Thursday, June 30, 2022

This Day in Medieval Garden Myth & Reality

Angie Capozello of Medieval Gardens shares:

ENLUMINURES EUROPE - VIe - XVIe s. - ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS EUROPE

 June 30th is the 181st day of the Gregorian calendar year.

It was usually the 12th day of the month of messidor in the French Republican calendar, officially called ARTICHAUT (ARTICHOKE) Day

Calligraphiae monumenta. Enlightenment: Joris Hoefnagel (also known as Georg Hufnagel), born in 1542 in Antwerp and died September 9, 1601 in Vienna (Austria), and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died in 1575). Date and place of publication: Vienna, Austria, 1561–1562-1591–1596. Latin manuscript illuminated on velin Getty Los Angeles, CA 90049. U.S.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

This Day in Medieval Garden Myth & Reality


ENLUMINURES EUROPE - VIe - XVIe s. - ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS EUROPE

The Harvest of CILIANDRA

June 29 is the 180th day of the Gregorian calendar year Its equivalent was usually the 11th messidor of the French Republican / Revolutionary calendar, officially referred to as CORIANDER DAY.

Tacuum sanitatis, manual of health written circa 1050 by Ibn Butlân (ibn butlân, taqwim es sih- crit 1066), Baghdad Christian doctor and theologian. Date and place of publication: circa 1390-1400, Pavia or Milan (Italy). Illuminated latin manuscript on parchment. National Library of France, Department of Manuscripts, Division of Manuscript Department, Western Division' Rate: New Latin Acquisition 1673

Monday, June 27, 2022

On "Beating a Dead Horse" in Today's Capitalistic Workplace using the Ancient Wisdom of Native Americans

The US edition of The Guardian on November 26, 1999, published a piece on beating a "dead horse" in today's capitalistic world of work & careers using the ancient wisdom of Native Americans. The Dakota are a Native American tribe in North America. They compose 2 of the 3 main subcultures of the Sioux people & are typically divided into the Eastern & the Western Dakota having tribal lands from present day Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, & into Canada. 

The Tribal Wisdom of the Dead Horse from the Dakota Indians

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from one generation to the next, says that when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount. 

But in modern business, because heavy investment factors are taken into consideration, other strategies are often tried with dead horses, including the following:

 1.   Buying a stronger whip.

 2.   Changing riders.

 3.   Threatening the dead horse with termination.

 4.   Appointing a committee to study the dead horse.

 5.   Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

 6.   Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

 7.   Reclassifying the dead horse as "living-impaired." 

 8.   Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse. 

 9.   Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.

10.  Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horse's performance.

11.  Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's production.     

12. Declaring that the dead horse carries lower overhead & therefore contributes more to the bottom line than some other horses.

13. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

14. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

The Female Witch Myth - New England's Early 1656 Witch Trial

Image from History of Witches and Wizards, 1720 or The history of witches and wizards: giving a true account of all their tryals in England, Scotland, Swedeland, France, and New England; with their confession and condemnation / Collected from Bishop Hall, Bishop Morton, Sir Matthew Hale, etc. By W.P. 1720

Trials for witchcraft in New England did not begin in 1692.  In The Salem Witch Trials: a Reference Guide by K. David Goss, he recounts the trial of Anne Hibbins who was hanged in 1656. Anne Hibbins (1656) was censured by Boston church leaders for her contentious behavior in repeatedly accusing a local craftsman of overcharging for his labor. She was furthermore charged with supplanting her husband’s position in dealing with this problem, violating the Puritan belief that wives should submit themselves to the leadership of their husbands. 

For this offense, she was unrepentant. She was removed from membership in the Boston church and found guilty of witchcraft in 1654, after the death of her husband. Although the magistrates denied the initial verdict, a 2nd trial was held before the Massachusetts Great and General Court. Anne Hibbins was convicted a 2nd time of witchcraft and executed in 1656. 

In his assessment of this tragedy, Governor Thomas Hutchinson (1711-1780), in his "History of Massachusetts," places the blame for this conviction upon the people of Boston who disliked Anne Hibbin’s contentious nature. He wrote that the trial and the condemnation of Anne Hibbins for witchcraft was "a most remarkable occurrence in the colony," for he found that is was her temper and argumentative nature, that caused he neighbors to accuse her of being a witch.

The Female Witch Myth was enhanced by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), so influential in the recent Roe v. Wade demise, whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum (1486) translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society. 

My dog is still giving me a look that says you may be "beating a dead horse." I kind of remember that in England they say "flogging a dead horse." Or as Sophocles wrote (in Greek, of course) in his play Antigone, "Nay, allow the claim of the dead; stab not the fallen; what prowess is it to slay the slain anew?"

The Female Witch Myth - 1692 Salem Witch Trials - Adolescent Girls with Strange Fits

In 1692 a group of adolescent girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, became subject to strange fits after hearing tales told by a West Indian slave. They accused several women of being witches. The townspeople were appalled but not surprised: Belief in witchcraft was widespread throughout 17th-century America and Europe. Town officials convened a court to hear the charges of witchcraft. Within a month, six women were convicted and hanged.

The hysteria grew, in large measure because the court permitted witnesses to testify that they had seen the accused as spirits or in visions. Such "spectral evidence" could neither be verified nor made subject to objective examination. By the fall of 1692, 20 victims, including several men, had been executed, and more than 100 others were in jail (where another five victims died) -- among them some of the town's most prominent citizens. When the charges threatened to spread beyond Salem, ministers throughout the colony called for an end to the trials. The governor of the colony agreed. Those still in jail were later acquitted or given reprieves.

Although an isolated incident, the Salem episode has long fascinated Americans. Most historians agree that Salem Village in 1692 experienced a kind of public hysteria, fueled by a genuine belief in the existence of witchcraft. While some of the girls may have been acting, many responsible adults became caught up in the frenzy as well.

Even more revealing is a closer analysis of the identities of the accused and the accusers. Salem Village, as much of colonial New England, was undergoing an economic and political transition from a largely agrarian, Puritan-dominated community to a more commercial, secular society. Many of the accusers were representatives of a traditional way of life tied to farming and the church, whereas a number of the accused witches were members of a rising commercial class of small shopkeepers and tradesmen. Salem's obscure struggle for social and political power between older traditional groups and a newer commercial class was one repeated in communities throughout American history. It took a bizarre and deadly detour when its citizens were swept up by the conviction that the devil was loose in their homes.

The Salem witch trials also serve as a dramatic parable of the deadly consequences of making sensational, but false, charges. Three hundred years later, we still call false accusations against a large number of people a "witch hunt."

