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The case of Dorothy Griffith, 1656

The first case saw William Griffith, a mariner from Picton, accusing Dorothy Griffith of Llanasa of witchcraft. The precise reason for the accusation cannot now be discovered, although it is apparent there had been a long history of ill-feeling between both families. Given here are the testimonies of William Griffith, his brother Edward, Thomas Rodgers, alehouse-keeper, and his wife Margaret Bellis. Also included is a petition in support of Dorothy, signed by thirty-one of her neighbours including prominent members of the local community.

  • Accusations of witchcraft against Dorothy Griffith
  • Petition supporting Dorothy Griffith

The case of Charles Hughes, 1690

The next incident also concerns the parish of Llanasa. Charles Hughes, undertenant of John Evans and the son of yeoman Hughe ap Edward, faced allegations of maiming his landlord's cattle following a tenancy dispute. Primary sources given here include the testimony of Hughe ap Edward and, like Dorothy Griffith, a petition proclaiming his innocence, signed by sixteen members of the local gentry. No further action appears to have been taken against the accused.

  • Testimony of Hughe ap Edward
  • Petition supporting Charles Hughes

The case of Anne Ellis, 1657

Penley saw allegations of witchcraft against Anne Ellis, a beggar on the margins of society, accused of acts of magic, good and bad, against livestock and children. Depositions by six of her neighbours are included along with her own testimony and that of a constable. The accused was later discharged.

  • Testimony of Elizabeth Jeffreys
  • Testimony of Edward Ffoulke
  • Testimony of Susan Addams
  • Testimony of Margaret Barnatt
  • Testimony of Gwen Hughes
  • Testimony of Elizabeth Taylor
  • Testimony of Thomas Barnatt
  • Testimony of Anne Ellis

Further reading

  • Larner, Christina. Enemies of God: the witch-hunt in Scotland. London: Chatto & Windus, 1981.
  • Levack, Brian P. The witch-hunt in early modern Europe. London: Longman, 1987.
  • Macfarlane, Alan. Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: a regional and comparative Study. London : Routledge, 1999.
  • Sharpe, James. Instruments of darkness: witchcraft in England, 1550-1750. London: Penguin, 1997.
  • Sharpe, James. Witchcraft in early modern England. Harlow: Longman, 2001.
  • Suggett, Richard. "Witchcraft dynamics in early modern Wales." Women and gender in early modern Wales. Ed. Michael Roberts and Simone Clarke. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2000: 75-103.
  • Thomas, Keith. Religion and the decline of magic. London: Penguin, 2003.