17th century Letter

Dear Matthew Hopkins,

I am a 40 year old woman and I have been accused of witchcraft. I am not a witch. I am a British citizen who lives under the reign of the king and I am faithful to God. I would have no reason to consult with Satan or do any of his biddings. I may have a birthmark on my arm but that does not mean I am a witch. I was born with it and have no control over it. I was married to a young man and failed to make children. When he died, I lost all my income. Because I am a widow, it does not make me accusable of witchcraft. I am merely a peasant, withering under your sovereign. I’m begging you to please end the witch hunts. Witches are foolish fantasies and taking the lives of innocent women is not the answer to keeping our sacred religion safe. Many have been burned, drowned, tortured, and hung just because of false accusations. They have gone through hell, being prodded with needles, trying to find marks of the devil on their bodies that aren’t there. Being forced to admit lies.  This is unfair to every woman who has been killed. We are all innocent. I’m begging for this to end, I’ve wandered the streets of Britain and witnessed the cruelty of witch hunters, not even flinching when blood of the dead splatters on their pure white uniforms. Please stop witch hunts, save the innocent.

I am not afraid of speaking up. I do not fear death nor torture, but what frightens me to the bone is the thought of this never coming to an end. I already know what horrors lie before me. Women need to declare our own justice, and I’m starting with this letter.

-Innocent citizen of England

9/15/1701

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