Pendle Witch Child

Moderators: Jason, Toothy, Tonyblack

Pendle Witch Child

Postby Bouncy Castle » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:50 pm

The 9pm slot on BBC4.

Simon Armitage presents the extraordinary story of the most disturbing witch trial in British history and the key role played in it by one nine-year-old girl.

Jennet Device, a beggar-girl from Pendle in Lancashire, was the star witness in the trial in 1612 of her own mother, her brother, her sister and many of her neighbours and, thanks to her chilling testimony, they were all hanged.

Armitage explores the lethal power and influence of one child's words - a story of fear, magic and demonic pacts retold partly with vivid and innovative hand-drawn animation. He discovers how Jennet's appearance in the witness box cast its shadow way beyond Lancashire, impressing lawyers, politicians, clerics and even King James I himself, and setting a dark precedent for child testimony in witch trials as far away as America.

Finally, in a dramatic twist to the tale, he reveals how, twenty two years after the original trial, Jennet's own words were very nearly the death of her - when she herself was put on trial, accused of being a witch by a 10-year-old boy.

With the help of historians Malcolm Gaskill, Diane Purkiss and Ronald Hutton, Armitage attempts to get inside Jennet's head and understand how the illegitimate and illiterate youngest child of a family of beggars could become both pawn and player in a much bigger story of 17th century religion, power, law, science and the monarchy.

What made Jennet speak out so everyone she knew would die? And how did the courts decide to admit her evidence and allow her example to create a precedent for accepting the testimony of other child witnesses who wanted to send their neighbours to the gallows?

Although the events in this film may date back four hundred years, its issues resonate today as much as ever - when to believe our children, how the police and the court system should handle child witnesses and above all how, in times of crisis, fear of evil can easily lead us to behave in ways which may corrode the very values that we most wish to protect.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
User avatar
Bouncy Castle
Member
 
Posts: 11955
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: London

Postby meerkat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:54 pm

Think I might watch it. Sounds interesting (hides wand and various other witchy items).
Just a meerkat from The Effing Forest
User avatar
meerkat
Member
 
Posts: 13475
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:32 pm
Location: Wilberfoss East Riding Yorkshire

Postby author3 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:58 pm

I'm going to try and watch it
Do you know the Buffy fan?The Buffy fan,the Buffy fan.Do you know the Buffy fan?The one who is extremely obsessed.
User avatar
author3
Member
 
Posts: 2358
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 8:46 am
Location: Sunnydale Highschool

Postby Bouncy Castle » Wed Aug 17, 2011 1:10 pm

It is repeated on Thursday at 23.00 hours.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

The rest of us are a bit crap.
User avatar
Bouncy Castle
Member
 
Posts: 11955
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:08 pm
Location: London

Postby ShadowNinjaCat » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:44 pm

Wow,that's kind of scary that she got all of them to die. :shock: .I can't watch it unfortunately but that sounds interesting.
“We are all in the gutter,but some of us are looking at the stars.”- Oscar Wilde
User avatar
ShadowNinjaCat
Member
 
Posts: 3672
Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:01 pm
Location: South Africa

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:56 pm

recording it now :lol:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10479
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Postby spideyGirl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:33 am

I've heard that story before but will try and get it recorded :)
User avatar
spideyGirl
Member
 
Posts: 3548
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:12 am

There's a website dedicated to The Pendle Witches. Some of the names will be familiar to readers of Good Omens. :wink:
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby Char » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:39 pm

Ooh its repeated tonight you say? I think I'll give it a watch. I love anything to do with the Pendle witches, especially because I can see the hill from my house if I look out of the right window.

I'm new by the way. Hello!
User avatar
Char
Member
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Lancashire, England

Postby Tonyblack » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:46 pm

Hi Char! Welcome to the site! :D

I watched it on the BBC iPlayer. It was very good indeed.
"Goodness is about what you do. Not what you pray to."
User avatar
Tonyblack
Moderator
 
Posts: 28692
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: Cardiff, Wales

Postby spideyGirl » Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:50 pm

Welcome Char! :D
User avatar
spideyGirl
Member
 
Posts: 3548
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:15 pm
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Postby Char » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:37 pm

Thank you! Well I have it recorded, will give it a watch some time soon.
User avatar
Char
Member
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Lancashire, England

Postby Joolz » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:54 am

Watched it last night Was really good but then I got sucked into watching the programme about coaches that was on afterwards :D
Tune the world out, turn the radio up
Sing along to my freedom song
User avatar
Joolz
Member
 
Posts: 2255
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:58 pm
Location: Blyth Northumberland

Postby Char » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:05 pm

Still haven't seen it! Might get to watch it this aft after I've been shopping. Shopping is important.
User avatar
Char
Member
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:45 pm
Location: Lancashire, England

Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:20 pm

I thought it was rather ironic that the witchy type ladies were called 'Cunning Women'! :shock:
"Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.” George Bernard Shaw
User avatar
Jan Van Quirm
Member
 
Posts: 10479
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Dunheved, Kernow

Next

Return to TV, film, theatre

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest