Monthly Archives:

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil, and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folk!

 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA : 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil, and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folk!

 
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA : 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

Witchcraft V: Kadina to Hahndorf

In the town of Kadina, on the Yorke Peninsula in 1874 a find inside a local house led to much local intrigue and excitement. A family bought a house close to the mine and began to move in. While going about their business, they decided to inspect the building as they cleaned it. On looking up into the chimney, the Father discovered two suspended bottles containing water and pins.
 The man looked closer in the chimney and soon discovered an old bullocks heart, which was crammed full of pins.
 It was thought that the water, heart and pins were an old protection spell to ward of the evils of witchcraft affecting the householders, by suspending it in the chimney, it is thought to have stopped any witches, or their magic entering the house through the chimney opening.[1]
Witches were also said to live openly in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It is claimed an evil witch and a white witch both lived in the town, competing against each other with their various magical wares.
 The witches were said to be the reason that some residents in the town began to wear their clothing inside out to ward of evil and to wear red ribbons for the same reason.
The Hahndorf community chose to commemorate their witchy past with a mural inside the German Arms Hotel that immortalises the two magical folks!
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

[1] 1874 ‘OUR KADINA LETTER.’, Yorke’s Peninsula Advertiser and Miners’ News (SA: 1872 – 1874), 18 September, p. 2. , viewed 10 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article215906689

Witchcraft in South Australia Part IV Gottfried Hoffman

Witchcraft in South Australia

 Part IV

 Gottfried Hoffman

 In 1853, Lyndoch cattle and pig farmer, 28-year-old, Gottfried Hoffman was living the simple country life in the Barossa Valley. He had emigrated to Australia from Germany with his wife and family and settled in the predominately German Barossa Valley.
Devoutly Lutheran, Hoffman and family were very well known as they often attended church services at nearby Bethany.
 Thing had been going well for the Hoffman family until in late October some his cows and pigs had suddenly, and unexplainably become ill.
 On the 5thof November 8-year-old Mary Wressell, a neighbor of Hoffman’s, suddenly turned up on the families’ doorstep. She asked politely for some butter, of which Mrs Hoffman supplied. Before she left Gottfried asked young Mary, if she could please ask her mother to drop by the house.
 Young Mary returned home to mother (also named Mary) and gave her the butter and message from Mr Hoffman. Mary Ann (mother) finished her chores and went over to the Hoffman house as requested.
Mary Ann knocked on the Hoffman’s door and was greeted by Mrs Hoffman, who suddenly became hostile and accused May Ann of bewitching the families cows.
 Mary Ann, shocked by the allegation, began to deny any such doing when Gottfried suddenly emerged from the side of the house. He came toward Mary Anne, who held out her hand to shake Gottfried’s hand. Gottfried shook in return, then grabbed Mary Ann’s hand tightly, and slashed across her arm with a large knife.
 He rubbed her blood across his hands then stated “mein cows right now.”
Mary Ann cried out in shock and pain, and Gottfried stabbed her in the arm again, then as she twisted to get away he stabbed her twice in the back. He then grabbed a large stick and beat her, before hitting her in the head with a large rock. Mary Ann fell to the ground, but somehow managed to get up and make her way home.
As she stumbled along the path home, she looked back to see Gottfried standing at the front of the house with a shot gun.
Mary Ann made it home to her daughter, who raised the alarm with her father that something was wrong. Dr Notts from Gawler was called, and when he arrived, found Mary Ann hysterical. She had wound an inch and half long on her arm that went through to the bone, and two stab wounds on her back and shoulder. She was also badly beaten and covered in bruises.
Gottfried was soon arrested and charged with cutting, maiming and assaulting Mary Ann Wresell. During the court case Hoffman’s wife and brother’s testimony conflicted with that of Wresell, but the evidence was overwhelming, and the jury found him guilty. Hoffman was sentenced to 5 years hard labour.
Curiously, during the entire court case, Hoffman did not deny his belief that Mary Ann Wessell was a witch that had hexed his farm, and that washing his hands in her blood would cure the families problems!
Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography

1854 ‘WITCHCRAFT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.’, Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 – 1855), 8 March, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE INQUIRER.”), viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65741753

1853 ‘LAW AND POLICE COURTS. SUPREME COURT—CRIMINAT, SIDE.’, Adelaide Times (SA : 1848 – 1858), 3 December, p. 3. , viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207121817

1854 ‘WITCHCRAFT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.’, Inquirer (Perth, WA : 1840 – 1855), 8 March, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE INQUIRER.”), viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65741753

