The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches…

the circle shows the house

The picture shows Pendle Hill in Lancashire – home of many a wonderful witch and, indeed, peeping out from the trees, as marked by the circle, you can just about make out the house where I was born!

The house was haunted by a Cavalier soldier killed in the Civil War – arms and legs removed at elbow and knee, left to bleed to death where he fell. He wasn’t a nuisance as a ghost and merely sat on my brother’s bed, ‘stroking’ his face with arms that weren’t there.

Behind the house and up the hill is a cairn where modern-day witches meet on Halloween. I doubt the original witches met there, busy as they would have been with trying not to be labelled such. But for decades wannabes have kept alive a quite unrealistic image of the witch – for fun, for tourism. And I suspect those hung mercilessly and unnecessarily in the 1600s, probably spend each of these Halloweens twisting and turning in their graves, wishing they had some eye of toad and tongue of newt to cook up a potion to rid Pendle of such pretenders.

a closer view

The post title comes from that of the famous Lancashire witch trials – The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster – documented by one Thomas Potts, clerk to the court, but reputedly selectively edited by the two judges themselves in order to help advance their careers.

Despite being born on Pendle and brought up in an area steeped in that witchy history, I’ve never read into the subject as deeply as I feel I should have done.

Too many books, too little time, alas…


4 Replies to “The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches…”

  1. Ha ha… thank goodness they no longer burn us at the stake, eh?Yes, the comment approval is a bind. Fortunately I don't seem to attract the undesirable blog posters who litter people's pages with rubbish… though I do attract a lot of Russian bots for some reason – but they're silent. No idea what they do here.

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