English Traditions

26/09/2012 16:33

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1) English Tea Drinking Traditions – History

2) English Toby Jugs – History

3) English Cathedrals from 300 AD to Present Day

4) The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

5) My Favorite British Iconic Cars

6) History of The Hovercraft

7) The World's First Electric House – England 1878

8) English Speaking Countries

9) English Crop Circles – The History From 1115 AD

10) Halloween – It's English Celtic History

11) My Supernatural Experiences

12) English Witch Trials from 995 AD to 1701 AD and 1944


English Tea Drinking Traditions – History

I have created this article about Tea as it's one of the Icons about us English.

While the Chinese drank green tea hundreds of years before Christ, the English developed their tea-drinking habit in the 17th century. In 1600, Queen Elizabeth I granted permission for the charter of the British East India Company, establishing the trade in spice and silk that lead to the formal annexation of India and the establishment of the Raj. Initially, tea was a sideline but it became increasingly important and started to define us English.

Curiously, it was the London coffee houses that were responsible for introducing tea to England. One of the first coffee house merchants to offer tea was Thomas Garway, who owned an establishment in Exchange Alley. He sold both liquid and dry tea to the public as early as 1657. Three years later he issued a broadsheet advertising tea at £6 and £10 per pound (ouch!), touting its virtues at "making the body active and lusty", and "preserving perfect health until extreme old age".

In 1662 tea drinking became very popular when King Charles II's wife, Queen Catherine made tea very popular among the wealthier classes of society. Soon, tea replaced ale as the national drink, as everyone tried to mimic high society. Tea drinking remains as a popular activity in England up to this day, as the English are particularly known for their afternoon tea (taken in the late afternoon with scones, pastries and cakes capped by a cup or two of tea).

Tea gained popularity quickly in the coffee houses, and by 1700 over 500 coffee houses sold tea. This distressed the tavern owners, as tea cut their sales of ale and gin, and it was bad news for the government, who depended upon a steady stream of revenue from taxes on liquor sales. By 1750 tea had become the favourite drink of England's lower classes.

Twinings, the world-famous English tea company, celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2006 . Twinings was, in 1706, one of the first companies to introduce tea drinking to the English. That was the year Thomas Twining began selling tea from his new premises in London. Stephen Twining, who is a tenth generation member of the famous tea family and world renowned tea guru, is visited South Africa in September 2006 as part of the company's celebrations.

Tea became the focus of rebellion in 1773 when the English Government tried to establish a monopoly on all tea sold in the American colonies. Colonists resented this since it put local merchants at a disadvantage. The British government tried to tax the American colonists so as to pay for their defence. The result was the Boston Tea party, during which Americans tipped some 45 tonnes of English tea into the sea.

In 1864 the woman manager of the Aerated Bread Company began the custom of serving food and drink to her customers. Her best customers were serverd with tea. Soon everyone was asking for the same treatment. The concept of tea shops spread throughout Britain like wildfire, not in the least because tea shops provided a place where an unchaperoned woman could meet her friends and socialize without damage to her reputation.

Tea at the Ritz, London, England which opened in 1906, its tea room, the Palm Court has a history and legend all its own. It is perhaps here that the ritual of tea drinking in the English manner seems the most "civilized." The Palm Court, a long, narrow room adjacent to the hotel's main corridor, combines the English Edwardian charm with the elegance of the French Louis XVI architecture and design.

English Toby Jugs – History

I have created this article about Toby Jugs as they are an English icon.

A Toby Jug - also sometimes known as a Fillpot (or Phillpot) - is a pottery jug in the form of a seated person, or the head of a recognizable person (often an English king). Typically the seated figure is a heavily-set, jovial man holding a mug of beer in one hand and a pipe of tobacco in the other and wearing 18th century attire: a long coat and a tricorn hat. The tricorn hat forms a pouring spout, often with a removable lid, and a handle is attached at the rear. Jugs depicting just the head and shoulders of a figure are also referred to as Toby Jugs, although these should strictly be called "Character Jugs".

The original Toby Jug was produced by Ralph Wood in about 1761. Many other Toby Jug's were produced with a brown salt glaze, which was developed and popularised by the various members of the Wood Family and other Staffordshire potters in the 1770s. Similar designs were also produced by other potteries around England and eventually in other countries from around the 1800's.

The typical toby is a comic depiction of a short fat fellow, comfortably seated, with a jug on his knee and wearing a three-cornered hat . Sometimes he has a pipe as well as a jug, and sometimes his faithful dog is crouched at his feet. Ralph Wood Toby Jugs were of this sort, but he also produced his "Thin Man," "Gin Woman," "King Hal," and the "Hearty Good Fellow," the latter a smiling urbane figure with jug and pipe. Ralph's cousin, Enoch Wood, also made toby jugs, such as "Night Watchman," and a standing representation of Benjamin Franklin taking a pinch of snuff.

The Toby Jug was named after a notorious 18th century Yorkshire drinker, Henry Elwes, who was known as "Toby Fillpot" (or Phillpot). It was inspired by an old English drinking song, "The Brown Jug", which paid tribute to Toby Fillpot; the popular verses were first published in 1761.

Toby Jugs have many collectors Worldwide. They were brought back by Royal Doulton in the 19th century, who developed the idea into a range of character jugs. Today, their popularity shows no signs of declining and they have held their value at auction sales. Their appeal is wide reaching because Royal Doulton jugs are quite different both in their craftsmanship and their subject matter.

Royal Doulton have made Toby jugs in the traditional manner since 1815 but in the 1920's Harry Simeon added colour. This inspired Charles Noke, a Royal Doulton artist to rethink the Toby jug tradition. He pictured a more colorful and stylish jug based on the head and shoulders of a character rather than the full figure. He had in mind characters from English song, literature, history and legend, made to appeal to future generations. It took him almost ten years to be satisfied with the standards of design and production, but in 1934 the first character jug was launched. He chose as his subject John Barleycorn, a figure symbolizing whisky. John Barleycorn became such an instant success that Old Charley, the Night Watchman, Sairey Gamp, Parson Brown and Dick Turpin was added to the jug making. Two years later the first character jug modeled on a real person was made with Herry Fenton's John Peel, a trend which has continued to the present day.

English Cathedrals from 300 AD to Present Day

My local Portsmouth Cathedral was built and updated at various times between 1180 – 1991. Originally the nave was intended to be longer, in the traditional style of an English cathedral, but the changing needs of the diocese meant that the building was finally built with a foreshortened nave, the final west wall being located close to where the temporary structure had been. In 1991 the completed building, much smaller than the original plans envisaged in 1932 and was consecrated in the presence of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

A cathedral church is a Christian place of worship that is the chief, or 'mother' church of a diocese and is distinguished as such by being the location for the cathedra or bishop's seat. In the strictest sense, only those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy possess cathedrals. However the label 'cathedral' remains in common parlance for notable churches that were formerly part of an episcopal denomination, such as is the case with many former Scottish cathedrals, which are now within the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. In addition, former cathedrals now in ruins retain their nominal status.

List of English Cathedrals

Aldershot Cathedral

Arundel Cathedral

Birmingham Cathedral

Birmingham Orthodox Cathedral

Blackburn Cathedral

Bradford Cathedral

Brentwood Cathedral

Bristol Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

Carlisle Cathedral

Chelmsford Cathedral

Chester Cathedral

Chichester Cathedral

Clifton Cathedral

Coventry Cathedral

Derby Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Ely Cathedral 1109

Exeter Cathedral

Guildford Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral

Hereford Cathedral

Lancaster Cathedral

Leeds Cathedral

Leicester Orthodox Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral

Lichfield Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Liverpool Cathedral

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

London Camden Town Cathedral NW1

London Cathedral NW1

London Orthodox Cathedral NW11

London Orthodox Cathedral SE5

London Orthodox Cathedral N22

London Orthodox Cathedral W2

London Cathedral W3

London Orthodox Cathedral SW7

London Orthodox Cathedral W4

London Cathedral W11

London Orthodox Cathedral W11

Lydd Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

Middlesbrough Cathedral

Morecambe Cathedral

Newcastle Cathedral

Newcastle-upon-Tyne Cathedral

Northampton Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

Nottingham Cathedral

Oxford Cathedral

Peel Cathedral

Peterborough Cathedral

Plymouth Cathedral

Portsmouth Cathedral

Putney Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral

Salford Cathedral

Salisbury Cathedral

Sheffield Cathedral

Shrewsbury Cathedral

Southwell Minster

Southwark Cathedral

Stamford Hill Cathedral

Stanley Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral

St Edmundsbury Cathedral

St. George's Cathedral, Stevenage

Stoke-on-Trent Cathedral

Truro Cathedral

Wakefield Cathedral

Wells Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Windlesham Cathedral

Wolverhampton Cathedral

Worcester Cathedral

York Minster

The First Powered Passenger Car and Bus – England 1801

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of history of steam buses I thought it may be of interest to write an article about the English history of the earliest steam Cars and Busses.

On Christmas Eve 1801 in West Cornwal (UK) an engineer called Richard Trevithick took his new steam car, ( or the "Puffing Devil" as it became known) out for its first test run. After a number of years research, Trevithick had developed a high-pressure engine powered by steam. His vehicle was no more than a boiler on 4-wheels but it took Trevithick and a number of his friends half a mile up a hill. The vehicle's principle feature was a cylindrical horizontal boiler and a single horizontal cylinder let into it. The piston propelled back and forth in the cylinder by pressure from the steam. This was linked by piston rod and connecting rod to a crankshaft bearing a large flywheel.

The vehicle was used for several journeys until it turned over on the unsuitable trails that were used for pack horses in Cornwall at that time. After having been righted, Trevithick and crew drove it back to Camborne and retired to a hostelry.

The water level dropped in the boiler and the fusible plug melted, sending a jet of steam into the furnace where it blew embers all around, setting fire to the surroundings and the wooden parts of the engine.

In 1802 a steam-powered coach designed by British engineer Richard Trevithick journeyed more than 160 km from Cornwall to London.

