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rare book library



theology & witchcraft

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A tryal of witches at the Assizes : held at Bury St. Edmonds for the County of Sufffolk on the tenth day of March, 1664, before Sir Matthew Hale, Kt., then Lord Chief Baron of His Majesties Court of Exchequer / taken by a person then attending the Court.
London : Printed for William Shrewsbery, 1682.

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Hale was one of England's most famous judges who, by his decisions, helped to continue the belief in witchcraft and often directed juries according to his own prejudices. The book is a record of one of the key English witchcraft trials of the seventeenth century where two women, Rose Cullender and Amy Dunn, were accused of bewitching two children left in their care. Hale, despite being England's premier jurist accepted hearsay evidence up to seven years old, the unsupported testimony of children and the evidence of a professional witchpricker who also happened to be the children's mother.

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