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Jane Abray (16)
Lecture 14

Lecture 14 Nov 4.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Jane Abray

HIS389H1F November 4, 2010- The witch-hunts, distribution by period, region, size - Finishing off from Tuesday: Isobel Gowdie, Auldearn, Scottish Highlands, 1662 o Someone who achieved renowned in British dictionary- 4 spontaneous confessions o Lived in remote community, highlands of Scotland, young farm wife- atypical (young, she is somehow implicated in a plot to kill the local minister – Henry) Said she flew to sabbath, can turn into animals and also said she met Queen of fairies – people interested in her meeting the Devil – meets him same night in parish Church – pact with the devil who rebaptizes her and is known as Janet and she is marked on shoulder, long lived series of demonic copulations o Less normal she says she meets regularly with 12 other witches with odd names and engages in weather magic (destroy crops) – she also says she has soured milk and brought it into the homes of better off people o Claimed to have murdered men with elk arrows – riven with guilt for having caused death of neighbour, sickened children o Guilt may have been the only truth… caused her to plead with interrogators for worst death because she thought she was so guilty o Possible the authorities treated her as a crazy person or she was burned – no one knows- evidence of survival of pagan religion according to Alice Murray (in terms of covens operating in British Isles) - Apollonia Mayr, near Augsburg, Germany, 1686 o Was a poor woman, serving woman, became pregnant out of wedlock o Delivered child alone, out building, on bed of straw, gone to every inn but none had room for her o Child given to local Franciscans but when Apollonia went to orphanage to see baby, she was told the baby was killed, demanded to see child’s baptismal certificate, she wants to make sure child had chance of salvation – this was the last draw that precipitates her in a suicidal despair – cannot be sure if child was baptism o Talks about involvement with the devil- guilt over death of child, accused self of killing her own baby, said she strangled child (she changes story of where the child was born- now out in the field, in the last version she had a mid wife who was the devil, painless delivery, strangled child immediately, got up and walked off, child left unburied but with devil standing over it – mother walked away) – last site she sees is dead baby and devil standing over it – haunting tale – story that Ropper works into discussion of post pardon grief - Summary: the suspicious people o Who gets accused? – more than just suspicious people o Having a reputation for dabbling in magic (John Walsh) – figures for Edward Bever’s ideas best apply arguments for people knowingly finding ways to spook neighbours o Children of the people suspected of witchcraft (Aymonet) (Agathar) o People who were marginal – mother and daughter stealing grapes, old woman Ursula o People who are mentally ill- accuse themselves, werewolf, Apollonia Mayr, Gowdie o People perceived to be a threat to others- elements in Isobel Grier case, Ursula frightens people around her o People who are used by other people, Anne Gunter o People used to get at other people, Anne Gunter, Rebecca Lemp, Elsa o People involved in preparation and serving of food- poison o People involved in healing- either humans or beasts o Woman- people with reputation for sexual misconduct o Chances are accused will be woman- three quarters in western Europe - 2 last thoughts of why people are getting accused: th th - 1. The hounding out of flight magic: 14 and 15 centuries- if you thought you were bewitched by a bad witch you could go to good witch to get spell lifted, once the demonologists talk of the fact there are no good witches = the only thing you can do is go to authorities- destroy the person you think is destroying you - 2. Length of time it takes to build a fatal reputation (Elizabeth Francis is a good exam
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