For more, see Outline of U.S. History, a publication of the U.S. Department of State from the website of the United States Information Agency, where it was published in November 2005.

The Female Witch Myth was enhanced by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), so influential in the recent Roe v. Wade demise, whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum (1486) translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society. 

My dog is still giving me a look that says you may be "beating a dead horse." I kind of remember that in England they say "flogging a dead horse." Or as Sophocles wrote (in Greek, of course) in his play Antigone, "Nay, allow the claim of the dead; stab not the fallen; what prowess is it to slay the slain anew?"

The Female Witch Myth - Puritan Laws - 1692 Salem's Anti-Woman Witch Hunt

Woodcut of Witches Gathering

During 1692, formal charges of witchcraft were brought against 156 people & most were women. On both sides of the Atlantic, witchcraft was perceived as a primarily female phenomenon & over ¾ of the accused were women.  In Puritan New England by 1692, Christian society, politics, & theology was ripe for a bout of persecution of witches & witchcraft, which some claim was an attempt to suppress women & feminine influences. 

Puritans did not believe that women were by nature more evil than men, but they did see them as weaker & thus more susceptible to sinful impulses. Ministers regularly reminded New England congregations, that it was Eve who first gave way to Satan & then seduced Adam, when she should have continued to serve his moral welfare in obedience to God.  Some women were much more likely than others to be suspected of witchcraft. 

Throughout the 17C New England women became especially susceptible to accusation, if they were seen as challenging their prescribed place in a gendered hierarchy that Puritans held to be ordained by God. Women who fulfilled their allotted social roles as wives, mothers, household mistresses, & church members without threatening assumptions about appropriate female comportment were respected and praised as the handmaidens of the Lord; but those whose circumstances or behavior seemed to disrupt social norms could easily become branded as the servants of Satan.  

Especially vulnerable were women who had passed menopause & no longer served the purpose of procreation; women who were widowed & so neither fulfilled the role of wife nor had a husband to protect them from malicious accusations; & women who had inherited or stood to inherit property in violation of society's expectations that wealth would be transmitted from man to man.  Women who seemed unduly aggressive & contentious were also likely to be accused; behavior that would not have struck contemporaries as particularly egregious in men seemed utterly inappropriate in women. 

Bridget Bishop & Susannah Martin, both executed in 1692, exemplifed these characteristics. Both had been widowed. Bishop had assumed control of her first husband's property before remarrying. Martin had engaged in protracted litigation over her father's estate in an unsuccessful attempt to secure what she considered her rightful inheritance. Both women had displayed an assertiveness & fiery temper that some of their neighbors found deeply troubling.

Events in Salem Village in 1692
January 20
Nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams began to exhibit strange behavior, such as blasphemous screaming, convulsive seizures, trance-like states and mysterious spells. Within a short time, several other Salem girls began to demonstrate similar behavior.

Mid-February
Unable to determine any physical cause for the symptoms and dreadful behavior, physicians concluded that the girls were under the influence of Satan.

Late February
Prayer services and community fasting were conducted by Reverend Samuel Parris in hopes of relieving the evil forces that plagued them. In an effort to expose the "witches", John Indian baked a witch cake made with rye meal and the afflicted girls' urine. This counter-magic was meant to reveal the identities of the "witches" to the afflicted girls.  Pressured to identify the source of their affliction, the girls named three women, including Tituba, Parris' Carib Indian slave, as witches. On February 29, warrants were issued for the arrests of Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osborne.

Although Osborne and Good maintained innocence, Tituba confessed to seeing the devil who appeared to her "sometimes like a hog and sometimes like a great dog." What's more, Tituba testified that there was a conspiracy of witches at work in Salem.

March 1
Magistrates John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and Sarah Osborne in the meeting house in Salem Village. Tituba confessed to practicing witchcraft.  Over the next weeks, other townspeople came forward and testified that they, too, had been harmed by or had seen strange apparitions of some of the community members. As the witch hunt continued, accusations were made against many different people.  Frequently denounced were women whose behavior or economic circumstances were somehow disturbing to the social order and conventions of the time. Some of the accused had previous records of criminal activity, including witchcraft, but others were faithful churchgoers and people of high standing in the community.

March 12
Martha Corey is accused of witchcraft.

March 19
Rebecca Nurse was denounced as a witch.

March 21
Martha Corey was examined before Magistrates Hathorne and Corwin.

March 24
Rebecca Nurse was examined before Magistrates Hathorne and Corwin.

March 28
Elizabeth Proctor was denounced as a witch.

April 3
Sarah Cloyce, Rebecca Nurse's sister, was accused of witchcraft.

April 11
Elizabeth Proctor and Sarah Cloyce were examined before Hathorne, Corwin, Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth, and Captain Samuel Sewall. During this examination, John Proctor was also accused and imprisoned.

April 19
Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Giles Corey, and Mary Warren were examined. Only Abigail Hobbs confessed.  William Hobbs "I can deny it to my dying day."

April 22
Nehemiah Abbott, William and Deliverance Hobbs, Edward and Sarah Bishop, Mary Easty, Mary Black, Sarah Wildes, and Mary English were examined before Hathorne and Corwin. Only Nehemiah Abbott was cleared of charges.

May 2
Sarah Morey, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, and Dorcas Hoar were examined by Hathorne and Corwin.  Dorcas Hoar "I will speak the truth as long as I live."

May 4
George Burroughs was arrested in Wells, Maine.

May 9
Burroughs was examined by Hathorne, Corwin, Sewall, and William Stoughton. One of the afflicted girls, Sarah Churchill, was also examined.

May 10
George Jacobs, Sr. and his granddaughter Margaret were examined before Hathorne and Corwin. Margaret confessed and testified that her grandfather and George Burroughs were both witches.
Sarah Osborne died in prison in Boston.  Margaret Jacobs "... They told me if I would not confess I should be put down into the dungeon and would be hanged, but if I would confess I should save my life."

May 14
Increase Mather returned from England, bringing with him a new charter and the new governor, Sir William Phips.

May 18
Mary Easty was released from prison. Yet, due to the outcries and protests of her accusers, she was arrested a second time.

May 27
Governor Phips set up a special Court of Oyer and Terminer comprised of seven judges to try the witchcraft cases. Appointed were Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton, Nathaniel Saltonstall, Bartholomew Gedney, Peter Sergeant, Samuel Sewall, Wait Still Winthrop, John Richards, John Hathorne, and Jonathan Corwin.  These magistrates based their judgments and evaluations on various kinds of intangible evidence, including direct confessions, supernatural attributes (such as "witchmarks"), and reactions of the afflicted girls. Spectral evidence, based on the assumption that the Devil could assume the "specter" of an innocent person, was relied upon despite its controversial nature.

