witching at Rudgwick

This is what passed for news as reported in the Ipswich Journal, 3 May 1851

Ipswich by Cormac Scanlan

“A farmer had four pigs suddenly taken in so strange a way that he thought they were bewitched. The next day one of the pigs died and it was proposed to burn its heart, so that revenge would be obtained on the witch who had caused this.

Miniature pig found here

Two neighbours were to assist in the performance, a stoker and a member of the local peerage. The farmer’s wife and children retired to bed leaving our three daring adventurers to perform the spell. Faggots were provided in plenty and His Lordship was appointed to stick the heart with 99 pins in 9 crosses. The heart was then committed to the flames with the faggots piled in abundance.

Dali Heart Pin

At midnight the farmer and stoker began clubbing and striking the air as if there were a dozen witches in the room. His Lordship turned pale, his lips trembled and his hair stood on end. At this awful moment the pothook caught in the flames and down came the boiler. The chimney had caught fire, greatly endangering a quantity of bacon.

Extreme Bacon Sandwich found here

The farmer’s wife descended the stairs, undeterred by any respect for peerage, she scolded His Lordship and told him he was nothing but an old fool for believing in witches and almost burning her house down. The unfortunate Lord disappeared at once and has scarcely dared show his face since. The farmer was eventually allowed to return to the house, the only result from this adventure being that the chimney was burnt out as clean as though the witch had flown up it on her broomstick.

image found here

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36 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. City fellow driving through rural area and stops at sign at farm. “See Smartest Pig In World. $2″ So farmer shows this 3-legged pig and relates how pig rescued his three children when barn burned down. Then relates how pig chased away 2 dangerous armed buglers from house. Then relates how pig can count to ten and repeat A,B, C’s. Impressed the city fellow asks “So tell me, why does the pig have only three legs?” Farmer replies “Are you crazy? You don’t butcher for market a smart pig like this like all the rest. So we just made a ham sandwich.” PS Please don’t block me from commenting anymore over this joke.

    • Are you kidding? I love it. I just might put it in the monthly newsletter at my real job.

      • Same city fellow stops at next town for gas. Watches a farmer on the side turning round and round dragging a six foot piece of rope in circles round and round. So city man can’t contain himself and asks” Why are you pulling that rope round and round?” Farmer looks at him like he is some ignorant fool from the city and replies “For goodness sakes mister. Have you ever tried to PUSH a rope?

      • Now you’re really pushing the friendship

    • One of my husband’s favorite jokes! Love it!

  2. Well, I guess these were bundles of wood and not a bunch of well-dressed happy blokes, the faggots in the story. Still, all the bacon references have made me want to cook, I think a recipe is in order?

    A faggot is a kind of pork meatball, a traditional dish in parts of the UK, especially Wales and the Black Country. It was originally made from unwanted off-cuts of meat.

    The dish saw its greatest popularity with the rationing during World War II, but has become less popular in recent years. Faggots are usually home-made, and are to be found on traditional butchers’ stalls and in markets.

    A popular dish is “faggots and peas”, which is often served with gravy.

    • I knew the old term for bundles of sticks but had completely forgotten it was an edible dish as well. Thanks Cindy.

  3. glad they saved the bacon… and the extreme bacon sandwich makes me drool! i want to make bedsheets like that!

    • daisyfae, your mind works in mysterious ways ;-)

      • Waste not, I suppose.

  4. And tabloid journalism is still telling the same tales, breathlessly yet loudly, 150 years later!

    I’m pretty sure Batboy must’ve been involved in this… somehow.

    • Oh that’s a great link Coyote!!!!

  5. Endangering bacon is one of the deadliest sins. Instead of beating the air, they should have focused on their meat.

    • I always focus on the meat. As queenwilly and The King can attest when we meet for our weekly barbecue and mah jongg game.

  6. pigs, witches and bacon! I could be a witch, that would be fun. And, as for bacon… best food on planet, oh my god. I love bacon.
    And, pigs? eh!

    • Bacon and oysters = best food on the planet. They’re not called Angels on Horseback for nothing.

  7. If that ‘ickle piggy goes wee wee wee in my coffee there’ll be trouble!

    • Them’s idle threats you big softie

      • Oooo ….. you’ve gone all Calamity Jane ….

  8. Faggots and strokers together in the same room? And bacon to boot? Francis Bacon would be in hog heaven.

    • He would indeed

  9. MMmmm bacon sandwiches – that chimney-cooked piece of pig must’ve been mighty good.

  10. Well, it’s obvious where his Lordship went wrong, isn’t it? He should have stuck the heart with 49 pins in 7 crosses. You only use 99 pins for the plague or sins of the flesh.

  11. I think I don’t know what one of those words means. Which is weird, as I totally thought I did. But apparently not.

    • Cindy (above) can explain everything

  12. Ipswich folk is funny folk – not like us Fen dwellers and Turnip boys. For getting rid of the witches, we use the Rev. Wm Forby’s cure: take some urine from the affected person or animal and, at midnight, boil it in an iron pan with nine nails from nine old horseshoes. It is important that this is done without speaking because, as the liquid starts to boil, the nails will start to dance in the liquid and, by the noise and smell, simultaneously the evil spirit will be cast out.

    Of course, collecting the urine was a specialist task for the exorcist’s assistant – hence the phrase: “Be you taking the piss, boy?”

  13. This is your least kosher post ever!

  14. Why does the girl in the Broomsticks ad look like she’s a hostage? Is that a selling point for those pants? “Buy this slacks and frightened women will cower by your knees.” Actually, that sounds pretty awesome. I gotta get me a few pairs of Broomsticks now!

    • Yes yes – then send me photos!!

  15. sorry couldn’t get further than Ipswich! Nothing happens in Ipswich ever lol

  16. I’m not sure about whether this should be the first post of yours on which I comment. But I guess I’ve gone and done it anyway. [I've been lurking for a while. You scare me a little, but in a good way.]

    If Elvira’s little-sister-with-the-mood-ring is “the action” to which the Fortrel pants are meant to stand up, then, uh, I’ll take the incredible woven bacon sandwich please. :)

    • Oh but David – don’t you think she’s pretty cute? With that frightened, innocent look?

      • Actually, no. I edited my comment, which originally said she was a “skank-ho porn actress” and the look on her face reads disgust to me. She was probably thinking about how it’s impossible to remove bacon grease stains from Fortrel, as well as the smell from a chimney fire. I should re-read this post.

  17. I’m digging the farmer’s wife in this story. As usual, the chick is the only one with half a brain. ;)

  18. I have no words for this.


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