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Witch-Hunt; The Great Essex Witch Scare of 1582

Author: Anthony Harris
ISBN: 0 86025 518 2


Wednesday, 19th February 1582. St Clere’s Hall, St Osyth. The presiding magistrate: Brian Darcy, Justice of the Peace. The great medieval hall falls silent at the entry of the magistrate. The onlookers – petty officials, witnesses, senation seekers – who are crammed into every corner of the double-aisled hall, watch as the accused woman, flanked by two village constables, rises to face him. Her name is Ursula Kemp. The charge is murder – murder by witchcraft.

The woman, fearful for her life, implicated many others in the area before her own trial ended and the accusations of the villagers, the priests, and the local officials with counter-accusations and confessions make a terrible tale. A development, some 350 years later, brings a further note of tragedy, mixed with farce to finish the story.

96 pages, 11 photographs, 5 line drawings

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