The "Puffing Dragon" was the world's first passenger car. Despite the disaster of losing his first vehicle, undeterred, Trevithick built a 3-wheeled steam carriage but this time complete with seats and a real carriage like appearance. In 1803, he drove it through London's Oxford Street on demonstration runs and reached speeds of 8-9 mph (13 - 14 km/h). Despite the runs, nobody was interested and so when he ran out of funds, he sold the power unit to a local Miller. Trevithick's vehicle was the first self-propelled carriage in the capital and in essence the first London bus.

Regular intercity bus services by steam-powered buses were also pioneered in England in the 1830s by Walter Hancock and by associates of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney among others, running reliable services over road conditions which were too hazardous for horse-drawn transportation. Steam carriages were much less likely to overturn, did not "run away with" the customer as horses sometimes did. They travelled faster than horse-drawn carriages (24 mph over four miles and an average of 12 mph over longer distances). They could run at a half to a third of the cost of horse-drawn carriages. Their brakes did not lock and drag like horse-drawn transport (a phenomenon that increased damage to roads).

According to engineers, steam carriages caused one-third the damage to the road surface as that caused by the action of horses' feet. Indeed, the wide tires of the steam carriages (designed for better traction) caused virtually no damage to the streets, whereas the narrow wheels of the horse-drawn carriages (designed to reduce the effort required of horses) tended to cause rutting.

However, the heavy road tolls imposed by the Turnpike Acts discouraged steam road vehicles and left the way clear for the horse bus companies, and from 1861 onwards, harsh legislation virtually eliminated mechanically-propelled vehicles altogether from the roads of Great Britain for 30 years, the Locomotive Act of that year imposing restrictive speed limits on "road locomotives" of 5 mph in towns and cities, and 10 mph in the country.

In 1865 the Locomotives Act of that year (the famous Red Flag Act) further reduced the speed limits to 4 mph in the country and just 2 mph in towns and cities, additionally requiring a man bearing a red flag to precede every vehicle. At the same time, the act gave local authorities the power to specify the hours during which any such vehicle might use the roads. The sole exceptions were street trams which from 1879 onwards were authorised under licence from the Board of Trade.

My Favorite British Iconic Cars

As an Englishman born and bred and a fan of British iconic Cars I thought it may be of interest to list some of the most popular British Car Icons which are instantly recognised Worldwide. I have decided to list the cars and descriptions about the Iconic Cars which may be of interest to the reader.

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

Rolls and Royce were in fact people before the history of Rolls-Royce as a company every began. Frederick Royce was a British electrical equipment manufacturer who built the first Royce cars in 1904. The three two-cylinder, 10-hp cars he built attracted the attention of Charles Rolls, a longtime car enthusiast from way back in 1894 and son of a baron. He owned a dealership in London, where he first encountered a Royce. He was so taken with the engineering that he partnered with the car's creator. Royce would built the cars, and Rolls would sell them. Like many manufacturers of the day, Rolls entered the first Rolls-Royces in races in order to promote them. These cars were similar to the first one built by Royce. Real fame came with the 1907 introduction of a 6-cylinder engine inside a silver-painted four-passenger chassis dubbed "The Silver Ghost." This car was driven 15,000 continuous miles with little wear, cementing the R-R reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, Rolls' passion for excitement ended in 1910, when his biplane (based on the Wright brothers' flyer) crashed and killed him almost instantly.

The Silver Ghost chassis, built in Derby, U.K., was toughened with armor so it could serve as a combat car in Flanders, Africa, Egypt, and with Lawrence of Arabia during WWI. In the Jazz Age that came after the war, people had money to spend on these reliable Rollers. There were Silver Ghosts built in Springfield, Mass., from 1920-1924, and a smaller 20-hp "Baby Roller" was introduced. Big cars were still popular, though, with the Phantoms I, II, and II all appearing in the 1920s. During WWII, the company built Rolls-Royce Merlin airplane engines in a facility in Crewe, U.K., rather than cars.

The Austin Mini ( 1959 )

Announced in 1959, and still manufactured 40 years later at the end of the century, Alec Issigonis's cheeky little Mini-Minor changed the face of motoring. The world's first car to combine front-wheel-drive and a transversely-mounted engine in a tiny ten-foot long package, was the most efficient and effective use of road space that had ever been seen. In so many ways, this must qualify as the ‘car of the century'.

In scheming up the car Issigonis and his team, which had already designed the Morris Minor, was given a difficult brief by the British Motor Corporation. In the aftermath of the Suez Crisis, and threatened world-wide petrol rationing, Issigonis was asked to provide a minimum-size, minimum-price four-seater package – all built around an existing BMC engine. Choosing front-wheel-drive and the A-series engine, he then minimised the size of the car by turning the engine sideways, and mounted the transmission under the engine. Tiny (10 in /254 mm) diameter road wheels, independent suspension by rubber cone springs, and a careful packaging of the cabin, all helped to provide one of the most amazing little cars of all time. So what if the driving position was cramped, and the steering wheel too vertical? This was a Mini, after all.

Although Issigonis insisted that he was only providing a super-small, super-economy saloon, almost by chance his Mini had superb handling, precise race-car-like steering and unmatched agility.

Even before more powerful versions were available, the Mini had started winning rallies, and showing well in saloon car racing: later, in Mini-Cooper S form, size-for-size it was unbeatable. Originally sold only as two-door saloons in near-identical ‘Austin' and ‘Morris' forms, Minis soon spawned derivatives. Not only would there be vans, estate cars and pick-ups, but plusher Riley and Wolseley types followed, as did the stark ‘topless' Mini-Moke machines.

Engines were eventually enlarged, tiny front-wheel disc brakes were added, the Mini-Cooper and Mini-Cooper S followed, and by the mid-1960s this was a car which had won the Monte Carlo Rally on several occasions. For years there was nothing a Mini could not do, for it appealed to everyone, and every social class, from royalty to the dustman, bought one. At peak, production in two factories (Longbridge and Cowley) exceeded 300,000 every year, BMC's only problem being that it was priced so keenly that profit margins were wafer thin.

Even the arrival of the larger Mini Metro in 1980 could not kill off the Mini, whose charm was unique. By the 1980s, with larger wheels, re-equipped interiors and wind-up windows, the Mini was a better car than ever, and, looking much the same, it was still selling steadily at the end of the 1990s: more than five million had already been made. Now in the 2000s, we have the New Mini, larger and heavier than before.

The Morgan ( 1946 ) 4 X 4

Although the original four-wheeler Morgan was shown in the mid-1930s, it was overshadowed by the company's older three-wheeler models until the end of the Second World War. From that point, while altering the original style only slightly as the years passed by, Morgan concentrated on their four-wheeler sports cars.

Morgans were first made by a family-owned business in 1910 (a situation which has never changed), and even the first cars employed a type of sliding-pillar independent front suspension which is still used to this day. Assembly was always by hand, always at a leisurely pace, and even in the post-war years it was a good week which saw more than ten complete cars leave the gates in Malvern Link.

The post-war 4/4 retained the simple ladder-style chassis and the rock-hard suspension for which the marque is noted, and still looked like its 1939 predecessor. It used to be said that the ride was so hard that if one drove over a penny in the road, a skilled driver would know whether ‘heads' or ‘tails' was uppermost. Although pre-war cars had been powered by Coventry-Climax, the post-war chassis was exclusively fitted with a specially-manufactured overhead-valve Standard 1,267 cc engine (which never appeared in Standard or Triumph models). Although this engine only produced 40 bhp, the Morgan was such a light car that it could reach 75 mph, while handling in a way that made all MG Midget owners jealous.

The style was what we must now call ‘traditional Morgan' – it was a low-slung two-seater with sweeping front wings, and free-standing headlamps, along with cutaway doors and the sort of weather protection which made one drive quickly for home in a shower, rather than stop to wrestle with its sticks and removable panels. Up front, there was a near-vertical radiator, flanked by free-standing headlamps, while the coil spring/vertical-pillar front suspension was easily visible from the nose. Most 4/4s were open-top two-seaters, though a more completely trimmed and equipped two-seater drop-head coupé (with wind-up windows in the doors) was also available. Bodies were framed from unprotected wood members, with steel or aluminium skin panels tacked into place, and were all manufactured in the Morgan factory.

Here was an old-style, no-compromise sports car made in modern times – a philosophy which Morgan has never abandoned. Requests for a more modern specification were politely shrugged off, waiting lists grew, and Morgan has been financially healthy ever since. Before the 4/4 was replaced by the altogether larger 2.1-litre Plus 4 of 1950, a grand total of 1,720 4/4s were sold.

Hand assembled, these low-slung two-seater sports cars had cutaway doors and a near vertical radiator which was flanked by free-standing headlamps. Most were open topped and had rock-hard suspension.

Aston Martin DB5 ( 1963 )

Fame comes in strange and unexpected ways. Although the Aston DB4 and DB5 models were already respected by the cognoscenti, the DB5 did not become world-famous until used as James Bond's personal transport in the film Goldfinger. Although not equipped with Bond's ejector seat, it appealed to millions, and the DB5's reputation was secure for ever. Technically, of course, Aston Martin had always been a marque of distinction.

Following the success of the DB2, DB2/4 and DB Mk III models of the 1950s, Aston Martin commissioned a totally new and larger series for the 1960s, beginning with the DB4 in 1958. Built around a simple steel platform chassis, it was clothed in a sleek light-alloy fastback body style by Superleggera Touring of Italy (but built at Newport Pagnell). The skin panels were fixed to a network of light tubing, a method patented by Superleggera. Power (and what power!) came from a magnificent new 3.7-litre twin-cam six-cylinder engine, which soon proved to be strong and reliable in motor racing. The DB4 came close to matching anything so far achieved by Ferrari. All this, allied to a close-coupled four-seater cabin, and high (traditionally British) standards of trim and equipment, made the expensive DB4 very desirable.

