A History Of The Pendle Witches
1612 was a harsh year in England’s history, an era of superstition and religious persecution.
James I was king of England and having survived the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, he feared a rebellion over him.
Anyone who was of Catholic faith was feared by the King and for that his anger was sterner than usual and harsh penalties were brought against them.
With the king being so superstitious, his behaviour led to an obsession of Witchcraft.
In the autumn of 1612, 20 people from the area of Lancaster, sixteen women of mixed ages and four men were put on trial and most of them sentenced to death for witchcraft.
Twelve of the accused lived in the area of Pendle Hill, Lancashire. They were charged with the murders of ten people by the use of witchcraft.
One was tried in York on the 27th July 1612, another died in Jail while awaiting their trial and the rest were tried at Lancaster Assizes on the 18th-19th August 1612 along with the Samlesbury Witches and others.
Of the eleven who went to trial from the Pendle area- nine women and two men. One was found not guilty and the others were found guilty and were executed by hanging in the moors above Lancaster.
A London clerk named Thomas Potts recorded the trials of the Pendle Witches and sent it around the country as a warning and a guide to finding evidence relating to witchcraft.
Some people say because the “witches” were not buried in consummated grounds or that they were not “witches” but people of a helpful nature, their spirit still haunts the area of Pendle Hill.
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