Saturday, November 01, 2008

Witch Pardons

While prowling the web, I discovered that a petition was delivered yesterday to the British Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, calling for the government to posthumously pardon more than 400 women and men executed as witches in England before the Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2, ch. 5) abolished the crime of witchcraft. This follows in the wake of an official Swiss government pardon granted earlier this year to Anna Goeldi, beheaded in 1782 and believed to be the last European executed for witchcraft. The petition and summaries of eight historical cases cited to support it can be read here. The petition is the brainchild of Angels Fancy Dress, the British costumer for the stage, performers, and the Halloween public. A London Times article by David Byers provides additional background.

Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat

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