Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 1

Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 1


  In the year of our Lord, Sixteen Hundred and Fifty Five. Matthew Hopkin, the self proclaimed Witchfinder General selected a pathetic one-legged old hag named Elizabeth Clarke as his first victim. A woman whose own mother had been hung as a witch before her.

At his instigation she was thrown in to prison on suspicion of practising the Art of Witchcraft. So as not to leave any incriminating evidence against himself, he devised many subtle methods of torture, which were used during her interrogation, even thought torture was illegal in England at that time.

Due, I suspect, more to the torture than her guilt, she confessed and implicated five other women, who she claimed were also practising witches.

All of the named witches resided in Manningtree, in the county of Essex where Matthew Hopkin also resided. The word was that he had eavesdropped on their coven, and they had threatened his life for his daring too.

Under his interrogation, with the aid of Jack Stearne, An unsavoury character with a penchant for excessive cruelty. Elizabeth Clarke after the pain and humiliation of being stripped naked, then prodded and poked in a search for witches marks. She, ‘was found to have three teats about her, which honest women have not’ Witchcraft meant keeping imps and familiars. ‘Witches suckled imps and familiars, not merely to feed them, but more to aggravate a witches damnation.’

Elizabeth was then deprived of food and sleep for three consecutive nights, and so, on the fourth night of her torture, broke down and confessed to being a witch and in doing so, implicated five other women.

(C) Damian Grange 2018


Woman Being Tried For Witchcraft In Court
Picture – Courtesy of Pinterest




24 thoughts on “Cursed Through the Generations – Excerpt 1

  1. I remember seeing a movie once where the great actor Vincent Price played Matthew Hopkins.

    Which brings me to a minor point – the Witchfinder-General’s name was Matthew Hopkins- Hopkin with an “s” rather than just plain Hopkin.

    Also I notice you began your otherwise finely written new tale with “In the year of Our Lord Sixteen Hundred and Fifty-Five “.

    Considering the fact that the real Matthew Hopkins died in 1647, possibly an African witch doctor brought him back to life (as happened to another Vincent Price character in another film).

    The real Hopkins’ witch-finding career began in 1644 and lasted until his retirement in 1647.

    He kicked the bucket a short while later and went to his great eternal bonfire 🔥 reward where no doubt his screams echo those of his victims during his mortal life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must apologise obviously either my sources were a bit iffy or I made a typo error, both of which are unforgivable. It was actually watching a re-run of the film you mentioned that gave me the idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are still witch hunters around in some countries and they still do murder both women and men, or kids even if were suspected to be witches. Many of them are innocent, but for the cause of beliefs in their own twisted religious mind (not knowing they do evil rather good) and kill those who are definitely different than themselves … jerks, really.


  3. I have seen witch craft go on with my own eyes when I was in West Africa. Many albino children are subjected to mutilation in the name of witch craft. Maybe Matthew Hopkins is needed today in that part of the world. A very Interesting read Mr Marsh thank you for sharing!!!!


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