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Folklore Articles

Faith Healer

Faith Healer

Noake tells of an early Victorian faith healer, a labouring man of Stoke Prior, practising the art of healing 'by a charm', cases of thrush in children. He would put his finger into his own mouth and then into the child's, rubbing the gums and mumbling something ending with 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost', then set the child down....


Healing by Charms

Healing by Charms

Belief in charms survived well into the present century, especially for the cure of mysterious troubles that poultices and physic did not seem to touch, such as warts, skin diseases and fits. The charmer blew three times round the head of the patient, made mystic passes with his hands over the part afflicted and repeated an incantation in a low mumbling voice with the express intention that the words should not be understood....


The Village Wise Woman

The Village Wise Woman

Until the coming of the motor-car there were many villages in Worcestershire hidden away among wooded hills where life went on seemingly unchanged, as it had done for centuries. They were insignificant, out-of-the-world little places, inhabited by quaint old-fashioned folk, whose manners and customs were traditional and superstitious........


The King and Queen, and Bambury Stones on Bredon Hill

The King and Queen, and Bambury Stones on Bredon Hill

Long before Christianity, the Celts worshipped at curiously shaped rocks, not in temples, but in the open air, and on hill-tops. These stones were believed to have magical properties, and on Bredon Hill two groups of stones, of great antiquity, were used for religious and super superstitious purposes..........


Folklore in Past Days

Folklore in Past Days

 

                                         

Folklore is the study of beliefs and practices once firmly held. Few now believe in charms, in giants and fairies, but less than a century ago people in lonely places believed in them....

                                                                                               

 


The Tardebigge Witch Case

The Tardebigge Witch Case

Mrs Cartwright of Stourbridge bewitched led to Court hearing


Witchcraft in Worcestershire

Witchcraft in Worcestershire

In olden times every women - or for that matter, man- who led a solitary life was suspected by neighbours of practising the 'black art'. This was particularly the case if the recluse had knowledge of plants.

Trial by Water

Trial by Water

It was usual for a witch to undergo 'trial by water', for it was believed that,as a form of baptism, the water would reject a disciple of the devil. The thumps were tied crosswise to the opposite

The Salt Lane Witches

The Salt Lane Witches

The Power of a witch to bring wagons to a halt was told by Edward Corbett in one of his local fairy tales. Two old women, who lived in Salt Lane (Castle St),                                                                                        


Rebecca Swan, the Kidderminster Witch

Rebecca Swan, the Kidderminster Witch

In the 1850s, few people living within ten miles of Kidderminster doubted that Becky Swan was a witch. She won her reputation when, being found guilty of obtaining money by false pretences from a servant girl, she prophesied that the magistrate

Edward C. Corbett and the Telling of Folk Tales

Edward C. Corbett and the Telling of Folk Tales

Folklore is the study of beliefs and practises once firmly held. Few now believe in charms, in giants and fairies, but less than a century ago people in lonely places believed in them.

The Witch's Sister

The Witch's Sister

Becky had a sister, Eliza Swan, noted for her charms, who kept a diary, and lived in Kidderminster, working as a hand weaver. She was often in great poverty and was sent to prison for debt.

The Shrawley Witch

The Shrawley Witch

A notable witch case from Shrawley, on the west bank of the Severn, when Margaret Hill was the subject of many accusations. A child who refused her some oatmeal subsequently fell sick, and when she had been unable to obtain tobacco 'on trust',

Kidderminster Witches 1660

Kidderminster Witches 1660

Again at Worcester, shortly before the Ursula Corbett case, a woman and her daughter, and a man, all from Kidderminster, were put through the barbarous trial by water. They were flung into the Severn where 'they would not sink but soared aloft'. Townsend

The Bewdley Witch

The Bewdley Witch

A witch at Bewdley named Susan Wowen gained great notoriety for it was said, she was so wicked that she grew horns on the back of her head three inches long. These were shed every three years, and it is recorded that a Mr.Soley of Sandbourne had one tipped