The Lancashire Portal

The Red Rose of Lancaster is the county flower of Lancashire, and a common symbol for the county.

Lancashire (/ˈlæŋkəʃər/ LAN-kə-shər, /-ʃɪər/ -⁠sheer; abbreviated Lancs) is a ceremonial county in North West England. It is bordered by Cumbria to the north, North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire to the east, Greater Manchester and Merseyside to the south, and the Irish Sea to the west. The largest settlement is Blackpool, and the county town is the city of Preston.

The county has an area of 3,079 square kilometres (1,189 sq mi) and a population of 1,490,300. After Blackpool (149,070), the largest settlements are Blackburn (124,995) and the city of Preston (94,490); the city of Lancaster has a population of 52,655. For local government purposes Lancashire comprises a non-metropolitan county with twelve districts, and two unitary authority areas: Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool. The county historically included the northern parts of Merseyside and Greater Manchester and the Furness region of Cumbria, and excluded the eastern part of the Forest of Bowland. (Full article...)

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Lancaster Castle, where the Samlesbury witches were tried in the summer of 1612

The Samlesbury witches were three women from the Lancashire village of Samlesbury – Jane Southworth, Jennet Bierley, and Ellen Bierley – accused by a 14-year-old girl, Grace Sowerbutts, of practising witchcraft. Their trial at Lancaster Assizes in England on 19 August 1612 was one in a series of witch trials held there over two days, among the most infamous in English history. The trials were unusual for England at that time in two respects: Thomas Potts, the clerk to the court, published the proceedings in his The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster; and the number of the accused found guilty and hanged was unusually high, ten at Lancaster and another at York. All three of the Samlesbury women were acquitted.

The charges against the women included child murder and cannibalism. In contrast, the others tried at the same assizes, who included the Pendle witches, were accused of maleficium – causing harm by witchcraft. The case against the three women collapsed "spectacularly" when the chief prosecution witness, Grace Sowerbutts, was exposed by the trial judge to be "the perjuring tool of a Catholic priest". (Full article...)
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