£30,000 – is the offer still open?

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  • #5954

    007
    Participant

    Did the Boscastle witchcraft Museum survive the recent deluge? Has their chequebook dried out?


    Witch Skeleton Uncovered
    Topic General Pagan News


    The controversy surrounding the late artist Robert Lenkiewicz deepened today after it was discovered he kept the remains of a 16th century witch in his Plymouth library. Lenkiewicz bought the remains of midwife Ursula Kemp - hanged in 1582 for being a witch - for £5,000 from a Cornish museum in the late 1990s. He put the woman's skeleton in a lined coffin on the first floor of his vast library in Lambhay Hill for visitors to see. Large nails had been placed on the skeleton at the points where metal stakes were driven into the body of the 'witch' to stop her spirit from rising.

    Mystery now surrounds the fate of her remains but they are understood to be part of Mr Lenkiewicz's estate, which includes the embalmed body of Diogenes the tramp, who was discovered in a drawer in the artist's studio in August.

    Ursula Kemp, a midwife in her forties, was tried and executed in Chelmsford, Essex, after being accused of witchcraft by her eight-year-old son. Her remains were unearthed by accident in 1921 and then taken to Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft, where they were later bought by Lenkiewicz, who died in August.

    The remarkable story was revealed to the Herald by Lenkiewicz's close friend and scholar, Dr Philip Stokes. He says he saw Ms Kemp's bones at Lenkiewicz's library, in Lambhay Hill, in 1999.

    Dr Stokes said: "The skeleton was lying inside the coffin, which was lined with blue material. "The skeleton was laid out in the coffin with nails laid beside it at the appropriate points. "It was at the far end of the library on the first floor, where the indexer would work. There was nothing special about it, it was just dried out old bones. "I was not surprised it was there because Robert has had major projects on death and he was an authority on witches. His library of witchcraft materials was unique. He got a number of skulls from various sources over the years."

    Dr Stokes said Mr Lenkiewicz kept the skeleton because of his scholarly interest in death and different periods of history. He said: "It was one way of representing the sociological conditions of an early period. Robert was very concerned with man's inhumanity to man. "He had an affection for Ursula Kemp as someone who had suffered persecution. It is not in the least bit morbid."

    The Boscastle Museum reportedly offered Lenkiewicz £30,000 to return the skeleton, but he turned it down.

    It is possible that both Kemp and Diogenes may be put on public display at some point in future as works of art or historical relics, although no decisions have been made. Annie Hill Smith, chairman of the Lenkiewicz Foundation, said: "There are a lots of things the foundation has to come to terms with and form a view on." The revelation that Mr Lenkiewicz kept the skeleton of Ms Kemp will deepen public interest in the artist's possessions, which are currently in the hands of his executors. Peter Walmsley, the executor of Lenkiewicz's estate, was unavailable for comment.
    http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk


    This article comes from Pentacle Magazine
    http://www.pentaclemagazine.org/

    #7628

    Francis
    Participant

    Thanks Jack. I had no idea you were a regular reader of The Witches’ Weekly. Is it available online or only through a magic spell?

    #7629

    007
    Participant

    My interest in the occult is something I can only discuss with fellow initiates, or sometimes inebriates.

    A good start for beginners is to subscribe to Witch? magazine, which contains helpful advice about how to select the right fanatical beliefs, and the most effective hex removing ointment, etc.

    Just looking at your horoscope. Last time I saw one like this was when JFK said, "It's a lovely day, let's keep the top down."

    #7630

    Keith
    Participant

    Although she was tried at Chelmsford, Ursula Kemp actually came from St Osyth, a village on the coast a few miles away. According to one report last year, it seems that there are some people there who’d like to see her return –

    http://www.thisisessex.co.uk/essex/archive/2003/02/21/news52.D_21_02_2003_rn_14_h_St_OsythVillages_fears_on_witchcrafZM.html

    Does anyone know if ROL owned a copy of the account of the St Osyth witches that was published shortly after their trial?

    #7631

    joe90
    Participant

    No, he didn’t. He only owned a modern facsimile copy of the pamphlet.

    The bit about the Museum of Witchcraft offering £30000 for the skeleton is rubbish I'm afraid. Robert paid Cecil Williamson £8000 for the remains, not £5000, and yes, there are individuals at St. Osyth who would dearly like to have the skeleton back there to rebury.

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