“It’s all lies, so help me, lies, and I commend my soul to God.”
The World Turned Upside Down, 2020
Mary Lakeland, also known as Mother Lakeland, was a woman from Ipswich who was accused of witchcraft.
Supposedly she admitted to murdering her husband; causing a man called William Lawrence and his son upset and eventually death because he asked for the repayment of a loan she couldn’t afford; and murdering the maid servant of a woman who had also asked for the repayment of a small loan.
Lakeland also admitted to practicing magic against a former suitor of her granddaughter by sinking his ship and making him ill. She confessed to making a pact with the Devil, who scratched her hand with his claw.
She was one of the few accused witches who were actually burned at the stake, while most witches were hanged. This is because she was found guilty of murdering her husband, which was considered petty treason – punishable by burning – and was charged on that basis.