Witchcraft in South Australia: Part IV Gottfried Hoffman

Witchcraft in South Australia

 Part IV

 Gottfried Hoffman

 In 1853, Lyndoch cattle and pig farmer, 28-year-old, Gottfried Hoffman was living the simple country life in the Barossa Valley. He had emigrated to Australia from Germany with his wife and family and settled in the predominately German Barossa Valley.
Devoutly Lutheran, Hoffman and family were very well known as they often attended church services at nearby Bethany.
 Things had been going well for the Hoffman family until in late October some his cows and pigs had suddenly, and unexplainably become ill.
 On the 5th of November 8-year-old Mary Wressell, a neighbour of Hoffman’s suddenly turned up on the families’ doorstep. She asked politely for some butter, of which Mrs Hoffman supplied. Before she left Gottfried asked young Mary, if she could please ask her mother to drop by the house.
 Young Mary returned home to mother (also named Mary) and gave her the butter and message from Mr Hoffman. Mary Ann (mother) finished her chores and went over to the Hoffman house as requested.
Mary Ann knocked on the Hoffman’s door and was greeted by Mrs Hoffman, who suddenly became hostile and accused May Ann of bewitching the families cows.
 Mary Ann, shocked by the allegation, began to deny any such doing when Gottfried suddenly emerged from the side of the house. He came toward Mary Anne, who held out her hand to shake Gottfried’s hand. Gottfried shook in return, then grabbed Mary Ann’s hand tightly, and slashed across her arm with a large knife.
 He rubbed her blood across his hands then stated: “mein cows right now.”
Mary Ann cried out in shock and pain, and Gottfried stabbed her in the arm again, then as she twisted to get away he stabbed her twice in the back. He then grabbed a large stick and beat her, before hitting her in the head with a large rock. Mary Ann fell to the ground but somehow managed to get up and make her way home.
As she stumbled along the path home, she looked back to see Gottfried standing at the front of the house with a shotgun.
Mary Ann made it home to her daughter, who raised the alarm with her father that something was wrong. Dr Notts from Gawler was called, and when he arrived, found Mary Ann hysterical. She had wound an inch and half long on her arm that went through to the bone, and two stab wounds on her back and shoulder. She was also badly beaten and covered in bruises.

Gottfried was soon arrested and charged with cutting, maiming and assaulting Mary Ann Wresell. During the court case, Hoffman’s wife and brother’s testimony conflicted with that of Wresell, but the evidence was overwhelming, and the jury found him guilty. Hoffman was sentenced to 5 years hard labour.

Curiously, during the entire court case, Hoffman did not deny his belief that Mary Ann Wessell was a witch that had hexed his farm, and that washing his hands in her blood would cure the families problems!

Researched and written by Allen Tiller ©2018
Bibliography


1854 ‘WITCHCRAFT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.’, Inquirer (Perth, WA: 1840 – 1855), 8 March, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE INQUIRER.”), viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65741753
1853 ‘LAW AND POLICE COURTS. SUPREME COURT—CRIMINAT, SIDE.’, Adelaide Times (SA: 1848 – 1858), 3 December, p. 3. , viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207121817
1854 ‘WITCHCRAFT IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA.’, Inquirer (Perth, WA: 1840 – 1855), 8 March, p. 2. (SUPPLEMENT TO “THE INQUIRER.”), viewed 09 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65741753

Witchcraft in South Australia: Part III: Australian Laws

Witchcraft in South Australia:

Part III:

Australian Laws

Last blog we looked at Witchcraft laws around the world, this week we will be looking at the Australian States and Territories and laws regarding witchcraft that have been repealed or are still in place.
New South Wales 

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed by the Imperial Acts Application Act, 1969 (NSW),

The offence of fortune telling, [Section 4(2)(n) of the Vagrancy Act, 1902 (NSW)] was repealed by the Summary Offences Act (Repeal) Act, 1979 (NSW). New South Wales currently has no Witchcraft Act.


Northern Territory
The Northern Territory still had The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2 c. 5) as law as late as 2013. (Smail, 2013). The Act was repealed and replaced under the Summary Offences Act 2016 57(1)(d). In the Northern Territory Act, a person commits an offence if they pretend to “…tell fortunes, or uses any subtle craft, means, or device, by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive and impose upon a person”. (NT Gov. 2016).

Queensland 
 Witchcraft in Queensland was covered in The Criminal Code -Section 432, which stated; “Any person who pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration, or undertakes to tell fortunes, or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult science to discover where or in what manner anything supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
 However, the code was changed in 2005, and “witchcraft” perse, is not mentioned, however via invoking Public Nuisance laws, psychics committing fraud can still be charged with a crime.

South Australia
The Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Public Offences) Act, 1991 abolished the Witchcraft laws in SA.

However, the 1991 Act came with a new section, Section 40. A person who, with intent to defraud purports to act as a spiritualist or medium or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.


