From the history of the persecution of the witches Chelmsford witches

In the second half of the XVI century assizes in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom, became the site of several large trials of witches, which marked the beginning of massive ships over witches and warlocks in England.Bloodthirsty dog ​​Inquisition was launched off the chain.

first of Chelmsford processes took place in the summer of 1566 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, in which the Parliament adopted in 1563 the second of three British legal acts against witchcraft.This legal document is increased measure of responsibility for witchcraft, ranked as a criminal offense whatsoever reference to demonic beings, completely regardless of whether it had any harmful effects or not.

Act 1563 gave people the right to make the judges found guilty, the prison, but did not expect the death penalty for witchcraft, except when due to the evil spell of the dying man.Thus, Chelmsford deal in 1566 was the first major trial of witches that took place after the adoption of the new law.The outcome is that process later were important largely because it was attended by prominent legal figures of the era: John Seutkot - a judge of the Royal Court, the Rev. Thomas Cole - rector Chelmsford Church, Sir John Fortescue, who later became Chancellor of the British Treasury, andas Sir Gilbert Gerard - the Attorney General, is the most notable figure in the process.Records that were court clerks in the course of the meetings, later copied and presented to the public in the form of pamphlets, became at that time a popular reading:

Recently, the city glorious still, O Chelmsford am I it by sending the main three judges that the law protect.Became Famous royal court of justice to repair, and three perstupnikov are to be eradicated case.Read below you about what they said to the court, and as a paper signed, is recognized in his witchcraft ...

In the first process of witchcraft were accused three women: Elizabeth Francis, Agnes Waterhouse and Joanne Waterhouse - daughter Agnes.They all lived in the small village of Hatfield Peverel, and the only reason for their charges become white in spots cat nicknamed Satan is considered magical companion referred to women as well as cats of this breed appeared in England only in the middle of the XVI century and were still a rarity.The decisive evidence in the investigation gave some 12-year-old girl suffering from mental illness.In the end, Elizabeth Francis and Agnes Waterhouse "confessed" to the crimes committed, and Joanne Waterhouse, unaware, gave himself to the mercy of the court.

first July 26, 1566 were judged Elizabeth Francis, who was married to a certain Christopher Francis.Elizabeth was accused that she had bewitched a young boy named William Auger, who as a result of divination very ill.She pleaded guilty to the crime, as well as an even more obscene abominations, including sexual perversions, abortion and murder.Francis said that at the age of 12 years, her grandmother taught witchcraft, known as the mother of Eve, which forced her to abandon her faith in God and to give his blood to the devil.Mother Eve gave Francis the small white spots in the black cat by the name of Satan, whom the girl was fed bread and milk and keep in a basket.Minutes of the trial so tell it: "Now, this Elizabeth, first, conceived a passion for the aforementioned cat (calling it Satan), who, according to her, told her that she can become rich and wealthy, and promised her to performall her wishes.He asked her what she wanted, and she said that she wanted to livestock.According to the defendant, this cat was talking to her in a strange hollow voice, which she gradually learned to understand.Cat and fulfill the desire of Francis drove her eighteen sheep in the pasture - black and white, that she remained for some time, but then suddenly disappeared unknown way. "

Shortly after the incident with the sheep wanted Elizabeth to her husband became one of Andrew Bolz - a very wealthy man of the locals.Côte promised that her dream will come true, but first she has to do so that he had defiled her.However, after this happened, Bolz refused to enter into a marriage with a woman, and then the angry Francis asked her demonic companion send upon a man's disease, from which he died.After some time as long as the aforementioned Andrew died, Elizabeth felt that she was pregnant and wanted to destroy Satan cat baby in her body.He commanded a woman to take some magic grass and drink a decoction of it, so that Frances had a miscarriage.

Every time the cat was doing something for Elizabeth, it is, she said, required a drop of blood, which she gave him, causing needle pricks himself.In those places where there were sores, red spots left, and the judge in the course of their inquiry found.

next candidate for a husband witches became a man named Francis.Witch and joined with him in an extramarital affair, become pregnant and soon married him, and have taken her husband's name.But after the wedding in their home it was not quiet.The couple quarreled constantly and to annoy her husband, Elizabeth asked cat send upon him limp.One morning, Satan hid under the bed, and when Francis pulled off her legs to put shoes on, grabbed his cat teeth into his ankle.Then a man appeared at the foot of an open wound that made him permanently lame.

