The History of Witchcraft

By Samuel Hume

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Description

Witches didn't exist, and yet thousands of people were executed for the crime of witchcraft. Why? The belief in magic and witchcraft has existed in every recorded human culture; this podcast looks at how people explained the inexplicable, turned random acts of nature into conscious acts of mortal or supernatural beings, and how desperate communities took revenge against the suspected perpetrators.

Episode Date
044 - Early Modern English Witchcraft with Professor Darren Oldridge
2462
Prof. Oldridge joins me to talk about witchcraft and religion in early Stuart England, The recommended books, available from all good retailers, are: Strange Histories (2017) The Supernatural in Tudor and Stuart England (2016) The Witchcraft Reader (2019) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Feb 16, 2020
Extra - Sound Education Experience
1309
This is just a short catch up episode to share what I experienced at Sound Education 2019. I met so many great podcasters, many that I've listened to for years and many more that are now in my queue. www.SoundEducation.fm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Oct 17, 2019
Bonus - What's it like to make a History Podcast (feat. Dead Ideas)
2644
In a special episode BT Newberg and I talk about the highs and lows of making a history podcast. What made us want to start a podcast? Why did we pick the subjects we did? When did I decide to change focus to Pax Britannica? What are the best and worst things about it? Peak behind the curtain!

Go check out Dead Ideas: https://deadideas.net/

Check out the podcast website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch






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Apr 28, 2019
Introducing Pax Britannica
504
A short introduction and clip from the first episode of Pax Britannica. Follow the links below to find my new show your favourite way!

Show Page: https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/ADL3707263633

Website: https://paxbritannica.info

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Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/samuel-hume-3/pax-britannica
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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PodBritannica/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritannicaPax

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Feb 10, 2019
043 - Salem, Massachusetts
2137
If anyone has heard of a particular witch trial, they will have heard of Salem. It's an infamous part of early American history, and everywhere in popular culture. Today's episode will be explaining the main theories as to why the small village of Salem, Massachusetts began the greatest witch panic in American history.

This episode primarily made use of the following texts:

- Anderson, Virginia Dejohn, 'New England in the Seventeenth Century', in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
- Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (2002)
- Godbeer, Richard, ‘Witchcraft in British America’, in Levack, Brian (ed.),The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (2014)- Hansen, Chadwick, ‘Andover Witches and the Causes of the Salem Witchcraft Trials’, in Levack, Brian (ed.), Witchcraft in Colonial America, ed.
- Le Beau, Bryan F. The Story of the Salem Witch Trials, (1998)

Also included in today's episode is a brief announcement for a new podcast of mine, Pax Britannica, launching 10th February 2019. Keep up to date with the launch by following the social media pages below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PodBritannica/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BritannicaPax



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Jan 27, 2019
042 - Witchcraft in Russia with Prof. Valerie Kivelson
3021
I'm delighted to speak with Valerie Kivelson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Professor Kivelson graduated from Harvard University magna cum laude in 1980, and received her PhD from Stanford University in 1988. Since then Professor Kivelson has been a prolific author of books and papers covering topics as varied as Russian Cosmography, Siberian colonisation, cartography, and of course witchcraft.

Recommended texts by Prof. Kivelson:

- Desparate Magic: The Moral Economy of Witchcraft in Seventeenth-Century Russia (Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Desperate-Magic-Economy-Witchcraft-Seventeenth-Century-ebook/dp/B00G6SD4JO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1544309091&sr=8-1&keywords=desperate+magic)

- 'Male Witches and Gendered Categories in Seventeenth-Century Russia', Comparative Studies in Society and History (Available from Cambridge University Press: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/comparative-studies-in-society-and-history/article/male-witches-and-gendered-categories-in-seventeenthcentury-russia/F9FA9F79E0576D4F0AC5EA29E3EFF59A/share/834641cd30309cda70c4c5ed8ee30e6054f43d51)

Website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Dec 09, 2018
041 - Halloween - From Pagan, to Christian, to Party
2959
Today we cover the development of Halloween - its development from a Celtic harvest festival, which may or may not have involved the ritual slaughter of infant children, and its merger with the Christian holy days of All Saints and All Souls, emerging from the melting pot of American society as something new and old, traditional and commercial.