Victoria
Victoria was the last Australian State to repeal a witchcraft act, which happened in 2005 with the “Vagrancy (Repeal) and Summary Offences (Amendment) Act 2005”, prior to this repeal the law in Victoria Stated:
Section 13 of the Vagrancy Act 1958 which is entitled ‘Fortune Telling and Pretending to Exercise Witchcraft, etc’:
Any person who pretends or professes to tell fortunes or uses any subtle craft means or device by palmistry or otherwise to defraud or impose on any other person or pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner any goods or chattels stolen or lost may be found shall be guilty of an offence. (AAP, 2005)

Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT have no laws against witchcraft.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018

Bibliography
AAP, 2005, Victoria clears witches for take-off, Fairfax Media, viewed 9 April 2018, https://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Victoria-clears-witches-for-takeoff/2005/07/21/1121539075041.html

Smail, S, 2013, Northern Territory government to repeal centuries-old witchcraft, tarot card law, ABC News, viewed 9 April 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-17/northern-territory-to-ditch-their-witchcraft-law/4894086

Northern Territory Government, 2016, Legislation, NT Government, viewed 9 April 2018, https://legislation.nt.gov.au/Legislation/SUMMARY-OFFENCES-ACT

Witchcraft in South Australia: Part III: Australian Laws

Witchcraft in South Australia:

Part III:

Australian Laws

Last blog we looked at Witchcraft laws around the world, this week we will be looking at the Australian States and Territories and laws regarding witchcraft that have been repealed or are still in place.
New South Wales 

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed by the Imperial Acts Application Act, 1969 (NSW),

The offence of fortune telling, [Section 4(2)(n) of the Vagrancy Act, 1902 (NSW)] was repealed by the Summary Offences Act (Repeal) Act, 1979 (NSW). New South Wales currently has no Witchcraft Act.


Northern Territory
The Northern Territory still had The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2 c. 5) as law as late as 2013. (Smail, 2013). The Act was repealed and replaced under the Summary Offences Act 2016 57(1)(d). In the Northern Territory Act, a person commits an offence if they pretend to “…tell fortunes, or uses any subtle craft, means, or device, by palmistry or otherwise, to deceive and impose upon a person”. (NT Gov. 2016).

Queensland 
 Witchcraft in Queensland was covered in The Criminal Code -Section 432, which stated; “Any person who pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or conjuration, or undertakes to tell fortunes, or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult science to discover where or in what manner anything supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
 However, the code was changed in 2005, and “witchcraft” per-se, is not mentioned, however via invoking Public Nuisance laws, psychics committing fraud can still be charged with a crime.

South Australia
The Statutes Amendment and Repeal (Public Offences) Act, 1991 abolished the Witchcraft laws in SA.

However, the 1991 Act came with a new section, Section 40. A person who, with intent to defraud purports to act as a spiritualist or medium or to exercise powers of telepathy or clairvoyance or other similar powers, is guilty of an offence.


Victoria
Victoria was the last Australian State to repeal a witchcraft act, which happened in 2005 with the “Vagrancy (Repeal) and Summary Offences (Amendment) Act 2005”, prior to this repeal the law in Victoria Stated:
Section 13 of the Vagrancy Act 1958 which is entitled ‘Fortune Telling and Pretending to Exercise Witchcraft, etc’:
Any person who pretends or professes to tell fortunes or uses any subtle craft means or device by palmistry or otherwise to defraud or impose on any other person or pretends to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft sorcery enchantment or conjuration or pretends from his skill or knowledge in any occult or crafty science to discover where or in what manner any goods or chattels stolen or lost may be found shall be guilty of an offence. (AAP, 2005)

Tasmania, Western Australia and the ACT have no laws against witchcraft.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018

Bibliography
AAP, 2005, Victoria clears witches for take-off, Fairfax Media, viewed 9 April 2018, https://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Victoria-clears-witches-for-takeoff/2005/07/21/1121539075041.html

Smail, S, 2013, Northern Territory government to repeal centuries-old witchcraft, tarot card law, ABC News, viewed 9 April 2018, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-17/northern-territory-to-ditch-their-witchcraft-law/4894086

Northern Territory Government, 2016, Legislation, NT Government, viewed 9 April 2018, https://legislation.nt.gov.au/Legislation/SUMMARY-OFFENCES-ACT

Witchcraft in South Australia Part II: Witchcraft Laws Around the World.

Witchcraft in South Australia

Part II:

Witchcraft Laws Around the World.

Last blog I introduced a very brief history of witchcraft persecutions across the world. There is much more I could say, but this isn’t the blog to do so. This week, I am going to cover some of the laws pertaining to the practice of witchcraft across the world, many or which have been repealed, but others remain intact, some in countries you would not suspect!
 Ye Olde witch, ‘malefici’ (male) or ‘maleficae’ (female) was thought to be a devil worshipping practitioner, or in league with the devil to gain something for themselves. They were everyday people who were accused of witchcraft for political or social gain, or because they didn’t conform to someone else’s religious views, or sometimes it was purely for how they looked.


