Thomas Covell And The Pendle Witches
I recently discovered that I’m a direct descendant of Thomas Covell – that’s him on the picture below. It’s taken from an engraving in the church in which he’s buried in Lancaster (Lancaster, England – for my overseas followers). As you can see from the clothes he’s wearing – an Elizabethan ruff, furs and well shod – he was clearly a man of means.
Thomas Covell had, in fact, been the Mayor of Lancaster six times, as well as being the Keeper of Lancaster Castle during a turbulent period in English history. However, I then went on to discover he was also known as one of the key figures in the events surrounding the Pendle Witches, having almost certainly been at least partially responsible for putting them to their deaths – by hanging!
These are the headlines about Thomas Covell, but I’m intrigued to learn more about him. Was he the one dimensional historical scapegoat – the ‘notorious Thomas Covell’ – or was there, as I suspect, rather more to him than that?
I’d be really interested if anyone out there has any further thoughts or information.