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In Virginia, most cases dealing with witchcraft were slander cases brought against persons who had leveled accusations of the practice of black magic. Shanghai Map In 1655, Thomas Godby's wife, Ann, was brought before the court on charges of slander for having accused other women in the community of witchcraft. The court ruled against the Godbys and fined them 300 pounds of tobacco and the court costs.
In Princess Anne County, John and Anne Byrd charged defamation of character against a neighbor who had accused them of afflicting him through their interaction with the devil; the Byrds' charges were dropped.
In other cases, Virginians faced accusations of witchcraft at trials.
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In 1656, William Harding was sentenced to ten lashes and banishment from the colony after being found guilty of practicing sorcery. Grace Sherwood was accused of being a witch in 1705.
Her body was searched for physical evidence, but when none was found, she was subjected to the water test, during which she floated. Sherwood was held over for trial; however, the officials involved in the case seemed uncertain how to proceed, and the case was eventually dropped.