The DB5, which was launched in 1963, was a direct development of the DB4; it had a full 4-litre engine, a more rounded nose with recessed-headlamps, and many equipment improvements. Two varieties of engine – the most powerful with a claimed 314 bhp – were on offer, as were non-sporting options such as automatic transmission, which came a full decade before Ferrari stooped to such action.

It was such a complicated, mainly hand-built, machine that it had to sell at high prices. The saloon cost an eye-watering £4,175 in 1963 (there was also a convertible version, at £4,490) and because assembly was a lengthy and careful business, sales were limited to only ten cars a week. It was not for years, incidentally, that it became clear that even these prices did not cover costs, for Aston Martin was merely the industrial plaything of its owner, tractor magnate David Brown.

DB5s could safely reach 140 mph, with roadholding, steering and brakes to match, all the time producing the characteristic booming exhaust notes for which they became famous. Although they looked sinuous and dashing, they were heavy machines and there was no power-assisted steering on this model.

Clearly, this was a bespoke GT machine which would run and run, as the longer and more spacious DB6 which took over in 1965 would prove. In only two years, a total of 1,063 cars (123 convertibles, and 12 of them very special estate car types) were produced. Almost all have survived.

The DB5 became world-famous as James Bond's car in the film Goldfinger. Lacking the ejector seat, this mainly hand-built car appealed to millions. Although it was a heavy car to drive, as it lacked power-assisted steering, the DB5 had good roadholding.

The Jaguar E Type ( 1961 )

By almost any reckoning, Jaguar's original E-type was the sexiest motor car ever launched. It looked wonderful, it was extremely fast, and it was always sold at extremely attractive prices. For more than a decade, it was the sports car by which all other supercar manufacturers had to measure themselves.

Originally conceived in 1956 as a successor to the D-type racing sports car, the E-type was not to be used for that purpose. Re-engineered and re-developed, it became an outstanding road-going sports car, taking over from the last of the XK cars – the XK150 – in 1961. Like the D-type, its structure acknowledged all the best contemporary aerospace principles, utilising a multi-tubular front chassis frame which surrounded the engine and supported the front suspension and steering, and was bolted up to the bulkhead of the pressed steel monocoque centre and rear end.

Power came from the very latest version of the famous XK six-cylinder twin-cam engine, with three SU carburettors and no less than 265 bhp (according to American SAE ratings). It was matched by all-independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and a unique, wind-cheating body style. As with the C- and D-type racing cars, the E-type's shape had been designed by ex-aircraft industry specialist Malcolm Sayer, who combined great artistic flair for a line with the ability to calculate how the wind would flow over a car's contours. For practical purposes, the E-type's nose might have been too long, its cabin cramped, and its tail too high to hide all of the chassis components, but all this was forgiven by its remarkable aero-dynamic performance – and its enormous visual appeal.

Open and fastback two-seaters were available from the start, and although a 150 mph top speed was difficult for an ordinary private owner to achieve, this was a supercar in all respects, being faster than any other British road car of the period (and, for that matter, for many years to come). Much-modified types eventually won a series of motor races at just below world level, for they were really too heavy for this purpose. Only three years after launch, a 4.2-litre engine, allied to a new synchromesh gearbox, was adopted, and a longer wheelbase 2+2 coupé followed in 1966.

The E-type sold well all around the world, especially in the USA although new safety laws caused the car to lose its power edge, and its headlamp covers before the end of the 1960s. The Series II's performance did not match that of the original, and by 1971, the E-type was a somewhat emasculated car. A final Series III type was powered by Jaguar's new 5.3-litre V12 engine, and a top speed of 150 mph was once again within reach.

Drivers did not seem to mind the small cabin and less than perfect ventilation, but in the end it was more safety regulations and changes in fashion that caused this wonderful motoring icon to fade away. The last of 72,520 E-types was built in 1975, when it was replaced by an entirely different type of sporting Jaguar, the larger, heavier and not so beautiful XJ-S.

Considered to be the sexiest car ever launched, the E-type was a fast and outstanding sports car. Designed by an ex-aircraft specialist, it had a remarkable aerodynamic performance.

Land Rover 1948

Here is a classic case of the stop-gap project which soon outgrew its parent. Before the Land Rover appeared, Rover had been building a relatively small number of fine middle class cars. By the 1950s they were building many more Land Rover 4x4s, and the cars were very much a minor part of the business.

Immediately after the war, Rover found itself running a massive former ‘shadow factory' complex at Solihull, and needed to fill it. (A ‘shadow factory' was an aero-engine factory established during the rearmament of the 1930s.) Faced with material shortages, it could not build many private cars, and elected to fill the gaps with a newly-developed 4x4, which it would base unashamedly on the design of the already legendary Jeep from the USA.

Early Land Rovers shared the same 80 in/2,032 mm wheelbase as the Jeep, and the same basic four-wheel-drive layout. The Land Rover, however, was much more versatile than the Jeep, in that it was built in myriad different guises, shapes and derivatives, and it used aluminium body panels, which ensured that it was virtually rust-free. Apart from the fact that it was not very fast or powerful, (though time and further development would solve those problems) the Land Rover could tackle almost any job, climb almost any slope, and ford almost every stream, which made it invaluable for farmers, contractors, surveyors, explorers, armies, public service companies – in fact almost anyone with a need for four-wheel-drive traction, and the rugged construction which went with it.

It wasn't long before the original pick-up was joined by vans, estate cars, short and long wheelbases to choice, petrol and diesel engines. A long list of extras became available: winches, extra-large wheels and tyres, and liaison with specialist companies ensured that it could be turned it into an impromptu railway shunting vehicle, a portable cinema truck, an equipment hoist, and a whole lot more. Its short-travel leaf spring suspension gave it a shatteringly hard ride and the Land Rover engineers stated that this, at least, limited cross-country speeds to keep the chassis in one piece.

Later models grew larger, longer, and more powerful, but it would not be until the 1960s that the first six-cylinder type appeared, not until 1979 that the first V8 Land Rover was sold, and not until the early 1980s that coil spring suspension finally took over. Sales, however, just went on and on, with the millionth being produced in the mid 1970s. By the late 1990s, when the ‘Freelander' model appeared, 1.5 million Land Rovers had been manufactured, although by then it had been renamed ‘Defender' and

Bentley Continental R-Type 1952

After Rolls-Royce took over Bentley in 1931, it was more than 20 years before the new owners produced another truly sporty new model. But the wait was worthwhile. The R-type Continental of 1952–55 was a great car by any standards, which not only looked sensational, but was also extremely fast.

Even before 1939, Rolls-Royce had dabbled with super-streamlined prototypes (one of them being called a ‘Bentley Corniche'), but production cars had to wait until after the war. Using only slightly modified versions of the existing Bentley Mk VI saloon car's chassis, but with a superbly detailed two-door four-seater coupé designed by the coachbuilder, H.J. Mulliner, the company produced an extremely fast (115 mph), exclusive, and very expensive car, whose title told its own story.

The Continental certainly did not gain its high performance by being light, but by a combination of high (unstated) horsepower, and by the remarkable aerodynamic performance of the bulky, yet sleek shell. There was, of course, no way of taming the drag of the proud Bentley radiator grille, but the lines of the rest of the car were as wind-cheating as possible, the long tapering tail being a delight to the eyes. Like all the best 1930s Bentleys, it had two passenger doors, and a full four-seater package. Leather, carpet and wood abounded – for no concessions were made to ensure a high performance.

Here was an expensive grand tourer for the connoisseur and, by definition, it was likely to sell in small numbers. Put on sale in 1952 at £7,608 (at a time when Morris Minor prices, for instance, started at £582 ), it was ideal for the ‘sportsman' who liked to drive far and fast, wherever conditions allowed. It was produced in the traditional Bentley/Rolls-Royce style, for the engine was low-revving, the steering and most other controls quite heavy, and the fuel consumption ferocious – but the fit, finish and quality of every component (especially the interior trim) were of the very highest quality.

As ever, Rolls-Royce/Bentley never thought it necessary to reveal the power output of the big six-cylinder engine, whose overhead inlet/side exhaust valve layout was only shared with one other British make of car – the Rover of the period. Needing only to point out the easily provable performance of their cars, they let acceleration figures speak for themselves.

In a career of only three years, the R-type Continental needed little improvement, for the engine was a very powerful 4.5-litre u

Lotus Elite ( 1958 )

Right from the start, when he built his original special- bodied Austin Seven trials car, Colin Chapman showed signs of engineering genius. Setting up Lotus, he sold his first car kits in the early 1950s, and soon progressed to building advanced racing sports cars. The first true Lotus road car, however, was the very advanced Lotus Elite.

First shown in 1957, but not available until a year later, the new two-seater Elite coupé was irresistibly attractive. Even though Lotus was still a small company, Chapman had laid out a car which pushed technology to the limit. In particular, he decided to make the Elite without a separate chassis, using a fully-stressed fibreglass monocoque body which would only include steel sections for a few local reinforcements.

Not only was this amazing machine to be powered by a race-proved overhead-camshaft engine from Coventry-Climax, and had four-wheel independent suspension, but it was achingly beautiful, and was quite amazingly light in weight. No-one, it seems, was ever likely to confuse the Elite with any other car, for its tiny, smooth and always curving lines had no rivals. Looking back into history, its only real drawback was that the door windows could not be wound down, but had to be removed to provide better ventilation.

In engineering terms, though, ‘adding lightness' often adds cost too, and there was no doubt that the Elite was always going to be a costly car to make and sell. The fibreglass monocoque body shells proved to be difficult to make in numbers, major bought-in items like the Coventry-Climax engine were very expensive, and owners soon found that a great deal of maintenance and loving care was needed to keep the new sports car running.

Refinement was not then a word which Lotus understood and the Elite was a rather crudely equipped and finished machine at first; the interior environment was very noisy, for there was little attempt to insulate the drive line and suspension fixings from the monocoque, which acted like a fully matured sound box.

As the years passed, the Elite's specification changed, with the power of the engine gradually being pushed up to 100 bhp (which brought the top speed to more than 120 mph, quite amazing for a 1.2-litre car), a ZF gear-box adapted and (for Series II cars) a different type of rear suspension geometry specified.

