halesworth

A history of Halesworth, Suffolk, UK, through the ages.

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Volume 3



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Trials of Halesworth Witches

The Witch Trial at Bury St. Edmunds took place on August 16th 1645, with one hundred and twenty suspects on trial. These included six from Halesworth, who, like most, had confessed to various so-called crimes ...

Thomas and Mary Everard ...

'both being employed in a brewhouse at Halesworth, freely confessed that they had bewitched the beer, and the odiousness of the infectious stincke of it as such and so intolerable that by the noysomnesse of the semI or tast, many people dyed'.

Sarah Spindler ...

confessed that she had three imps, one like a bird and two like moles, which she employed to commit several murders.

Jane Linstead ...

confessed to having three imps, who were named Meg, Joan and Nage, and that she sent one to hinder the baker from baking his bread and another to kill the daughter of a man called Clarke ... she also confessed that she had met the devil in the shape of a man.

James More ...

confessed to having an imp that killed his brother William, while another imp destroyed a field of corn.

Elizabeth Hubard ...

confessed to keeping three imps for twelve years, which had killed both children and cattle.

Thomas and Mary Everard were hanged on August 17th 1645, and Sarah Spindler and Jane Linstead were hanged on August 27th 1645.

Matthew Hopkins was himself exposed at a sorcerer in 1647, and died at his home in Manningtree, Essex, on 12 August 1647, probably of pleural tuberculosis. He was buried a few hours after his death in the graveyard of the Church of St Mary at Mistley Heath, Essex.

Elsewhere in the area, seven witches were hanged at Aldeburgh, and two at Lowestoft were found guilty and hanged in 1664. As late as 1825, a man who was suspected of being a wizard, was dragged through the village pond at Wickham Skeith near Eye for punishment.


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