When Satan stayed with Elizabeth for about fifteen years, he was bored with her order.One day she went to the house of her neighbor Agnes Waterhouse and asked her for fresh bread, which in return has promised to give her "something that will make her life beautiful until the end of days."Agnes agreed, and then Elizabeth brought her cat Waterhouse taught Satan and all things which she learned from her grandmother.

As we already mentioned, the main charge against Elizabeth was pointing spell on the boy by the name of Oger and bringing to death Andrew Bolsa.Court records do not report gave any indication bewitched the father of the child;and one remains unclear why the recognition of the murder of Francis Bolsa not followed the death sentence.As a result, Elizabeth Francis was found guilty, but was sentenced to only one year in prison!

The next day, July 27, 1566, appeared before the judges Agnes Waterhouse.It was a kind of respectable widow of sixty-three years old, who was accused that she was bewitched by the charms of a certain William Finney, after which he fell ill and died in November 1565.Agnes confessed to the crime and confessed: she wanted a cat Satan spoiled livestock and poultry neighbors.This Agnes denied that the cat gave their blood, but the bailiffs checked her body and found numerous spots of injections in her face and nose.

widow Waterhouse also recognize that once sent her daughter into the house of Agnes Joanna Brown, 12-year-old girl to ask her a fee for sold bread and cheese.The girl, however, refused to pay, and an angry Joanne returned home, according to his mother, made the following: "Remembering her mother walks around the house and calls the name of hell cat, she said that she also wants to try it, and then stood up incenter of the room, called out: "Satan!Satan! "Suddenly, in front of her there was a huge black dog and asked what wish Joanna.She said it hurt, and then said, "I want you to do the unfortunate Agnes Browne."The dog said that she will receive in return, and then Joanna promised her red rooster.The dog, however, rejected such an award and said that she needed her body and soul ... »

After hearing the testimony, the judge invited the hall itself Agnes Browne, that she confirmed or denied what was said.The girl told me that the day on which it is asked, she was sitting at home, doing their own thing, when suddenly she saw "something like a black dog with a muzzle monkeys, a short tail, a chain and a silver whistle around his neck and a pair of horns on his head".In the mouth it is being carried on a key breast pantry.Brown asked the creature that she needed, and the dog responded: "Oil!" Then the door being unlocked closet and hid there.After some time it came out, the girl said that she whipped butter, and then disappeared.Agnes Browne told about what happened to his aunt, who immediately sent to the church for the pastor.He advised the girl to pray, as well as at the time of the diabolical temptation to appeal to the name of Jesus.The next day, the infernal dog appeared again and again with a key in his mouth.Then Agnes asked him: "In the name of Jesus, what do you want?" There is an answer that, referring to Christ, the girl behaves badly, shook her paw and removed away.

Such visits were repeated again and again, until one dog has not declared with the knife in his mouth and asked the girl: and if she wanted to die?Agnes said no and began to pray aloud.Then, she said, was as follows: "The dog said that if I did not want to die voluntarily, he plunge the blade into my heart.When I told him to throw the blade, in Jesus' name, he replied that he could not throw his knife lovely ladies.And my question is, who she is, dog nodded in the direction of your house, the mother Waterhouse ".

judges listened with interest to the testimony of the witness Brown and even offered on the spot to conduct an investigative experiment.They asked the defendant Agnes Waterhouse retire to his cell, and he called it hell hound by witchcraft, and then present it to the members of the court.Hesitated, the woman replied that lost the ability to command animals.

As a result, Agnes Waterhouse was sentenced to be hanged and executed July 29, 1566.Before you mount the scaffold, she made a last confession, saying, "that was a witch, and was engaged in vile witchcraft for 15 years, which made many heinous crimes, which fully and sincerely repents and trusts that Almighty God will forgive her forshe insulted his name his devilish pursuits.She still believes that will be saved in heaven for his unspeakable mercy. "

Trials Chelmsford witches continued from 1566 by 1579, and were so sad precedent, which will repel all future generations of English, Scottish and Irish Bar.The persecution of witches, which initiated the trial in Chelmsford will with tremendous speed to spread throughout the UK, reached its apogee in the XVII - the beginning of the XVIII century and come to naught only to 1722, when Scotland will take the last penalty on charges of witchcraft.

In conclusion, we present a small document - the second Chelmsford payroll process, which could not be better reflects what demonic goes hand in hand with the brutal prose of real life: the rope (for hanging) - 6 shillings;hemp loops - 3 pounds 10 shillings;for preparing them - 8s;the executioner for his trouble - 8 pounds 14 shillings.

Stanislav Goryainov

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