Witchcraft Persecution in East Anglia
East Anglia has suffered more than most of the rest of the UK in cases of persecution for witchcraft. Part of this is due to the reign of terror in 1644-5 of the Witchfider General, Matthew Hopkins. He operated at a time of Civil War, when many courts were closed, people generally frightened and with the probable protection of the Puritan roundheads who used his army of informers for their own ends. I will not presume to tell his story, which has been covered extensively in many books, but denounce him as a money grabbing misanthropic bigot who deserves to rot in the hell he believed in. It is estimated that he was involved in the deaths of around 400 people before his denuciation as a fraud.

I have been trying to compile a database table of all the people named in cases of witchcraft persecution in East Anglia. It is an ongoing project, which will probably never be complete. Some of the information is fragmentary or contradictory, inevitable with the passage of time. Some of the people were executed, usually by hanging but sometimes by burning. Some died in prison of fever, whilst some succumbed to their torturers. I also include the names of others who we know were found 'not guilty.' They suffered to, and many would have been ostracised and lost their jobs and homes, despite the opinions of the courts. There are some who's names will never be known. Many times I have read the case of one individual being hung "along with 6 others" (or 9 or 19.) Many of these people were probably not witches at all, but disliked by their communities who found an easy way to get rid of them. Some never even made it to a proper trial, and were killed or injured by their own communities before authorities could intervene. If you think this is a rant against a long lost period of history and is irrelevant today, THINK AGAIN! I was involved with trying to get the job back of the Brentwood teacher Ralph Morse in 1999, who was suspended for being a witch. (See the Pagan Federation site for full details.)  People still face religious discrimination today around the world, and it happens when good people stand by and do nothing.

I have given a code beside the table entries for my source(s) of information. Inevitably some of these duplicate the same information given in other books.
MH indicates the book Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General. (Deacon Richard)It does not mean that every entry is related to that individual, just that they were around his period in history. I have given these a 1645 date unless I have information to the contrary. In reality, they could fall a year either side of that.
FL indicates 'Folk Lore of Suffolk' (Llanerch)
W.I.M.E. indicates 'Witchcraft in Modern Europe' (Ed. Barry/Hester/Roberts - Cambridge Univ. Press)
B. indicates 'Broomsticks over East Anglia' (Tom Gardner - pub. Ian Henry)
RD indicates the 'Readers Digest Folklore Myths and Legends of Britain.

If you have names, places, details to add or correct, please e mail me.  I want this to be a reliable resource for all to share freely, in memory of all those who have suffered. If you want to join the fight today, click on to the Pagan Federation link above. The table that follows is an MS Access file for easy manipulation.


Click for table

There is also a great Essex wide listing on www.hulford.co.uk
For Lowestoft Witches see www.lowestoftwitches.com