17th Century ‘Witch Trial Diary’ Goes Up Online.
Alright History buffs, this one is for you.
If you have time to spare or just want some nighttime reading material for your macabre interests, then head on over to ChiccManchester where you can view, free of charge, a full length notebook that describes the horrendous trials of some of the women who were convicted of witchcraft in England during the 17th century.
The diary is of the conviction and execution of women in Chelmsford, England, in July 1645. It details their alleged crimes and punishments. We all know how horrible these trials were and how they were flamed by fear, ignorance and social status. No, I’m not talking about FOX News.
I’ll be definitely curling up with some coffee and reading this stuff over the weekend. Book Club anyone?
Full source: MSNBC
LONDON — A 350-year-old notebook which documents the trials of women convicted of witchcraft in England during the 17th century has been published online.
The notebook written by Nehemiah Wallington, an English Puritan, recounts the fate of women accused of having relationships with the devil at a time when England was embroiled in a bitter civil war.
“Divers (many) of them voluntarily and without any forcing or compulsion freely declare that they have made a covenant with the Devill,” he wrote.
“Som Christians have been killed by their meanes,” he added.
Of the 30 women on trial in Chelmsford, 14 were hanged.
Wallington also recounts the experiences of Rebecca West, a suspected witch who confessed to sleeping with the devil when she was tortured because “she found her selfe in such extremity of torture and amazement that she would not enure (endure) it againe for the world.” Her confession spared her.
Carol Burrows, who managed the notebook’s digitization, on Thursday told Reuters that Wallington’s journal was important because of its connections to the civil war.
“It’s a personal account and it tells us a lot about the time — they were troubled times,” she said.
“It’s in English and it’s very easy to read so it’s going to be of interest to the general public as well as scholars,” she added.
The manuscript is one of Wallington’s seven surviving notebooks. The woodturner wrote 50 journals about religion, the civil war and witchcraft trials during the course of his life.
A team at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Center for Heritage Imaging and Collection Care spent two weeks photographing the notebook kept at Tatton Hall in Cheshire so they could make it available online.
The notebook can be viewed free of charge at http://chiccmanchester.wordpress.com/