Chapter

‘Those to whom evil is done’: family dynamics in the Pendle witch trials

Jonathan Lumby

in The Lancashire Witches

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780719062032
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700150 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719062032.003.0004
‘Those to whom evil is done’: family dynamics in the Pendle witch trials

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter analyzes the network of relationships and motivations among the accusers and accused in the Pendle area, shedding light on the related trial of Jennet Preston of Gisburn. The chapter explores the question of what disposed gentry and magistrates in the Lancashire and Yorkshire borderland to promote the destruction of the Pendle witches in 1612. Two men of considerable standing in the society of those parts instigated the persecution: Roger Nowell and Thomas Lister. Close investigation reveals the interdependence of the two trials. The gentry accusers and magistrates in both cases were part of the same Protestant social network, and both had family experience of suffering at the alleged hands of witches. The families from the hill-country were crushed between the millstones of two different perceptions of the nature of witchcraft, millstones set on their dire motion by traumas in the families of the instigators. A whole web of connections, with many suggestions of family intrigue and manipulation is uncovered, bringing out an individual perspective on family breakdown, persecution and victimization.

Keywords: family dynamics; Pendle witch trials; persecution; gentry accusers; victimization; Thomas Lister

Chapter.  5688 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.