(Sally) Bassett was an enslaved woman owned by the estate of Francis Dickinson of
June 1st, 1730,
she was tried on the "suspicion of poisoning several persons" including the
mariner Thomas Forster (who owned Sally's granddaughter Beck), his wife Sarah Forster, and
Nancey, a household bondswoman.
Sally was charged
with supplying Beck with the poison that Nancey discovered in the wall of the kitchen
outlet. Although Sally maintained her innocence, stating that she "never
deserved" the sentence given for the offence, she was burned at the stake.
Local lore holds
that it was extremely hot when Sally was executed; and even now, Bermudians may refer to a
scorchingly hot day as "a real Sally Bassett day".
At the time of her
sentencing, Sally was valued at one pound, four shillings and sixpence.
legend says that Bermuda's national flower, the Bermudiana, grew from Sally's ashes.