Special Elites, particularly when prepared at the factory, were outstandingly successful class cars in GT racing, even appearing with honour in major events such as the Le Mans 24 Hour and Nurburgring Six Hour events. Years later Colin Chapman admitted that the Elite had never made profits for Lotus, which may explain why he was happy to phase it out in 1962, ahead of the arrival of the backbone chassised Elan. Nothing can ever detract from the gracious style and inventive engineering which went into the car. A total of 988 Elites were made.

Committed owners usually forgave the Elite for the car's failings, as here was a car which drove and handled like no other rival. Light by the standards of the day, it was not only fast, but remarkably economical too.

History of The Hovercraft

I thought it would be a good idea to tell the story of the invention of the Hovercraft in 1955.

The idea of using an air-cushion as a means or aid to acceleration and reduction in (hydrodynamic) drag was first explored by Sir John Thornycroft, a British engineer, who, in the 1870's built some experimental models on the basis of an air cushion system that would reduce the drag of water on boats and ships.

In 1877 he successfully patented the idea and his theory was that if a ship's hull was given a concave bottom, which could be filled - and replenished - with air, it would create significant additional lift. And so the air cushion effect was born.

Decades later scientists and inventors were still busy with his ideas but without any practical applications. With the coming of the airplane however, it was noticed that additional lift was obtained if the plane flew closer to land or water, creating a "funnel effect", a cushion of air.

The air lift that this funnel effect created differed with the type of wing and its height above ground. The effect was strongest if this height was between one half and one third of the (average) front-to-rear breadth of the wing. Also known as "chord".

The next two decades saw little interest in air cushion development.

The successful use of the air cushion effect was not lost on engineers after World War 2 was over and in the early 1950's British, American and Swiss engineers started to rethink Sir John Thornycroft's problem.

The Englishman Christopher Cockerell, commonly seen as the father of the hovercraft, being retired from the army, settled into boat building where he soon got captivated by Thornycroft's problem of reducing the hydrodynamic drag on the hull of a boat by using some kind of air cushion.

His theory was that, instead of using the plenum chamber - an empty box with an open bottom as Thornycroft had devised - air was instead pumped into a narrow tunnel circumnavigating the entire bottom, it would flow towards the center and form a more effective air cushion. This peripheral jet would cause the air to build up enough pressure to equal the weight of the craft and, as it would have nowhere to go, the pressure would force the craft up, clearing it off the ground altogether.

Cockerell successfully tested his theory and filed his first patent in 1955. The year after he formed a company called Hovercraft Ltd. He further envisioned and partially worked out other problems of the hovercraft principle that still have to be fully exploited by modern hovercraft builders. One of these was to re-use the air for greater overall efficiency.

Thinking that his air cushion vehicles would be eminently suitable as amphibious craft he approached the British Ministry of Supply, the government's defence equipment procurement authority with his findings. Soon after, in 1956, the air cushion vehicle was classified as "secret" and a construction contract was placed with a British aircraft and seaplane manufacturer. The result was the SR.N1 in 1959.

The first SR.N1 weighed four tons and could carry three men. Its maximum speed was 25 knots (1 knot = 1.15 miles or 1.85 kilometres per hour) on calm water. It had a 6-inch (15 cm) rubberized skirt to make it easier to contain the air cushion on uneven ground.

Significant wear and tear of the skirt through friction with the water at high speeds made it necessary to use more durable material and a rubber and plastic mixture was developed by 1963. The length of the skirt had also been extended to about 4 feet (1.2 m).

Early interest in hovercraft enjoyed a peak in the early 1960's as everyone jumped to take advantage of this amazing vehicle. However, by the end of the decade only the British had produced a range of feasible and practical craft.

The problems inherent of the air cushion vehicle, such as Cockerell and others had foreseen, regarding steering control, noise, salt and skirt erosion, caused many countries to abandon their hovercraft development programs in favour of other, more established multi-function vehicles or to use different vehicles specialised in each terrain or function.

Since the 1970's however, and especially over the last decade, a renewed interest in the hovercraft as (passenger) transport, military transport and weapons carrier and exploratory vehicle has taken ground, solving many of these problems in their development.

Technology in general made large steps forward during the past twentyfive years, enabling organisations and governments, as well as many enthusiasts at Hovercraft Clubs to enjoy the hovercraft vehicle in its many forms including the very popular Remote Control model size hovercraft!.

As far as hovercraft and their spinoff technology is concerned the future looks ever brighter.

The World's First Electric House – England 1878


One of the most important developments in the history of modern life took place in the north - the use of electric light. The most important figures were Sir William Armstrong and  the Sunderland-born Joseph Swan, inventor of the first practical light bulb, whose developments would result in the widespread use of electric light throughout the world. Newcastle was one of the first towns to be lit with electricity, Cragside in Northumberland was one of the first houses to be lit and a light bulb factory at Benwell, Newcastle was the first in the world. The region was witnessing the birth of modern times.


Lord Armstrong (1810-1900)

William George Armstrong was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1810. He was educated at Bishop Auckland Grammar School, before being articled to a firm of solicitors, Messrs Donkin and Stable. Having completed his training, in 1834 he became a junior partner in the firm.

He became involved with engineering through experimentation with hydraulic machinery in his leisure time. At the age of 36 he decided to give up the legal profession, and established a small engineering business in partnership with Mr. Donkin; his father, Alderman Armstrong; and Messrs Potter, Cruddas, and Lambert. They purchased a small plot of land at Elswick on which to erect their works.

At first, the main concern of the business was the hydraulic machinery that had so fascinated Armstrong. Later, during the Crimean War, the company began to look at the improvement of ordnance. Armstrong was appointed Director of Rifled Ordnance in 1859, and held this position until retiring in 1863.

In the same year, he purchased a large piece of land near Rothbury, Northumberland, an area in which he had spent much time as a boy. He began to build a house for himself in 1864, which was completed by 1866, though much added to from this date on. In 1866, he created an artificial lake. The head of water produced powered a hydraulic ram, which supplied water to the house and grounds. Armstrong soon developed a further four lakes, and began to use them to supply electric power to the house, as well as hydraulic lifts and a hydraulic spit in the kitchen. They also powered what Joseph Swan believed to be the first proper installation of electric lighting. He also bought Bamburgh Castle and restored it, intending it to be used as a convalescence home.

Armstrong received many honours during his life, including the Albert Medal of the Society of Arts for his inventions in hydraulic machinery, and the Bessemer gold medal of the Iron and Steel Institute for his services to the steel industry. He was Knighted in 1859 and created a Baron in 1887.

Lord Armstrong was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 1861,1862,1869.

In 1878 Sir William Armstrong installs a small hydro electric plant on his estate for generating electric light in his picture gallery at Cragside, Northumberland using lakes in the grounds, Cragside is the first house in the world to be lit by electricity generated from water power.


Sir William Armstrong also installed Swan's light bulbs in his house at Cragside in 1880.

He was President of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1881. He died in 1900.

Sir JOSEPH WILSON SWAN 1828 - 1914

Joseph Wilson Swan was born on Oct. 31, 1828, in Sunderland, and he served an apprenticeship with a pharmacist there. He later became a partner in Mawson's, a firm of manufacturing chemists in Newcastle. This company existed as Mawson Swan and Morgan until recently. He worked at the company premises at 13 Mosley Street. In 1860 Swan developed a primitive electric light bulb that used a filament of carbonised paper in an evacuated glass bulb. However, the lack of good vacuum and an adequate electric source resulted in a short lifetime for the bulb and an inefficient light.

In December 1878 Joseph Swan demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb to an audience at the Newcastle Chemical Society, but it burns out after only a few minutes.


In January 1879 Joseph Swan demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb during a lecture to an audience at the Athenaeum in Fawcett Street, Sunderland.

On October 20th 1880 Joseph Swan once again demonstrates his incandescent electric light bulb, this time at the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society. In front of an eminent audience, he has 70 gas jets turned down and their light immediately replaced by just 20 electric bulbs.

Swan's light bulb design was substantially that used by Thomas Alva Edison in America nearly 20 years later. In 1880, after the improvement of vacuum techniques, Swan  produced a practical light bulb.

In 1881 a company is formed at Benwell, Newcastle for the manufacture of Joseph Swan's newly-patented electric lamps. It is thought to be the world's first light bulb factory. 

In 1883 while searching for a better carbon filament for his light bulb, Swan patented a process for squeezing nitro-cellulose through holes to form fibres. Swan was knighted in 1904. He died on May 27, 1914, in Warlingham, Surrey.

English Speaking Countries

Below is a short history of English with a list of Countries that speak English as the official language.

The English language has evolved over the centuries from various influences: from the Celts ( who were the original Britons ), the Germanic Tribes, Anglo Saxons and Scandinavians which invaded during the 3rd Century onwards. Our language is still evolving and as an example the English spoken by Australians is very similar to London Cockney. The Australians even have their own version of Cockney Rhyming slang.

It is amazing that from a small country in size but not in outlook we have given the world so much like Shakespeare and great Leaders like Churchill, Nelson, Wellington, Marlborough who helped defeat various dictators like Cromwell, Napoleon, Stalin, Hitler. If the dictators had been successful, they would have changed the world and all our freedoms for ever. This has given me the idea that it would be of interest to the reader on how many countries in the world use English as their official language.

A to Z of English Speaking Countries

Antigua and Barbuda
Marshall Islands
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
United States

English Crop Circles – The History From 1115 AD

As a fan of English History I thought readers may be interested in the history of English Crop Circles. Excluding some of the Modern day hoaxes many of the modern day Crop Circles have been seen to form below a bright light. One of the earliest writings on Crop Circles was In 1115 A.D., the Bishop of Winchester wrote of corn flattened by 'magical storms'.

