This amusing picture was created by artist Christopher to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pendle Witches. (1612-2012). The trials of the Pendle Witches in 1612 are among the most famous witch trials in English history especially in the 17th Century.
Size 300 x 420mm
Warning: Last items in stock!
The Pendle Witches lived in the area around Pendle Hill in Lancashire. They were accused and found guilty of witchcraft, and were hung at a public hanging at Lancaster castle.
The Story of the Pendle Witches
The Pendle Witches lived in the early 1600s at a time of religious persecution and superstition. The protestant King James I was on the throne at the time and had just survived the Catholic Gunpowder Plot. During this period Catholics and those suspected of witchcraft came under great scrutiny. King James I had a great hatred of witchcraft, he published a book on Demonology and was a staunch upholder of the notorious Witchcraft Act of 1604. He vowed to stamp out witchcraft and brought in the death penalty for those found guilty. Superstition was rife, and local Magistrates, Judges and Estate Owners, tried to gain favour with the King by holding Witch trials throughout the country.
The story of the Pendle Witches took place in the Forest of Pendle and centred round two local families – Demdike and Chattox, headed by two old women, both in their 80’s – Old Mother Demdike (whose real name was Elizabeth Southern) and Old Chattox (whose real name was Anne Whittle). Demdike spent her days haunting the byways of Pendle forest on the arm of her grand-daughter Alizon. Chattox, supposedly senile, spent her days uttering gibberish in an effort to compound one spell after another. A long standing feud existed between the two families.
On a lonely cold road to Colne on 18th March 1612 Alizon Device, Demdike’s grand-daughter was begging near to Trawden when she came across a pedlar called John Law from Halifax. Begging him for some pins (which her grand-mother wanted for a spell) and receiving nothing but abuse from him, she allegedly cursed him using the help of her familiar spirit who appeared to her in the form of a black dog. Law immediately fell to the ground complaining of being paralyzed down one side (today it would have been called a stroke) and was taken to a local inn by passers-by.
Abraham Law, the pedlar’s son, hauled Alizon, along with her brother James and mother Elizabeth in front of Roger Nowell, the local magistrate of Read Hall, accusing them of witchcraft. Overawed by the situation, Alizon confessed freely also incriminating her grandmother, Demdike, her local rival, Chattox and another woman Anne Redfearn. These women were then rounded up and interrogated at Ashlar House, Fence. Trying to outdo each other and enhance their local reputation Demdike and Chattox told numerous tales of witchcraft. Demdike, under Nowell’s prompting, told the tale of how she met the devil, twenty years previously, near a quarry in Goldshaw Booth. She told how the devil appeared to her in the shape of a boy called Tibb who offered his allegiance in return for her soul. The bargain was struck and in later years Tibbs appeared to her in the form of a black cat, a brown dog and a hare upon whom she could call upon to visit harm to others. Demdike also told how to destroy a person’s life by making hardened clay images and burning them or by sticking pins in to harm that part of the person’s body. Not to be outdone, Chattox also told tales of her familiar, a spirit in the form of a man named Fancie whom she called upon when needed to visit harm upon others. Demdike and Chattox are therefore self confessed witches, Anne Redfearn however was implicated by association and the words of others. Hence on April 3rd 1612 Demdike, Chattox, Device and Redfearn were taken by foot to Lancaster Castle to await trial for witchcraft under the Witchcraft Act of 1604.
On Good Friday 6th April 1612, a meeting took place at Malkin Tower between the Demdike and Chattox families. Nowell the magistrate believed it to be a witch's coven, and ordered the arrest of all those present. He believed they were plotting to free the women and blow up the tower. He sent a local constable, Henry Hargreaves, to the tower where he found human bones and teeth stolen from a graveyard and a clay image. James Device was asked to give evidence, along with his sister Jenet, who was only nine years old, and confessed to using the image to cause the death of Anne Townley. They confirmed Nowells suspicions that there had been a witches coven, meeting at Malkin Tower.
As a result of James Device's confessions seven people were also sent to prison to await trial accused of witchcraft. The trial began on August 17th Due to the testimonies of nine year old Jenet, the confessions already given and the vigour of the prosecutors the trial lasted only three days.
On 19th August 1612 all the accused :Elizabeth Device, Alizon Device, James Device, Anne Whittle (Old Chattox), Anne Redfearne, Alice Nutter, Katherine Hewitt (Mouldheels) Jane Bulcock, John Bulcock and Isobel Robey were found guilty of witchcraft and were hung at a public hanging in Lancaster. Demdike died in prison whilst awaiting trial.
All pictures are hand drawn and coloured by Mydas Touch artist Christopher Perkins and printed directly on to 5mm foamex board which is strong, rigid and durable. The pictures are lightweight and light fast and are easily cleaned with a damp cloth. They need no framing (although you can frame them if you wish); simply place a picture hook or two in the back, hang and enjoy. These amusing pictures appeal to all ages, raise a smile time after time and will be a talking point amongst your guests!
Alternatives sizes are also available, please contact us for further details.
Commissions are also undertaken so if you would like a bespoke picture hand-drawn by Christopher please contact us for further details.