PUPILS put on a performance about the history of their town’s infamous Witchfinder General.

Year Seven students from Manningtree High School have been learning about the prolific Witchfinder Matthew Hopkins in class.

As part of curriculum day, the pupils held a performance about the self-proclaimed Witchfinder, which was based on a film, that was made locally in recent years.

More than 300 women are believed to have been executed for witchcraft between 1644 and 1646, many at the hands of Matthew Hopkins.

He is thought to have lived at what is now the Mistley Thorn and held preliminary examinations of those accused of witchcraft at the White Hart, in Manningtree.

The production starred about 30 pupils who recreated characters such as Matthew Hopkins, Hopkins’ associate John Stearne and Elizabeth Clarke, the first woman persecuted by Hopkins.

For the play, the pupils helped create props, costumes and played music from the historic period and acted various roles.

A Manningtree High School spokesman said: “Curriculum day is a project the school runs which looks at cross curricular topics, as well as skills, such as independent learning and team work.

“It was very well presented and demonstrated the artistic talent amongst the young people in Year Seven.

“It is hoped we will tackle a bigger arts-type project in the summer term.”