Tagged with witchcraft

Norfolk Witches

Norfolk Witches

This is from The Norfolk Broads published 1903  by William Dutt, as described by the rector of Rockland: He assured me that even now there were men and women in Rockland and its neighbourhood who sought the aid of “wise women” and “cunning men” when a child was lost; who would not allow their relatives … Continue reading

The Witch and a Fallen Bell

This is from Tales of Old Berkshire. It is one of the more confusing stories. I doubt if the river was very deep, so why was this such a disaster to the village? After a terrible storm, long, long ago, the church tower of Kintbury fell, throwing the great bell into the river. A  wizard … Continue reading

Modern Witchcraft

Here is another excerpt from The Year of the Wombat, describing life in the year 1857: “At Stafford Assizes,  [24 March], a trial was opened which gave The Times leader-writer a momentary break from politics: “This is the 24th of March, 1857. Men can go to New York in 10 days, and communicate with Constantinople … Continue reading


We tend to think that witchcraft and persecution of people for it is as old as time, but it really only features in Europe in the early modern period, ie between the Reformation and the Enlightenment, a time when education and local government were at their lowest ebbs. Elsewhere in this blog there are a … Continue reading

Pendle Witch Child

The Pendle Witch Trials are one of the most infamous events of early modern Britain, when a child accused her own family of witchcraft and saw them and their neighbours executed. The region is now dotted with signs showing witches on broomsticks, showing the way to the significant sites, but local poet Simon Armitage did … Continue reading

What’s German for Cri de Coeur?

Another dip into my book ‘The Faithful  Executioner’ by Joel F. Harrington, and this is one of the most intriguing. In fact it’s as if a whole book could be written on this one. It involves sme lines scrawled on a church wall by the distraught husband of a woman executed for lewdness and harlotry… with … Continue reading

Witchcraft or Madness?

The 16th and 17th centuries in England were times of massive social upheaval, and following Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries, the hospitals and care for the poor and infirm were swept away. The chaos was exacerbated by the Civil War. Given that women generally outnumber men, this left a lot of old and isolated … Continue reading

A Welsh Witch

A Welsh Witch

Another entry from the Diary of William Thomas: March 1763 Was buried in Barry from old age weakness, old Ann Richmond alias Jenkins, widow, of cwm y di cu, of 100 years of age, some report 105. She was the mother of William Jenkins, Extorter. She was buried since the 30th day of January past. … Continue reading

Eat the Evidence

Eat the Evidence

Sometimes I stumble upon a sentence that is too ridiculous to keep to myself. This is from today’s i newspaper: “Members of a cult were yesterday accused of killing several alleged sorcerers, eating their raw brains and making soup from their penises.” On the mention of raw brains I of course thought it was, correctly, … Continue reading