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English Witchcraft and Witches Page 2

    In Exeter the case of three destitutes accused of witchcraft was one of the last cases of witchcraft involved Susanna Edwards, Temperance Lloyd and Mary Trembles. The three of them confessed which left little room for doubt in the eyes of the public. Some of the evidence brought against them was tenuous but the judge was forced by public opinion to sentence the three accused women to death by hanging. Susanna and Mary wept on the way to the gallows while Temperance chewed not caring.

    In Faversham a trial involving Joan Williford who confessed to witchcraft practices and in her confession she also named Jane Holt, Joan Argoll and Elisabeth Harris as witches also and all of them as a result of the facts that people died was enough to seal their fates on September 29 1645 they were executed.

    In Fressingfield a Mrs Corbyn was the focus of allegations of witchcraft in 1890. This was made public as a result of the sudden death of a baby in the village. Examination of the baby's body showed that the baby had died of shock as the result of an applied irritant. The parent's named the step-grandmother who had died on the same day and was said to have siad that the baby would not live much longer either. A few hours later the baby died. The husband of the accused was said to have said that he suspected his wife of witchcraft but that he tried to never anger her for fear of retribution.

    In Lancaster or Lancashire as it is also known there were two big trials one in 1612 and one in 1633.

    The first in 1612 was the coven active in Pendle Forest involved approximately 20 people with the two central figures being an 80 year old woman by the name of Elizabeth Sowthern and the other a 60 year old woman by the name of Anne whittle.

    The local justice questioned the 80 year old woman on whether she was a witch which she confessed to and she also pointed her granddaughter Alison Device and Anne Whittle. Elizabeth Sowthern confessed how the devil had spoken to her and she had given him her soul in exchange for anything. SHe kept turning him away evertime he appeared then one night he came and sucked her blood which made her mad for almost 2 months. She also testified that her daughter had done work for a Richard Baldwyn when Elizabeth and her granddaughter Alsion went to seek payment he told them to get out or he would hang and burn one of them. The devil reappeared and asked her to take revenge at which she said yes. She never saw him again.

    Anne Whittle confessed to entering into the witches realm. She was indicted for this act. Alison Device was also indicted for her confession of the daughter of Baldwyn having died and was also for laming an old peddler.

    Elizabeth Device and the other families of those inprisoned tried to plan an escape for those imprisoned but were found out and several arreasts were made, in all 20 were tried all testifying against each other and implicating others in their testimonials. 10 people were sentenced to hang. Elizabeth Sowthern died in prison. Margaret Pearson was sentenced to the pillory and 1 year in jail. The rest were found not guilty.

    The second trial was in 1633 and involved a young boy by the name of Edmun Robinson who had claimed he was forced to attend a witches sabbat at which there were several people including Jennet Device. Of those that the young boy claimed were witches 17 were convicted. The local justice however thought their was something foul and the cases were referred to teh king's council where it was discovered that the young boy had been forced by his father to lie to make a quick dollar. The prisoners who were still alive were released and the boys father was jailed.

    English Witchcraft Page 3




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