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Between the 13th and 18th centuries, witches, or people perceived as witches, were persecuted mercilessly in Britain. During one 18-year period alone, from 1643 to 1661, between three and four thousand people were murdered in the belief that they were witches. In fact, witch-hunting created a new profession, that of ‘Witch Hunter’.
One famous Witch Hunter was Matthew Hopkins, who employed two assistants! He travelled about like a circuit judge, mainly in the Home Counties, providing a ‘service’ for clients, that of proving some poor old woman, suspected of being a witch, would be hanged – after suitable ‘trial’ by ducking (if the ducking didn’t kill her, that is).
The ‘suspect’ was always on a loser. If she sank she would drown but would be deemed innocent; if she floated she was ‘guilty’, and was hanged. The Witch Hunter would benefit by claiming two fees – proclaiming the ‘suspect’ guilty, and hanging her.
From a German ‘Manual for Witch Hunters’
“All witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which in women is insatiable”.