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  • Henry Hastings, Sr. (c.1578 - 1649)
    From Last Edited=11 Feb 2009 Sir Henry Hastings was born circa 1578.2 He was the son of Walter Hastings and Joyce Roper.2 He married, firstly, Dorothy Huddleston circa 1606 at Sawston, Cambri...
  • Samuel Fleming (c.1548 - 1620)
    The Dictionary of National Biography has understandably laid considerable weight upon published works as a criterion for inclusion within its pages. It is no doubt for this reason that Abraham Fleming ...
  • Philippa Flower (b. - 1619)
    The Flowers of Bottesford Joan, Margaret and Philippa Flowers were 'known to be herbal healers' and came from a local family which 'had fallen on hard times'. They accepted employment as servants...
  • Margaret Flower (b. - 1619)
    The Flowers of Bottesford Joan, Margaret and Philippa Flowers were 'known to be herbal healers' and came from a local family which 'had fallen on hard times'. They accepted employment as servants...
  • Joan Flower (b. - 1619)
    The Flowers of Bottesford Joan , Margaret and Philippa Flowers were 'known to be herbal healers' and came from a local family which 'had fallen on hard times'. They accepted employment as servant...

he had two sons, both of which died in their infancy by wicked practises and sorcerye (inscription on the grave of Frances Manners, 6th Earl of Rutland)

The Witches of Belvoir were Joan Flower and her daughters Margaret and Philipa, local herbal healers who were dismissed as servants by the 6th Earl and Countess of Rutland. The earl, countess and all three of their children soon fell ill and a two of their children died: Henry (bur. 1613) and Francis (bur. 1619). Katherine Manners, daughter of the earl and his first wife, was the only surviving child. It was only after their second son died that the Flowers were accused of witchcraft.

Joan died soon after being arrested but her daughters were tried by Sir Edward Bromley, who was previously involved with Pendle witch trials, and Sir Henry Hobart. They admitted that they and their mother had engaged in witchcraft and named three more cunning women. The two girls were found guilty and hung.

A more recent theory has suggested that George Villiers, who would become the Duke of Buckingham, planned to marry Katherine Manners, so he poisoned her two brothers and inherited the estate on his wedding day.

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Original Document

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