One late summer's day in 1678, an English farmer and a poor mower were arguing over the cost of harvesting the farmer's oat field. Incensed at the mower's proposed price, the farmer swore that the Devil himself should harvest the crop and stomped off. That night, a strange, bright glow lit up the field and, the next morning, the farmer returned to find round circles where the crop had been 'neatly mowed by the Devil, or some infernal spirit'. Each crop stalk had apparently been placed with such 'exactness that it would have taken above an age for any man to perform what he did in that one night'. The event frightened the farmer enough that he subsequently decided to abandon any attempt at harvesting the strange circle.

This description from a woodcut known as the "Mowing Devil or 'Strange News out of Hartford-shire'" is now widely regarding as the first explicit report of a crop circle. Similar accounts have 'cropped up' throughout history leading credence to theories that the crop circle phenomenon is much more than a modern-day fad. While crop circles can occur in any weather, original theories on crop circle formation relate to swirling vortices of ionised air or some other type of natural process similar to ball lighting. Several scientific journals of the nineteenth-century also include references to storms and flattened circles. Another account from 1871 near Plummer's Hill, in High Wycombe, Bucks, describes two disc-shaped objects with flashing lights hovering over a site where the very next day a circle of bent, flattened grasses was discovered.

Tales of unusual light beams, even UFO's, are commonplace around crop circles. While some of these strange lights have been captured on film, perhaps more intriguing are the many oral accounts of crop circle activity from the days before airplanes or secret military technology. Between 1900 and 1910, one woman recalled having seen circles on her grandfather's land near Tilshead, Salisbury Plain. The wheat was apparently 'flattened so firmly that it could not lifted without springing back down.' Some crop circle researchers (know as 'cereologists' after the Roman goddess of agriculture, Ceres) have even wondered if the famous Salisbury Plain megalith, Stonehenge, was itself built to commemorate the spot where a crop circle once formed.

The area certainly has had its fair share of crop circles in recent years. In 1996, the 'Julia Set', a staggering 915 foot long formation with 151 circles, appeared near Stonehenge in broad daylight and within a forty-five minute period. No one had noticed a thing but when news of the miraculous crop circle broke, it attracted over ten thousand visitors within the following weeks.

So what exactly are these crop circles and why are they now such a prominent feature of the English countryside? No one really knows but enough research, however, has been carried out over the last two decades to establish these enigmatic patterns as one of the most awesome and tangible mysteries of our time. Crop circles, also know as agriglyphs and pictograms, have been reported in virtually every country around the globe and in all types of fields, in fact, similar, unexplained patterns have occurred in snow, ice, gravel and even Japanese rice paddies. Since the early 1980's over ten thousand crop circles have been documented with the vast majority appearing in England. The 'hot spot' of crop circle activity happens to be Wiltshire, perhaps because it is the home of ancient sacred sites and mystical monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury. During the warm summer months, researchers, enthusiasts, even the military, have gathered in the fields of this southern English county to study the intricate and mesmerizing designs of the crop circles. The formations now happen so frequently that special tour buses headed towards the latest crop circle have become a regular sight on the narrow, winding roads of Wiltshire hills.

Researchers are still baffled by what causes crop circle formations. While skeptics try to dismiss them as elaborate hoaxes, crop circles do exhibit a number of unusual characteristics. For one, they are often not simple circles but beautiful geometric patterns. These include crescent shapes, abstract designs, insect forms, vortex swirls like those in seashells or galaxies. Some represent complex examples of fractals, even mathematical theorems. In 1994, a 'Mayan lunar calendar design' appeared near the ancient Avebury stone circle. Its gradually changing circles were eerily reminiscent of the phases of our moon. In July of 2004, an exquisite 'Chakra' formation occurred in the Vale of Pewsey directly beneath one of the area's chalk White Horses.

Dowsers, and people particularly sensitive to the earth's energy levels, often detect unusual readings within crop circles. The patterns seem to fall on or near invisible energy pathways, or known 'ley lines' across the country. Interestingly, animals will sometimes avoid crop circles while flocks of birds purposely split up rather than fly directly over a formation. The plants stalks within crop circles are not trampled or crushed, a telltale characteristic of many man-made glyphs, but simply bent, leaving the plant undamaged. Microscopic analysis reveals that the plant's crystalline structure has been altered. One possible explanation seems to be some sort of intense burst of heat. What causes it, and whether the source is terrestrial or extra-terrestrial remains to be seen. Coincidentally, the few eyewitness accounts of crop circle formations that do exist describe a large 'ball of fire' lasting for only a few minutes. By morning, a crop circle has occurred in the exact same location. Shades of the 'Mowing Devil' brought up to the present day? Perhaps. One thing is certain... the mystery of the crop circles continues.

I believe that Crop Circles are 80% fraud and 20% real unknown natural causes – unless the reader knows differently.

Halloween – It's English Celtic History

As a fan of English Traditions has made me a great fan of English Traditions and British history and the English Celtic story of Halloween.

The festival of "All Hallows Eve" or the more ancient named "Samhain" celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic Briton's New Year". Halloween and other pagan festivals were celebrated by the Celtic Briton and Irish Tribes 2,000 years ago and over the centuries the festivals were renamed by the Catholic Church.

The ancient Celtic Britons believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces. Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames. Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.

Sunset on Samhain is the beginning of the Celtic New Year. The old year has passed, the harvest has been gathered, cattle and sheep have been brought in from the fields, and the leaves have fallen from the trees. The earth slowly begins to die around us.

This is a good time for us to look at wrapping up the old and preparing for the new in our lives. Think about the things you did in the last twelve months. Have you left anything unresolved? If so, now is the time to wrap things up. Once you've gotten all that unfinished stuff cleared away, and out of your life, then you can begin looking towards the next year.

Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.

The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English mists of time.

Halloween is not celebrated in all countries and regions of the world, and among those that do the traditions and importance of the celebration vary significantly. When the English first arrived in Colonial America and the many other countries of the Commonwealth they brought with them the "All Hallows Eve" Celebration with the associated traditions ( Like Apple Dipping and Pumpkins ). During the following centuries we English had started to lose the traditions of Halloween ( Except by the Traditional Pagan followers ) until wartime Britain, when many American GI's based in England re-introduced the Halloween Celebrations to us British.

Halloween in the United States has had a significant impact on how the holiday is observed in other nations. This larger American influence, particularly in iconic and commercial elements, has extended to places such as South America, Europe, to Japan under the auspices of the Japanese Biscuit Association, and other parts of East Asia.

As so many Famous events happened and were created in England and the rest of the British Isles over the centuries, I thought it would be a good idea to tell the various stories in my various articles of the many English and British historical Icons from the Anglo Saxon times to present day England's current history.

My Supernatural Experiences

During my life here in England I have had various supernatural experiences which may be of interest to readers. I believe I am slightly psychic and below are just some of my supernatural experiences.

The first story I would like to tell concerns my early life in Portsmouth in 1966 when I was suffering from German Measles. At one stage during my suffering I remember floating above my bed and looking down on my fevered body. At the time, I thought this was normal and when I mentioned it to my parents I was told not to be silly.

The second story concerns my reincarnation experience. Up to the age of 5 years I used to get cramps in my back. I had flashbacks every time I got a back twinge, that I was fighting in the first world war and went over the trenches and was in no-mans land when I was shot in the back. I believe in the heat of battle many soldiers were shot by mistake by there own side and I believe I was one of them. The strange thing about this story, even at my very young age, I new and assumed that I had been born before and I just took it as normal that I was shot in the first world war.

The third story concerns my life in Gosport when I was 13 years old. One day my step mother and her friend went to a house contents sale where my step mother brought a silver covered bible. About a week later our TV went on the blink and a repairman was called in to sort out the problem.

The doorbell rang and at the door stood the tv repairman. He refused to enter the house because he felt an evil presence and he described and asked if there was a bible with silver cross on the cover.

When he was told that, yes it was a recent acquisition, the repairman told my step mother to burn the bible to cleanse the evil presence. This she did and when the TV repairman returned he told her the evil had gone. Months later she read in the paper that the TV repairman had been sacked for scaring customers with his psychic abilities.

The fourth story concerns my Motorbike accident, in North End, Portsmouth on Boxing Day 1979.

It was a cold frosty morning when I entered Portsmouth from the motorway at Hilsea, Portsmouth.

I was riding along at 30 miles per hour with the roads crisp and clear when from a side road this woman car driver just zoomed out without looking. I pulled on the brakes and the the bike skidded on some black ice. It was like slow motion, as the bike went down on to the tarmac and skidded towards a parked car. I had the time to decide when to push the bike away and dive to miss the lamppost. Luckily, I was well protected by my leathers and only had slight scratches. The police and ambulance arrived and gave blood and found to be in shock. When my dad collected me from hospital I mentioned how like slow motion the accident was. Alas, dad didn't want to know about the weird slow- mo.

The fifth story I have had includes the strange experience I had when I lived in southsea, England in 1981 when I went out to buy a paper. I was walking along the road, daydreaming, when for no reason I stopped, turned round and found a lass of about 16 years, with her grandmother, on the other side of the road, looking at me as if she knew me and as our eyes met it was like I had known her all my life. Her mother looked at her and then at me. This all lasted about 5 seconds but seemed minutes. I shook my head and realised I had never met the lass before and carried on walking. I believe in my passed life I knew her and she knew me and our subconscious knew each other. I have also been walking along when I have felt an itch in my back and looked up at a window and seen someone staring down at me. This has happened numerous times, sometimes so high up it was impossible for me to see subconsciously.

The sixth story concerns my sponsored sleepover at Portchester Castle. The Castle started to be built in 500 AD. It is a well-preserved example of a mainly Roman fortification, which lies on the northern shore of Portsmouth Harbour, approximately 6 miles north west of Portsmouth city itself on the southern English coast. Though in modern times this is a relatively urban area, the fortification is the oldest building in the region, and formed the traditional hub around which the village of Portchester and surrounding area were built.

