Former Wakefield MP discovers some of his ancestors were accused of being witches.
Mr Hinchliffe, who was Wakefield MP from 1987 until he stood down in 2005, is writing a book about the 1674 allegations and the subsequent campaign to clear their name
He said: "The accused were Susannah Hinchliffe and her married daughter, Anne Shillitoe.
"The accuser was a 16-year-old girl, Mary Moor, who lived in Clayton West, near Wakefield.
"Her allegations were wide-ranging but mainly concerned what she said she had overheard in conversations between the two women, where they were discussing their 'powers' over other people.
"She alleged that Susannah and Anne had been behind the deaths of some pigs and the illness of a child, among other things."
Of particular interest is a petition Mr Hinchliffe has found signed by 50 prominent local people in support of the accused women.
He added: " I have come across several connections between people involved in the case and the Wakefield area - the Warmfield-cum-Heath parish in particular - which are not easily understood.
"The person whose signature is first on the petition - George Sedascue - died in Heath Old Hall, Wakefield, in 1688 and is buried in Normanton. Heath Old Hall was demolished in 1961.
"Sedascue has a very interesting background, being a lord's son, originating from Bohemia, fleeing to England and serving under Cromwell in the Parliamentary Army.
"He married Mary, the daughter of Godfrey Bosville of Gunthwaite, near Denby, which explains his connection to the 1674 Denby witchcraft case but I'd love to know more about his connection to Wakefield and Heath Old Hall."
Mr Hinchliffe has also discovered that the father of the legendary Lady Mary Bolles of Heath supposedly died as a consequence of witchcraft and Mary Pannal of Castleford was executed as a result.
Other Wakefield area cases include that of Margaret Morton of Kirkthorpe in 1650 and Jennet Benson of Newton Hill in 1656.
Susanah Hinchliffe and Anne Shillitoe's fate will be revealed in Mr Hinchliffe's book which is due out in the autumn with all proceeds going to charity.
If you have any information about George Sedascue and his connection to Heath Old Hall, Mr Hinchliffe would be please to hear from you.
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