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Eleanor, Duches of Gloucester (1400 – 1452.) A convicted sorceress, imprisoned for treasonable necromancy in 1441. Sounds sinister- but the definition is: 

a claimed form of magic involving communication with the deceased – either by summoning theirspirit as an apparition or raising them bodily – for the purpose of divination, imparting the means to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge. The term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic or witchcraft.

Eleanor consulted astrologists to predict the future in hopes that Henry VI would die and her husband, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, may take the throne. When the King discovered her so-called predictions, her and her astrologers were immediately arrested. Thomas Southwell died in the Tower of London (I’d prefer the guillotine to the tower) and Roger Bolingbroke as hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the conspiracy. Also involved- Margery Jourdemayne “the Witch of Eye”. Eleanor claimed to have sought potions from the witch for fertility, but the court disagreed and had Margery burnt at the stake for her role.

Eleanor was forced to do public penance in London, divorce her husband and was condemned to life in prison. She began her sentence in Chester Castle, then moved to Kenilworth Castle, shipped over to the Isle of Man and finally died while imprisoned in Beaumaris Castle.

Edwin Austin Abbey did an amazing painting entitled “The Penance of Eleanor, Duchess of Gloucester.” You can view this painting here: http://tinyurl.com/dyqeobw

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