Lurgan Coat of Arms The Armagh Guardian

10 July, 1892  


(London Evening Standard.)
The witch-finder, in the form of judge and jury, has lately been at work in Belfast It appears that a gentleman of Lurgan, growing weary of the slow and cautious methods of modern physicians, entrusted his case to a celebrated medicine-man of the neighbourhood, whoso methods seemingly find no place in the British Pharmacopoeia. But whether because it was too late, or because the disagreement of the rival practitioners extended even to their proscriptions, the "charmer" was unable to charm with sufficient wisdom, and the patient died. Hence the legal proceedings which has lately occupied wig and gown in Belfast.

Most of us matter-of-fact Saxons who read of the case in the brief paragraph of an English paper, will probably put it down as yet another example of the unfortunate methods and manners of the Sister Isle. We shall doubtless feel Pharisaically grateful that that sort of thing does not occur in this enlightened land and to some of us it may seem to furnish yet another argument against the fitness of the Celt for Home Rule. A free and independent voter who would prefer incantations and abracadabra to antipyrine and castor oil for the cure of his personal infirmities, might be expected to advocate no loss heterodox remedies for the varied ills of the body politic, to the confusion of political economy and the science of government. That sort of thing went out of England, say we, when out great-grandmothers gave up the manufacture of "Plague-water " or " Venice treacle” from their respective nine and fifty or sixty-two ingredients, thanks mainly to the enlightened energy of Matthew Hopkins, of Maningtree, an estimable gentleman who has not received due credit for the martyr-like constancy which led him at last to exemplify in his own person the treatment best calculated to eradicate the abominable heresy of witchcraft and all its horrible sect. But the Black Art dies hard.


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