Of course there are notorious cases which do not focus on sexual sins, but the fact of the defendant's sex still often influences the charge, the conduct of the trial, or public comment on the event. Witchcraft, for example, was far more frequently charged against women than men. Jane Wenham was the last person prosecuted for witchcraft in England. She quarreled with her neighbors and then unwisely brought suit against the one who had called her "a witch and a bitch." Things went from bad to worse and she found herself charged, tried, and convicted of witchcraft. The judge obtained a reprieve, and then a pardon from the Queen.
The case was a nexus of dispute – about the reality of witchcraft – and there was an outpouring of pamphlets, some of which described her crimes in lurid detail, some of which argued that she could not be guilty because witchcraft did not exist. Shown here are 4 pamphlets, now bound together, which represent both sides of the deluge.