On June 1st, 1682, Jane Kent, a 60 year old woman, was tried in court for murdering a five year old, Elizabeth Chamblet, because she was using witchcraft. The father of Elizabeth was the reason Kent was being charged for witchcraft. He implied that he and her had an argument in which he refused to deliver two pigs to Kent without money and after that his daughter became sick. He accused Kent of killing his daughter and also that she bewitched his wife making her become sick.
He took Kent to court with plenty of evidence that she was practicing witchcraft. His evidence was that people heard screaming when she was around as if she were being murdered, she had a teat on her back, and unusual holes behind her ears. Kent denied these accusations and said she lived honestly and even went to church. And with that, the jury found her not guilty.
I think people in this time were so quick to accuse someone of witchcraft. Some stories we have gone over seem a little weird and one might think witchcraft was used, but others are just people wanting drama and by saying someone is practicing witchcraft creates a lot of it. It seems that in the enlightenment, which craft was not taken very lightly. Many people were killed because of accusations saying they were witches whether they were proved guilty or not. Like we talked about in class, people got bored and accusing someone of being a witch may have seem fun to them unless you were the one being accused. And we may never know if witch craft really exist or not. Chamblet needed a reason why his daughter died and his wife became sick, and witchcraft is what he choose to blame it on but I think it would have been REALLY difficult to prove unless you know whether witchcraft is real or not.
Lewis Scaife stated, “Few things have influenced and controlled the destiny of man so largely as superstition. It has often become a part of his religion, shaped his habits and governed his life. Superstition generally decreases in proportion to mental development . It dominates the life of the savage to whom nature presents, as he thinks, on continual display of supernatural effects.” This quote to me kind of explains what I already mentioned. Few evidence has influenced peoples destiny whether they live or die after being accused of witchcraft. Anyone can say anybody is a witch and once accused, little evidence could prove your entire life. I think it would have been hard back then to prove whether someone was a real witch or not because who knows if it really exist or not.
The historical survey by Ankarloo and Clarke stated, “The opinion that rude people have of fairies, ghost and goblins and the power of witches’ was attributed in his Leviathan to ignorance of how to distinguish ‘dreams’ from ‘sense’.” This also goes with what I was talking about above. How could a jury prove whether the person accusing someone of witchcraft was just plain crazy and doing it for “fun and jokes” or if the evidence they gave was real and meaningful. That would be had for the jury to prove whether someone is telling the truth or not.