The Violence
November 28, 2012 8:43 AM   Subscribe

The Violence is a new album by Darren Hayman about the Essex Witch Trials conducted by Matthew Hopkins, where over 300 women were put to death between 1644 and 1646.

The Violence is the third album in Darren Hayman's Essex Trilogy, after with Pram Town and Essex Arms (and it's companion album The Green And The Grey).

Also, The Violence isn't the only album out this year about English witch trials. 1612 Underture by The Eccentronic Research Council is all about the Pendle Witch Trials in Lancashire in 1612.
posted by dng (7 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Cathedral's Hopkins (The Witchfinder General) is another carefully-researched musical development of this subject.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:48 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The ERC album is lovely.

I'm sort of surprised that neither record is on the Ghost Box label, and that no Ghost Box artist has made a Pendle witch concept LP!
posted by jack_mo at 1:22 PM on November 28, 2012

Oh, and here's another Pendle Witch-related music/spoken word thing: Lucy Over Lancashire by Paul Rooney - hard to find, but there's an excerpt on YouTube
posted by jack_mo at 1:38 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

Many of the women were widows and spinsters who would have otherwise starved to death.
posted by parmanparman at 9:50 PM on November 28, 2012

Always good to hear more Darren Hayman.

Poet Simon Armitage made a great BBC4 doc about the Pendle Witch Trials, there's also a good MeTa thread here
posted by brilliantmistake at 10:32 PM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

The figure of 300 presumably comes from the Wikipedia entry for Matthew Hopkins, which states that Hopkins 'is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of 300 women between the years 1644 and 1646'. However, the source cited for this assertion is James Sharpe's essay on 'The Lancashire witches in historical context' (on Google Books here), which states: 'There was, as far as we know, only one really mass witch-craze in England, that associated with the witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins which broke out in East Anglia in 1645 and claimed over a hundred lives.' Not content with misquoting the source, Wikipedia then goes on to claim that the figure of 300 is 'at the lower end of the various estimates', whereas it is plainly at the upper end.

This doesn't affect the substance of your post, dng, but I thought it was worth putting on record as an illustration of why Wikipedia, for all its virtues, can never be fully relied on as a trustworthy source. As another (better) Wikipedia entry on 'Witch trials in the Early Modern period' points out, there's a long tradition of flagrant exaggeration when it comes to estimating the number of people put to death for witchcraft, so these figures need to be handled particularly carefully.
posted by verstegan at 5:06 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this. I was looking for some subdued but interesting music to write to and this fit the bill. 'We Are Not Evil' and 'Vinegar Tom' are the standouts after my third listen.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:11 AM on November 29, 2012

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