Marked: The Witchcraft Persecution of Goodwife Unise Cole 1656-1680

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9781519357304: Marked: The Witchcraft Persecution of Goodwife Unise Cole 1656-1680
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Puritan superstition confronts an indomitable will in this richly researched, groundbreaking biography of Goodwife Unise Cole, the woman known as the Witch of Hampton.

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From the Author:

Goodwife Unise Cole (c.1600-1680) is arguably the most famous person ever to have lived in the small seacoast town of Hampton, New Hampshire. Founded in 1638 by Puritan immigrants who brought with them a strong belief in the Devil and witchcraft, the town is steeped in brooding stories of the supernatural, the legend of Goody Cole ranked first among them.

I wanted to know - who was the real person behind the lore? No one had ever written extensively on her life before, and I wondered, was it even possible to find out?    
As I discovered during my research, the facts of her existence present themselves like the prison she was so often in: dark, windowless, and having a heavily barred door to further inquiry. It is impossible to know who she really was and what her desires and demons might have been. The surviving court records tell a tale of rancor and contention between Unise Cole and her neighbors, who lived in a compact village about the meeting house green.

Unise Cole has achieved minor cult status in the region as a witch and renowned victim of the Puritan's harsh belief system. Variously feared and pitied, she has been portrayed as a foul-tempered misanthrope imbued with magical powers. It's frankly hard to imagine this 17th century woman as a smiling, carefree little girl playing with dolls and making dandelion necklaces, and even harder to see her as an earnest young woman with thoughts of marriage and children. Surely she was both, but that simple observation has been lost beneath a thick veneer of legend, most of it of the pointed black hat and broomstick variety.   
Regardless, there was much to discover and uncover about Unise's real life, including the interesting dynamic between this 17th century goodwife and her husband William, a man nearly 30 years her senior, as well as with the child that she claimed had been turned into an ape through witchcraft.
Unise was not able, or unwilling, to control her bursts of socially unacceptable behavior, which the townspeople deemed witchcraft. She likely suffered from some sort of mental or emotional illness. She was a tempestuous, contentious woman, whose punishments - fines, admonishments, set in stocks, whippings, years of imprisonment, as well as enduring the medieval witch-finding techniques of searching and watching - fed her anger and resentment.

Her childlessness, poverty, and perennial outsider status were contributing factors. After her husband died in 1662, she was utterly alone in the world. No wonder she later tried to bribe a young girl into living with her (for which she would be accused of using witchcraft to entice the girl).    
I chose to spell her given name Eunice as Unise - the way it was written by her neighbor, the stern Hampton magistrate, Samuel Dalton. It was written likewise by a Boston scribe who penned the only document - a petition for release from prison - known to contain her personal mark (reproduced in the book). The name Eunice/Unise was not very common in the 17th century, and its meaning, 'good victory,' certainly didn't fit her very well.    
Marked is also the story of Unise Cole's  'exoneration' by the town of Hampton during its 300th anniversary celebration in 1938, in which the town's residents attempted to atone for the terrible wrongs done to Mrs. Cole by their Puritan forefathers.

From the Back Cover:

"It must be so, it shall be so, do what you will."

So muttered Goodwife Unise Cole to her neighbor Abraham Drake as he pondered his mysteriously deceased livestock. The deaths were blamed on her familiarity with the Devil, one of many similiar accusations lodged against her- she bewitched crops; shape-shifted into a dog, a cat, an eagle; had conversations with the Devil; enticed young children; and moved at supernatural speed. Worse, she was blamed for the deaths of a man as he lay helpless in his bed and a child who had been diabolically transformed into an 'ape.'

Unise Cole's childlessness, low social status, and tempestuous spirit marked her for persecution as a witch in the puritan town of Hampton, where she endured three decades of accusations, whippings, court trials, and imprisonment, all in an attempt to banish her from the town.

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Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. It must be so, it shall be so, do what you will. So muttered Goodwife Unise Cole to her neighbor Abraham Drake as he pondered his mysteriously deceased livestock. The deaths were blamed on her familiarity with the Devil, one of many similiar accusations lodged against her- she bewitched crops; shape-shifted into a dog, a cat, an eagle; had conversations with the Devil; enticed young children; and moved at supernatural speed. Worse, she was blamed for the deaths of a man as he lay helpless in his bed and a child who had been diabolically transformed into an ape. Unise Cole s childlessness, low social status, and tempestuous spirit marked her for persecution as a witch in the puritan town of Hampton, where she endured three decades of accusations, whippings, court trials, and imprisonment, all in an attempt to banish her from the town. Drawn from historical records, Marked is the first book to examine Goodwife Cole s life from her time in England, through her arrival and settlement in Massachusetts, her stormy relations with her neighbors and the law, the witchcraft trials, and beyond her death to her later notoriety. In her third non-fiction book about the people and events in the small seacoast town of Hampton, New Hampshire, Cheryl Lassiter shares her passion for detailed historical research to tell the definitive, true story of the woman known as The Witch of Hampton. Seller Inventory # APC9781519357304

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Book Description Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. It must be so, it shall be so, do what you will. So muttered Goodwife Unise Cole to her neighbor Abraham Drake as he pondered his mysteriously deceased livestock. The deaths were blamed on her familiarity with the Devil, one of many similiar accusations lodged against her- she bewitched crops; shape-shifted into a dog, a cat, an eagle; had conversations with the Devil; enticed young children; and moved at supernatural speed. Worse, she was blamed for the deaths of a man as he lay helpless in his bed and a child who had been diabolically transformed into an ape. Unise Cole s childlessness, low social status, and tempestuous spirit marked her for persecution as a witch in the puritan town of Hampton, where she endured three decades of accusations, whippings, court trials, and imprisonment, all in an attempt to banish her from the town. Drawn from historical records, Marked is the first book to examine Goodwife Cole s life from her time in England, through her arrival and settlement in Massachusetts, her stormy relations with her neighbors and the law, the witchcraft trials, and beyond her death to her later notoriety. In her third non-fiction book about the people and events in the small seacoast town of Hampton, New Hampshire, Cheryl Lassiter shares her passion for detailed historical research to tell the definitive, true story of the woman known as The Witch of Hampton. Seller Inventory # APC9781519357304

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