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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Sailor Ron Folklore: DEMDYKE! (29) RE: Folklore: DEMDYKE! 01 Sep 09

Demdike [or Demdyke] was the 'leader' of the Pendle witches, all of which, bar two, were hung for 'murder by witchcraft', note not for being witches. Of the two not hung Demdyke herself died in Lancaster Castle before she could meet the hangman, yje other was found noy guilty of 'murder by witchcraft' but guilty of 'witchcraft' for which she got two years in prison, this would seem to indicate it wasn't being a witch that was a great crime but what you did with it.
The only evidence against the Pendle Witches was what they said themselves, if they'd kept their mouths shut they wouldn't have even been brought to trial, and no torture was applied to force the confessions.
Incidentally at the same time the three Salmsbury witches were found not guilty [again at Lancaster], and their accusor was told by the judge that if he ever saw her again she'd get a one way ticket to Virginia! It was only her age [14] that saved her.
In England 48% of those accused of witchcraft were found not guilty, & only 5% were actually hung [not burned in England]. One 'funny' fact is that per head of population the country with the highest proportion of witchcraft trials was, of all places, Iceland.

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