1542
In Britain and the English Isles, accusations of witchcraft were rife. In 1542, Henry VIII introduced the Witchcraft Act 1542 (33 Hen. VIII c.8) which was the first law to define witchcraft as a punishable felony. A witch found guilty could face a punishment of death or forfeiture of goods and chattels. It also removed the right to “benefit of clergy”, which was a legal device that anyone that could read a passage form the bible, would be spared from death by hanging.

1563
Elizabeth 1 was next to make laws in England directed at witchcraft with the release of “Act against Conjurations, Enchantments and Witchcrafts. (5 Eliz. I c. 16).”[1]
 Within her new laws, Elizabeth 1 decreed that anyone who should “use, practise, or exercise any Witchcraft, Enchantment, Charm, or Sorcery, whereby any person shall happen to be killed or destroyed” would forego the benefit of clergy and be put to death.
However, for lessor charges of witchcraft, where a person, wasn’t not seriously hurt or killed, imprisonment was the preferred option.
 The same year the Scottish Witchcraft Act was set in place. This act established that both the practice of witchcraft and consulting witches were felonious offences punishable by death. It did not clearly define what witchcraft was, nor how to identify a witch. (Moir, 2014)

1604
 James I was next to add witchcraft laws with; “An Act Against Conjuration, Witchcraft and dealing with evil and wicked spirits”.  James’ I, act broaden the scope of the act that anyone who practiced

1649
The Scottish Witchcraft Act of 1649 expanded on some aspects of the previous, Witchcraft Act of 1563, by passing laws to enforce acts of godliness. It now became illegal to worship false idols, be guilty of blasphemy and curse parents. It also enabled a new clause that allowed the death penalty for consulting with witches, devils or “familiar spirits”.

1735
With the passing of The Witchcraft Act of 1735 (9 Geo. 2 c. 5) previous acts in England and Scotland were repealed and replaced under the one Act. The new act took away the death penalty for guilty parties, and instead enforced fines and imprisonment.
 The scope of “witchcraft” was broadened to become more inclined to represent those who claimed to be psychic. Any person who claimed to be able to tell the future, convene or talk with spirits, cast spells or various other acts could be arrested, fined and imprisoned.
 This is the act under which Helen Duncan was found guilty of witchcraft in 1944.
 The act remained current until 1951, when it was replaced with the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951.
 The Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951 was repealed in 2008 and replaced by consumer protection regulations.

 South Africa still enforces The Witchcraft Suppression ACT, 1957, which was based on the Witchcraft Act of 1753. (Juta and Company, Ltd., 2005.)
 This act states items such as Causing disease or injury to another person or thing, by supernatural means, indicating one is a wizard, or professing to use supernatural powers, witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration shall be liable for a conviction can imprisoned for 20 years.
 Any person who employs a witchdoctor, witch-finder or professes to be a wizard can be fined five hundred Rand or imprisoned for a maximum of 5 year, or both.
Anyone who pretends to use any supernatural power, witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration, or undertakes to tell fortunes, or pretends from his skill in or knowledge of any occult science to discover where and in what manner anything supposed to have been stolen or lost may be found guilty and face a fine of two hundred Rand or two years imprisonment.
 The South African Act was then Amended in 1970 to repeal the 3rd act of the to now read;
“To amend the Witchcraft Suppression Act, 1957, so as to make it an offence for a person who pretends to exercise supernatural powers, to impute the cause of certain occurrences to another person; and to provide for incidental matters.”
The South African witchcraft act is still enforceable to this day.
Next week we will explore current Australian laws regarding witchcraft.

Researched and written by Allen Tiller © 2018

https://www.facebook.com/TheHauntsOfAdelaide/


References

Goodare, Julian. “The Scottish Witchcraft Act.” In Church History, 39-67. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Juta and Company, Ltd.,2005, WITCHCRAFT SUPPRESSION ACT 3 OF 1957, Juta and Company, Ltd. viewed 9 April 2018, http://www.justice.gov.za/legislation/acts/1957-003.pdf

Moir, S, 2014, Scottish act of 1563, Washington and Lee University, viewed 9 April 2018, https://witchhunts.academic.wlu.edu/2014/12/09/scottish-act-of-1563/

Rosen, Barbara & Rosen, Barbara, 1929- 1969, Witchcraft, Edward Arnold, London

[1]UK.Gov, 2018, Act against Conjurations, Enchantments and Witchcrafts. (5 Eliz. I c. 16), The National Archives, Gov. UK viewed 9 April 2018, http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/8c14488f-6e52-41bb-bab9-23f2ca3bb07c