Many thanks to Joe from the 80 Days - An Exploration Podcast for lending his voice to today's intro quote. Find his fantastic show on Facebook, Twitter, and 80dayspodcast.com

 

 

Today's show primarily relies on the following works:

Rogers, Nicholas, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, 2002

Santino, Jack (ed.) Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, 1994



For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: https://recordedhistory.net/

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Oct 27, 2018
040 - The Pilgrims
1745
In this episode we cover the early history of English colonisation in the Americas, and the growth and expansion of New England in particular.

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

- Canny, N. 'The Origins of Empire: An Introduction', in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998
- Appleby J. C., 'War, Politics, and Colonization, 1558-1625', in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
- Anderson, V. A., 'New England in the Seventeenth Century', in The Oxford History of the British Empire: Volume I: The Origins of Empire (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998)
- Elizabeth Mancke, 'The Languages of Liberty in British North America, 1607-1776', in Exclusionary Empire: English Liberty Overseas, 1600-1900 (2010).


For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: https://recordedhistory.net/

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Oct 07, 2018
039 - A War of Words
2029
For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: https://www.recordedhistory.net







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Sep 03, 2018
038 - The Wroth of Woden
2185
The transformation of Roman Britain with the arrival of the Germanic pagans led to its own odd synthesis of superstitions and rituals. The Christianisation of these pagan kingdoms further added to the mix, as did the subsequent arrival and conversion of the Danes and Norwegians. Today's episode is all about the treatment of magic-wielders in Anglo-Saxon society, how they were seen by the Church, and how individual rulers tried to clamp down on their subjects use of their services.

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: https://www.recordedhistory.net




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Aug 27, 2018
037 - Suffer Not a Witch to Live
1662
This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

- Dickie, M. W., Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World (2003)
- Ogden, D., Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook (Oxford, 2002)

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net

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Aug 19, 2018
036 - Burn to Ashes
2122
The Witchfinder General faces humiliation on multiple fronts. His critics are uniting, his prosecutions are falling, and the ruinous cost of hiring him suddenly seems less worthwhile.


This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

-  Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy, (2005)
-  Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
-  Purkiss, DIane, The English Civil War: A People's History, (2007)
-  Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
- Peter Elmer, Witchcraft, Witch-Hunting, and Politics in Early Modern England, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)
- Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, Brian (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America, (2016)

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net






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Aug 13, 2018
035 - A Magazine of Scandal
1661
This week's episode continues the trials of East Anglia, as we see the result of the Witchfinder General's efforts in the summer assizes of Chelmsford and Bury St. Edmunds. One was headed by the Earl of Warwick, a noble with little in the way of legal training, and the other by a triumvirate of two priests and a lawyer. One goes exceptionally well for the witchfinders, and the other... not so much.
This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

-  Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy, (2005)
-  Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
-  Purkiss, DIane, The English Civil War: A People's History, (2007)
-  Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net

The History of Witchcraft is up for an award! Go here to vote: http://podcastawards.com/










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Jul 29, 2018
034 - The Witchfinder General
2102
This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

-  Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy, (2005)
-  Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
-  Purkiss, DIane, The English Civil War: A People's History, (2007)
-  Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net

The History of Witchcraft is up for an award! Go here to vote: http://podcastawards.com/








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Jul 22, 2018
033 - Satan's Kingdom Divided
2368
In today's episode, the infamous Witch-Finder General begins his campaign through south-eastern England, as we discuss the opening accusations of the greatest and deadliest witch hunt in English history.

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

-  Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy, (2005)
-  Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
-  Purkiss, DIane, The English Civil War: A People's History, (2007)
-  Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002

For a full bibliography, please see the website: https://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft
The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net








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Jun 25, 2018
032 - Never a Cross Left
2178
The Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins, did not exist in a vacuum. How could this man, who had no formal authority, tour South-East England and not only execute hundreds of 'witches', but find cheering crowds and grateful magistrates waiting for him? Today's episode will examine the possible reasons why the Hopkins witch craze was so exceptional in its scale and brutality.

