Take George Spencer who was executed in April 1642 in New Haven for having sex with a pig. It all began when a pig gave birth to a still-born piglet in 1641. A God-fearing colony would only too naturally have taken interest in a prodigious animal, but why did they care about George Spencer? Well, George had one good eye and one ‘pearled’ eye: as did the piglet! There is a very good description of the case over at Executed Today: not the least fascinating thing about the sorry affair is that, lacking the necessary two witnesses, the local magistrates used George’s pig child as a mute witness. Before George was hung the pig was executed before him: the pig certainly and George possibly were the first two innocents on death row. In 1646 one Thomas Hogg (had to resist so hard here) was likewise suspected of having sex with pigs in New Haven: what kind of place was this? A pig had had two piglets that resembled him apparently: one was white skinned and bald; and one had a bigger eye on one side than the other. Thomas was very lucky to get off: unlike George he was intelligent enough to deny and to keep denying. He did have to pass through a particularly disturbing ordeal though. He was taken to barnyard, where his transgressions were believed to have taken place, and obliged to scratch the sows to excite their lust: apparently one sow responded by pouring out ‘seede’ before the assembled host (?), whereas another sow just wasn’t interested (‘it’s not you it’s me, Tom’). Beach wondered whether there were any other attempts to blame bestiality on folks on the basis of supposed shared physical characteristics.
Thursday, June 04, 2015
Goodness. Beachcombing notes some rather unfair trials that happened in 17th century America relating to bestiality: