Agnes Nutter

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Agnes Nutter
Name Agnes Nutter
Race Human
Occupation Witch
Physical appearance
Death 17th century, at the stake
Relatives Anathema Device
Marital Status
Books Good Omens

As the author of the only truthful book of prophecy called The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, witch (which she wrote in order to get the author's free copy, the book was a commercial failure), she plays an important role in the background of Good Omens. Her descendants -- all the way down to Anathema Device -- try to make sense of the prophecies, which though being completely accurate were frequently cryptic as she had no knowledge of modern technology. Agnes was burned at the stake for witchcraft, but didn't seemed too upset about it (going so far as to berate the mob for being late), which somewhat mystified the townspeople until they all perished in a mysterious explosion that was seen from the next town over. This may be due to divine or infernal interference; or it could be due to the over a hundred combined pounds of gunpowder and roofing nails she had concealed under her dress.

The person responsible for her burning was Thou-Shalt-Not-Commit-Adultery Pulsifer an ancestor of Newton Pulsifer. The remains of his hat were later found in a tree.

Character Annotations

There was an Alice Nutter who was tried as a witch in the real world. She was one of the famous Pendle Witches in Lancashire (Lancre?), as indeed were three members of the Device family.

Geographical Error

In Good Omens, it is claimed the explosion "was seen as far away as Halifax". However, between east Lancashire and Halifax there is a very high range of hills called the Pennines, which are the nearest thing England has to a mountain range. They act as a formidable natural barrier, with only a handful of navigable passes - even today, many of these passes are frequently closed in winter due to snow and ice. Also, in pre-industrial times, the town of Halifax lay entirely at the bottom of a very deep valley. For both these reasons, it is extremely unlikely that an explosion in east Lancashire would ever be visible in Halifax. It is quite possible neither author was familiar with the geography of the area. The other option of course is that the authors did know and the explosion was just that big.