This episode primarily made use of the following texts:

-  Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, B. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (Oxford, 2013)
- Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002
- Elmer, Peter,Witchcraft, Witch-Hunting, and Politics in Early Modern England, (Oxford, 2016)
- Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002

For a full bibliography, please see the website: www.thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

The Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.net

Friends of the show, Pontifacts: https://pontifacts.podbean.com/

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Jun 09, 2018
031 - It's Treason, then.
1912
Today's episode covers the escalating conflict between Charles I and Parliament, as harsh words led to outright war. We also look at the simmering discontent among elements of the English population to the limited prosecutions of witches, spearheaded by the Stuart court.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, Brian (ed.) The Oxford Handbook
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)
  • Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)
  • Poole, R., (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002)A full bibliography can be found on the website.


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft





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May 27, 2018
030 - The Lynching of John Lambe
1175
This week, we have a shorter episode while I brush up on my Civil War knowledge. Doctor John Lambe was the personal magician of the Duke of Buckingham, a favourite of James and an ally of Charles. Yet, the reputation of Dr Lambe was so poor that even these lofty connections couldn't save him...

 

 




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Apr 21, 2018
029 - By the Sword of the Magistrate
2209
In today's episode we see the tide turn on the English witch trials. By the end of his reign, James is unwilling to entertain the more ludicrous accusations and his heir, Charles I, continues this approach. Puritanism, the new bogeyman of the Anglican church, appears the most vocal supporter of the trials, and so the established clergy approach the topic warily. And the magistrates and judiciary have seen the last twenty years of legal precedent, of cases thrown out and judges publicly shamed, and have no interest in risking their careers.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, Brian (ed.) The Oxford Handbook
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)
  • Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)
  • Poole, R., (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002)A full bibliography can be found on the website.


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Sudio: https://goo.gl/CwUoWi (remember the code WITCHCRAFT for 15% off)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Apr 16, 2018
XXVIII - The Burning of Prospero
2172
At the great Council of Nikaea, an issue that threatened to split an empire apart was finally settled. Yet, when one of the Emperor's own sons rejects the decision, his brother is dispatched at the head of a Legion to bring his errant son to heel and bring unity to His Imperium.

+The Emperor Protects+

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

 

- Abnett, Dan, Prospero Burns (2010)

- Bligh, Alan, The Horus Heresy: Book Seven - Inferno, (2017)

- McNeill, Graham, A Thousand Sons (2010)

- McNeill, Graham, The Crimson King (2017)


- McNeill, Graham, The Outcast Dead (2011)

 

If you enjoyed this episode, go have a watch of Occulus Imperia! youtube.com/c/Oculus%20Imperia




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Apr 01, 2018
027 - A Wonderful Discovery
1956
Today we look at the political intentions behind the pamphlet, the Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster, and how it was purposefully written to match the published opinions of James I. We further examine how James began to regret both his Daemonologie and the act he had circulated in 1604, as he faced yet more cases of fraudulent claims of witchcraft, and a judiciary that was too eager to please.

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)
  • Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)
  • Poole, R., (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002)
  • Potts, T., The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster (1613)A full bibliography can be found on the website.


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Mar 25, 2018
026 - Demon Women and Foul Devices
1968
Was James VI and I truly the witch-hunting, demon-studying zealot that he has traditionally been seen as? Today we take a look at the court of King James, and hear about the trials that dotted his early reign.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)
  • Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)
  • Poole, R., (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002)A full bibliography can be found on the website.


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Mar 18, 2018
025 - Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot
1660
In today's episode, we return to the narrative of early modern Britain, and finally combine the episodes on England and Scotland in the form of one man: James VI and I. We cover the problems and priorities facing James once he inherits the throne from Elizabeth; England's diplomatic situation, its religious dissidents, and a Parliament that is getting a bit too self-important for the absolutist James.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Herrington, H. W., ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Elizabethan Drama’, in The Journal of American Folklore, 32, 126, (1919)
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)
  • Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)A full bibliography can be found on the website.


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Sudio: https://goo.gl/CwUoWi (remember the code WITCHCRAFT for 15% off)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

 




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Mar 11, 2018
024 - Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair
2776
In today's episode, we cover the works of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest literary figures in English history. Specifically, we look at the supernatural elements in a number of his plays, from Henry IV and Richard III, to The Tempest and Macbeth. Straddling the reigns of Elizabeth and James, Shakespeare's career provides a window into how magic and witchcraft may have been seen in English culture.

