Jennet Device

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Jennet Device

Birthplace: Lancashire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: after 1636
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Device and Elizabeth Device (Ingham)
Sister of James Device and Alizon Device

Managed by: Bill Barnes
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Jennet Device

Nine-year-old Jennet Device was an illegitimate beggar and would have been lost to history but for her role in one of the most disturbing trials on record.
Jennet's evidence in the 1612 Pendle witch trial in Lancashire led to the execution of 10 people, including all of her own family.
At the time Lancashire had a reputation for being full of trouble-makers and subversives. Jennet lived with her mother Elizabeth, her grandmother Demdike, older sister Alizon and brother James in the shadow of the Pendle hill. Villagers dubbed Demdike a "cunning woman".
In The Wonderful Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, Potts recounted how Jennet's mother Elizabeth screamed out when her daughter entered the court. Jennet demanded her mother be removed and then climbed on a table and calmly denounced her as a witch.
Her convincing evidence was believed by the jury and after a two-day trial all her family and most of her neighbours were found guilty of causing death or harm by witchcraft.
The day after they were hanged at Gallows Hill.
Ultimately though, Jennet fell victim to the very precedent she set herself in 1633.
Twenty years after the trial she too was accused of witchcraft along with 16 others by 10-year-old Edmund Robinson.
They were found guilty by a jury but the judges were not happy and it was referred to the Privy Council. England had become more sceptical over time and physical evidence was demanded.
Edmund eventually admitted lying because of the stories he had heard about the Pendle witch trial.
The last known record of Jennet Device was in 1636.

"The witch trial that made legal history" by Frances Cronin, BBC, 17th August 2011

Jennet Device, the child witch who killed the Pendle Witches, The Spoky Isles

The Pendle Witch Child, BBC Documentary

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Jennet Device's Timeline

Lancashire, England (United Kingdom)
Newchurch-in-Pendle, Lancashire, England (United Kingdom)
Age 33