August 17, 1612
The trial opens at Lancaster Castle. The accused are not provided with a defense lawyer. Nowell produces Jennet as a witness and she gives evidence against her own family and other villagers. Her month Elizabeth Device is dragged from the court screaming at her daughter and shouting curses at Roger Nowell. The judge decides to test Jennet’s evidence by holding an identity parade in court at which Jennet goes up and takes Alice Nutter by the hand, identifying her as one of those present at the Good Friday gathering.
Alizon Device faints when confronted with the pedlar she is said to have lamed, but when she is revived confesses her guilt.
Chattox weeps as she hears the evidence against her and asks God for forgiveness. She pleads for mercy to be shown to her daughter, Ann Redfearn.
The judge finds them all guilty but admits that he is moved by the ruine of so many poore creatures at one time.
August 20th, 1612
Chattox, Ann Redfearn, Elizabeth, James and Alizon Device, Alice Nutter, Katherine Hewitt, Jane Bulcock and her son John are hanged in Lancaster in front of huge crowds.
Were they malevolent people possessed by supernatural powers, or the innocent victims of a time obsessed with the pursuit and punishment of witchcraft?
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