Nick, Richard and I decided to join a sponsored sleepover for the Young Conservatives and we joined about a dozen members of the young conservatives outside Portchester Castle at 10-30pm on Hallows Eve in 1994. The Castle Caretaker met us outside the gate with the keys to lock the castle after we entered. The caretaker warned us to beware of the ghosts of Roman Soldiers that sometimes appear near the moat walkover. Some of the lasses had brought tents which we helped to set up prior to our evening vigil. It was a cold crisp winter's night and we were able to use the church to warm ourselves during the course of the night. At midnight Richard, Nick and I decided to take a tour around the castle. I led from the front as I was the only person who had remembered to bring torch ( newly brought for the occasion ). Imagine the scene, it was a cold crisp winter's night, pitch dark, with the three of us trying to find our way round the keep. Finally we arrived at the Moat Walkover. I invited Richard and Nick to go fist over the walkover but alas, they were slightly nervous and consequently yours truly had to go across first. As I walked over the walkway with my arm outstretched and the torch lighting the way, Nick and Richard decided to join me. The strange thing was that as we reached the end of the moat walkover my torch went out. Both Nick and Richard shouted for me to stop playing about. I tried to explain that it wasn't me. We decided to hurry away as quickly as possible and rushed back to the church.

Suffice to say I changed the batteries and the torch still didn't work. It later transpired that the bulb had blown. Talking to other people about the blown bulb it transpires that where there is a haunting, for some reason, bulbs explode for no apparent reason.

The seventh story concerns my late grandmother's death. One night in 1999 I was in bed, sleeping heavily, when for some reason I awoke at 3-10 am. I tried to get back to sleep but with no joy. I must admit I felt there was something wrong but I couldn't put my finger on the wrongness. At around 4 am my mother rang to let me know that NAN had died in the night. The really spooky thing is my NAN was estimated to have died at around 3 am. I believe when people die they visit family and friends to say goodbye and some people are psychic enough when asleep to talk to them. When awake any memory of this event is forgotten except by a few who have inklings that something had happened. I believe I had that experience and I was visited by my NAN.

English Witch Trials from 995 AD to 1701 AD and 1944

My name is Paul Hussey and I was born in Portsmouth, England in 1961, the same day as my older brother but a year later. As a fan of Portsmouth History I thought readers may be interested in the story of Helen Duncan who became the last convicted witch in England and was arrested in Portsmouth in 1944 and the many other Witch Trials from our English History.

Mrs Duncan, a Scotswoman who travelled the country holding seances, was one of Britain's best-known mediums, reputedly numbering Winston Churchill and George VI among her clients, when she was arrested in January 1944 by two naval officers at a seance in Portsmouth. The military authorities, secretly preparing for the D-day landings and then in a heightened state of paranoia, were alarmed by reports that she had disclosed - allegedly via contacts with the spirit world - the sinking of two British battleships long before they became public. The most serious disclosure came when she told the parents of a missing sailor that his ship, HMS Barham, had sunk. It was true, but news of the tragedy had been suppressed to preserve morale. 

Desperate to silence the apparent leak of state secrets, the authorities charged Mrs Duncan with conspiracy, fraud, and with witchcraft under an act dating back to 1735 - the first such charge in over a century. At the trial, only the "black magic" allegations stuck, and she was jailed for nine months at Holloway women's prison in north London. Churchill, then prime minister, visited her in prison and denounced her conviction as "tomfoolery". In 1951, he repealed the 200-year-old act, but her conviction stood.

As an addendum to this story I thought it would be interesting to list some of the witch trial stories  from 995 AD to 1701.

