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The Tudor Society
  • 5 July 1589 – The hanging of Joan Cunny, one of the ‘Essex Witches’

    On this day in history, 5th July 1589, Joan Cunny (Cony), one of the ‘Essex Witches’, was hanged at Chelmsford.

    Joan Cunny was born in around 1508 and was from Stisted in Essex. She was accused of killing her neighbours and causing a great storm. Cunny had told of how she knelt in a circle and prayed to Satan to conjure her familiar and spirits. The pre-trial examination of Joan Cunny, along with those of Joan Prentice and Joan Upney, was published in 1589 as The Apprehension and Confession of Three Notorious Witches. Joan Prentice, who had a ferret-shaped familiar named Satan who had killed a child, was also hanged on 5th July, as was Joan Upney.

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