May 31
Martha Carrier, John Alden, Wilmott Redd, Elizabeth Howe, and Phillip English were examined before Hathorne, Corwin, and Gedney.

June 2
Initial session of the Court of Oyer and Terminer. Bridget Bishop was the first to be pronounced guilty of witchcraft and condemned to death.

Early June
Soon after Bridget Bishop's trial, Nathaniel Saltonstall resigned from the court, dissatisfied with its proceedings.

June 10
Bridget Bishop was hanged in Salem, the first official execution of the Salem witch trials. Bridget Bishop "I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it."

Following her death, accusations of witchcraft escalated, but the trials were not unopposed. Several townspeople signed petitions on behalf of accused people they believed to be innocent.

June 29-30
Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Sarah Wildes, Sarah Good and Elizabeth Howe were tried for witchcraft and condemned.
Rebecca Nurse "Oh Lord, help me! It is false. I am clear. For my life now lies in your hands...."

Mid-July
In an effort to expose the witches afflicting his life, Joseph Ballard of nearby Andover enlisted the aid of the accusing girls of Salem. This action marked the beginning of the Andover witch hunt.

July 19
Rebecca Nurse, Susannah Martin, Elizabeth Howe, Sarah Good, and Sarah Wildes were executed.  Elizabeth Howe "If it was the last moment I was to live, God knows I am innocent..."

Susannah Martin "I have no hand in witchcraft."

August 2-6
George Jacobs, Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John and Elizabeth Proctor, and John Willard were tried for witchcraft and condemned. Martha Carrier "...I am wronged. It is a shameful thing that you should mind these folks that are out of their wits."

August 19
George Jacobs, Sr., Martha Carrier, George Burroughs, John Proctor, and John Willard were hanged on Gallows Hill.
George Jacobs "Because I am falsely accused. I never did it."

September 9
Martha Corey, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Dorcas Hoar, and Mary Bradbury were tried and condemned.
Mary Bradbury "I do plead not guilty. I am wholly innocent of such wickedness."

September 17
Margaret Scott, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Abigail Faulkner, Rebecca Eames, Mary Lacy, Ann Foster, and Abigail Hobbs were tried and condemned.

September 19
Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing a trial.

September 21
Dorcas Hoar was the first of those pleading innocent to confess. Her execution was delayed.

September 22
Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Wilmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell, and Mary Parker were hanged.

October 8
After 20 people had been executed in the Salem witch hunt, Thomas Brattle wrote a letter criticizing the witchcraft trials. This letter had great impact on Governor Phips, who ordered that reliance on spectral and intangible evidence no longer be allowed in trials.

October 29
Governor Phips dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer.

November 25
The General Court of the colony created the Superior Court to try the remaining witchcraft cases which took place in May, 1693. This time no one was convicted.

Mary Easty "...if it be possible no more innocent blood be shed...I am clear of this sin."

By early October, when the court proceedings were halted amid acrimonious controversy, 19 people had been hanged. Over 100 individuals were in prison awaiting trial, & 4 died during their confinement.

The Salem trials were halted primarily because of controversy over the court's reliance upon problematic testimony, which reaffirmed & intensified judicial concerns regarding evidentiary issues. Such concerns combined with embarrassment & distress over the deaths that resulted from the trials that year to discourage future prosecutions, though an end to witch trials in New England by the century's close did not signify an end to the belief in & fear of witches.
Earlier Witch-burning in Europe, 1550

See: 

Salem Witches & their Accusers. Richard Godbeer
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

Note:

The Female Witch Myth was targeted by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), so influential in the recent Roe v. Wade demise, whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum (1486) translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society. 

My dog is giving me a look that says you may be "beating a dead horse." I kind of remember that in England they say "flogging a dead horse." Or as Sophocles wrote (in Greek, of course) in his play Antigone, "Nay, allow the claim of the dead; stab not the fallen; what prowess is it to slay the slain anew?"

The Female Witch Myth - Cotton Mather on Witches 1689

 In 1692, at the Salem Village in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, & Tituba, an Indian slave from Barbados, were charged with the illegal practice of witchcraft. Later that day, Tituba, possibly under coercion, confessed to the crime, encouraging the authorities to seek out more Salem witches.

Just 3 years before this New England minister Cotton Mather (1663-1728) published his 1689 Memorable Providences about witches, which I read in my 1st year of grad school. I thought it was hilarious--the invisible horse was my absolute favorite. I realize that it eats up a lot of room, but once you begin reading it, you might see why I just have to post it.
Cotton Mather 1663-1728

Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions... Written by Cotton Mather, Minister of the Gospel, and Recommended by the Ministers of Boston, and Charleston. Printed at Boston in N. England by R.P. 1689.

Witchcrafts and Possessions.

Section I. There dwells at this time, in the south part of Boston, a sober and pious man, whose Name is John Goodwin, whose Trade is that of a Mason, and whose Wife (to which a Good Report gives a share with him in all the Characters of Vertue) has made him the Father of six (now living) Children. Of these Children, all but the Eldest, who works with his Father at his Calling, and the Youngest, who lives yet upon the Breast of its mother, have laboured under the direful effects of a (no less palpable than) stupendous Witchcraft...

Sect. II. The four Children (whereof the Eldest was about Thirteen, and the youngest was perhaps about a third part so many years of age') had enjoyed a Religious Education, and answered it with a very towardly Ingenuity....

Sect. III. About Midsummer, in the year 1688, the Eldest of these Children, who is a Daughter, saw cause to examine their Washerwoman, upon their missing of some Linnen ' which twas fear'd she had stollen from them; and of what use this linnen might bee to serve the Witchcraft intended, the Theef's Tempter knows! This Laundress was the Daughter of an ignorant and a scandalous old Woman in the Neighbourhood; whose miserable Husband before he died, had sometimes complained of her, that she was undoubtedly a Witch, and that whenever his Head was laid, she would quickly arrive unto the punishments due to such an one. This Woman in her daughters Defence bestow'd very bad Language upon the Girl that put her to the Question; immediately upon which, the poor child became variously indisposed in her health, an visited with strange Fits, beyond those that attend an Epilepsy or a Catalepsy, or those that they call The Diseases of Astonishment.
Sect. IV. It was not long before one of her Sisters, an two of her Brothers, were seized, in Order one after another with Affects' like those that molested her... for one good while, the children were tormented just in the same part of their bodies all at the same time together; and tho they saw and heard not one anothers complaints, tho likewise their pains and sprains were swift like Lightening, yet when (suppose) the Neck, or the Hand, or the Back of one was Rack't, so it was at that instant with t'other too.

