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Archive for the ‘Matthew Hopkins’ Category

Famous Men and Women of Suffolk No 7 in a Series

In Henry Crabb Robinson, John Constable, Louise Rame, Matthew Hopkins, Ouida, Robert Bloomfield, Thomas Gainsborough, William Alabaster on November 25, 2005 at 7:56 pm

In previous posts I have mentioned some of the famous men and women of Suffolk including

No 6 Henry Crabb Robinson – Diarist- Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 5 Thomas Gainsborough – Landscape and Portrait Artist – Born in Sudbury
No 4 Matthew Hopkins – Witchfinder General – Born in Ipswich
No 3 Louise Rame – Ouida – Author – Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 2 Robert Bloomfield – Poet- Born in Bury St Edmunds
No 1 John Constable – Romantic Landscape Artist – Born in East Bergholt

No 7 – William Alabaster 1567 – 1640 I mention because he was born in Hadleigh which is of course the venue for this Sundays 10 mile race.

His claim to fame was that he wrote Roxana, a Senecan tragedy in Latin. He is known for his theological works, including De bestia Apocalypsis (Delft, 1621) and Ecce sponsus venit (1633) and a Lexicon Pentaglotton (1637).

He was created Doctor of Divinity at Cambridge by royal command of King James the !st in 1614.

His personal sonnets included

“My friends, whose kindness doth their judgments blind”

My friends, whose kindness doth their judgments blind,
Know you, say they, the dangers where you run,
Which zeal hides from you, but compassion
Tells us? You feel the blow, the smart we find.
I know it well, and as I call to mind,
This is the bill: dearness, affection,
Friends, fortune, pleasure, fame, hope, life undone,
Want, prison, torment, death, shame–what behind?
Is then my sense transel’mented to steel,
That neither this, nor that, nor all, can feel,
Nor can it bend my mind, which theirs doth break?
Not so, nor so; for I am not insensate,
But feel a double grief that for Christ’s sake
I have no more to spend, nor have spent that

I understand some of the sonnets from Alabaster have been covered by Vaughan Williams though I have never heard them myself. Anyone familiar with his works?

If you are running on Sunday in Hadleigh spare a thought for him.

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.