"Every kid is calling me a witch, but is my fault scratching your ass?"
Goodridge case of Alice, England, 1596
Envy! Envy and greed — are the main driving forces of the Middle Ages Witching processes. Husband took her opponent — because the witch, her neighbor yield better — because a witch, a competitor product selling out faster — by a fire devil's accomplice!
Hysteria called "witch-hunt" has swept the whole of Europe, not having avoided a single corner of it. A few centuries at the stake and the gallows found their death those who was luckier, more beautiful, industrious neighbors.
In the British Isles the heyday witch hunt reached in the Elizabethan era. For two centuries the active application of the Statute of Queen Elizabeth of witchcraft 1563g. (And, later, of the Statute of James I) was sent to the scaffold from 1000 to (some) of 70 000 people!
The exact figure of course we will never know. And this even though, thanks to researchers at the University of Edinburgh, has reached us a lot of material from the British Witching processes.
Ian Lyuyken. The burning of witches and warlocks 18 in Salzburg in 1528. Engraving XVII.
Every five days
By the way, the total number of those executed for witchcraft only 15% were men!
Some call it sexual discrimination, extermination someone beautiful half of humanity under the banner of "witch does not leave alive." And someone — conventional female jealousy, embodied in the denunciation of the opponents.
However, the witch hunt was dominated by men.
Would like to mention a certain Mr. Matthew Hopkins, the witch-hunter. Thanks to his efforts, in just one year sent 68 people to death! That is, with its filing killing one person every five days!
And he did it Hopkins did not out of love for the people — for each denunciation of the witch he took charge in the pound, the money in those days a lot!
Ian Lyuyken. Preparations for the execution in 1544. Engraving XVII.
The first documented in England witch trials was questioning (and subsequent execution) Agnes Waterhouse, held at 1566g. in Chelmsford, Essex.
The charges against Mrs. Waterhouse was extremely ridiculous — as if she put a spell on a neighbor's why he died. In addition, another neighbor refused to give Agnes oil, and that, in turn, conjured offender failures in the economy. In consequence of that she stopped getting cheese!
After two days of questioning Agnes Waterhouse was found guilty and hanged.
It was one of the most typical Witching processes in England. Those in the next couple of centuries, there were many more hundreds.
Speaking of interrogations.
What are the first associations arise at the mention of England? Of course, stiffness and gentility.
Perhaps it is these qualities are traditionally British reason that in England during the interrogation of "witches" were not used macabre torture, widespread at this time in Europe.
For example, the Germans practiced in full rack and heated over a fire iron chair, while in England preferred to torture insomnia. Here it is, the British integrity in everything, even in getting recognition!
The execution of witches in England
Another difference English Witching process consisted in the way of execution.
Throughout Europe, including neighboring Scotland, found guilty of witchcraft were burned at the stake, while in England was extended hanging. The fact that the burning, according to English law, was the punishment for treason.
It is impossible not to recall the English feature — an exceptional love for animals.
Perhaps that is why in almost every case of witchcraft animal figures — improvised witch. Most often mentioned is, of course, cats and toads.
Returning to the already known to us, "fighter for justice" Matthew Hopkins, recall his first witch process, during which he tracked down an elderly witch-legged assistants Elizabeth Clark. Assistants witches, the so-called "familiars", were the spirits of animals and taking shape as the witch who helped on the farm and in the magical affairs.
In the case of Elizabeth Clark took on the spirits of the two dogs, cat, rabbit or even a ferret.
Of course, against such irrefutable evidence, the court could not resist, and poor old woman was executed.
Unfortunately, the prosecution of witchcraft in the British Isles was abolished only in the middle of the XVIII century.
PS Do you know how to expose a witch?
We offer a common method used in the Middle Ages.
Suspected of witchcraft tied up and thrown into the water.
If a woman was drowning, the charges were dropped.
If she was able to swim, the poor have been found guilty and sentenced to die!
Test the water was a favorite torture Matthew Hopkins, and after his death there was a legend that he himself was subjected to such tests and, as a result, was hanged for witchcraft …
In its short life (27 years) Matthew Hopkins not only destroyed a lot of people, but also shared his wealth of experience in his book The Discovery of Witches (Disclosure of witches). Here in this.