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happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)

Abby Sale 11 Mar 06 - 08:21 AM
Dave Hanson 11 Mar 06 - 08:29 AM
katlaughing 11 Mar 06 - 05:05 PM
Kaleea 12 Mar 06 - 02:24 AM
alanabit 12 Mar 06 - 06:14 AM
s&r 12 Mar 06 - 07:44 AM
katlaughing 12 Mar 06 - 10:48 AM
Mrrzy 12 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM
Abby Sale 12 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM
katlaughing 12 Mar 06 - 05:10 PM
GUEST,Joe_F 12 Mar 06 - 10:42 PM
alanabit 13 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM
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Subject: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 08:21 AM

On 3/11/1618 Joane Flower and her two daughters, Margaret & Philip were executed for witchcraft.

        These women thus being Diuels growne Most cunning in their Arts:
        With charmes and with inchanting spells they plaid most damned parts:
        They did forespeake, and Cattle kild, that neighbors could not thriue,
        And oftentimes their Children young, of life they would depriue.

                "Damnable Practices of three Lincolnshire Witches," in Pepys
                collection, cited in A Ballad History of England, Roy Palmer

The last three women were executed for witchcraft on Sept 5, 1682;
England finally repealed witchcraft laws on 5/18/1736.
    [although Daniel R. Reitman writes: England had witchcraft laws on the books
    as late as 1951. They actually attempted a prosecution during World War II.]

Copyright © 2005, Abby Sale - all rights reserved
What are Happy's all about? See Clicky


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 08:29 AM

They should prosecute my wife.

eric


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Mar 06 - 05:05 PM

There's a lot of us, today, would "qaulify" as witches by their interpretation. Thank goodness/gawdesses/gawds they cannot have their way these days!

Thanks, Abby. Today is my 26th anniversary. From now on, I shall remember these women on this day, too.

kat


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: Kaleea
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 02:24 AM

If they died, that proves they were not witches.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: alanabit
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 06:14 AM

There was actually a successful prosecution of a Portsmouth medium under the witchcraft act in the forties or fifties. She was sent to prison for several months.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: s&r
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 07:44 AM

This tells the story


Stu

Article copy-pasted from the link cited above.
-Joe Offer-
Scotland’s Last Witch

Helen Duncan was born in Callender on the 25th November 1897. From an early age she displayed the gift of medium with the spirit world. She made a living by conducting séances throughout Britain, during which the spirits of the dead were alleged to appear, talking and actually touching their relatives. In time Helen Duncan was minister to a network of Spiritualist churches and private homes.

During the years of the Second World War, Helen lived in Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy, where her activities attracted the attention of the establishment. In 1941 she informed an audience about the sinking of a warship before the news had even been released to the public. In 1943 the spirit of a sailor appeared, announcing that he had just gone down on a vessel called the Barham. The Barham was not officially declared lost until several months later.

On the 19th January 1944, one of Helen’s séances was interrupted by the loud blast of a whistle coming from a plain-clothes policeman and a naval lieutenant. They attempted to stop the ectoplasm then issuing from Helen’s mouth, but failed. After some order had been restored, Helen and three members of her audience were surprised to be formally arrested.

It has often been alleged that the reason for the raid was a fear that the date of the D-Day Normandy landings might be revealed. The original charge laid against the spiritualists by the Portsmouth magistrates was that of vagrancy. Although the maximum fine for the offence was a mere five shillings, Helen Duncan was refused bail. Instead, she was sent to spend four days at London’s Victorian Holloway prison. The alleged crime was then changed to one of conspiracy, which was still a hanging offence in wartime. By the time the case came before the judge at the Old Bailey, however, it had been altered yet again. The defendants were now accused of a different kind of conspiracy: that of contravening the Witchcraft Act of 1735.
In particular, the medium and her three sitters were accused of pretending "to exercise or use human conjuration that through the agency of Helen Duncan spirits of deceased dead persons should appear to be present". The authorities also laid charges against Helen under the Larceny Act. She was charged with taking money "by falsely pretending that she was in a position to bring about the appearances of the spirits of deceased persons".
A fund was immediately established by her supporters in order to pay for the expenses of defence witnesses. As the trial proceeded, it caused a sensation in the newspapers.

At one stage, the defence announced that Mrs Duncan was prepared to demonstrate her abilities in the witness box. This amounted to conducting a séance in the court while in a state of trance. After considering the proposal throughout the night, the prosecution refused the offer.

The jury found Helen Duncan guilty under the terms of the old Witchcraft Act. She was found innocent of all the other charges. The defence’s right to appeal to the House of Lords was withheld. After being sentenced to nine months imprisonment, all she had to say was "I never hee’d so mony lies in a’ my life".

During her time in jail, Helen Duncan received many visitors, including Winston Churchill. The Prime Minister was known to have spiritualist sympathies. What Churchill said on these occasions to Helen is unknown, but one of his first acts when he was re-elected to power in 1951 was to repeal the Witchcraft Act. A formal act of parliament three years later officially recognised spiritualism as a religion.

Helen Duncan was released from prison on the 22nd September 1944. In November 1956 the police raided a private séance in Nottingham in an attempt to prove fraud. Once again the investigators failed in their objectives. Following the incident, two second-degree burns were found across Helen’s stomach. After being examined by a doctor, Helen was taken back to her native Scotland where she was eventually admitted to hospital. Five weeks later, the woman who will always be remembered as the last witch, died.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:48 AM

Thanks, Stu. That is incredible. Good for Churchhill for repealing the Act.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 11:04 AM

It's my birthday, too!


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: Abby Sale
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 02:32 PM

Fine find, s&r.

Walcome, Kats. As always, I much appreciate knowing this junk can actually be meaningful sometimes.


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 05:10 PM

Fie on anyone who calls it "junk," Abby!:-)


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: GUEST,Joe_F
Date: 12 Mar 06 - 10:42 PM

Note, tho, that those more recent laws were not against practicing witchcraft but against professing to do so. IIRC, they were mainly aimed at people who, for a fee, would put a curse on your enemies. The idea was that such people were swindlers & nuisances. Whether the law should concern itself with such stuff is debatable, but at any rate it is not the same as hanging people for being in league with the devil.

--- Joe Fineman    joe_f@verizon.net

||: (1) Fear and flight. (2) Rage and fight. (3) Paralysis. (4) Manipulative activity. :||


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Subject: RE: happy? - Mar 11 (executed as witches)
From: alanabit
Date: 13 Mar 06 - 11:14 AM

Yes Joe. Still, with all the hysterical nonsense written and talked about witches over the years, most of us are very glad to see the back of those laws in any case. When I think of the twaddle which Dennis Wheatley wrote about "witches", it is astonishing that such bigotry was able to flourish for so long. However one views Wicca, the old religion, old folk beliefs or whatever, there never was any reason to persecute those people. At the worst, they were harmless cranks. I tend more to the view that they were practitioners of a set of beliefs more closely allied to the rhythms of nature.
The psuedo morality of classing belief systems into good or evil has gone. I don't miss it!


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