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Pardon the Pendle Witches

  • Tuesday October 5th 2021

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At The Blackpool Tower Dungeon we tell the stories of Lancashire’s darkest history and this Halloween we’re retelling one of it’s most frightening tales.

409 years ago the Lancashire Witch Trials took place. Ten innocent people were convicted and hanged for Witchcraft in a religious and political persecution conducted by the authorities.

Anne Whittle, Ann Redfearn, Elizabeth Device, Alice Nutter, Alizon Device, James Device, Katherine Hewitt, Jane Bulcock, John Bulcock and Isobel Robey.

Unfortunately, the ‘Pendle Witches’ were not alone. They were amongst thousands who faced a similar fate across the UK. These innocent people were victimised, tortured murdered. Today we want justice. We are calling on the Government to grant an official pardon for the Pendle Witches.

“Today we take a stance against prejudice and give the power back to these inspiring women to tell their stories.” - Kenny Mew, General Manager at The Blackpool Tower Dungeons

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“How can I help” we hear you cry!

We have started a petition to make our Government sit up and listen.

We need your signature, we need thousands of other signatures.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION!

Join our social movement, share your tales of solidarity, your commitment to stamping out stereotypes. Encourage your followers to do the same.

Don’t forget to use #imawitch and tag us

Facebook: @blackpooldungeon  Insta: @btowerdungeon  Twitter: @BTowerDungeon  TikTok: @blackpool_tower_dungeon

Check out our socials for our campaign content and share that too.

Meet the team

We’ve partnered with scholars and campaigners to bring this fight to the Government.

Meet Robert Poole, Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire and author of  ‘The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster.’

 “The Lancashire witches were the victims of a gross miscarriage of justice. They were convicted of an impossible crime, by methods that amounted to persecution, on the basis of patently false evidence which they were not able to contest. It's high time they were given a pardon.” - Robert Poole, Professor of History at the University of Central Lancashire.

Robert Poole

Meet Semra Haksever, Eclectic Witch, healer and empath. Semra is a passionate advocate for the witch community and is joining forces to help us stamp out stereotypes and challenge perceptions of what being a witch means in 2021.

“Being a witch can mean many things, being a feminist, a strong independent woman, a non conformist. We celebrate freedom and fight against patriarchal conditioning.” - Semra Haksever, Eclectic Witch, healer and empath.

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The right horrible history

The trial of the Lancashire witches in 1612 was England’s biggest peace time witch trial by far, 10 witches were hanged and a number of others were imprisoned.

It all began with a conversation between Alizon Device and a pedlar who entered her village. The pedlar suffered what we now recognise as a stroke and thought that Alizon had bewitched him. As Alizon’s Grandmother had a reputation locally as a witch, she too believed she could have bewitched him.

The local Magistrate, Roger Nowell, began interrogating members of the local community, which led to them accusing rival families, accusing neighbours and even accusing their own family members.

The whole trial took only two days. The women had been kept in the dungeon of Lancaster Castle in appalling conditions, sometimes for months with no access to lawyers. These innocent people were then confronted in court with neighbours and in some cases their own family testifying against them. In some cases confessions gathered through means of coercion and torture were used as evidence to convict the accused. They were just ordinary people caught up in a religious and political persecution by the authorities.

Throughout history, powerful, opinionated and cunning women were handed the title of witch as a mark of supposed shame; punished for religious difference, indifference or the desire to pave their own paths, without male companions.

Robert Poole

What we’re asking the Government to do

The trial of the Lancashire witches in 1612 was England’s biggest peace time witch trial by far, 10 witches were hanged and a number of others were imprisoned.

We are asking the Government to grant a pardon via a Royal Prerogative proposal for the 10 executed Lancashire Witches.

We are asking the Government for justice.

Together we are fighting to right the wrongs of history and stamp out stereotypes.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN OUR PETITION!

#IMAWITCH