Alizon Device meets peddler John Law, on Keighley Road, Colne, who suffers a stroke
after the confrontation and is taken to what was probably the Greyhound Inn in Market
Street (demolished around 1790) where Alison, obviously shaken by the events, looked
in on him before continuing on her way to Trawden.
John Law’s son, Abraham Law, (living at Halifax) receives a letter informing him
of his father’s condition.
Abraham Law arrives in Colne to visit his father before going to Malkin Tower to
take Alison and lead her to Colne to confront his sick father – where she confesses
to using witchcraft to strike him down.
Magistrate Roger Nowell, of Read Hall, examines Alison at Read. After she admits
to having a familiar, in the shape of a black dog, Nowell decides there is sufficient
evidence to hold Alison.
Alison has accused her grandmother, Elizabeth Southern (Demdike) and Anne Whittle
(Chattox) of practising witchcraft and they are examined at Ashlar House in Fence
by Nowell. Also present are John Nutter, Margaret Crook (nee Nutter) and James Robinson.
Accusations of witchcraft fly thick and fast and more local people are brought into
Ann Whittle (Chattox), Anne Redfearn (daughter of Chattox) and Alison Device are
packed off to the Well Tower at Lancaster Castle to await trial in the coming August.
Jennet Preston is tried at York Assizes after being accused by Thomas Lister (of
Westby Hall, Gisburn) of killing a child of the Dodgeson family in the Gisburn area.
She is acquitted.
Good Friday: Pendle JP Roger Nowell hears from his constable, Henry Hargreaves of
Newchurch-in-Pendle, that some twenty witches held a “diabolical” meeting at Malkin
Roger Nowell and his fellow Justice, Nicholas Bannister of Altham, are again at Ashalr
House, this time to examine the Device family of Elizabeth and her children, James
and Jennet. Another bout of apparent confession, recrimination and accusation breaks
out – James and Jennet spill the beans about their party at Malkin Tower. The fate
of many of those they insist were there is now sealed.
Elizabeth Southern dies in the dungeon of the Well Tower at Lancaster Jail while
on remand. She died never have been convicted of witchcraft.
Jennet Preston is tried at York, on a charge of having bewitched to death Thomas
Lister, of Westby Hall. She is found guilty and sentenced to death by the same judges
who would later try the Pendle accused.
Elizabeth and James Device, along with Anne Whittle, are found guilty at the Lancaster
Assizes. Ann Whittle’s daughter, Ann Redfearn, is found not guilty of murdering Robert
Nutter of Greenhead.
Ann Redfearn is tried for the murder of Robert Nutter’s father, Christopher Nutter
of Greenhead, and this time is found guilty. Alison Device, Margaret Pearson, John
and Jane Bulcock, Isabell Roby, Alice Nutter and Katherine Hewitt are all found guilty.
Those condemned and executed at a public hanging on Gallows Hill in Lancaster were;
Anne Whittle (Old Chattox) of West Close in Pendle.
Ann Redfearn of West Close, daughter of Anne Whittle.
Elizabeth Device of Malkin Tower, daughter of Elizabeth Southern.
James Device of Malkin Tower, son of Elizabeth
Alison Device of Malkin Tower, daughter of Elizabeth Device.
Alice Nutter of Crowtrees, Roughlee.
Katherine Hewitt wife of John Hewitt, a clothier of Colne.
Jane Bulcock of Moss End Farm (either Newchurch-in-Pendle or Barley-with-Wheatley
Booth). Former widow of Alice Nutter’s brother-in-Law.
John Bulcock of Moss End Farm (son of Jane Bulcock).
Isobell Robey of Windle, St. Helens. She had been dragged into the fray by her local
JP, Thomas Gerard.
Ashlar House , Fence-in-Pendle
In 1612 the property (built by the Grimshaws of West Close in the 16th c.) belonged
to Thomas Walmsley.
Magistrate Roger Nowell used the house to interrogate some of the 1612 accused.
The porch is the only part of the house that survives from 1612.