False Witness Part 1

New England, 1692

As filled in by a resident of a New England village, 310 years ago.


Watching witch trials, talking about witch trials, attending anti -witch society coffee mornings and bring and buy sales, supporting and attending excursions to witch executions. Going to church, talking about who wasn’t in church, spreading rumours about where those who should have been in church actually were and where they are going to be sent to now as a result of not going to church last Sunday. Crochet.

Aspirations of population
To knock off as many witches as possible; to travel the length and breadth of the entire village but certainly not beyond in one’s lifetime; not to smile; to have an adequate harvest but not too good a harvest as to bring attention upon yourself or tempt yourself with worldly goods, to get to heaven.

Witches, slaves, anybody or anything from outside the village, dogs, bare skin, new inventions, new thoughts, anything new, anything remotely funny, colourful, light or frivolous, just about everything else you can think of, and …oh yes the Devil

Favourite music of the time
All singing is the work of Beelzebub and will not be tolerated.

Favourite books of the time
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

Celebrities of the time
All of the above.


Should not be in the least concerned with how you look. Muted and sombre; greys and browns– think ugly and you’re almost there; must cover the whole body with absolutely no sign of skin. Absurd amount of underwear and armoury a must – layers such as petticoats, bed sheets, iron curtains- dresses must allow for this fact by being at least one foot too large around waist. Little white bonnets covering the hair giving the impression of piety. Overall the whole look is making a definite statement – it’s out there saying ‘Yes I’m actually rather dull’

The pout (think Kate Moss) is a popular look but the smile is definitely so last year.

It is expected that you dress like a minister even if you are not one (Black, sombre clothing). The village should be filled with hundreds of little men who look like ministers running around keeping themselves occupied. You never know when a real minister will pop up behind you and say “Stop doing that – it’s very naughty and, yes, I am a real minister. ” To which you will reply by asking, ” How do I know you’re a real minister and not just another little man in disguise?” And he will reveal his dog collar to you and say; “You’ve been nicked mate.”

What else was happening in the world?

Who cares. What is happening in our town is all that should concern us. Now if Isaac Newton came from New England I might be interested… but he doesn’t so I’m not.

Part 2 – coming very soon.