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