Random History Alert: Aug. 18-19 Pendle Witch Trials, 402 Years Ago

The Lancashire Witches A Romance of Pendle Forest - William Harrison Ainsworth

The link that alerted me to this anniversary is via Instagram, because it's more than just people sharing baby and lunch photos. (I'm following mostly museums, libraries and bookstores.)


So thanks to this image from The British Museum, I can share that the Pendleton Witch trials were held August 18 to 19, 1612. And later in 1849 William Harrison Ainsworth wrote a book incorporating the witches into his novel The Lancashire Witches. A novel that's never been out of print. After seeing that fact in countless books on the Victorian novel I decided to peek into the book online - and that's why it's on my currently reading list. I've decided to let myself pick up/put down that book as I feel like reading - it's on my ereader after all, and always with me, so no rush. (I haven't been a student for a decade or so, but I still love reading without a deadline.)


In the US we get fixated on the Salem witch trials (1692 - 1693ish) - well, because we tend to fixate on our own history - and lump all the European ones into "those trials over there." But the Pendleton witches also have an interesting backstory, and are a great parallel to Salem, especially in current day tourism.


I'll not bother to sum up - just direct you to the wikipedia: Pendle Witches

And note that links at the end are to Gutenberg - even the 1613 account by the court clerk called The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster.


[I've seen both Pendle and Pendleton witches. And still am not sure which is correct.]

[Also I restrained myself from a which and witch pun there.]

[Though not entirely restrained, because I had to mention it.]