the daughter of a carpenter and the wife of a planter in the County of Princess Anne, was accused by neighbors of witchcraft. Grace was tried in the Second Princess Anne Courthouse, found guilty, and consented to the traditional trail by water, Grace was tied crossbound and dropped into water above man’s depth. If she were to sink and drown she was innocent and could be buried on holy ground, Grace did float, thus guilty as the pure water was casting out her evil spirit. She was incarcerated in the local jail just beyond this statue. After her release, Grace paid the back taxes on her property in 1714, returned to her farm and worked the land until her death at age 80 in the Autumn of 1740. Grace Sherwood, Virginia’s only convicted witch tried by water, she lays claim to Witchduck Road. Her legend lives on as "The Infamous Witch of Pungo”
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraWomen.
Location. 36° 51.963′ N, 76° 7.91′ W. Marker is in
The Trial of 1706 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 29, 2019
2. The Trial of 1706 Marker
Northwest in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of North Witchduck Road and Independence Boulevard (Virginia Route 225), on the right when traveling south on North Witchduck Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4520 N Witchduck Rd, Virginia Beach VA 23455, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Testing of Grace Sherwood (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Donation Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Founders and Veterans of Lynnhaven Parish Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grace White Sherwood (approx. 0.2 miles away); “The Brick Church” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lynnhaven House (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Pembroke Manor House (approx. one mile away); Camp Ashby (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northwest.
Plaque 2 image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 29, 2019
3. Plaque 2

Grace White Sherwood
Born 1660 Died 1740
Married April 1680 to James Sherwood
James died 1701
Survived by sons,
John, James and Richard
- -
Sentara Health Care
Has graciously provided this site in
recognition of their community, and
The history that surrounds us.
This 21 st Day of April 2007 - -
Robert Cunningham
Governers Exoneration image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, January 29, 2019
4. Governers Exoneration
Timothy M. Kane Governor Ms. Belinda Nash Dear Ms. Nash: I am pleased to join the Mayor of Virginia Beach in extending best wishes as you work to promote justice in 1706 “Witch Ducking” case of Grace Sherwood. With 300 years of hindsight , we all certainly can agree that trial by water is an injustice. We also can celebrate the fact woman’s equality is that a constitutionally protected today, and and women have the freedom to pursue their hopes and dreams. The historical records that survive indicate that Ms. Sherwood , a midwife and widowed mother of three, survived her “Trail by Water” in 1706. Those records also indicate that one of my predecessors, Governor Alexander Spotswood, eventually helped her claim her property. The record also indicates Ms. Sherwood led an otherwise quiet and law-abiding life until she died at the age of 80. Today, July 10, 2006, as the 70th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am pleased to officially restore the good name of Grace Sherwood. Sincerely, Timothy M. Kane
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 5, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 150 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 5, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement
Nov. 25, 2020