Plaque commemorating the executions of the Bideford witches and Alice Molland, on the wall of Rougemont Castle in Exeter
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Alice Molland was probably the last person to be executed in England for witchcraft,[1] at Exeter in March 1685. She was found guilty at the Exeter Lent Assizes on 20 March 1685 of performing witchcraft on the bodies of Joane Snow, Wilmott Snow and Alice Furze,[2] but there are no surviving records of her trial or execution, and no pamphlets were written about her case.[3][a]The last person to be condemned to death for witchcraft in England was Jane Wenham, at Hertford in 1712, but she was granted a royal pardon.

Accusations of witchcraft continued to emanate from the area until the 1770s,[3] despite the Witchcraft Act of 1735Sometimes dated 1736, an Act of Parliament that repealed the statutes concerning witchcraft throughout Great Britain, including Scotland. having made the pretence of using witchcraft a crime, not the practice itself, it by then beginning to be viewed by the authorities as an impossible crime,[4] but there were no further executions.[3]

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References



Bibliography


Barry, Jonathan. Witchcraft and Demonology in South-West England, 1640–1789. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
Gibson, Marion. Witchcraft and Society in England and America, 1550–1750. Continuum, 2006.
Timmons, Stephen. “Witchcraft and Rebellion in Late Seventeenth-Century Devon.” Journal of Early Modern History, vol. 10, no. 4, 2006, pp. 297–330.