Sunday, November 5, 2017

The witch trial that made legal history

Article in BBC News about the Pendle witch trials:

In recent years children as young as three have given evidence in court cases, but in the past children under 14 were seen as unreliable witnesses. A notorious 17th Century witch trial changed that.
Nine-year-old Jennet Device was an illegitimate beggar and would have been lost to history but for her role in one of the most disturbing trials on record. Jennet's evidence in the 1612 Pendle witch trial in Lancashire led to the execution of 10 people, including all of her own family.
Her convincing evidence was believed by the jury and after a two-day trial all her family and most of her neighbours were found guilty of causing death or harm by witchcraft.
Ultimately though, Jennet fell victim to the very precedent she set herself in 1633. Twenty years after the trial she too was accused of witchcraft along with 16 others by 10-year-old Edmund Robinson.
read more here @ BBC News

read also: Mary Sharratt's "Daughters of the Witching Hill"

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