Main Street, High Easter, c.1960Reproduced courtesy of The Francis Frith Collection.
History of High Easter >> High Easter Snippets
When researching for this website we often find a little snippet of information on a location or subject which may be of interest. Some are quirky, some show that there is nothing new in this world, and some about the attitudes and morals of the time. [index to snippets] Here's one for High Easter about witchcraft.
24 June 1880 Liverpool Mercury
Superstition in Essex
At the Dunmow petty sessions, Charles and Peter Brester, father and son, two labouring men, were recently charged with misbehaving themselves towards Susan Sharpe, wife of an army pensioner, living at High Easter, in a manner likely to lead to a breach of the peace
The evidence showed that the defendants were under the impression that the complainant was a witch, and they wanted to put her to the test by throwing her into a pond to see whether she would sink or float.
They affirmed she had betwitched the young defendant and his wife - the furniture in the house was disturbed, their domestic animals died, their bed rocked like a swinging boat, and shadows appeared in their bedroom.
On one occasion there were three in bed to witness the shadows apparition, and they strongly asserted that the shape was that of the complainant.
The elder defendant had visited certain reputed 'cunning' men and women in the villages around with a view to baffle the witches supposed evil designs, but without effect - all sorts of things had been tried, but they could get no peace and the reports sent abroad caused an excitement in the locality.
The chairman (the Rev. E.F Gepp) said such things as they had done might have led to a serious riot some years ago. They were bound over to keep the peace for six months.
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High Easter - Cary's New and Correct English Atlas, 1798
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