Witchcraft in Early Modern England

Witchcraft in Early Modern England. Provides a fascinating introduction to the history of witches and witchcraft in England from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century.

Witchcraft was a crime punishable by death in England during this period and this book charts the witch panics and legal

persecution of witches that followed, exploring topics such as elite attitudes to witchcraft in England, the role of pressures and

tensions within the community in accusations of witchcraft, the way in which the legal system dealt with witchcraft cases, and the

complex decline of belief in witchcraft. Revised and updated, this new edition explores the modern historiographical debate

surrounding this subject and incorporates recent findings and interpretations of historians in the field, bringing it right up-to-date and

in particular offering an extended treatment of the difficult issues surrounding gender and witchcraft.

When did witchcraft start in England?!Were there witches in England?Witchcraft in Early Modern England!

There were thought to be many types of witchcraft that one could practice, such as alchemy; the purification, perfection,

Witches no longer were seen as healers or helpers, but rather were believed to be the cause of many natural[4] and man-made disasters. Witches were blamed for troubles with livestock, any unknown diseases and unpredicted weather changes.[5]

The first witch condemned in Ireland, Lady Alice Kyteler, was accused of such practices as animal sacrifice, creating potions to

control others and possessing a familiar[6] (an animal companion often thought to be possessed by a spirit which aided a witch in

her magic).Witchcraft in Early Modern England .

result a law was passed[1] which defined what it was to be a witch and how they must be prosecuted.

However, not everyone was convinced. A member of parliament in England called Reginald Scot wrote a book called The

Discoverie of Witchcraft which in part presented his belief that Britain had been fooled into believing in witchcraft by easily.

explained tricks. The book’s success was widespread, but his scepticism in regards to magic was not what drew in most of its

admirers; The Discoverie of Witchcraft also contained details regarding the belief in and practices of witches – it held sections on

\alchemy, spirits and conjuring, much of which is thought to have inspired Shakespeare‘s descriptions of the witches in Macbeth.

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