Chair and Bibles

Museum Number: 951
Object Name: Chair and bibles
Physical Description: Black iron chair incorporating a balance holding a 2-volume bible ('Southwell's Family Bible'), for weighing suspected witches (reproduction).

Chair and Bibles

QUESTIONS

 

  • Why was this object created? Was it an attempt by the priests to prove that a suspected witch was innocent (most people would certainly have been heavier than the Bible and therefore deemed not guilty)?
  • Would a group of people who were angry at having ‘malefic’ magic (ie “magic designed to cause harm”  as opposed to “magic designed to heal or help someone”) being used in their community go along with this ‘test’?
  • Are their other examples you know of where members of a religion attempted to stop persecutions?
  • How do you feel about this object?
  • What would you say to the person who made it, used it or was ‘tested’ by it?

HAVE A LOOK AT THESE LINKS TO FIND OUT MORE:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basque_witch_trials http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protests_against_early_modern_witch_trials