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Witchcraft

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Witches and Devils Dancing in a Circle 1720. Wellcome Library, London, Wellcome Images V0025811ETR http://wellcomeimages.org, used under Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0.

We will be adding stories of women who were accused of witchcraft or who claimed to be bewitched.

Here are some resources to help with this topic:

Barry, Jonathan Witchcraft and Demonism in South West England: Palgrave historical studies in witchcraft and magic Palgrave Macmillan (2012)

Davies, Owen Cunning Folk: Popular Magic in English History Hambledon Continuum (2007)

Few, Janet  Coffers, Clysters, Comfrey and Coifs: the lives of our seventeenth century ancestors Family History Partnership (2012)

Gaskill, Malcolm Witchfinders: a seventeenth century English tragedy John Murray (2005)

Gent, Frank J The Trial of the Bideford Witches Crediton (2001) 

Gibson, Marion Witchcraft: a history in thirteen trials Simon & Schuster (2023)

MacFarlane, Alan Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England: a regional and comparative study Routledge (1970)

Martin, Lois The History of Witchcraft Pocket Essentials (2007)

Maxwell-Stuart, P.G. Witchcraft a History Tempus Publishing Ltd. (2000)

Maxwell-Stuart, P.G. Witch Hunters Tempus Publishing Ltd. (2005)

Merrifield, Ralph The Archaeology of Ritual and Magic Batsford (1987)

Merrifield, Ralph ‘The Use of Bellarmines as Witch-Bottles’ in Guildhall Miscellany 3, (February 1954) offprint

Sharpe, James Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in Early Modern England University of Pennsylvania Press (1997)

Timmons, Stephen ‘Witchcraft and Rebellion in late seventeenth century Devon’ in Journal of Modern History 10 (2006)

Winsham, Willow Accused: British witches throughout history Pen & Sword (2016)

Winsham, Willow England’s Witchcraft Trials Pen & Sword (2018)

List of English witch trials

Witch Trials Although this site is ostensibly about the Essex witch trials, it contains a great deal of general information including details of the witchcraft acts and a long list of those tried for witchcraft in Essex.

Witchcraft Legislation

The Salem witch trials

Interactive Salem

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft

Witches in Fife

The Pendle Witches

Matthew Hopkins’ East Anglian Witchcraft Trials

The following are fiction, or fictionalised accounts of actual witchcraft accusations:

Few, Janet Sins as Red as Scarlet Blue Poppy Publishing (2020) The story of war, plague and religious turmoil that led to accusations of witchcraft in a Devon town. This is based on the trial of the Bideford witches and what led up to it.

Gregory, Philippa Tidelands Simon and Schuster (2019) Set during the English Civil War and a time of witchcraft accusations (the first of a series).

Halls, Stacey The Familiars Zaffre (2019) The story of the Pendle Witches.

Howe, Katherine The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane Penguin (2010) previously published as The Lost Book of Salem Set during the Salem witch trials, with a modern strand

Underdown, Beth The Witchfinder’s Sister Penguin (2017) The story of the Essex witch persecutions told through the eyes of  Matthew Hopkins fictional sister

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