A History Of Witchcraft In England From 1558 To 1718

A History Of Witchcraft In England From 1558 To 1718

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by Wallace Notestein
     
 

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CONTENTS.


PAGE

Preface v

CHAPTER I.

The Beginnings of English Witchcraft 1

CHAPTER II.

Witchcraft under Elizabeth

Overview

CONTENTS.


PAGE

Preface v

CHAPTER I.

The Beginnings of English Witchcraft 1

CHAPTER II.

Witchcraft under Elizabeth 33

CHAPTER III.

Reginald Scot 57

CHAPTER IV.

The Exorcists 73

CHAPTER V.

James I and Witchcraft 93

CHAPTER VI.

Notable Jacobean Cases 120

CHAPTER VII.

The Lancashire Witches and Charles I 146

CHAPTER VIII.

Matthew Hopkins 164

CHAPTER IX.

Witchcraft during the Commonwealth and Protectorate 206

CHAPTER X.

The Literature of Witchcraft from 1603 to 1660 227

CHAPTER XI.

Witchcraft under Charles II and James II 254

CHAPTER XII.

Glanvill and Webster and the Literary War over
Witchcraft, 1660-1688 284

CHAPTER XIII.

The Final Decline 313

CHAPTER XIV.

The Close of the Literary Controversy 334

Appendices 345

A. Pamphlet Literature 345

B. List of Persons Sentenced to Death for
Witchcraft during the Reign of James I 383

C. List of Cases of Witchcraft, 1558-1717,
with References to Sources and Literature 384

Index 421




CHAPTER I.

THE BEGINNINGS OF ENGLISH WITCHCRAFT.


It has been said by a thoughtful writer that the subject of witchcraft
has hardly received that place which it deserves in the history of
opinions. There has been, of course, a reason for this neglect--the fact
that the belief in witchcraft is no longer existent among intelligent
people and that its history, in consequence, seems to possess rather an
antiquarian than a living interest. No one can tell the story of the
witch trials of sixteenth and seventeenth century England without
digging up a buried past, and the process of exhumation is not always
pleasant. Yet the study of English witchcraft is more than an unsightly
exposure of a forgotten superstition. There were few aspects of
sixteenth and seventeenth century life that were not affected by the
ugly belief. It is quite impossible to grasp the social conditions, it
is impossible to understand the opinions, fears, and hopes of the men
and women who lived in Elizabethan and Stuart England, without some
knowledge of the part played in that age by witchcraft. It was a matter
that concerned all classes from the royal household to the ignorant
denizens of country villages. Privy councillors anxious about their
sovereign and thrifty peasants worrying over their crops, clergymen
alert to detect the Devil in their own parishes, medical quacks eager to
profit by the fear of evil women, justices of the peace zealous to beat
down the works of Satan--all classes, indeed--believed more or less
sincerely in the dangerous powers of human creatures who had
surrendered themselves to the Evil One.

Witchcraft, in a general and vague sense, was something very old in
English history. In a more specific and limited sense it is a
comparatively modern phenomenon. This leads us to a definition of the
term. It is a definition that can be given adequately only in an
historical way. A group of closely related and somewhat ill defined
conceptions went far back. Some of them, indeed, were to be found in the
Old Testament, many of them in the Latin and Greek writers. The word
witchcraft itself belonged to Anglo-Saxon days. As early as the seventh
century Theodore of Tarsus imposed penances upon magicians and
enchanters, and the laws, from Alfred on, abound with mentions of
witchcraft.[1] From these passages the meaning of the word witch as used
by the early English may be fairly deduced. The word was the current
English term for one who used spells and charms, who was assisted by
evil spirits to accomplish certain ends. It will be seen that this is by
no means the whole meaning of the term in later times.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940015517286
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
10/16/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
384 KB

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A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Icibod liked it maby i will