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Witchfinder General

I am a big fan of the Witchfinder General film staring Vincent Price. The boy and I watched it over Christmas and were astounded at some of the scenes. It received an 18 rating in the 1960s so that kind of gives you an idea of the content.
Matthew Hopkins is the name of the General and he was born around 1619 in the small village of Mistley Heath in the North-East of Essex. Now if you know your history, you will know that at this moment in time, King James I ruled over Britain and had in 1605, avoided being blown up by the infamous Guy Fawkes.

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When, in the 1640s, Civil War was ravaging much of England (thanks to James's son, King Charles I), the elder Hopkins used this to his advantage and set about exploiting people's anxiety and fear. And guess what? He became known, as the Witchfinder General. Most of his victims were poor, old defenseless hags who in previous centuries would have been known as "wise women", and quite probably their hovels would have been located outside the main village.

In the first instance, he would have his victims thrown into a isolated prison cell, stripped naked, beaten, starved and kept from sleep, while using the pain and humiliation psychologically against them.  If this didn’t work he would use his more brutal and favoured methods of torture, starting with “Pricking”.  Pricking was an excruciatingly painful ordeal to endure and involved the use of evil looking pins, needles and bodkins to pierce the skin looking for insensitive spots that didn’t bleed.  If any were found they would then be interpreted as a mark of the Devil .  If none were found the victim was made to sit cross-legged on a table or stool, then bound in the posture with cords and left alone for up to 24 hours or until such time as the cramps and pain set in.  Naked and bare foot they would then be forced to walk up and down the cold stone floor of the cell without respite until their feet began to blister and bleed.
He, was not a man to cross and by the end of 1646, he had drifted off whence he had came.

If you have not seen the film and this sort of subject does interest you, i'd advise that you do watch it, Vincent Price is completely unrecognisable ;) 

The boy and I therefore decided to pay the main village of Mistley a visit. It was a breezy day so my coat did not leave my shoulders once!

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We stumbled upon Mistley Towers (a Georgian mausoleum) and then grabbed a hot drink in a small cafe that had chickens and geese roaming around :)

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We traveled by train and the station was so small, we had to walk across the tracks, twas pretty awesome and I did have a Bobbie Waterbury moment ;)

Just to add, my coat is from topshop and after purchasing it via a blogsale, it is now a new favourite.

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