From Suffolk to Salem
A case that was said to have greatly influenced the judges in Salem, was that of Rose Cullender and Amy Deny in 1662.
Details of their trials were recorded in a pamphlet published in 1682, entitled: A Tryal of Witches at the Assizes held at Bury St. Edmonds for the County of Suffolk; on the Tenth day of March, 1664
The pamphlet dates the trial as 1664, but other records clearly state that the trial took place in the 14th year of Charles II’s reign, making it 1662 not 1664.
Both women were elderly widows living in the town of Lowestoft. It is probable that these two women did not even know one other. Yet they were accused together of using witchcraft against several young children, resulting in one of the children’s death.
The only evidence that linked these women together, was that they had both tried and failed to make purchases from a merchant names Samuel Pacy. Pacy had two daughters that were supposed victims of the women.
Cullender and Deny were both hung at Bury St. Edmunds on 17th March 1662.
During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the judges used the publication A Tryal of Witches as evidence to validate the use of spectral evidence in a trial. Spectral evidence being; the testimony of the afflicted claiming to see the apparition of the person who was afflicting the illness on them. It was argued that for the Devil to use a person’s shape to do this, he must have first obtained permission from that person. So, this was accepted as evidence of the suspects guilt. Since the use of spectral evidence had been permitted in the trial at Bury St. Edmunds, it was also permitted in the Salem trials.