Sect. V. The variety of their tortures increased continually... Sometimes they would be Deaf, sometimes Dumb, and sometimes Blind, and often, all this at once. One while their Tongues would be drawn down their Throats; another-while they would be pull'd out upon their Chins, to a prodigious length. They would have their Mouths opened unto such a Wideness, that their Jaws went out of joint; and anon they would clap together again with a Force like that of a strong Spring-Lock. The same would happen to their Shoulder-Blades, and their Elbows, and Hand-wrists, and several of their joints. They would at times ly in a benummed condition and be drawn together as those that are ty'd Neck and Heels;' and presently be stretched out, yea, drawn Backwards, to such a degree that it was fear'd the very skin of their Bellies would have crack'd. They would make most pitteous out-cries, that they were cut with Knives, and struck with Blows that they could not bear. Their Necks would be broken, so that their Neck-bone would seem dissolved unto them that felt after it; and yet on the sudden, it would become, again so stiff that there was no stirring of their Heads; yea, their Heads would be twisted almost round; and if main Force at any time obstructed a dangerous motion which they seem'd to be upon, they would roar exceedingly...

Sect. VI. It was a Religious Family that these Afflictions happened unto; and none but a Religious Contrivance to obtain Releef, would have been welcome to them. ...
Sect. VII. The Report of the Calamities of the Family for which we were thus concerned arrived now unto the ears of the Magistrates, who presently and prudent y apply'd themselves, with a just vigour, to enquire into the story... when she was asked, Whether she believed there was a God? her Answer was too blasphemous and horrible for any Pen of mine to mention. An Experiment was made, Whether she could recite the Lords Prayer; and it was found, that tho clause after clause was most carefully repeated unto her, yet when she said it after them that prompted her, she could not Possibly avoid making Nonsense of it, with some ridiculous Depravations...

Sect. VIII. It was not long before the Witch thus in the Trap, was brought upon her Tryal... Order was given to search the old womans house, from whence there were brought into the Court, several small Images, or Puppets, or Babies, made of Raggs, and stuff't with Goat's hair, and other such Ingredients. When these were produced, the vile Woman acknowledged, that her way to torment the Objects of her malice, was by wetting of her Finger with her Spittle, and streaking of those little Images... when they asked her, What she thought would become of her soul? she reply'd "You ask me, a very solemn Question, and I cannot well tell what to say to it." She own'd her self a Roman Catholick; and could recite her Pater Noster in Latin very readily; but there was one Clause or two alwaies too hard for her, whereof she said, " She could not repeat it, if she might have all the world." In the up-shot, the Doctors returned her Compos Mentis; and Sentence of Death was pass'd upon her.

Sect. IX. Diverse dayes were passed between her being Arraigned and Condemned. In this time one of her Neighbours...had seen Glover sometimes come down her Chimney; That she should remember this, for within this Six years she might have Occasion to declare it. This Hughes now preparing her Testimony, immediately one of her children, a fine boy, well grown towards Youth, was taken ill, just in the same woful and surprising manner that Goodwins children were. One night particularly, The Boy said he saw a Black thing with a Blue Cap in the Room, Tormenting of him; and he complained most bitterly of a Hand put into the Bed, to pull out his Bowels. The next day the mother of the boy went unto Glover, in the Prison, and asked her, Why she tortured her poor lad at such a wicked rate? This Witch replied, that she did it because of wrong done to her self and her daughter. Hughes denied (as well she might) that she had done her any wrong. "Well then," sayes Glover, "Let me see your child and he shall be well again." Glover went on, and told her of her own accord, "I was at your house last night." Sayes Hughes, "In what shape?" Sayes Glover, "As a black thing with a blue Cap." Saye's Hughes, "What did you do there?" Sayes GIover, "with my hand in the Bed I tryed to pull out the boyes Bowels, but I could not..."
Sect. X. While the miserable old Woman was under Condemnation, I did my self twice give a visit unto her. She never denyed the guilt of the Witchcraft charg'd upon her; but she confessed very little about the Circumstances of her Confederacies with the Devils; only, she said, That she us'd to be at meetings, which her Prince and Four more were present at. As for those Four, She told who they were; and for her Prince, her account plainly was, that he was the Devil...

Sect. XI. When this Witch was going to her Execution, she said, the Children should not be relieved by her Death... It came to pass accordingly, That the Three children continued in their Furnace as before, and it grew rather Seven times hotter than it was. All their former Ails pursued them still, with an addition of (tis not easy to tell how many) more, but such as gave more sensible Demonstrations of an Enchantment growing very far towards a Possession by Evil spirits.

Sect. XII. The Children in their Fits would still cry out... the Boy obtain'd at some times a sight of some shapes in the room. There were Three or Four of 'em... A Blow at the place where the Boy beheld the Spectre was alwaies felt by the Boy himself in the part of his Body that answered what might be stricken at; and this tho his Back were turn'd; which was once and again so exactly tried, that there could be no Collusion in the Business. But as a Blow at the Apparition alwaies hurt him, so it alwaies help't him too; for after the Agonies, which a Push or Stab of That had put him to, were over, (as in a minute or 2 they would be) the Boy would have a respite from his Fits a considerable while ' and the Hobgoblins disappear...
Sect. XIII. The Fits of the Children yet more arriv'd unto such Motions as were beyond the Efficacy of any natural Distemper in the World. They would bark at one another like Dogs, and again purr like so many Cats. They would sometimes complain, that they were in a Red-hot Oven, sweating and panting at the same time unreasonably: Anon they would say, Cold water was thrown upon them, at which they would shiver very much. They would cry out of dismal Blowes with great Cudgels laid upon them; and tho' we saw no cudgels nor blowes, yet we could see the Marks left by them in Red Streaks upon their bodies afterward. And one of them would be roasted on an invisible Spit, run into his Mouth, and out at his Foot, he lying, and rolling, and groaning as if it had been so in the most sensible manner in the world; and then he would shriek, that Knives were cutting of him. Sometimes also he would have his head so forcibly, tho not visibly, nail'd unto the Floor, that it was as much as a strong man could do to pull it up. One while they would all be so Limber, that it was judg'd every Bone of them could be bent. Another while they would be so stiff, that not a joint of them could be stir'd. They would sometimes be as though they were mad, and then they would climb over high Fences, beyond the Imagination of them that look'd after them. Yea, They would fly like Geese; and be carried with an incredible Swiftness thro the air, having but just their Toes now and then upon the ground, and their Arms waved like the W'ings of a Bird. One of them, in the House of a kind Neighbour and Gentleman (Mr. Willis) flew the length of the Room, anout 20 foot, and flew just into an Infants high armed Chair; (as tis affirmed) none seeing her feet all the way touch the floor.

