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Toil and Trouble: Help Posthumously Pardon the Hanged Witches of Bideford

via Dana Matthews  Who Forted bideford witches1

A new campaign to make right the past wrongs of British witch hunts is gaining support from government officials, and you can help too.

British MP, Ben Bradshaw, has shown his support to posthumously pardon the last three women to be hanged for witchcraft in England, an act he says is “a stain” on British history.

The Witches of Bideford, otherwise known as Temperance Lloyd, Susannah Edwards and Mary Trembles, were hanged to death on August 25th 1682 after having been accused of performing acts of witchcraft against members of the town.

Temperance Lloyd was arrested in July 1682, after Thomas Eastchurch, the Bideford shoekeeper, accused Lloyd of being a witch. She was taken and held at the “chapel at the end of the bridge” until she was brought before the justices to defend herself against the charges.

Her charges were described as,

“…suspicion of having used some magical art, sorcery or witchcraft upon the body of Grace Thomas and to have had discourse or familiarity with the devil in the likeness or shape of a black man.”

Like most cases of witchcraft during that time period, the testimony was paranoid, suspicious, and mostly ridiculous.

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