The Smoking Baby of Fressingfield and the Witch
I've been trying to increase the number of book reviews on the site. Whilst doing so I was reading Christina Hole's fascinating book 'Witchcraft in England', in which East Anglia features quite strongly. I came across the intriguing account of the Fressingfield Witchcraft case from 1890. All other accounts I've seen are based on The account in this book
'...The Sunday Times for April 13th, 1890, gives an account of an inquest held at Fressingfield on a baby girl who had died suddenly. The medical evidence showed that death was due to shock caused by the external use of some powerful irritant, though what this was, and why, or by whom it was applied, was not determined. The parents both swore that their child had been overlooked by her step-grandmother, Mrs. Corbyn, who had died on the same day and had told them on her deathbed that the baby would not long survive her. A few hours afterwards they took the child out in her perambulator and were suddenly startled by the sight of smoke issuing from it. As soon as they reached home again, she died. George Corbyn told the jury that he had always believed his late wife was a witch, and consequently he had always tried to do whatever she wanted and to avoid offending- her at all costs..'
Does anybody know more details of this strange case? Our resident Historian (GH) will, I am sure, soon be delving in the archives to find out more.