Accused of Witchcraft in 1612

Thomas Campe of Nazeing, Essex
November 1561 – February 1625
Essex Witch Trials of 1612
1st cousin 14x removed



In medieval times many people believed that unexpected events such as a cow dying were the result of witches.
Criminal action began in 1521 when the Pope Leo X issued a papal bull enabling religious court to order the execution of people convicted of witchcraft.
This began a major campaign throughout Europe which to some extent was inflamed by the church.
In England King Henry V111 was concerned that the religious courts would order execution and passed the first Witchcraft Act in 1542. This brought him some problems with some allegations being made that his wife Anne Boleyn was a witch as she had 6 fingers and a mole on her neck . These deformities were considered one of the marks of a witch.
In 1547 the Witchcraft Act was repealed by King Edward V1 but on the accession of Elizabeth 1 another Witchcraft Act was passed in 1562.
The fist trials of witches were recorded in Chelmsford in 1566 which saw Agnes Waterhouse hanged as a witch.
Before ascending the English Throne James 1 attended a trial at North Berwick of several women accused of trying to create a storm that would drown James 1 and his wife on a recent trip to Denmark.
He became so convinced about the threat that in 1597 he wrote a book called ‘the Daemonologie which condemned witchcraft’.
There were already laws in place to outlaw witchcraft but in 1604 James 1 passed a new stronger statute which contained his statement that witches were loathe to confess without torture.
The notorious Matthew Hopkins ‘ The Witch-finder General’ was born during this period and from 1644 launched his witch finding campaign in Essex and Suffolk, partly based of the book written by James 1. Although Matthew Hopkins was based in the Essex Town of Manningtree which was 30 miles away from this area , his brother John Hopkins had a local connection being appointed at Presbyterian Minister of South Fambridge in 1645 at the height of witch finding campaign.
Witchcraft trials which only stopped when his act was repealed by King George II in 1736 although the last person convicted in England was in 1712 and the last execution for witchcraft in Scotland was in 1722.

Thomas Campe of Nazeing, Essex

Thomas Campe was born about November 1561 in Nazeing, Essex he was one of six children born to Robert (1537 – 1608) and Joan Campe (1539 – 1612). He was baptized on the 7 December 1561 in the parish church of All Saints, Nazeing.
The family had strong links with Nazeing and the neighbouring villages of Epping and Roydon, Thomas was a village Yeoman and so held land and employed labourers to work it.
He married in 1589 in the village of High Ongar, Essex to Avis Clark (1570 – 1611) and had six children.
His wife passed away through childbirth in 1611.
In 1612, Thomas Campe, Mary Clark (his sister-in-law) and Giles Payson were all accused of witchcraft – the accused were dragged into court for offending against the article concerning soothsaying, charms, and other offences. The trial was Held over till next court, but luckily they were all cleared of charges.
It’s very likely that a degree of torture was used, an act passed by James I in 1604.

in 1604 James 1 passed a new stronger statute which contained his statement that witches were loathe to confess without torture.

Thomas Campe died early 1625, leaving behind a detailed will dated: 4 March 1625.

Thomas Campe - Nazeing - Essex - 4 March 1625

My Relationship to Thomas Campe

Thomas CAMPE (1561 – 1625)
is my 1st cousin 14x removed

Robert CAMPE (1537 – 1608)
father of Thomas CAMPE

Thomas ‘of Nazeing, Roydon & Epping’ CAMPE (1507 – 1560)
father of Robert CAMPE

William CAMPE (1535 – 1598)
son of Thomas ‘of Nazeing, Roydon & Epping’ CAMPE

William CAMPE (1561 – 1614)
son of William CAMPE

Rebecca CAMP (1586 – )
daughter of William CAMPE

Sarah BENNETT (1609 – )
daughter of Rebecca CAMP

Thomas STRACY (1635 – 1717)
son of Sarah BENNETT

Elizabeth STRACY (1661 – )
daughter of Thomas STRACY

Elizabeth TILBURY (1698 – )
daughter of Elizabeth STRACY

Charles GRAY (1728 – )
son of Elizabeth TILBURY

William GRAY (1754 – 1830)
son of Charles GRAY

Richard GRAY (1798 – 1877)
son of William GRAY

Charles GRAY (1830 – 1898)
son of Richard GRAY

Mary Ann MUMFORD (1853 – 1916)
daughter of Charles GRAY

Ernest James JANES (1888 – 1942)
son of Mary Ann MUMFORD

Rosie May JANES (1930 – 1997)
daughter of Ernest James JANES

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An Official Video from author: Stephen Robert Kuta / via channel Stephen and Yhana / Colchester Castle and the Witchfinder General

2 thoughts on “Accused of Witchcraft in 1612

  1. My name is Caroline Leigh Camp & according to records this is my great grandfather 14 x removed. I live in Alabama.

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