Sect. XIV. Many wayes did the Devils take to make the children do mischief both to themselves and others... "They say, I must do such a thing!" Diverse times they went to strike furious Blowes at their tenderest and dearest friends, or to fling them down staires when they had them at the Top, but the warnings from the mouths of the children themselves, would still anticipate what the Devils did intend. They diverse times were very near Burning, or Drowning of themselves...When they were tying their own Neck-clothes, their compelled hands miserably strangled themselves, till perhaps, the standers-by gave some Relief unto them. But if any small Mischief happen'd to be done where they were. as the Tearing or Dirtying of a Garment, the Falling of a C'up, the breaking of a Glass or the like; they would rejoice extremely, and fall into a pleasure and Laughter very extraordinary...

Sect. XV. They were not in a constant Torture for some Weeks, but were a little quiet, unless upon some incidental provocations; upon which the Devils would handle them like Tigres, and wound them in a manner very horrible. Particularly, Upon the least Reproof of their Parents for any unfit thing they said or did, most grievous woful Heart-breaking Agonies would they fall into... It would sometimes cost one of them an Hour or Two to be undrest in the evenin , or drest in the morning. For if any one went to unty a string, or undo a Button about them, or the contrary; they would be twisted into such postures as made the thing impossible. And at Whiles, they would be so managed in their Beds, that no Bed-clothes could for an hour or two be laid upon them; nor could they go to wash their Hands, without having them clasp't so odly together, there was no doing of it. But when their Friends were near tired with Waiting, anon they might do what they would unto them. Whatever Work they were bid to do, they would be so snap't in the member which was to do it, that they with grief still desisted from it. If one ordered them to Rub a clean Table, they were able to do it without any disturbance; if to rub a dirty Table, presently they would with many Torrnents be made uncapable. And sometimes, tho but seldome, they were kept from eating their meals, by having their Teeth sett when they carried any thing unto their Mouthes.

Sect. XVI. But nothing in the World would so discompose them as a Religious Exercise. If there were anv Discourse of God, or Christ, or any of the things which are not seen qnd are eternal, they would be cast into intolerable Anguishes... Once, those two Worthy Ministers Mr. Fisk' and Mr. Thatcher bestowing some gracious Counsils on the Boy, whom they there found at a Neighbours house, he immediately lost his Hearing, so that he heard not one word... Yea, if any one in the Room took up a Bible to look into it, tho the Children could see nothing of it, as being in a croud of Spectators, or having their Faces another way, yet would they be in wonderful Miseries, till the Bible were laid aside...
Sect. XVII...I took the Eldest of them home to my House. The young Woman continued well at our house, for diverse dayes... But on the Twentieth of November in the Fore-noon, she cry'd out, "Ah, They have found me out! I thought it would be so!" and immediately she fell into her fits again. ..

Sect. XVIII. Variety of Tortures now siez'd upon the Girl... she often would cough up a Ball as big as a small Egg, into the side of her Wind-pipe, that would near choak her, till by Stroking and by Drinking it was carried down again. At the beginning of her Fits usually she kept odly Looking up the Chimney, but could not say what she saw. When I bad her Cry to the Lord Jesus for Help, her Teeth were instantly sett; upon which I added, "Yet, child, Look unto Him," and then her Eyes were presently pulled into her head, so farr, that one might have fear'd she should never have us'd them more. When I prayed in the Room, first her Arms were with a strong, tho not seen Force clap't upon her ears; and when her hands were with violence pull'd away, she crted out, " They make such a noise, I cannot hear a word!" She likewise complain'd, that Goody Glover's Chain was upon her- Leg, and when she essay'd to go, her postures were exactly sluch as the chained Witch had before she died...

Sect. XIX. In her ludicrous Fits, one while she would be for Flying; and she would be carried hither and thither, tho not long from the ground, yet so long as to exceed the ordinary power of Nature in our Opinion of it: another-while she would be for Diving, and use the Actions of it towards the Floor, on which, if we had not held her, she would have throwrn her self...
Sect. XX. While she was in her Frolicks I was willing to try, Whether she could read or no; and I found, not only That If she went to read the Bible her Eyes would be strangely twisted and blinded, and her Neck presently broken, but also that if any one else did read the Bible in the Room, tho it were wholly out of her sight, and without the least voice or noise of it, she would be cast into very terrible Agonies...

Sect. XXI. ... A few further Tryals, I confess, I did make; but what the event of 'em was, I shall not relate, because I would not offend...

Sect. XXII. There was another most unaccountable Circumstance which now attended her... Ever now and then, an Invisible Horse would be brought unto her, by those whom she only called, "them," and, "Her Company... "They say, I am a Tell-Tale, and therefore they will not let me see them." Upon this would she give a Spring as one mounting an Horse, and Settling her self in a RidingPosture-she would in her Chair be agitated as one sometimes Ambleing, sometimes Trotting, and sometimes Galloping very furiously...
Sect. XXIII. One of the Spectators once ask'd her, Whether she could not ride up stairs; unto which her Answer was, That she believe'd she could, for her Horse could do very notable things. Accordingly, when her Horse came to her again, to our Admiration she Rode (that is, was tossed as one that rode) up the stairs: there then stood open the Study of one belonging to the Family, into which entring, she stood immediately upon her Feet, and cry'd out, "They are gone; they are gone! They say, that they cannot,-God won't let 'em come here! "

Sect. XXIV. ...Presently upon this her Horse returned, only it pestered her with such ugly paces, that she fell out with her Company, and threatned now to tell all, for their so abusing her. I was going abroad, and she said unto them that were about her, "Mr. M. is gone abroad, my horse won't come back, till he come home; and then I believe"...

Sect. XXV. From this day the power of the Enemy was broken; and the children, though Assaults after this were made upon them, yet were not so cruelly handled as before...

