[MR] BBC: Witch Persecution

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Sun Mar 17 03:08:05 PDT 2024

Noble Friends,

Today the BBC has a short piece on witch persecutions, built around the
question of why there were so few witch burnings in Wales, versus Scotland
and England. The short answer is that most "witch-finders" were English and
didn't speak Welsh, making it harder for them to bring accusations and
secure convictions.

Although there was sporadic witch persecution in the British Isles during
the middle ages, witchcraft was first formally legislated against by Henry
VIII. Persecutions in 16th century Scotland were far worse than in England,
especially under King James IV (later James I of England, but that is
beyond our usual period of interest). James was fanatical about persecuting
witches, and brought the mania with him to England in the early 17th

The usual punishment for witchcraft was burning, or hanging first then
burning, and thousands of people, mostly women, died after being accused.
Often they were elderly "wise women" who practiced traditional healing with
herbs and homemade medicines. The article's author suggests that a common
reason for accusations was to seize the accused "witch's" home or other

The story is headed by a photo of the Wicked Witch of the West from THE
WIZARD OF OZ, played so well by actress Margaret Hamilton. [Non-period
factoids: Did you know that Margaret Hamilton was a former kindergarten
teacher and loved children, or that she was severely burned in the flaming
departure scene at the Munchkin village? She also had all the best lines in
the whole movie.]

Here's the story for your consideration:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-68413510 .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆
Continuing a crusade to keep Merry Rose relevant and in business.

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