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On 20 February 1712 the last recorded witchcraft trial in England took place. Jane Wenham, ‘the Witch of Walkern’, was found guilty and sentenced to death. However, no execution took place as she was given a Royal pardon from Queen Anne.

The last execution in England took place in 1684. Alice Molland at Exter was hanged

The Witch Tests

The Water Tests

A popular test for witches was to immerse the suspect three times in water. There seems to have been two ways of performing the test but both ways had the same outcome. If the person floated they were obviously a witch. If they sank, they were innocent--but also dead from drowning.

1. The right thumb of the person was tied to their left toe before they were dunked.

2. The Dunking Stool - The device was a chair which was hung from the end of a free-moving arm. The 'witch' was strapped into the chair which was situated by the side of a river.

image: drawing of dunking stool

image: photo of dunking stool

The Lords Prayer Test

It was thought that no witch could say the Lords Prayer.


Follow this link to see more forms of medieval punishments



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