THE DEVIL'S MARK According to witch-hunters, the "witch's mark
", also called "the Devil's mark" or a "witch's teat", indicated an individual was a witch.
The Lancaster case provides the first instance of the fully developed, officially sanctioned, search for the witch's mark in England, and their usual discovery in the pudenda.
When Ellen Garrison of Upwell was searched in 1647, "some that were there that pretended to have skill in the discovery of witchcraft sayd that some of the deviles impes had sucked her"; but, despite this weighty professional opinion from Stearne and his circus, then touring the Isle of Ely, the local midwife was far more circumspect in her testimony.(82) Some, like the London midwives in 1634, were prepared to exculpate individuals, or to question the validity of the entire procedure; John Hale, minister of Beverley, Massachusetts, reported the doubts of "a skilfull midwife" concerning the witch's mark.(83)
The search for the witch's mark by committees of women, approved by the leading practical manual for local magistrates, proved the most enduring of these official confirmatory tests.
www.parkwoodoutdoors.co.uk HALLOWEEN TOURS Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire October 25, 29, 30 and 31, from 6pm Book a spooky evening tour focussing on the fascinating "apotropaic marks" - otherwise known as witch's marks
- scattered around the masonry and woodwork of this fabulous old building.