Fraudulent and doubtful cases in the witchcraze

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  • Fraudulent, doubtful cases in the witchcraze
    • Boy of Burton 1596-97
      • Harsnett - publications found Darell to be a fraud, Darell openly confessed to lying proving fraud and insincere motives
      • There was no true scepticism about the case but around Darell's credibility- didn't prevent future cases
      • In 1599 Thomas Darling confesses to a lie he told in 1596
        • February 1596 Darling went hunting with his Uncle, Robert Toone. When he returned he fell ill and began having fits the next day
          • The fits worsened when passages from the New Testament were read to him, confirming the Doctor's suspicion that he'd been bewitched. Darling claimed when he lost his Uncle in the woods he met a strange women with whom he had a disagreement.
            • From Darling's description, neighbours believed the woman was a witch of Stapenhill, either 60 year old Alice Gooderidge or her mother, 80 year old Elizabeth Wright.
              • The fits continued so Alice was brought to the Darling household to confront Thomas in April. Darling fell into a fit and began clawing at her face in an effort to break the spell.
                • Alice claimed she had met a boy in the woods but she was only stern with him as she mistook him for a different boy who'd played a trick on her. She told she had never practised witchcraft
                  • Two days after the house visit, Gooderidge and Wright were arrested and found to have the Devil's mark.
                    • Gooderidge detained at Derby prison where she admitted to bewitching Darling, most likely after enduring starvation and sleep deprivation. She claimed she had red and white dog called Minny who acted as her familiar and was given to her by her mother.
                      • died in custody.
    • The Pendle Swindle 1634
      • arose from a dispute about the payment of a cow and provoked a royal pardon. Thereafter, the 1630's had few witch craft persecutions. Magistrates, Starkie and Shuttleworth became sceptical after shady evidence
      • According to the law, 17 were found guilty as first, as the magistrates were not originally sceptical
    • The Demon Drummer of Tedworth 1662
      • attracted lots of interest and debate from the societal elite until the King and other nobles declared it fraudulent.
        • critical works by Webster were favoured by the Royal Society over Glanvill's supportive works in 1668. Bekker also wrote against the case in his 'The World Bewitched and Beaumont'
    • Jane Wenham 1712
      • Powell approached the case with great scepticism from the start and acquired a royal pardon for her
      • last formal witch trial in England


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