Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Forgotten English: Eye-bite

Eye-bite: To bewitch an animal with the evil eye. Northern England.
--James Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words, 1855

Scotland's Last Witch

September 22, 1944 Scottish medium Helen Duncan was released from incarceration after serving nine months for a trumped up vagrancy charge. She had apparently foretold of the sinking of the HMS Barham and predicted it to an audience in 1943, which was several months before the announcement of the loss. British officials feared she had knowledge of the D-Day invasion and, therefore, decided to imprison her before she could reveal it.

She was convicted under the all-but-forgotten 18th century Witchcraft Act, but was later repealed in 1953 due to this result. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Duncan in prison and it was he who decided to repeal the out-dated law. Helen Duncan was the last person publicly persecuted for sorcery.

4 comments:

  1. i like this witch-y post. i just finished reading the lace reader which ties in nicely to my witch mode.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, now I'm just a little embarrassed to be of Scottish heritage!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post was very interesting. I really like the picture.

    ReplyDelete

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