This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:

  • Herrington, H. W., ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Elizabethan Drama’, in The Journal of American Folklore, 32, 126, (1919)
  • Stanhill, Gerald., ‘Shakespeare’s Tempest, witchcraft and the Little Ice Age’, Weather, 71, iv, 100-102
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)
  • The plays of ShakespeareA full bibliography can be found on the website.


 

Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Feb 11, 2018
023 - Ten Thousand Hells
1564
Drama is perhaps one of the most recognisable products of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. This week, we look at two of the more famous plays from this period which use the supernatural in their narratives; Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, and Thomas Middleton’s The Witch.

Although I’m sure I’m missing someone out, someone important from this period who wrote a lot of plays still loved today.

No matter, I’m sure I’ll remember by next week!

 

This episode primarily drew from the following texts:

  • ‘First edition of Middleton's The Witch’, British Library, accessed December 2017, at https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/first-edition-of-middletons-the-witch
  • Holmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974
  • H. W. Herrington, ‘Witchcraft and Magic in Elizabethan Drama’, The Journal of American Folklore, 32, 126, (1919)
  • Purkiss, D., The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations (1996) 


Please see the website for a full bibliography!

Music by Kevin MacCleod and Karstenholymol, used under the Creative Commons License.





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Jan 13, 2018
022 - Fairies, Demons, and a Cat called Satan
1977
This week, we hear about the witch beliefs commonly held by your common or garden peasant in Elizabethan and early Stuart England. The priority for your average Joe was the ability of witches to effect the physical world, and how they could help or harm.

We also cover the Protestant authorities stance with traditional folklore, in a world that now had to explain the supernatural based solely on the scripture of the Bible.

 

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

 

  • Alan MacFarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England, London, 1970
  • Richard Deacon, Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General, London, 1976
  • Darren Oldridge, 'Fairies and the Devil in early modern England', The Seventeenth Century, 31, 1, 1-15
  • Kieth Thomas, 'The Relevance of Social Anthropology to the Historical Study of English Witchcraft', in Mary Douglas (ed.) Witchcraft Confessions and Accusations, 2013For a full bibliography, please see the website


Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft




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Dec 10, 2017
021 - Gloriana? I Hardly Knew Her!
2640
With the reign of England's first recognised Queen, Elizabeth I, we find a kingdom riven by sectarian violence and uncertainty. Today's episode gives a brief overview of her rule, and covers the various plots against the monarch and her advisers. We also return to the life of John Dee, the court magician who had been tried for treason during the reign of Mary, as well as hearing the adventures of various preachers and witch-hunting magistrates.

Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitch

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

  • Witchcraft Statute ‘against Conjurations, Enchantments, and Witchcrafts, 1563

  • The Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584
  • Gifford, George, A Dialogue Concerning Witches and Witchcrafts, 1593
  • Ankerloo, Bengt and Clark, Stuart (eds.) Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials, Philadelphia, 2002
  • Deacon, Richard, Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General, London, 1976
  • Sharpe, James, Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in England 1550-1750, London, 1996
  • The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 


For a full bibliography, please see the website.





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Dec 03, 2017
020 - Witchcraft in Tudor England
1461
Henry VIII was a superstitious sort of bloke, one who was in his element spending his free time charging at another bloke who was also charging him while they both hold long and pointy bits of wood (some academic language for you there), and yet when faced with something he couldn't fight he ran away screaming.

Poison, prophecy, and witchcraft were all on his hit-list, as we see in this episode, as we cover the magical elements of both his reign and those of his two eldest surviving legitimate children; Edward VI and Mary I.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

 

  • Alan MacFarlane, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England, London, 1970
  • Richard Deacon, Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General, London, 1976
  • James Sharpe, Instruments of Darkness: Witchcraft in England, 1550-1750, London, 1996
  • Robert Poole (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories, Manchester, 2002
  • Christina Larner and Alana MacFarlane, Witchcraft and Religion: the Politics of Popular Belief, Oxford, 1984Please see the full bibliography of the website.


 





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Nov 16, 2017
019 - The Eternal City and the Evil Eye
2172
The Roman Empire stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Levant for centuries, and today's episode covers a few of the magical beliefs the superstitious Romans held. While it's hard to distinguish between organically Roman traits and those imported from the Greek world, the culture of Rome was certainly a mixture of the two, as can be seen in their beliefs in magic.

