Fairies killed four villagers in Lamplugh, near Whitehaven, a historical document reveals.

The document tells how villagers in Lamplugh met their deaths between 1656 and 1663.

Deadly duels fought with frying pans and pitchforks, witchcraft, will o the wisps and over eating are all blamed for deaths of villagers.

The manuscript was found by Cumbria Archives.

Parish burial records show death by gluttony at a house warming party, and a fatal reaction to the squire’s wife’s cordial water.

Anne Rowe, county archivist of Cumbria Archive Service, said: “It’s great to unearth a document like this in our collection and gives people a chance to discover a more quirky side to history.

“I’m not sure whether to attribute this list to our ancestors’ superstitions or just their sense of humour.

“These were insecure social times and many folk in the 17th century would have been scared of fairies and ‘will o’the wisps’ with many natural deaths put down to the ‘evil witchcraft’ of a harmless old widow.

“The document is also revealing in its historical details, such as drunken brawls being fought with frying pans and pitchforks.”

The full transcript of the document is:-

Deaths taken out of the Register of Lamplugh from Janry ye 1 1656 to Janry ye 1 1663

On a five bar gate, stag hunters: 4

Two Duels, first fot [fought] with frying pan and pitchforks: 1

Second between a 3 footed stool and a brown jug: 1

Kild [killed] at Kelton fell raices [races]: 3

Knocked on the head at Cockfight: 2

Crost [crossed] in love: 1

Broke his neck robbing a hen roost: 1

took cold sleeping at Church: 11

hanged for clipping and coyning: 7

of a sprain in his shouldr by saving his dog at bul bate [bull bait]:1

Mrs Lamplugh’s cordial water: 2

Knocked on ye head with a quart bottle: 1

Frighted to Death by faries: 4

Of strong October at the hall: 14

Bewitched: 7

Broke a vein in bawling for a knight of ye shire: 1

Old women drowned upon trial for witchcraft: 3

Climbing a crows nest: 1

Led into a horse pond by a will of the whisp: 1

Over eat himself at a house warming: 1

Died of a fright in an Excersise of ye traind bands: 1

By the Parsons bull: 2

Vagrant beggars worried by Esqr Lamplughs housedog: 2

Choked with eating barley: 4

Old age: 57

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