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Witchcraft Prosecution in CT with Richard G. Tomlinson

  • Broadcast in History
Fieldstone Common

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Listen in to Fieldstone Common this week as host Marian Pierre-Louis talks to Richard G. Tomlinson, author of Witchcraft Prosecution: Chasing the Devil in Connecticut.

Mercy Disbrow was convicted. A date was set for her hanging. An appeal was made. Then something extraordinary happened. Mercy was granted a reprieve that became a pardon, because of a technical error in the composition of the jury. The court said, "If a real and apparent murderer be condemned and executed outside of due form of law, it is indictable against them that do it." The place was Hartford, Connecticut. The offense was witchcraft. The year was 1693.

Connecticut's colonial settlers feared witches. They came from an England where the prosecution of witches was rising to its peak, and they were anxious about the possible threats to their new settlements that witchcraft might represent. This book presents the evolution of witchcraft prosecution in Connecticut from the enactment of the law making it a capital offence in 1642 to its disappearance in the early 1700s.

Richard G. Tomlinson, is a founder and director of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc and currently serves as Chair of the Publication Committee and as vice president. He created the annual CSG Literary Awards for Genealogy and Family History, and the CSG magazine, Connecticut Genealogy News, and has published many genealogical and family history articles.

He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Historical Society. He is a descendant of Henry Tomlinson of Derby, England who settled in Milford, CT in 1650.

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LIVE: THURSDAY, 18 OCTOBER 2012 at 1:00pm EST