England’s Grievance Discovered Part Four

Another image from Ralph Gardiner’s book from 1655. I’ll let the original text explain what is happening here:

“Iohn Wheeler of London, upon his Oath said, that in or about the years 1649 & 1650 being at Newcastle, heard that the Magistrates had sent two of their Sergeants, namely Thomas Sevel, and Cuthbert Nicholson into Scotland to agree with a Scotch-man, who pretended knowledge to finde out Witches by pricking them with pins, to come to Newcastle where he should try such who should be brought to him, and to have twenty shillings a peece for all he could condemn as Witches, and free passage thither and back again.

 (B) When the Sergeants had brought the said Witch-finder on horse-back to Town; the Magistrates sent their Bell-man through the Town, ringing his Bell, and crying, All people that would bring in any complaint against any woman for a Witch, they should be sent for and tryed by the person appointed.

(C) Thirty women were brought into the Town-hall, and stript, and then openly had pins thrust into their bodies, and most of them was found guilty , near twenty seven of them by him and set aside.”

 

There is far too much to describe in detail here. but nearly all the figures are common people of the 1650s. Several things to note here: the simple wrapped coifs on the heads of the hanged women and the back view of their kerchiefs, the hangman stripped to his shirt, the day cap on the bellman and the higher class dress of the witch finder with his cloak and fitted doublet.

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 15.35.21

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