lancashire

The Pendle Witches and Their Magic, Part Two

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 in lancashire, pendle witches, witchcraft | 5 comments

The Pendle Witches and Their Magic, Part Two

Blacko Tower, a Victorian folly (ca 1890) near Malkin Tower Farm, Lancashire The crimes of which Mother Demdike and her fellow witches were accused dated back years before the 1612 trial. The trial itself might have never happened had it not been for King James I’s obsession with the occult. Until his reign, witch persecutions had been relatively rare in England compared with Scotland and Continental Europe. But James’s book Daemonologie presented the idea of a vast conspiracy of satanic witches threatening to undermine the nation. Shakespeare wrote his play Macbeth, which presents the first...

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The Pendle Witches and Their Magic, Part 1

Posted on Oct 23, 2011 in cunning folk, fairy faith, lancashire, pendle witches, reformation, social history, witchcraft | Comments Off

The Pendle Witches and Their Magic, Part 1

In 1612, in one of the most meticulously documented witch trials in English history, seven women and two men from Pendle Forest in Lancashire, Northern England were executed. In court clerk Thomas Potts’s account of the proceedings, The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, published in 1613, he pays particular attention to the one alleged witch who escaped justice by dying in prison before she could come to trial. She was Elizabeth Southerns, more commonly known by her nickname, Old Demdike. According to Potts, she was the ringleader, the one who initiated all the...

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All Hallows Eve in Old Lancashire

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 in all hallows, holidays, lancashire, pendle witches, reformation | 6 comments

All Hallows Eve in Old Lancashire

Come Halloween, the popular imagination turns to witches. Especially in Pendle Witch Country, the rugged Pennine landscape surrounding Pendle Hill, once home to twelve individuals arrested for witchcraft in 1612. The most notorious was Elizabeth Southerns, alias Old Demdike, cunning woman of long-standing repute and the heroine of my novel Daughters of the Witching Hill. How did these historical cunning folk celebrate All Hallows Eve? All Hallows has its roots in the ancient feast of Samhain, which marked the end of the pastoral year and was considered particularly numinous, a time when the...

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The English woodland in May

Posted on May 10, 2010 in bluebells, country life, cows, lancashire, may, nature, spring | 1 comment

The English woodland in May

This weekend, I went walking in Marles Wood near Ribchester to see the bluebells. We also saw some very interactive cows. And here is the view of Pendle...

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King James I: Royal Demonologist

Posted on Mar 10, 2010 in daughters of the witching hill, lancashire, pendle witches | Comments Off

King James I: Royal Demonologist

Even by the standards of his age, King James VI of Scotland, who later became James I of England, stood out as a deeply superstitious man, ruled by his obsession with the occult. Before his reign, witchcraft persecutions had been rare in Britain. But that all changed in 1590 when James personally oversaw the trials by torture for around seventy individuals implicated in the North Berwick Witch Trials, the biggest Scotland had known. The witches’ alleged crime? Raising a storm which nearly sank James’s ship when he sailed home from Norway with his new bride, Anne of Denmark. Possibly dozens...

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Pendle Witch photo album

Posted on Dec 7, 2009 in daughters of the witching hill, lancashire, pendle, pendle witches | 2 comments

Pendle Witch photo album

Some beautiful scenery for inspiration in this cold and dark time of year! This is the view of Pendle Hill taken from the back of my house, taken in May 2009. My mare Boushka adorned on Midsummer’s Day, 2009. My equine muse makes a cameo appearance in my new novel, DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL, as Alice Nutter’s horse. Stanfield Tower on Blacko Hill. This tower is a Victorian folly not far from the site of Malkin Tower, my heroine Mother Demdike’s home. Malkin Tower no longer exists, unfortunately. Modern outbuilding in West Close, near Fence. Mother Demdike’s...

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