Gubblecote :: Shared Description

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.
Tring Brewery brew a "strong ruby ale" called "Colley's Dog" LinkExternal link in commemoration.
by Rob Farrow
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4 images use this description:

SP9015 : Gubblecote Cross & The Last Witch by Rob Farrow
SP9015 : Luke's Lane Gubblecote by Rob Farrow
SP9015 : Cottages on Luke's Lane, Gubblecote by Rob Farrow
SP9015 : Tring Road, Gubblecote by Rob Farrow


These Shared Descriptions are common to multiple images. For example, you can create a generic description for an object shown in a photo, and reuse the description on all photos of the object. All descriptions are public and shared between contributors, i.e. you can reuse a description created by others, just as they can use yours.
Created: Fri, 9 Jul 2010, Updated: Tue, 24 Apr 2018

The 'Shared Description' text on this page is Copyright 2010 Rob Farrow, however it is specifically licensed so that contributors can reuse it on their own images without restriction.

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