In the mid 1600s a Puritan writer, Nehemiah Wallington, kept a diary in which he detailed, amongst other things, the witch trials of Manningtree in England. The 350 year old book (photo above) is now to be made public by the Manchester University's John Rylands Library who are digitising the diary.
The story of the trials and the witch hunt were dramatised in the controversial film The Witchfinder General staring Vincent Price as Matthew Hopkins.
Matthew Hopkin's dreadful witch hunts across East Anglia resulted in more than 100 women being put to death. The trials at Manningtree were the most notorious in a savage campaign.
In March 1645 Hopkins questioned a suspected witch, Elizabeth Clarke. She was examined for devil's marks such as warts, moles or bits of extra skin that were declared to be 'teats' to give suckle to imps.
Not surprisingly Clarke broke down and named other women including Anne West and her daughter Rebecca. The women were taken to the cells in Colchester Castle for questioning. Rebecca confessed and implicated her mother and others, thus saving herself from hanging.
According to Nehemiah Wallington's diary this is Rebecca's story:
On a much lighter note I snapped this sign on a car I saw parked this morning: