Ellen Hayward – the last witch trial …

Despite having lived here several years, I’ve only recently come across Ellen’s story. Born in Arlingham ca 1838, Ellen eventually lived in Cinderford where she practised as a respected wise woman, a herbalist curing both people and animals. With three children, she said she was a widow but in fact Ellen had never married – something which the good people of Cinderford possibly didn’t know.

But in 1905 four people from one household went insane subsequent to the head of the house consulting Ellen over missing money. Accusations of witchcraft flew all over – as far as Parliament. The following year, an ambitious policeman saw his opportunity in another case of Ellen’s and accused her essentially of witchcraft. I’m planning a short story and then a book based – loosely – on Ellen’s life.

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