  • 995 AD  London, A woman and her son were tried for driving stakes into an image of a man. She was taken and drowned at London Bridge, while the son escaped and became outlawed.
  • 1177  Eleanor of Aquitaine  Queen of England. Duchess of Aquitaine. Eleanor and four witches purportedly poisoned Rosamond Clifford.
  • 1222 England, Oxford A young man and two women were brought before the Archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton for crucifying the boy and displaying the stigmata.
  • 1222 England  A Jewish Necromancer was accused of wrapping a boy in the skin of a dead man for divination.
  • 1279 England, York  John de Kerneslawe killed a witch that had entered his house.  The local clergy had her body burned.
  • 1286 England, York Darel, Godfrey m A Cistercian monk of Rievaulx was reported to the Archbishop of York as a practitioner of Witchcraft.
  • 1289-90 England de Stratton, Adam m Chancellor of the Exchequer. Arrested and tried for embezzling, extortion, and sorcery.
  • 1301-3 England  Langton, Walter m Bishop of Coventry. Tried by ecclesiastical court for diabolism and acquitted.
  • 1302 England, Exeter 1 Mody, John m Trial for defamation; Mody had called Reginald Kene's wife a 'wicked witch and thief'.
  • 1311 England, London  Investigation by Bishop Baldock of sorcery, enchantment, magic, divination, and invocation.
  • 1314/15 England Tannere, John m (Aka John Canne) Claimed to be the son of Edward I. Hanged for attempt to gain crown through diabolical aid; had served devil more than three years.
  • 1324 England, Coventry Nottingham, John of m (aka Master John) Died in custody of witchcraft.
  • 1325 English, Coventry Robert le Mareschal m He and his lodger Master John of Nottingham and 27 clients (The Burghers of Coventry) were charged before a secular court with employing him and another "necromancer" to use sorcery in an attempt on life of King Edward II, the Despensers, and several other officials.
  • 1325 England, Coventry Acquitted. Charged before a secular court with employing him and another "necromancer" to use sorcery in an attempt on life of King Edward II, the Despensers, and several other officials.
  • 1330 England Edmund Earl of Kent. Edward was condemned for obtaining important information from demon, through mediation of friar.
  • 1331 England, Southwark  A man tried by royal court for sorcery. along with with a client and his associate. The subjects claimed to have used image magic only to obtain friendship but the jury determined that intent was murder.
  • 1336 England Altefax, William m Pope Benedict XII wrote to the Bishop of Paris to have William Altefax, nigromanticus de Anglia and with him, his plates (Laminas) that he used in his magical operations.
  • 1337 England, Hatfield Man tried by manorial court for failure to deliver devil as arranged in commercial transaction; case dismissed.
  • 1366 England A certain carpenter died after final reconciliation to the Church, having lived for 15 years with a pact with the devil; There were no recorded judicial proceedings.
  • 1371 England, Southwark, Man tried by royal court for invocation; possessed book for experimenta and Saracen's head for enclosure of demon; disclaimed use of head; He was arrested for possessing a Grimoire, a skull and the head of a corpse, and was released on a promise to never again perform magical rituals.
  • 1376 England A Friar of St. Albans associated with Alice Perrers tried by ecclesiastical court for love magic and image magic directed at king Edward III. (n.b. Although Kieckhefer identifies the friar as Dominican, the monastary at St. Albans was Benedictine.)
  • 1382 England, London 1 Berewold, Robert m Pilloried for pretending to practice the "Art Magic".
  • 1382 England, London 1 Northamptone, William m Pilloried for pretending to practice the "Art Magic".
  • 1385 England, London 1 Brugges, John m Chaplain. One of 2 men tried by ecclesiastical court for magic. They were imprisoned by the Bishop of London "until the church was satisfied".
  • 1388 England, London 1 Tresilian, Sir Robert m Condemned by the Merciless Parliament for other reasons. He was also found to have been practicing invocation.
  • 1390 England, London 1 Berking, John m Arrested for soothsaying, he was sentenced to an hour in the pillory, two weeks' imprisonment, and banishment from the city.
  • 1401 England Lincolnshire 1 Smith, John m Tried for using divination to track a thief.
  • 1419 England 1 Joan of Navarre  The dowager Queen of England. Joan was accused by Henry V of attempting to kill him by sorcery. Joan, and a clerical accomplice are imprisoned.
  • 1419 England 1 Friar Randolph m Imprisoned.(Joan's Cleric).
  • 1426 England Plus unspecified number of associates accused of sorcery (illness and attempt at death), thus provoking inquiry at royal direction.
  • 1430 England, London Imprisoned for attempt on king's life through sorcery.
  • 1432 England, London 1 Jordemaine, Margery  "The Witch of Eye", a noted diviner. Arrested with two priests. Released on bail, and the charges dropped.
  • 1432-43 England A priest accused before the Court of Chancery that he had injured a man's body with sorcery.
  • 1435 England, Durham 1 ??? f Trial for defamation before ecclesiastical court; 3 men had accused woman of causing impotence through sorcery; woman absolved in an ecclesiastical court.
  • 1441 England  Cobham, Eleanor  (Duchess of Gloucester, Wife of Humphrey) Given penance by secular authorities for sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI. She had the help of Margery Jourdemaine, and two noted Oxford Scholars, one an astrologer, and the other a physician. They also wanted to ensure an heir. According to Wedek, a Treasury of Witchcraft, she was banished for life to the Isle of Man.
  • 1441 England 1 Southwell, Thomas m Tried for Treason, using sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI.
  • 1441  England, Smithfield 1 Jordemaine, Margery  "The Witch of Eye", a noted diviner. Burned by secular authorities for Treason.
  • 1441 England, London 1 Bolingbroke, Roger m Aka Roger Whiche.  A Clerk. Hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn by secular authorities for Treason, using sorcery in seeking the death of Henry VI.
  • 1444 England, London Man placed on pillory by secular court for invocation, dealing with a 'wycckyd spyryte'.
  • 1446 England, Durham Tried as sorceresses; had allegedly obtained husbands for widows; allowed purgation.
  • 1447 or 1448 England, Durham Woman tried by ecclesiastical court as enchanter (incantatrix).
  • 1450 England, Durham Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery.
  • 1451 or 1452 England, Durham Tried by ecclesiastical court for magic.
  • 1452 England, Durham Trial in ecclesiastical court for defamation; one woman had accused another of sortilegium, and had spoken of a certain chaplain's profligate infatuation with her (suggestion of love magic?).
  • 1457 England, Hertford Man abjured of necromancy and heresy.
  • 1465 England, Norfolk Tried by royal court for invocation to find treasure.
  • 1466 England, Ely Man given public and private penance by bishop for invocation.
  • 1467 England Byg, William m Convicted of crystal gazing to locate thieves had to appear in public with a scroll on his head.
  • 1470 England Trial for defamation before royal court; a man had accused the Duchess of Bedford of image magic.
  • 1476 England, London  Trial for defamation in secular court; man had defamed neighbors in matters of sorcery.
  • 1480-1515c England Woman tried by Court of Chancery for sorcery.
  • 1480-1515c England, St David's 3 women (Tanglost and 2 others) tried by Court of Chancery for image magic.
  • 1480-1515c England, Southwark  Woman tried by Court of Chancery for image magic.
  • 1481 England, London Woman tried by commissary's court for love magic.
  • 1481 England, York Man tried by ecclesiastical court for incantation.
  • 1483, June England  Woodville, Elizabeth f Dowager Queen of England. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).
  • 1483, June England 1 Beaufort, Margaret Countess of Richmond, Henry VII's mother. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).
  • 1483, June England 1 Morton, Dr. John m Bishop of Ely. Tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (alleged harm to Richard III).
  • 1490 England, London  Woman tried by commissary for image magic.
  • 1492 England, London Trial for fraudulent love magic; client sentenced to public penance by ecclesiastical court, and man claiming to serve as agent for magician ordered by court to restore goods given in payment.
  • 1493 England, London Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for weather magic, killing by incantation, divination, and other offenses.
  • 1496 (6/19) England, London Kendal, John m Pardoned. Grand Prior of the Order of St. John of Rhodes is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles, of attempt (framed at Rome) on lives of King Henry VII, his children, his mother, and certain of his agents and followers, through use of magical substances.
  • 1496 England, London Thonge, Sir John m Knight of the Order of St. John of Rhodes (and John Kendal's nephew) is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles.
  • 1496 England, London Horsey, William m Archdeacon of London is one of three men accused of conspiracy by their French agent, Bernard de Vignolles.
  • 1499 England, 'Belynges Parva' Woman tried by ecclesiastical court for sorcery (killing); allowed purgation.
  • 1499 England, 'Rushbrok' Man tried by ecclesiastical court for pact with devil.
  • 1499 England, Winchester Man tried by ecclesiastical court for invocation.
  • 1521 England  Duke of Buckingham m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.
  • 1525 England  Acquitted for murder by use of a waxen figure.
  • 1532 England 1 Neville, Sir William m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.
  • 1522 England, Kent Barton, Elizabeth  Hanged? "The Maid of Kent" was tried for seeing The Virgin Mary at a Shrine, who purportedly cured her, and later visions that opposed the Marriage of Henry VIII. Barton had been put up to it by priests who wanted to build a shrine.
  • 1541 England  Lord Hungerford Beheaded for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.
  • 1544 England Cross, Elizabeth?  "The Girl in the hole in the wall"? Claimed clairvoyance.
  • 1546 England  Neville, Henry m Tried for attempting to learn the king's lifespan by divination.
  • 1560 England 8 Men, including 2 in orders confessed to conjuration, and were released after swearing to abstain from such acts in the future.
  • 1562 England Douglas, Lady Margaret Countess of Lennox Tried for attempting to learn the Queen's lifespan by divination.
  • 1564 England, Essex, Clch Lowys, Elizabeth Assizes 7/21 (aka Howes), Elizabeth Convicted and sentenced to hang. She pleaded Pregnancy. In March 1565, she was found to be not pregnant, and the final disposition is unknown.
  • 1565 England, York More, Edward m Given Penance. Grandson of Thomas More.
  • 1565 England, Kent Byden, Joan f Hanged 1566 England, Chelmsford 1 Waterhouse, Agnes Hanged. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. A 63 year old widow, charged with witching William Fynee  First use of Spectral evidence?
  • 1566  England, Chelmsford Waterhouse, Joanf Acquitted. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Aged 18, she was accused of witching 12 year old Agnes Brown.
  • 1566 England, Chelmsford Francis, Elizabeth Jailed. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching the infant child of William Auger. She was sentenced to one year's imprisonment.
  • 1566 England, Dorset, Walsh, John – Hanged.
  • 1566  England, York Stabler, Richard m Dismissed on Bond. Physician.
  • 1566 England Chelmsford Francis Elizabeth f Jailed. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching Mary Cocke. She was sentenced to one year's inprisonment, and four appearances in the Pillory.
  • 1571 England, York  Carter, Peter  Dismissed on Bond.
  • 1571 England, York  More, Edward  Given Penance.  Grandson of Thomas More.
  • 1572 England, York, Wyerhorne, Roger – Hanged.
  • 1574 England, Barking  Arnold (fnu)  Hanged.
  • 1574 England, Agnes Bridges  and Rachael Pindar  counterfeited possession to accusse.
  • 1574 England  Chaundeler, Alice  Hanged.
  • 1579  Mother of Ellen Smith, Hanged  at Chelmsford.
  • 1575 England, Kent Mildred Nerrington accused an old woman of Witchcraft.
  • 1578 England, Dorset, Woman Hanged.
  • 1578 England, Essex Stanton, Margery  Found Guilty of bewitching a gelding 1578 England, York 1 Milner, Janet f Accused by Robert Singleton, he was made to apologize.
  • 1578 England, York  Webster, Margaret  - Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Abington  Stiles, Elizabeth  Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Abington  Dutten, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.
  • 1579 England, Abington  Devell, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Abington  Margaret, Mother (fnu)  Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Smith, Ellen  Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Nokes, Alice Hanged.
  • 1579  England, Stanton, Margery  Aquitted.
  • 1579  England, Chelmsford  Francis, Elizabeth  Hanged. She comes from Hatfield Peverell, Essex. Wife of Chistopher Francis, charged with witching Alice Poole.
  • 1579 England, Flintshire Elizabeth Orton counterfeited possession to accusse.
  • 1582 England, Kings Lynn  Gabley,  Executed.
  • 1582 England, Durham  Laws, Allison Sentenced to do penance.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Kempe, Ursula  Hanged after a trial held at Chelmsford. St. Osyth is sometimes referred to as St. Osees.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Bennet, Elizabeth, Hanged for Bewitching to Death. Betrayed by Ursula Kempe.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Newman, Alice Betrayed by Ursula Kempe. Convicted but reprieved.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Glascock, Alice Convicted but reprieved.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Turner, Joan  Convicted but reprieved. Returned to Prison for a year.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth 1 Hunt, Alice f Betrayed by Ursula Kempe and Margery Sammon. Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Sammon, Margery  Betrayed by Ursula Kempe and Alice Hunt. She was the daughter of a confirmed witch.  Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Pechey, Joan  Betrayed by Alice Hunt and confirmed by Margery Sammon.  Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Heard, Agnes  Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth Grevell, Margaret Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, St. Osyth  Ewstace, Elizabeth  Acquitted.
  • 1582 England, Essex, Walton  Robinson, Joan – Hanged.
  • 1583 England, Kent  Symons, Margaret – Hanged.
  • 1585 England, London  Hacket, Margaret  Hanged at Tyburn.
