SP9015 : Gubblecote Cross & The Last Witch

taken 8 years ago, near to Long Marston, Hertfordshire, Great Britain

Gubblecote Cross & The Last Witch
Gubblecote Cross & The Last Witch
This is Gubblecote Cross where Thomas Colley's corpse hung in chains for years - for more information read the story below.
On the 23rd August 1751 Gubblecote Cross was the site of the hanging of Thomas Colley, the ringleader of a gang who had murdered an innocent couple accused of witchcraft. Ruth Osborne had been accused by locals of being a witch, due to the belief that she had cursed John Butterfield after he had refused to give her buttermilk, saying that his pigs were in need of it. After the refusal, both he and some of his cattle fell ill, and Ruth was blamed. Ruth and her unfortunate husband, both in their seventies, were hounded, but escaped to Tring where they hid, first in the workhouse, then in the church. Eventually they were dragged from the church and were ducked in a local pond, this being a traditional method of detecting a witch - if they drowned they were innocent, but if they floated they were guilty. Ruth floated somewhat, so they dragged her across the lake. Eventually she suffocated on the mud and died. Her husband, being elderly and frail also succumbed to the experience and died shortly afterwards. As the ringleader, Colley was tried, found guilty and was executed at Gubblecote Cross, where he hung in chains for many years afterwards apparently. The site is said to be haunted by his spirit in the shape of a large, gaunt, shaggy black dog. Ruth Osborne was the last woman ever to be killed for witchcraft in England, and Colley the last man to be executed for carrying out such a crime.
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SP9015, 9 images   (more nearby )
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Wednesday, 7 July, 2010   (more nearby)
Friday, 9 July, 2010
Road Junction > Road junction   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 9048 1512 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:49.6429N 0:41.3088W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SP 9049 1513
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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