 

Today's episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

  • Epodes
  • Livy, The History of Rome
  • The Twelve Tables
  • M. W. Dickie, Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World, 2002
  • A. Parker, Protecting the Troops? Phallic Carvings in the North of Roman BritainPlease see the website for a full bibliography 
http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk





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Nov 07, 2017
018 - Halloween - From Pagan, to Christian, to Party
2906
Today we cover the development of Halloween - its development from a Celtic harvest festival, which may or may not have involved the ritual slaughter of infant children, and its merger with the Christian holy days of All Saints and All Souls, emerging from the melting pot of American society as something new and old, traditional and commercial.

Many thanks to Joe from the 80 Days - An Exploration Podcast for lending his voice to today's intro quote. Find his fantastic show on Facebook, Twitter, and 80dayspodcast.com

 

 

Today's show primarily relies on the following works:

Rogers, Nicholas, Halloween: From Pagan Ritual to Party Night, 2002

Santino, Jack (ed.) Halloween and Other Festivals of Death and Life, 1994



For a full bibliography, check the website!

http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk





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Oct 23, 2017
017 - Poisoners, Soul-Drawers, and Mathematicians
2627
The founders of Western Civilisation, the Classical Greeks were strong believers in the existence and capabilities of the supernatural. Their epic poems and plays featured Gods, Goddesses, and spirits aplenty, and mythical heroes were often attributed fantastic knowledge and power. As time went on, Greek writers began to distinguish between different types of magic, and their acceptability.

 

This episode primarily draws from:

- Daniel Ogden, Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook, Oxford, 2002

For a full bibliography, please see the website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk

Many thanks to the Ryan from the History of Ancient Greece Podcast for his help! Go check him out - http://www.thehistoryofancientgreece.com/




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Oct 19, 2017
016 - The Legacy of the Magi
2004
The Persian Empires of antiquity were vast and powerful, and many of their subjects were devout Zoroastrians - a monotheistic religion that worshiped Ahura Mazda and abhorred his opposite, the evil Ahriman. Ahriman was the creator of all the impurity of the world, including the powers of witchcraft. Yet despite this zealous hatred of magic, the priesthood of Zoroaster, the Magi, gave the west an ironic legacy...

 

Today's episode primarily relied on:

The Book of Arda Viraf

The Sixteen Perfect Lands of Ahura Mazda, and the Many Plagues of Ahriman

For a full show bibliography, please see the website.




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Oct 08, 2017
015 - The Sorcerers of the Pharaohs
1621
Magic and religion was inseparable in the first human civilisations of the Fertile Crescent and the Nile. The Gods were active in the world, and could be bargained with and sometimes commanded by humans. But what was one mans legitimate prayer was his enemy's witchcraft, and all manner of natural events were blamed on the supernatural shenanigans of evil men.

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

Farber, W. Witchcraft, Magic, and Divination in Ancient Mesopotamia

Schwemer, D. Witchcraft and War: the Ritual Fragment Ki

Pinch, G. Egyptian Mythology: A guide to the Gods, Goddesses, and Traditions of ancient Egypt

For a full show bibliography and attributions for music and sound used in this episode, please see the website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk





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Oct 04, 2017
014 - The Scattering of the Knights Templar
1915
Today's episode is on how the news of the ruthless prosecution of the Templars in France was received by three distinct rulers - Edward II of England, Denis I of Portugal, and regent Amaury of the Kingdom of Cyprus. We see how, by and large, the main deciding factor for how the Templars are treated are the domestic situations in each of these countries.

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

Cohn, N. Europe's Inner Demons (London, 1975)

Jochten Burgtof, Paul Crawford, Helen Nicholson (eds.) The Debate of the Trial of the Templars (1307-1314), 2013

For a full show bibliography and attributions for music and sound used in this episode, please see the website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk





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Sep 25, 2017
013 - The Crushing of the Knights Templar
2707
The Iron King, Philip the Fourth, is well deserving of the title. As we see this episode, he let nothing get in the way of his ambitions. Italian merchants, Jewish moneylenders, even the Pope, all would be crippled by the French king for the crime of standing in his way.

