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Rebecca West

Anne & Rebecca West

HOPKINS: You were a child. Listen. Confession will save you from the fate awaiting the others.

REBECCA: Will they die?

HOPKINS: They must. “

  The World Turned Upside Down, 2020

Rei Mordue as Rebecca West in The Ungodly

Anne West (The World Turned Upside Down)

Rebecca West was a young woman from Lawford who was put on trial for witchcraft but never convicted. Though she walked free, it came at a cost.

She was accused of worshipping the devil at a prayer meeting with her mother, Bess Clarke and Anne Leach. Tragedies like Prudence Hart losing her baby in the street meant that fingers soon pointed to Rebecca and her mother. She was kept in prisoned at Colchester Castle by Hopkins, living for several weeks in terrible conditions in the hope she would confess. 

Rebecca did finally confess to witchcraft, and named a group of other people who she had practiced magic with as a young girl. All of them were executed, including her mother, Anne West. She said that her mother had told her not to tell anyone what they had done, and that she had said “if shee ever did speake of it that shee should suffer more tortures and paines on earth, then the paines of hell.”

REBECCA: My mother told all of them that they could trust me.

HOPKINS: You must examine yourself closely and unfold all to me. For this is high treason against God. This is the only way to avoid utter ruin and the only way to leave this place. You may yet escape the noose Rebecca. “

  The Ungodly, 2023


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