Our Jenny

Our Lizzie’s lass is only nine years old but everyone’s heard of Jennet Device!  She’s made quite a name for herself lately, tattling to the Justice on the doings at Malkin Tower.  I don’t know who’s feeding the little wench, since I’m stuck here in the castle, but one of the jailors says she’s living at Read Hall with the Nowells, and is like to give evidence against us at the assizes.  She’d best not say aught about me though, the hell cat.  And Lizzie will wring her neck if she opens her gob too far.

Jenny’s fooled everyone.  She looks the perfect angel – all long blonde curls and big eyes.  But don’t be taken in by her bonny smile!  She’s a viper in disguise, and no mistake.  I’ve never trusted her as far as I could spit – and she’s got the lightest fingers of anyone I’ve ever met.  That minx just can’t keep her hands to herself and she’s always landing the lot of us in bother.  The final straw came last year when she filched Mistress Bulcock’s diamond pin!  What a to-do there was over that.  Aye, she’s a proper thieving magpie, that one.  I just wish she didn’t keep getting caught.


There’s summat odd about that child I can’t quite put my finger on.  She was a sulky bairn who grew up fast and secretive, yet she’s got to be the center of aught going on, and if you don’t stamp her back into place she’ll pull some trick or other to get herself admired.

Has she got any cunning though?  It’s too soon to tell.  But if she ever decides she’s a sorceress the good folks of Pendle better sit up and take note.  They’ll never sleep soundly again!

Our Ali

Our Ali’s a bonnie wench and no mistaking.  She makes everyone in the village call her Alizon as she thinks it sounds much grander than Ali.  And that pride’s always been her downfall.  She’s eighteen years, if I’ve counted up right, and since she turned twelve she’s earned more money than the rest of us put together.

You’d think a lass with those curves would have suitors falling all over themselves, but there’s summat about Ali that puts the lads off – and not just her slattern reputation!  She’s got the finest light brown hair and big wide eyes, and you can see from her arms that she’s strong and capable.  But she’s also got a wicked tongue and won’t take No! for an answer.  Of course, that’s what got us all in this mess in the first place.  She can’t keep her gob shut and she likes to brag.  Silly baggage.

Her black dog’s called Nip – an apt name for the snarly creature – and she doesn’t go anywhere without him.  Since we’ve been put in the castle it’s the first time they’ve ever been parted so I hope my son Chris can handle the mutt while we’re gone.

I must admit, our Ali’s got the gift alright – she’s a real chip off the old block when it comes to cunning.  It’s a pity she’s not more kindly disposed to Jenny, but I’ve never known two sister who hate each other like they do.  Her only mate’s Cousin Gracie – our Chris’ lass from Hay Booth.  I’m dead surprised they’ve not rounded her up too, but I’m glad at least one of my granddaughters won’t be standing trial.


The Rivals

When Constable Hargreaves arrested us I was gob smacked.  “Can they do you for magic then, nowadays?” I asked.

He wiped his brow and said, “Not magic. Witchcraft!”  We didn’t ken the difference back then, and by the time we found out it was too late to save our Ali.  But I decided if I was going to swing I’d take the Old Chattox bitch with me so I pointed the finger at her, saying Anne Whittle bade me sell my soul to the Devil.  And a mighty fine yarn I span!

Our rivals live o’er at West Close in Higham.  Old Chattox has two lassies – Anne Redferne and Bessie Whittle – and a grandchild called Marie.   Anne’s the widow of Tom Redferne, a handsome lad cuckolded more times than I’ve had hot porridge.  Bessie though, she’s plainer than milk, and no one ever came courting for that lump of lard.

                                       The Chattoxes      Chattox Clan

Now there once was a time me and Anne Whittle were best mates, when we’d swap potions and recipes for herbals.  But then she grew jealous of my reputation and her wenches broke into Malkin Tower to steal all our hard-earned treasures.  After that, it was war between the two clans so I told Justice Nowell a thing or two about that lot – how we’d seen them hex Christopher and Robert Nutter with our very own eyes.

They’d filched enough of my secrets to fool a good many folk in Pendle.  And some would even argue that Old Chattox is wiser then me.  Ha!

But afore I go on any further let me prove my powers to you.  Today, wear RED for luck and see what happens.

Blessed Be.

Demdike’s Lament: Return of the Druid

Demdike’s Lament: Return of the Druid


In the days of old they called us

the Wise Women

and begged our aid

when the world beat against them.

The Druids crowned us

High Priestesses –

we raised storms to keep

the invaders at bay.

Dancers span spells

and wrought powerful potions,

bringing new life into being

and healing ill.

We brewed roots, bark, plants and

poisoned berries

and sang to claim the winds and wilds.


Then the clergy spoke and made

all the Cunning

into Heretics,

ostracized from the Divine.

We terrified them

and were ground down

under the boot of

the cruel Inquisition.

We became Witches

 and the burnings began.

But we never honored Satan –

only nature.

Yet those put to question

still gave up

their friends to fire and gallows.


We now roam the land as Vagabonds

telling futures

and changing luck.

Skilled eyes that can pierce through the veil

will be Clairvoyants,

 mastering the spirit world.

When doctors and science

fail to tame the feral –

they will label us mad and

damaged Hysterics.

Yet healers always find new ways

to combat superstition.

And when faith returns

I know Wise Women

will ride the moon once again.


Wilhelm Kotabinski

John William Waterhouse

Evelyn Nesbit

Ever Counted Magpies?

Here’s a little rhyme to tell your future by counting Magpies! 


Bird 1      One for sorrow


Bird 2    Two for joy

Bird 3   Three for a girl


Bird 4    Four for a boy


silverFive for silver


gold   Six for gold

secret   Seven for a secret never to be told


wish   Eight for a wish

kiss   Nine for a kiss

Birds 10

Ten for a bird you must not miss.

Happy counting!