Sect. XXVI. Within a day or two after the Fast, the young Woman had two remarkable Attempts made upon her... Another time, they putt an unseen Rope with a cruel Noose about her Neck, Whereby she was choaked, until she was black in the Face; and though it was taken off before it had kill'd her, yet there were the red Marks of it, and of a Finger and a Thumb near it, remaining to be seen for a while afterwards.

Sect. XXVII. This was the last Molestation that they gave her for a While...

Sect. XXVIII. ... I was in Latin telling some young Gentlemen of the Colledge, That if I should bid her Look to God, her Eyes would be put out, upon which her eyes were presently served so. I was in some surprize, When I saw that her Troublers understood Latin, and it made me willing to try a little more of their Capacity. We continually found, that if an English Bible were in any part of the Room seriously look'd into, though she saw and heard nothing of it, she would immediately be in very dismal Agonies.

Sect. XXIX. Devotion was now, as formerly, the terriblest of all the provocations that could be given her...During the time of Reading, she would be laid as one fast asleep; but when Prayer was begun, the Devils would still throw her on the Floor, at the feet of him that prayed. There would she lye and Whistle and sing and roar, to drown the voice of the Prayer; but that being a little too audible for Them, they would shutt close her Mouth and her ears, and yet make such odd noises in her Threat as that she her self could not hear our Cries to God for her. Shee'd also fetch very terrible Blowes with her Fist, and Kicks with her Foot at the man that prayed; but still (for he had bid that none should hinder her) hei, Fist and Foot would alwaies recoil, when they came within a few hairs breadths of him just as if Rebounding against a Wall; so that she touch'd him not, but then would beg hard of other people to strike him, and particularly she entreated them to take the Tongs and smite him; Which not being done, she cryed out of him, "He has wounded me in the Head." But before Prayer was out, she would be laid for Dead, wholly sensless and (unless to a severe Trial) Breathless; with her Belly swelled like a Drum, and sometimes with croaking Noises in it; thus would she ly, most exactly with the stiffness and posture of one that had been two Days laid out for Dead...When Prayer was ended, she would Revive in a minute or two, and continue as Frolicksome as before.

Sect. XXX. After this, we had no more such entertainments. The Demons it may be would once or twice in a Week trouble her for a few minutes with perhaps a twisting and a twinkling of her eyes, or a certain Cough which did seem to be more than ordinary...

Sect. XXXI. ...We could cheat them when we spoke one thing, and mean't another. This was found when the Children were to be undressed. The Devils would still in wayes beyond the Force of any Imposture, wonderfully twist the part that was to be undress't, so that there was no coming at it. But, if we said, untye his neckcloth, and the parties bidden, at the same time, understood our intent to be, unty his Shooe! The Neckcloth, and not the shooe, has been made strangely inaccessible...

Sect. XXXII. The Last Fit that the young Woman had, was very peculiar. The Daemons having once again seiz'd her, they made her pretend to be Dying; and Dying truly we fear'd at last she was: She lay, she tossed, she pull'd just like one Dying, and urged hard for some one to dy with her, seeming loth to dy alone... Anon, the Fit went over; and as I guessed it would be, it was the last Fit she had at our House...

Sect. XXXIII. This is the Story of Goodwins Children, a Story all made up of Wonders! I have related nothing but what I judge to be true. I was my self an Eye-witness to a large part of what I tell...

Following the publication of Mather's 1689 treatise, the 1692 hysteria in the small Puritan community of Salem began when 9-year-old Elizabeth Parris & 11-year-old Abigail Williams, the daughter & niece of the Reverend Samuel Parris, began experiencing fits & other mysterious maladies. A doctor concluded that the children were suffering from the effects of witchcraft, & the young girls corroborated the doctor's diagnosis. With encouragement from a number of adults in the community, the girls, who were soon joined by other "afflicted" Salem residents, accused a widening circle of local residents of witchcraft, mostly middle-aged women but also several men and even one four-year-old child. During the next few months, the afflicted area residents incriminated more than 150 women & men from Salem Village and the surrounding areas of Satanic practices.

In June 1692, the special Court of Oyer, "to hear," & Terminer, "to decide," convened in Salem under Chief Justice William Stoughton to judge the accused. The first to be tried was Bridget Bishop of Salem, who was found guilty & executed by hanging on June 10. Thirteen more women & 4 men from all stations of life followed her to the gallows; & one man, Giles Corey, was executed by crushing. Most of those tried were condemned on the basis of the witnesses' behavior during the actual proceedings, characterized by fits & hallucinations that were argued to be caused by the defendants on trial.

In October 1692, Governor William Phipps of Massachusetts ordered the Court of Oyer and Terminer dissolved & replaced with the Superior Court of Judicature, which forbade the type of sensational testimony allowed in the earlier trials. Executions ceased, & the Superior Court eventually released all those awaiting trial and pardoned those sentenced to death. The Salem witch trials, which resulted in the executions of 19 innocent women & men, had effectively ended.

Note:
The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

The Female Witch Myth - A Condemned 1692 Salem Witch & Her Husband Speak Out

Ulrich Molitor. De Lamiis et Phitonicis Mulieribus, 1493

Mary Towne Easty, the daughter of William Towne & Joanna Blessing Towne of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, was baptized on August 24, 1634. One of 8 children, she & her family sailed for Massachusettes around 1640.

Mary married Isaac Eastey in 1655, in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Isaac, a successful farmer, was born in England on November 27, 1627. Together the couple had 12 children. Two of Easty's sisters, Rebecca Nurse & Sarah Cloyse, were also accused of witchcraft during the Salem outbreak.

At the time of her questioning, Easty was about 58 years old. Her examination followed the pattern of most in Salem: girls had fits & were speechless at times. The magistrate became angry when she would not confess her guilt, which he deemed proven beyond doubt by the sufferings of the afflicted.

Easty was condemned to death on September 9, 1692. She was executed on September 22nd, despite an eloquent plea to the court to reconsider & not spill any more innocent blood. On the gallows she prayed for a end to the witch hunt.