  • 1589  England, Chelmsford  Cony, Joan  Hanged within two hours after her sentencing. (aka Cunny) Unwed mother of Avice, and grandmother of her accuser.
  • 1592 England, Middlesex  Atkins, Mother.
  • 1593  England, Warboys, The three members of the Samuels family (Father, Mother, and Daughter) are Hanged based on the word of 5 hysterical girls. This may have helped provide some impetus on the passage of the 1604 Anti-Witchcraft Bill.  N.b. One of the accusations was that Lady Cromwell, grandmother of Oliver Cromwell was killed by witchcraft.
  • 1595  England, Brayneford  Calles, Helen, Executed.
  • 1595 England, Barnett  Newell, John  Executed.
  • 1596 England  Cockie, Isabel  Burnt at a cost of 105 s. 4 p.
  • 1597 England, Derby  Wright, Elizabeth  Alice Goodridge's mother. She was convicted, and her disposition is not known.
  • 1597 England, Derby 1 Goodridge, Alice  Aged 60, Convicted on the testimony of Thomas Darling "The Burton Boy" of Burton-upon-Trent. She was sentenced to a years imprisonment, and died in jail. Thomas Darling later retracted his evidence.
  • 1579 England, Nottingham William Somers, The Nottingham Boy, counterfeited possession to accuse various people at the insistence of John Darrell. Apparently in all cases, Darrell confessed the deception during the trials.
  • 1599 England, London Kerke, Anne  Hanged at Tyburn England.
  • 1599 England, Lancashire,  Johnson, Margaret  Charged with conversing with the Devil.
  • 1600 England, York  Cleane, Agnes.
  • 1603 England, Yorkshire  Pannel, Mary,Executed.
  • 1604 England, Berkshire  Pepwell, Agnes  Pepwell - Acquitted. Anne Gunter, a 14 year old girl, countefeiting a demonic possession. N.b. that this was also about the time that the harsher laws of James I against witchcraft were being enacted.
  • 1604 England, Berkshire  Pepwell, Mary  Acquitted. (See Agnes Pepwell).
  • 1604 England, Berkshire Gregory, Elizabeth  Acquitted. (See Agnes Pepwell).
  • 1606 England, Hertford  Harrisson, Joanna  Hanged.
  • 1606 England, Hertford  Harrison Daughter of Joanna Harrison. Hanged.
  • 1607 England, Derbyshire  "Several" Hanged.
  • 1612 England, York  Preston, Jennet  Acquitted.
  • 1612  England, Northampton  Barber, Mary  Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Northampton  Browne, Agnes  Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Northampton  Vaughan, Joan  Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Northampton  Bill, Arthur m Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Northampton  Jenkinson, Helen Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bierley, Ellen Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bierley, Jennet  Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Southworth, Jane  Accused by Grace Sowerbutts, age 14. Case dismissed.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bullock, Jane  "Of Mossend Farm, Newchurch" – Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Bullock, John m Son of Jane Bullock. Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Device, Alison Daughter of Elizabeth Device. Tried.  Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Device, Elizabeth  "Squintin' Lizzie". Daughter of "Mother Demdike". Tried. Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Device, James m Son of Elizabeth Device. Dimwitted. Tried. Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Device, Jennet Daughter of Elizabeth Device. 9 years old. Tried. Released.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster Grey, Alice f"Of Colne" Tried. Acquitted.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Hewitt, Katherine "Old Mouldheels". Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Lancaster 1 Howgate, Christopher m Son of "Mother Demdike".
    Tried. Released.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Nutter, Alice f "Of Roughlee" Hanged. She may have been simply a Catholic caught in the net.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Preston, Jennet  Hanged for causing the death of Thomas Lister of Westby Hall.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Pearson, Margaret Pilloried for a year.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Redfearne, Anne  Daughter of Anne Whittle. Interrogated & Confessed  Tried Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Robey, Isobel  "Of Widness" Hanged.
  • 1612  England, Lancaster  Southernes, Elizabeth  "Mother Demdike" "Of Malkin Tower". Interrogated, confessed. died in Prison.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Whittle, Anne  "Old Chattox" Interrogated on 2 Apr, Tried. Hanged.
  • 1612 England, Lancaster  Whittle, Bessie  "Old Chattox" Daughter of Anne Whittle. Tried, released.
  • 1613 England, Bedford  Sutton (mother)  Hanged. Beaten senseless and "Floated".
  • 1613 England, Bedford  Sutton, Mary (daughter)  Hanged.
  • 1614 England  Ellson, Richard m Richard Moore is tried for accusing Richard Ellson of Witchcraft.
  • 1615 England, Middlesex  Hunt, Joan  Hanged.
  • 1616 England, Kings Lynn  Smith, Mary  Hanged.
  • 1616 England, Middlesex Rutter, Elizabeth  Hanged.
  • 1616 England, Leicester Accused by John Smith, the Leicester Boy. Hanged.
  • 1616 England, Leicester  released,  died in jail. Accused by John Smith, the Leicester Boy.
  • 1616 England, Enfield  Berrye, Agnes  Hanged.
  • 1618 England, Lincoln  Flower, Joan  Died before trial.
  • 1618-9 England, Lincoln  Flower, Phillippa  Hanged.
  • 1618-9 England, Lincoln  Flower, Margaret  Hanged.
  • 1619 England, Leicester  Green, Ellen  Hanged
  • 1619 England, Leicester  Baker, Anne  Hanged.
  • 1619 England, Leicester  Willimot, Joan  Hanged.
  • 1620 England, Stafford  Clark, Jane Accused by "The Bilson Boy", William Perry. The charges were eventually dropped.
  • 1621 England, S. Perrot  Guppy, Joan Accused by Edmond Fairfax for bewitching his children. The evidence was insufficient, and they were released.
  • 1621 England, Yorkshire Fletcher, Elizabeth Accused with five others by Edmond Fairfax for bewitching his children. The evidence was insufficient, and they were released. Elizabeth Fletcher was the daughter of Mother Foster.
  • 1626 England  Bull, Edward  Denounced by Edward Dinham.
  • 1626 England Greedy, Joan denounced by Edward Dinham.
  • 1628 England, London  Lambe, Dr. John  Not Tried, but beaten to death by a mob at St. Paul's Cross after he fell from the Duke of Buckingham's favour.
  • 1630 England, Lancaster Utley, Hanged.
  • 1630 England, Sandwich, Hanged.
  • 1631 England, Taunton, Edward Bull, Hanged.
  • 1633 England, Lancaster, 17 convicted, but all later reprieved by the King (including Mary Spencer and Jennet Device).
  • 1634 England Three of the accused (by Edmund Robinson) died in prison before the swindle was revealed.
  • 1640 England, London, Dr  Lamb,  Stoned to death by a mob at St. Paul's Cross (and probably confused with 1628, although the date *is* given several times in Robbins).
  • 1643 England, Newbury Shot by parliamentary forces as she was walking along the surface of a river.
  • 1644  England  Wanderson, (wife 1)  Executed.
  • 1644  England  Wanderson, (wife 2)  Executed.
  • 1645  England, Chelmsford  19 were Hanged on evidence of  by the Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins (including the Manningtree Witches).
  • 1645 England, Chelmsford Clarke, Elizabeth a one legged old woman. Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins' 1st "Witch". Hanged, but not before betraying five others.
  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  West, Rebecca  Native of Colchester and daughter of an accused witch. She confessed to having married the Devil.
  • 1645  England, Chelmsford West, Anne  Native of Colchester and daughter of an accused witch.
  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  Mayers, Bridget  Wife of a Seaman, plead Not Guilty.
  • 1645 England, Chelmsford  5 were found Guilty, but reprieved.
  • 1645 England, Chelmsford 8 were remanded to the next session of the Assizes (4 were still in jail three years later, 4 (aged 88, 65, 60 and 40) died in prison before the sessions opened).
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Lowes, John  "of Branson". Hanged. A 70 year old parson.  Tried by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645  England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Cooper, Thomas Edward m Hanged. Tried by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Cooper, Mary  Hanged.Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Bacon, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Alderman, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Morris, Rebecca  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Fuller, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Clowes, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds,  Sparham, Margery  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Fooley, Katherine  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Spinlow, Sarah  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Limstead, Jane Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Wright, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Smith, Mary  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Rivers, Jane  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, manners, Susan  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Skinner, Mary Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Suffolk, Bury St. Edmonds, Leech, Anne  Hanged. Tried by Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham, Williford, Joan Hanged. By Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham,  Cariden, Joan  Hanged.
  • 1645 England, Kent, Faversham, Holt, Jane Hanged.
  • 1646 England, Norfolk, Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co.
  • 1646 England, Suffolk, It is estimated that there were 124 people accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co., of whom 68 were hanged.
  • 1646 England, Bedford, Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins & Co.
  • 1646 England, Cambridge Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1646 England, Northampton Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1646 England, Huntingdon Woman Accused by Witch Finder General Matthew Hopkins.
  • 1648 England, Norwich, 2 Women Executed.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Palmer, John  Hanged. He named 14 accomplices.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Bychance, Mary Hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Widow Palmer Hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Norton. Hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, John (Sr) Hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, Joseph d.1684.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, Judith d.1692 .
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Salmon, John d.1688.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, Mary  d.1706.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, John (jr) – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Lamen, Mary  – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans,  Lamen, Joan – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Weston, Mrs Mayer – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Smith, Sarah – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Smith, Anne – hanged.
  • 1649 England, St. Albans, Knott, Elizabeth – hanged.
  • 1649 England, Newcastle 14  Hanged.
  • 1649 England, Newcastle Bulmer, Matthew Hanged.
  • 1649-1658 England, 3-4000 Purportedly killed during Cromwell's tenure.
  • 1650 England, London Allen, Joan Hanged.
  • 1651 England, London  Bodenham, Anne Hanged. "Dr. Lamb's Darling".
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Wright, Mildred Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Wilson, Anne Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Reade, Mary Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone, Ashby, Anne Hanged
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Martyn, Anne Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Browne, Mary Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Kent, Maidstone,  Hynes, Elizabeth Hanged.
  • 1652 England, Durham, Adamson, Francis Executed.
  • 1652 England, Durham,  Powle,  Executed.
  • 1652 England, Worcester,  Huxley, Catherine Hanged.
  • 1652 England, London Peterson, Joan Hanged at Tyburn "The Witch of Wapping".
  • 1652 England, London Sawyer, Elizabeth  Hanged at Tyburn.
  • 1653 England, London  Newman, Elizabeth Executed at Whitechapel.
  • 1654 England, Ipswich Lakeland, Mother Burned (for the minor treason of murdering her husband).
  • 1655 England, Bury St Edmonds Boram, Hanged. Mother.
  • 1655 England, Bury St Edmonds, Boram,Hanged. Daughter.
  • 1658 England  Brooks, Jane  Hanged.
  • 1658-9 England, Norwich Oliver, Mary  Burned (for the minor treason of murdering her husband).
  • 1658 England, Salisbury, Orchard, Executed.
  • 1660 England, Cambridge, Young girl interrograted by the scholar Henry More. Outcome unknown, date unknown.
  • 1660 England, Home Circuit Neville, Joan Hanged.
  • 1663 England, Taunton Cox, Julian  Hanged.
  • 1664 England, Bury St Edmonds,  Cullender, Rose  Hanged. From Lowestoft, Suffolk.
  • 1664 England, Bury St Edmonds, Duny, Amy  Hanged. From Lowestoft, Suffolk.
  • 1664 England, Taunton  Style, Elizabeth  died in prison.
  • 1668 England, Norfolk Banister, Mary  Charges dropped.
  • 1674 England, Northhampton,  Foster, Anne  Hanged (For burning barns).
  • 1675 England, Chester, Baguley, Mary  Hanged.
  • 1682 England, Exeter,  Lloyd, Temperance Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.
  • 1682 England, Exeter,  Edwards, Susanna Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.
  • 1682 England, Exeter  Trembles, Mary  Hanged. Modern Bideford is in Devonshire.
  • 1684 England, Exeter Molland, Alice  Hanged.
  • 1691 England, Frome, Somerset, Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt, on charges of bewitching Mary Hill, a young girl.Died before her trial.
  • 1693 England 1 Chambers,  "Widow"  Died in prison as a result of torture by "walking".
  • 1694 England, Ipswich,  Elnore, Margaret  Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt for having accepted familiars from her grandmother, herself hanged for witchcraft; having witch's marks on her body, and giving lice to her neighbors.
  • 1694 England, Bury St Edmonds, Munnings, "Mother"  Acquitted by Justice Sir John Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death; or for casting a spell to cause the death of her landlord. She was also accused of having a familiar imp in the shape of a pole cat, and two black and white imps in the shape of balls of wool.
  • 1695 England, Launceston, Cornwall,  Guy, Mary Acquitted by Justice Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death.
  • 1696 England, Exeter, Horner, Elizabeth  Acquitted by Justice Holt on charges of prognostication causing a death.
  • 1701 England, Southwark  Moredike, Sarah Acquitted by Justice Holt, her accuser, Richard Hathaway, was jailed.

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