Aug 1, 2009
The remains of a 14th century teenager, believed to have been beheaded on charges of witchcraft and buried in unconsecrated ground, has been laid to rest in a proper funeral…700 years after her death.
The girl, named Holly by archaeologists because her remains were found beneath a holly bush, had had her head laid at her side, a sign that she might have been suspected of witchcraft.
Dr Paul Wilkinson, director of the Kent Archaeological Field School, said the decapitation – which it was believed would deny eternal life – meant Holly was ’shamed’ and was either a teenage witch, a criminal or had committed suicide.
A crowd of more than 200 mourners – who had responded to an appeal to give the suspected witch a respectable funeral – gathered to pay their respects to a teenager whose identity remains a mystery.