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 Beheaded Teen Witch Gets Proper Funeral…700 Years Later

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ravengrim
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PostSubject: Beheaded Teen Witch Gets Proper Funeral…700 Years Later   Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:07 pm

Beheaded Teen Witch Gets Proper Funeral…700 Years Later

The body of a 14th century teenager thought to have been beheaded as a witch and buried on unconsecrated ground has been exhumed and given a proper burial.

The girl, named Holly by archaeologists because her remains were found beneath a holly bush, had had her head laid at her side, a sign that she might have been suspected of witchcraft.

Holly's body was found six years ago in Hoo, Kent, during an excavation by archaeologists prior to work starting on a housing development and was taken away for research.

The remains were dated from medieval pottery found in the same area.
Dr Paul Wilkinson, director of the Kent Archaeological Field School, said the decapitation - which it was believed would deny eternal life - meant Holly was 'shamed' and was either a teenage witch, a criminal or had committed suicide.
Two plumed horses and a glass carriage carried the remains of the girl to what should now be her final resting place in the churchyard at Hoo St Werburgh Parish Church, in Kent.

A crowd of more than 200 mourners - who had responded to an appeal to give the suspected witch a respectable funeral - gathered to pay their respects to a teenager whose identity remains a mystery.

Despite such little knowledge about the girl being laid to rest, as the little wicker coffin was lifted from the carriage by four bearers, heads were bowed and one mourner placed flowers on the coffin as it was lowered into the ground.

A joint Anglican and Catholic funeral service was held for the mystery girl.

The grave and coffin were blessed by Father Victor, Catholic priest of the church, and the Reverend Andy Harding, who pressed to give Holly a funeral denied her at the time she died.

Her body was found six years ago during an excavation by archaeologists.


Witchcraft, alleged or real, was treated as any other sort of heresy during the Middle Ages

Before the weekend funeral, the Reverend Harding said: 'When I found out about it, I thought it was a tragic story.
'We just wanted to give her a funeral that was denied to her at the time. At the end of the day, God will be our judge. She obviously came from Hoo so she will probably be buried close to the rest of her family.'

He added: 'We don't know exactly what happened to her but what we do know is that her life came to an horrific end and even in death she was treated appallingly.

'When I found out about it, I thought it was a tragic story and I felt a need to give her what had clearly been denied to her all those years ago, and that is a proper burial.

'We wanted to put her back where she should have been when she first died, and we will be placing her with her head on her shoulders as it should be.

'Execution in those days would have been for such things as witchcraft, so if they had gone so far as to take her head off, she would have had to have committed a mortal sin.'

Speaking after the funeral he said it had been lovely to see so many people moved by Holly's story.

'I believe everybody should receive a respectable funeral and that was something that had been denied her,' he said. 'At the end of the day God will be our judge.'

Pottery found in the same area dates back to medieval times and so it is suspected the body was from the same period.


Just thought this was interesting.Not a happy ending,but just an ending.At least her body didn't end up on display somewhere.

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PostSubject: Re: Beheaded Teen Witch Gets Proper Funeral…700 Years Later   Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:17 pm

That poor girl. Another victim of fear. sad or frown

I'm glad they gave her a proper burial. Too little too late, but better than nothing I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Beheaded Teen Witch Gets Proper Funeral…700 Years Later   Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:25 pm

Wow, that's really sad. It's good to see that there are caring people out there to want to give her the burial she deserves. It's also nice of them to reattach her head too.
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