She Is Not What We Thought She Was

After looking over the different articles dealing with witches and witchcraft, I decided to analyze the article about Jane Kent that took place in 1682. Jane Kent was a sixty-year-old woman that was accused of witchcraft. She was accused for causing the death of Elizabeth Chamblet. The person that brought about the evidence for this was the father of Chamblet. Part of the evidence that was presented was Kent bewitching the swine of Chamblet. The father refused to deliver Kent two of his pigs without money being received first from Kent. After this the daughter began to have swelling all over her body, and eventually die. Later on the father believed that Kent was also bewitching his wife. So, he was advised to take different pieces of his wife’s body and boil them. While doing this he believed to have heard the woman’s voice at his door screaming. Further evidence that was brought about in the case was Kent was seen as being swelled and bloated, and a woman swore that Kent had a teat on her back and had unusual holes behind her ears. Also, a coach-man that refused to carry Kent and her belongings swore that his coach was overthrown after denying Kent. In conclusion, Kent produced evidence that she had lived honestly, was a great painstaker, and that she went to church. With this the Jury found her not guilty.

When comparing this trial to the ones described in the readings for this week one has to consider how witchcraft has came about. We can see how when extreme occurrences happen people believe that another supernatural power is involved. They believed in accusing a person that was involved with this of witchcraft. This is shown in most cases where women were accused of witchcraft. These allegations suggest people believed that witchcraft was the main reason for these odd things to occur. Also, the thing that needs to be noticed is that people believed that an evil spirit possessed those accused of witchcraft. They thought that a devil-like presence was the cause of these people doing witch-like things. One thing that is present in these cases is the topic of religion, and how people accused were thought of not having a good religious relationship with the church. This is seen in Scaife’s True Ghost Story, “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”, which shows how people accused of witchcraft were some what believed to have been steered away from their religion because their actions did not favor that of their religious being. One of the evidences that proved Kent to be not guilty was the fact that she went to church. This expression of going to church weakened her accusation due to the fact of practicing her religion, which went against the possibility of being possessed. In Ankarloo and Clarke’s historical survey it says, “…while affirming God’s all seeing Providence, ‘we see no reason in the world for miracles to be continued where the doctrine of faith of is settled”, meaning that for one to be full affirmed by God they must not be possessed with witch-like characteristics. This confirmation of God’s guidance should strengthen the idea that if a person is secured in their religion then they cannot fully be considered a witch. I believe the most important thing that needs to be realized when it comes to allegations about being a witch, people must factor in the topic of religion and how strong one’s standpoint is on their religious security.

Works Cited:

http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?id=t16820601a-11&div=t16820601a-11&terms=Jane|Kent#highlight

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/scaife-true-ghost-story.pdf

https://engl382fall2013.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/witchcraftmagiceurope1819.pdf

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One thought on “She Is Not What We Thought She Was

  1. I like how you linked the idea that witches don’t have a good relationship with the church to how Jane Kent’s defense (going to church) acquitted her.

    Grade: S

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