In 1582, Richard Scot attended the trial of the S. Osyth coven of witches. The leader of the coven was supposedly Ursley Gray, a prostitute who doubled as a nurse, midwife and herbiest. She was accused by a Mrs. Grace Thurlour, whose son David had been cured by Ursley. The cure had been so rapid that Grace suspected ursley of being a witch ursley denied it, but when Grace’s newborn baby fell out of the cradle and broke her neck, Grace was sure that Ursley had put a curse on her and reported the woman to the authorities. Ursleys 8yr old bastard son was arrested, and after prolonged questioning admitted that his mother was in league with the devil. Ursley was offered her freedom if she would betray the other witches in the community and she promptly named a number of people, doubtless taking advantage of the situation to pay off a few old scores. 18 people were hanged.
As a result of the S. Osyth trial Scot decided that witches were usually desperately poor women who might, in hopes of frightening people to give them “pitifully small alms,” claim to supernatural powers. They might know a few tricks, such as hiding wolf dung in a barn to stampede the carrel or soaping the inside of a churn, which kept the butter from forming, but many were simply mentally afflicted people who, when accused of being witches, were too confused to deny it. One woman exclaimed, “Of course I am a witch but I never knew it until now.” A man admitted being a wizard because, “I have often seen little flies dancing around a candle flame, which I know now must have been devils.” Scot also noted that once the panic began, discharged servants would denounce their former employers, heirs accuse rich relations, and there was a flood of “postbox” accusations, equivelant to our modern anonymous postcards, obviously inspired solely by spite.
The next year Scot wrote his famous book, the Discovery of Witchfcraft, which might be called an answer to Sprengers Malleus Malaficarum. Scot had even gone to the trouble of leaning how conjurers did their tricks so his book is also the first treatise on sleight of hand in English. Scot described how fire-eaters and snake charmers produce their illusions, the decapitation trick (an early form of sawing a woman in half), and then asks, “Suppose the average witch were as skillful as the meanest conjurer. What miracles would not be attributed to them?” He points out that witch-hunting had become racket. “In Wittingberg, Germany, the cattle began to die in great numbers and the cry went up that they had been bewitched. But the magistrates, being sensible folk, looked to see who made a profit by the deaths and found a certain butcher who bought the hides very cheaply. On a little more investigation, it was found that he was poisoning the cattle. Here we would have hanged five poor women before one rich butcher.
Thus Edric Wilde, lord of the manor of North Ledbury , in the reign of William the Conqueror, when one night near a remote and deserted inn (ghildhus), peeped through window and observing a company of many beautiful women, remembers that he has often heard stories of “the wanderings of spirits and how troops of demons appear at night, and to see them is death, and Ditinna (who is identified with Diana) and bands of Dryads and Vampires.” It may be remembered that an old decree which was adopted by the canonists such as Regino of Prum (915), Ivo of Chartres (1040-1115), Gratian and others spoke of “some wicked women, wholly given over to Satan and caught by the illusions and glamours of demons, believe and profess that they ride abroad at night with Diana on certain beasts, accompanied by an innumerable host of women, passing over immense distances, obeying her commands as their mistress, and evoked by her upon certain nights.”
The Witchcraft Lecture
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!
Screen Rant: Who Are The Most Powerful Witches In The Harry Potter Universe?.