Fear of Witchcraft in Lancashire
During the sixteenth century whole districts in some parts of Lancashireseemed contaminated with the presence of witches; men and beasts were supposed to languish under their charm, and the delusion which preyed alike on the learned and the vulgar did not allow any family to suppose that they were beyond the reach of the witch's power.
The Pendle Witch Trial of 1612
At the assizes at Lancaster in the autumn of 1612, twenty persons, of whom sixteen were women of various ages, were committed for trial, and most of them tried for witchcraft.
Some witches were accused of cursing people to death by heart attacks and strokes, bewitching people and animals, cursing crop to fail and food to spoil, cause storms and floods, bad winds and destruction. Some say they met the devil and sold their souls for anything they wished, the devil appeared as a young boy or sometimes a dog appeared to carry out devils deeds.
Because there wasn't much information and my witch had no visual reference I used some visual imagery of clothing and style of the time and based my illustration on the idea of witches being able to use animals to carry out their ill wishes and bad deeds, and came up with the story that he could use a bear as his spirit animal.
Witches being hung after trial
Fashion of the 1600's