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PENDLE HILL McKay WITCHES Paganism MYSTICS Legends FOLK-LORE Bayntun Binding

PENDLE HILL McKay WITCHES Paganism MYSTICS Legends FOLK-LORE Bayntun Binding

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By James McKay


Published by Henry Davies, London, undated but known to be 1888. First Edition. Half leather binding by Bayntun Bindery in Bath (signed to the front endpaper . . see phot provided). Marble, endpapers, gilt to top edge, 538 pages plus an index. Illustrated with a frontispiece.


A good first edition. The binding by Bayntun is in good condition. Marble endpapers good. Presentation slip pasted to the inside front board. All contents present. Some spotting to the frontispiece as can be seen in images provided and a little less spotting to the title page but text throughout free from spotting, stains etc. Overall good.


An interesting history of Pendle Hill in the Blackburn Hundred. Includes a chapter on the Pendle witches, mystics, paganism, Spenser and Pendle, Pendle natural history, churches, poetry, and folk-lore & legends

Pendle Hill is something of a Lancashire icon, steeped in folklore and history. The 17th century seems to have been a particularly busy period here with the Pendle witch trials in 1612, Richard Towneley's barometer experiment in 1661 and George Fox's vision of many souls coming to Christ in 1652. Of those the witch trials are perhaps the best known. Ten men and two women living in the immediate area were accused of commiting murder by witchcraft. Ten were found guilty and executed. Towneley, together with Henry Power, used the newly invented barometer to measure air pressure at different altitudes on the hill which led to an understanding of the relationship between air density and pressure. Finally, George Fox's vision at this spot was an important event in the establishment of the Society of Friends (Quakers).

Pendle Hill is in the east of Lancashire, England, near the towns of Burnley, Nelson, Colne, Brierfield, Clitheroe and Padiham. Its summit is 557 metres (1,827 ft) above mean sea level. It gives its name to the Borough of Pendle. It is an isolated hill in the Pennines, separated from the South Pennines to the east, the Bowland Fells to the northwest, and the West Pennine Moors to the south. It is included in a detached part of the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The name "Pendle Hill" combines the words for hill from three different languages (as does Bredon Hill in Worcestershire). In the 13th century it was called Pennul or Penhul, apparently from the Cumbric pen and Old English hyll, both meaning "hill". The modern English "hill" was appended later, after the original meaning of Pendle had become opaque.

A Bronze Age burial site has been discovered at the summit of the hill.

There is an ancient local legend that the Devil once jumped from Hameldon Hill to an outcrop overlooking Sabden, on the southwest slope of Pendle, leaving footprints in the sandstone. Here he gathered rocks in an apron, and after proceeding the short distance to Apronfull, threw a boulder aimed at Clitheroe Castle. At that moment the apron string broke causing the boulder to land near Pendleton and creating the pile of rocks atop the slight prominence there.

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