Jul 30, 2020 - Sale 2543

Sale 2543 - Lot 238

Price Realized: $ 5,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials, 1662. A Tryal of Witches at the Assizes. [pi]2, B-D8, E6; disbound, (formerly bound), title page mounted, some losses, a few other pages with tears, in need of restoration, 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. London: Shrewsbery, 1682.

Additional Details

First edition; rare at auction. Hale presided over the trial of the two unfortunate victims of this particular witch hunt, Amy Duny and Rose Cullender, who were executed on the charge on March 17, 1662. Dr. Thomas Browne ("a person of great knowledge" and author of the Pseudodoxia Epidemica) appeared in court and offered his opinion that "the Devil in such cases did work upon the bodies of men and women," helping to seal Duny and Cullender's fates. To their credit, some 17th century observers were not persuaded, and said as much in court. "At hearing [the] evidence there were divers known persons [...] much unsatisfied with it, and thought it not sufficient to convict the prisoners." ESTC R37899; Wing T-2240.