Witch Finder General

Roger Bussey


Mathew Hopkins son of a vicar became known throughout history as the Witch-Finder General, and was responsible for a reign of terror throughout England, between 1644 and 1647, with his fellow Witch-Pricker John Sterne.

Hopkins first victim was Elizabeth Clarke, whose mother had been hanged as a witch.  She was thrown into prison on the charge of witchcraft, and John Sterne interrogated her in an effort to extract a confession.

Found about her naked body were three teats, which should not be upon the body.  She was then kept awake for three days and three nights until she finally confessed…  She implicated Anne West, Rebecca West, Anne Leech, Helen Clarke and Elizabeth Gooding all condemned as witches.

Overnight, Hopkins the Witch-Finder General had created a lucrative career, as his services were called upon.  His victims were often than not, the old, the poor and defenceless members of the community.



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