Matthew Hopkins, d. 1647, was an English Witch-hunter whose career flourished in the time of the English Civil War. He held, or claimed to hold, the office of "Witch-finder General" as bestowed by the Puritan Parliment, and practiced his witch-finding in, Suffolk, Essex and East Anglia.
According to a prophecy by the famous 19th century James Murell, the Essex village of Canewdon, would be populated with Witches "forever". Indeed, the village and the surrounding area have been steeped in Witch lore since at least 1580, when a woman named Rose Pye was accused of witchcraft, tried and acquitted. Legend has it that every time a stone falls from the tower of St. Nicholas Church one Witch will die and another will take her place. At midnight a headless Witch sometimes materializes near the church and floats down to the river. Anyone who encounters her is lifted into the air and let down in the nearest ditch.
The history of the UK tells tales of many strange and mystical characters. One of the most infamous being James Murrell. Between 1812 and 1860 Hadleigh, Essex was the home of 'warlock' Cunning Murrell, as he was known to the locals.
'Cunning Murrell' was the seventh son of a seventh son. His career as a white magician grew amongst the Essex folk who viewed him with suspicion and sometimes fear. A strange and mysterious character, he was only ever seen outside of his home at night and no matter what the weather Murrell always carried an umbrella with him...