Petition of Mary Easty To his Excellency S'r W'm Phipps: Govern'r and to the honoured Judge and Magistrates now setting in Judicature in Salem. That whereas your poor and humble petitioner being condemned to die Doe humbly begg of you to take it into your Judicious and pious considerations that your Poor and humble petitioner knowing my own Innocencye Blised be the Lord for it and seeing plainly the wiles and subtility of my accusers by my Selfe can not but Judge charitably of others that are going the same way of my selfe if the Lord stepps not mightily in i was confined a whole month upon the same account that I am condemned now for and then cleared by the afflicted persons as some of your honours know and in two dayes time I was cryed out upon by them and have been confined and now am condemned to die the Lord above knows my Innocence then and Likewise does now as att the great day will be know to men and Angells -- I Petition to your honours not for my own life for I know I must die and my appointed time is sett but the Lord he knowes it is that if it be possible no more Innocent blood may be shed which undoubtidly cannot be Avoyded In the way and course you goe in I question not but your honours does to the uttmost of your Powers in the discovery and detecting of witchcraft and witches and would not be gulty of Innocent blood for the world but by my own Innocency I know you are in this great work if it be his blessed you that no more Innocent blood be shed I would humbly begg of you that your honors would be plesed to examine theis Afflicted Persons strictly and keep them apart some time and Likewise to try some of these confesing wichis I being confident there is severall of them has belyed themselves and others as will appeare if not in this wor[l]d I am sure in the world to come whither I am now agoing and I Question not but youle see and alteration of thes things they my selfe and others having made a League with the Divel we cannot confesse I know and the Lord knowes as will shortly appeare they belye me and so I Question not but they doe others the Lord above who is the Searcher of all hearts knows that as I shall answer att the Tribunall seat that I know not the least thinge of witchcraft therfore I cannot I dare not belye my own soule I beg your honers not to deny this my humble petition from a poor dying Innocent person and I Question not but the Lord will give a blesing to yor endevers.

Petitions for Compensation and Decision Concerning Compensation

Account of Isaac Easty -- Case of Mary Easty

Topsfield Septemb'r 8 th. 1710 Isaac Esty (Senior, about 82 years of age) of Topsfield in the county of Essex in N.E. having been sorely exercis'd through the holy & awful providence of God depriving him of his beloved wife Mary Esty who suffered death in the year 1692 & under the fearfull odium of one of the worst of crimes that can be laid to the charge of mankind, as if she had been guilty of witchcraft a peice of wickedness witch I beleeve she did hate with perfect hatered & by all that ever I could see by her never could see any thing by her that should give me any reason in the lest to think her guilty of anything of that nature but am firmly persuaded that she was innocent of it as any to such a shameful death-Upon consideration of a notification from the Honored Generall Court desiring my self & others under the like circumstances to give some account of what my Estate was damnify'd by reason of such a hellish molestation do hereby declare which may also be seen by comparing papers & records that my wife was near upon 5 months imprisioned all which time I provided maintenance for her at my own cost & charge, went constantly twice aweek to provide for her what she needed 3 weeks of this 5 months she was in prision at Boston & I was constrained to be at the charge of transporting her to & fro. So that I can not but think my charge in time and money might amount to 20 pounds besides my trouble & sorrow of heart in being deprived of her after such a manner which this world can never make me any compensation for.

I order and appoint my son Jacob Esty to carry this to the Honored Committee Appointed by the Honored Generall Court & are to meet at Salem Sept. 12, 1710. Dated this 8th of Sept. 1710.


Easty's family was compensated with 20 pounds from the government in 1711 for her wrongful execution.

Note:

The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

The Female Witch Myth - Hanging those "Evil Women" in Britain's North American Colonies

  In 1692, a group of young girls, not yet full-grown women, in Salem Village, Massachusetts were accused of witchcraft, & 20 were eventually executed as witches; however, none of the condemned was burned at the stake. In accordance with English law, 19 of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials were instead taken to the infamous Gallows Hill to die by hanging.

An earlier woodcut of the hanging of female witches from Richard Gardiner, England's Grievance Discovered. 1655
Note:

The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

Perhaps English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

The Female Witch Myth advocated by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676)

An engraving of a portrait of Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676) by Thomas Phillibrown, likely mid-C (no date recorded). [Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division]

The Female Witch Myth advocated by English Jurist Matthew Hale 

Hale's writings & court rulings on women were far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for witchcraft. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist. 

The Female Witch Myth was strengthened by English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676), whose writings & court rulings on women were/are far-reaching & long-lasting. In 1662, he was involved in one of the most notorious of the 17C English witchcraft trials, where he sentenced 2 women to death for being witches. The judgment of Hale in this case was extremely influential in future cases in England & in the British American colonies, & was used in the 1692 Salem witch trials to justify the forfeiture of the accused's lands. As late as 1664, Hale used the argument that the existence of laws against witches is proof that witches exist.

It is probable that English Jurist Matthew Hale (1609-1676) read Malleus Maleficarum 1486 (translated by Montague Summers 1928 - see Google Books) Written in Latin & first submitted to the University of Cologne on May 9th, 1487, the title is translated as "The Hammer of Witches." Written in 1486 by Austrian priest Heinrich Kramer (also Kraemer) & German priest Jakob (also James) Sprenger, at the request of Pope Innocent VIII. As the main justification for persecution of witches, the authors relied on a brief passage in the Bible (the book of Exodus, chapter 22, verse 18), which states: "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The Malleus remained in use for 300 years. It had tremendous influence in the witch trials in England & her North American colonies, & on the European continent. 

The Malleus was used as a judicial case-book for the detection & persecution of witches, specifying rules of evidence & the canonical procedures by which suspected witches were tortured & put to death. Thousands of people (primarily women) were judicially murdered as a result of the procedures described in the book because of having a strange birthmark, living alone, mental illness, cultivating medicinal herbs, or simply because they were falsely accused (often for financial gain by the accuser). The Malleus serves as a chilling warning of what happens when intolerance takes over a society.

Sir Matthew Hale & Evidence of Witchcraft

 in Custodia Legis Blog by Law Librarians of Congress. October 30, 2021 by Nathan Dorn

...Spectral evidence was testimony in which witnesses claimed that the accused appeared to them & did them harm in a dream or a vision. The Court of Oyez & Terminer that presided over the Salem witch trials permitted this form of evidence to be presented in support of accusations of witchcraft. According to Reverend John Hale, (Note: John Hale (1636-1700) was a Puritan pastor of Beverly, Massachusetts, who took part in the Salem witch trials in 1692) who witnessed those proceedings, the court based its decision to use spectral evidence on the opinion of Matthew Hale, one of the leading legal authorities in England. In this post, I take a look at the case that the Salem judges relied on & the record of the instructions Matthew Hale gave in that trial.

