Famous men and women of Suffolk No 3 in a series

In Brandeston, Ipswich Town, Matthew Hopkins on August 2, 2005 at 8:03 pm

Matthew Hopkins the notorious Witch finder General who was born in Suffolk.He was briefly a lawyer in Ipswich.

In 1644 Hopkins was appointed by parliament to seek out anyone suspected of witchcraft. This was during the time of the English cival war when parliament over throwed Charles the 1st and puritanism was very dominant.

He was paid very well about £1 for each witch found.

In 1645 the largest Witch trial in English history at the time took place at the Shire Hall Bury St Edmunds. Neighbours and self appointed searchers had dragged over 120 old women and a few men to Bury Jail.

One sad case was of a vicar John Lowes aged 80 from Brandeston, Suffolk who had preached for 50 years at his church. After undergoing days of sleep deprivation he eventually confessed to employing two imps to sink ships at sea, having a bad temper, and keeping a ginger cat called Tom. He was compelled to read his own burial service before they hanged him along with 15 others on the 27th August 1645

Anne Alderman, Mary Bacon, Henry Carre, Alice Denham, Thomas Everard, Mary Everard, Mary Fuller, Nicholas Hempstead, Anne Leech, Jane Linstead, Rebecca Morris, Mary Skipper, Mary Smith, Margery Sparham, Katherine Tooley.

You can adopt a witch in memory of those who lost their lives at a web site called http://www.geocities.com/witchofsolstice/Adopt.html

Of course most of these people would have been entirely innocent and Hopkins basically acted on the fears and heightened tensions of this period in history to make a small fortune for himself.

  1. I have that film on DVD..Witchfinder General with Vincent Price,a classic.Never knew the real details behind the inspiration for the film…

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