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Peter Paton

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Calls To Pardon 'UK's Last Witch'
by Peter Paton   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2006

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Calls To Pardon 'UK's Last Witch'










Calls To Pardon 'UK's Last Witch'

 





Helen Duncan
Helen Duncan was tried under the Witchcraft Act
The family of the last person in the UK to be prosecuted under the Witchcraft Act will mark the 50th anniversary of her death by calling for her pardon.

Medium Helen Duncan, who was born in Callander, Perthshire, was imprisoned using the law during World War II.

She was targeted by the government after revealing to a séance audience that a warship had sunk before the news had been released to the public.

Her grand-daughter is particularly angry at the accusations of treason.

Mary Martin, of Edinburgh, said Mrs Duncan had been accused of being a traitor.

Spiritualist churches

"When she first came back home after prison she was never the same.

"She always had a bit of a glow about her but she seemed to have lost that.

"Some people said it was treason. My grandmother had two sons and two son in laws in the forces ... and there is no way she would have given anybody information."

Mrs Duncan became one of the most famous mediums of her time, heading a network of spiritualist churches.

During the war she lived in Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy.








She has put us on the right side of the law by bringing in the 1952 act


Mary Armour
Medium


At a séance in 1943 it was claimed that the spirit of a sailor from the HMS Barham appeared.

The vessel was only officially declared lost several months later.

She was arrested in 1944 and sentenced to nine months in prison at the Old Bailey for crimes under the Witchcraft Act of 1735.

While in prison she was visited by Winston Churchill.

When he was re-elected in 1951 the Witchcraft Act was repealed and three years later spiritualism was officially recognised as a religion.

Campaigners to pardon Mrs Duncan have set up an online petition.

The campaign is backed by the British Society of Paranormal Studies.

Medium Mary Armour, who wrote her biography, said: "She has put us on the right side of the law by bringing in the 1952 act."

Web Site: Calls To Pardon 'UK's Last Witch'


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Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader)
Sad bit of history. We have the same with all the witch hunts in Salem.
Good article.

Elizabeth
Reviewed by Birgit and Roger Pratcher
A very interesting and spell binding article, truely enjoyed it!
Love, B&R
Reviewed by Myrna Badgerow
Most interesting and I agree this was very late in coming.. we have some of these same antiquated laws here in the States also.

Myrna
Reviewed by CJ Heck
This is so interesting, Peter. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Love,
CJ
Reviewed by George Carroll
Seems unbelievable that a law like that was on the books so long. But as Jackie has stated some of our States have antiquated laws still on th books, and her pardon should have happened as soon as the law was repealed, as Jackie has stated.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes
Most interesting Peter!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Felix Perry
Very interesting and as always entertaining and certainly somthing to think about Peter. Good article.

Fee
Reviewed by Jackie (Micke) Jinks
Witchcraft Act of 1735 still in force in 1943?? Why wasn't automatic pardon for those arrested under that act made a part of the Repeal of the law?
Crazy laws...some still on the books right here in the U.S.

Very interesting article, Peter. THANKS

Micke

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