The trial was one of 2 well-known witch trials ending in conviction that took place in Bury St. Edmunds, England, in the mid-17C. The earlier trial, which was instigated by Matthew Hopkins, sometimes called the Witchfinder General, resulted in the execution of 18 people on a single day, August 27, 1645...The case that Matthew Hale presided over took place some 17 years later from March 10-13, 1662, & it dealt with charges of witchcraft against 2 women from Lowestoft, a town in Suffolk some 50 miles from Bury St. Edmunds. Their names were Amy Duney & Rose Cullender. Neighbors leveled a number of accusations against these 2 women; chief among them, that they had bewitched their children, & that these enchantments led to the death of a child in one case.

Title page of “A Tryal of Witches at the Assizes held at Bury St. Edmunds in 1682.” an anonymous pamphlet giving an account of the Bury St. Edmunds Witchcraft Trial. The title page gives the incorrect year of the trial as 1664. The correct year, 1662, is mentioned in original records of the indictments. 

The trial is recorded in an anonymous pamphlet published in 1682. (It can be found online here.) In a brief foreward, the author explains that he chose to make the story public so that people could see the awkward situation it created: on the one hand, many people at the time of the pamphlet’s writing doubted that witchcraft was real, & implicitly that it should form the basis of any criminal charge; on the other hand, several highly influential men were involved in this trial – namely Hale, who was the Chief Baron of the Exchequer at the time of the trial; the medical doctor & philosopher Thomas Browne (Note: Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) was an English polymath & author of varied works in diverse fields including science, medicine, & religion.); & Sir John Kelyng (Note: John Kelynge KS (or Kelyng) (1607–1671) was an English judge & politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1661 to 1663.), who became Chief Justice of the King’s Bench only 3 years after the trial. 

Was the trial an embarrassment? Or on the contrary does the weight of tradition force conclusions such as the ones Hale arrived at in that courtroom? Or both?

In the pamphlet’s record of his instructions, Hale explained crisply that the jury must consider only “first, whether or no these children were bewitched, [&] secondly, whether the prisoners at bar were guilty of it.” He stated that the question of whether witchcraft is real was not under discussion, since its existence was recognized in the Bible, & Parliament had already recognized its reality in several criminal statutes. He pointed out that, “the wisdom of all nations had provided laws against such persons [witches], which is an argument of their confidence of such a crime.” (A Tryal of Witches, p. 55)

The crime of witchcraft was certainly spelled out in a number of statutes, but it was no simple matter to decide how to prove that a given ill effect was caused by a particular person’s specific act of witchcraft. The nature of witchcraft allegedly depended on occult forces, both invisible & untraceable by direct evidence. What sort of evidence could then support a conviction? (Gaskill, p. 40) 

The pamphlet does not directly record Hale’s answer to this question. Indirectly, one can see the kind of evidence that he admitted: testimony by the parents of the injured children stating that they came into verbal conflict with the accused & that the accused made statements threatening the health of their children & in one case the life of a child; testimony by the parents stating that they witnessed paranormal events that they could connect to the accused; testimony by the parents regarding the children’s abnormal psychic & physical states following verbal altercations with the accused; & physical evidence of pins & nails allegedly vomited by the children. The court also permitted the parents to recount that the children had visions of the accused entering their homes & standing menacingly at the foot or head of their beds.

The children were permitted to speak & to give testimony at the trial. One of the afflicted, an 18-year-old girl, reported having visions of Rose Cullender, who appeared to her in her home – one time trying to lure her out of the house, another time at the foot of her bed, & another time appearing with a large dog. In addition to these visions, she suffered violent fits, that included temporary blindness & vomiting metal pins. This young woman came to court with the intention to testify, but briefly “fell into her fits” & was removed from the court until she could regain her self-possession. When she returned & was sworn in, she appeared entranced again & “shrieking out in a miserable manner” only repeated, “burn her, burn her, burn her.” Hale advised the jury at the end of the trial to allow the evidence to stand as presented. (A Tryal of Witches, p. 55)

Another unusual piece of evidence came in the form of an experiment performed with one of the afflicted children in the courtroom. Some of the children were not able to speak & appeared to be in a trance-like state, one feature of which was that they clenched their fists tightly. The record states that men in their presence attempted to open their fists & that they were unable to, so strongly were they closed. But at the request of the court, Rose Cullender approached & touched one of the children. This made the child open her fist. A man in the court raised a skeptical question about this procedure, so the experiment was repeated. This time, they covered the child’s face with an apron so that she could not see who touched her. Meantime, several people touched her. Nevertheless, she only opened her fist when Rose Cullender touched her. This did not convince the skeptic. (A Tryal of Witches, pp. 42-45) But according to the record, it stood as evidence without special instructions from Hale.

Thomas Browne made a statement in which he acknowledged the reality of witchcraft, & proposed that the devil has the ability to influence the humors of the body to produce physical illness & that he does so at the behest of witches. (A Tryal of Witches, pp. 41-42)

John Kelyng made a statement in which he acknowledged that the children were bewitched, but he objected that the evidence from the children’s imagination was insufficient for a conviction. He argued that if it were accepted, “no person whatsoever can be in safety, for perhaps they might fancy another person who might altogether be innocent in such matters.” (A Tryal of Witches, p. 40)

Rose Cullender & Amy Duney maintained their innocence throughout the trial & after their conviction. They died on March 17, 1662, by hanging...

Secondary Sources:

Darr, Orna Alyagon. “Experiments in the Courtroom: Social Dynamics & Spectacles of Proof in Early Modern English Witch Trials.” Law & Social Inquiry, Vol. 39, No. 1 (Winter 2014), pp. 152-175.

Gaskill, Malcolm. “Witchcraft & Evidence in Early Modern England.” Past & Present, No. 198 (Feb. 2008), pp. 33-70.

Geis, Gilbert. “Lord Hale, Witches, & Rape.” British Journal of Law & Society, Vol. 5, No. 1 (Summer 1978), pp. 26-44.

Geis, Gilbert. A trial of witches: a seventeenth-century witchcraft prosecution. London ; New York : Routledge, 1997.

Holmes, Clive. “Women: Witnesses & Witches.” Past & Present, No. 140 (Aug. 1993), pp. 45-78.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

History Blooms at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello



Monticello's Peggy Cornett tells us that...

On May 28, 1767 Jefferson observed "Snap-dragon" blooming at Shadwell, his childhood home &, four years later, he listed this native of southern Europe among the hardy flowers to be naturalized in a "shrubbery" at Monticello. Jefferson's reference is the earliest known mention of this plant in an American source. The Snapdragons at Monticello came in 1985 through our friendship with the curator of gardens at Hatfield House, a 16C country estate outside London, where the species is naturalized in the landscape. 

Research & images & much more is available directly from the Monticello website - to begin exploring, just click Monticello.org.