Executed witches - the facts

I WANT to correct the often-repeated assertion that the Warboys witches were the last to be executed in England I am not an expert, but I understand the history to be that, although witches had been persecuted and sometimes executed in the Middle Ages, th

I WANT to correct the often-repeated assertion that the Warboys witches were the last to be executed in England

I am not an expert, but I understand the history to be that, although witches had been persecuted and sometimes executed in the Middle Ages, this was very rare.

With the break with Rome and the association of Roman Catholic display with idolatry and treason, the witches were increasingly targeted and a law passed making it an offence punishable by death.

The Warboys witches were famous and well publicized, mainly because their alleged victims were from a powerful noble family. The case gave an impetus to the persecution, and it was in the 17th century that many were killed.


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In all, according to Moira Tatem in her book The Witches of Warboys, some 70,000 witches were executed. I think that the last one was in 1684 in Exeter.

I am glad that the Warboys Primary School has kept this reminder of where bigotry, religious and otherwise, can lead us if we allow it to take hold.

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DAVID BALL

Fenton Road

Warboys

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