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i be not a witch, by rc dewinter
Tags: cell, dark, England, historical, medieval, portrait, prison, windows, witchcraft, woman
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i be not a witch

by rc dewinter
Artist Notes
© 2010 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved ~ ~ In 1563, Elizabeth I of England instituted a new, harsher statute allowing for the prosecution of those accused of witchcraft, although England had had laws forbidding it since 1542. ~ ~ While English law did not provide for the torture and burning of persons found guilty, (burning being the punishment for treason) approximately one thousand people - notably women - were were condemned and hanged between 1542 and 1736 (when the last witchcraft laws were removed from the books) for practicing the black arts. ~ ~ 'Possessed' children were often the accusers of those unfortunates tried as witches; sometimes neighbors involved in land or other disputes leveled charges against their adversaries; sometimes old, destitute women were accused of witchcraft simply because they mumbled to themselves or kept a cat or some other pet, the animal being declared a 'familiar' of Satan. In other cases, people born with an unusual mole or birthmark in the shape of a star or some other recognizable, potentially magickal symbol were thought to be 'marked' by the devil and arrested as well. ~ ~ Here, young Agnes Hansart sits, fearful and despondent, in a dark cell, pondering her fate. She has one hand tightly closed about the other, because a rival for the affections of a village youth has claimed that the crescent-shaped scar on one of the fingers of her right hand is the mark of Satan. In reality, Agnes had cut herself with a sickle during the family harvest some years before. We can only hope that the magistrates will believe her testimony and that of her father.
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Artist rc dewinter

More about rc dewinter

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Artist Biography
All art and written work © 1999-2016 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved ~ RC deWinter is a Connecticut writer/digital artist whose poetry has been published in the New York Times, Uno: A Poetry Anthology, 2River View, Pink Panther Magazine and in many other print/online publications. Her art has bee ...
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