Pendle's witchcraft trial

Pendle's witchcraft trial

Since ancient times, and especially since the appearance of the Holy inquisition, in Europe they have persecuted alleged witches and people accused of performing magic or witchcraft. The case of Salem in America, but the Europeans are not so. One of the most popular episodes in Europe is that of the trials for witchcraft in Pendle, Lanchashire, England, which took place during the XVII century.

There were two families involved. The first was the Southerns family, which consisted of Elisabeth Southerns, her daughter Elisabeth and her grandchildren James and Alizon. The other family was headed by Anne Whittletogether with his daughter Anne. Both families had members of very old age.

It all took place in the village of Pendle in 1612. The matriarchs of both families they were reputed to be witches and they apparently did not deny it to their neighbors. In 1612, the families were accused of having suffered robberies at the hands of the other family. To support your accusation, claimed that the other family practiced witchcraft. These statements were affirmed by several inhabitants of the town, since they assured that these families had caused serious illnesses to all.

The first accused was Alizon. She was completely sure that she possessed powers and that she was a servant of the devil himself. By making these statements, he indirectly implicated his brother and mother. James confirmed his sister's statements and said with conviction that his sister had been bewitching children. Their mother accused her own mother, Elisabeth Southerns, of being a witch.

The old Elisabeth had some disagreements with the other family, so she blamed her without regard for having practiced witchcraft. This brought the Whittle family to the hands of the judges to answer for such accusations. It was claimed that they had created clay figures with which they had injured people.

Before the conviction was made public, the families they met in April of that year with a famous Yorkshire witch, Jennet Preston. His intention was to settle all conflicts before being sentenced to the stake for witchcraft. This meeting was seen as an authentic conspiracy of witchcraft, so they arrested everyone involved. A rather dubious trial took place where finally 12 people were convicted of witchcraft, 10 of them executed, another died in prison and the last one was not found guilty until years later.

Image: Public Domain

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