This fate also awaited the Knights Templar; for political and financial gain, Philip seized on unsubstantiated rumours and strong-armed every authority in his grasp the ensure the complete and utter destruction of the military order.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

Cohn, N. Europe's Inner Demons (London, 1975)

Jochten Burgtof, Paul Crawford, Helen Nicholson (eds.) The Debate of the Trial of the Templars (1307-1314), 2013



For a full show bibliography and attributions for music and sound used in this episode, please see the website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk





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Sep 17, 2017
012 - The Rise of the Knights Templar
1894
The Knights Templar, or the Poor-Fellow Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, are a fascinating example of how too much success can be a bad thing. Rapidly abandoning the 'Poor-Fellow' aspect of their name, the Templars grew into a vast land-owning organisation with enormous wealth, ignoring the growing anger and discontent against their privileges. Once they lost the 'Temple of Solomon' aspect of their name, their days were numbered...

This episode primarily makes use of the following text:

Cohn, N. Europe's Inner Demons (London, 1975)



For a full show bibliography, please see the website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.uk




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Sep 10, 2017
011 - Mountaintop Madness
2531
John Calvin's role in the history of Geneva is hotly debated to this day, and the city gained a reputation for cruel and excessive witchtrials. We discover exactly how terrible these trials were, and whether or not Calvin deserves the blame for Geneva's attitude towards witchcraft. We also consider the events to the east of the republic, where the greedy motivations of a tyrannical lord resulted in a catastrophic witch hunt which eventually led to the creation of a modern European state.

 

This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:

  • Kieckhefer, R. ‘Witch Trials in Medieval Europe’, in Oldridge D., (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (London, 2002)

  • William Monter, E. ‘The Sociology of Jura Witchcraft’, in Oldridge D., (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, (London, 2002)

  • Ankerloo, B. and Clark, S. (eds.) Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials, (London, 2002)
  • William Monter, E., Witchcraft in France and Switzerland (Cornell, 1976)

  • Robisheaux, T. 'The German Witch Trials', in Levack, B. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America, (Oxford, 2013) 


 




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Sep 04, 2017
010 - The Wisest Fool in Christendom
1817
The last great Scottish trial under the reign of James Stuart

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Aug 21, 2017
009 - The Devil's Greatest Enemy
3064
The North Berwick Witch Hunt | The Exile of Earl Bothwell | Newes from Scotland

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Aug 02, 2017
008 - The Cradle King
1541
The bloodsoaked early years of James VI's reign

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Jul 17, 2017
007 - To Kill a King
1039
James VI of Scotland had one hell of a tough time getting married...

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Jul 03, 2017
006 - The Synagogue of Satan
1457
Many of the witch hunters at the head of the worst trials were convinced of the existence of the Witches' Sabbat, a blasphemous gathering of sorcerers that met with the Devil, took part in demonic orgies, and planned their terrible crimes. Suspected witches were tortured into admitting they attended these sabbats, and then were tortured into naming the people they had seen there. The idea of the sabbat gave inquisitors a reason to expect that their witches knew each other, and their torture confirmed it.

But the fact is the Witches' Sabbat did not exist. The events described at the sabbat were identical to claims levelled at Muslims, heretics, and the Jews, and in many cases the term 'Synagogue of Satan' was used to link the crimes of the Jews to the crimes of the witches.

We also take a look at two methods, other than torture, of discovering whether someone was truly guilty of witchcraft; the trial by water, and the pricking.

This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Ankerloo, Bengt and Clark, Stuart (eds.) Witchcraft and Magic in Europe: The Period of the Witch Trials, Philadelphia, 2002

Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Erik Midelfort, H. C. Witch Hunting in Southwestern Germany 1562-1684, Stanford, 1972

MacFarlane, Alan, Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England, London, 1970





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Jun 19, 2017
005 - "I Have Forgiven the Devil"
1545
The deadliest trials of the Early Modern Period were also the ones with the greatest number of young victims. Children as young as seven are recorded as being tortured and executed for the crime of witchcraft. Fleeing the city was not enough; extradition was actively sought for those suspected of the crime, and it was often granted. Prince-Bishop Phillip Adolf von Ehrenberg, the 'Iron Bishop', led the charge, not even sparing his young nephew from the stake.


 Truly, Würzburg epitomises the worst with the witch panics of this period.


This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1530)

Del Rio, Martin, Disquisitiones Magicae, (1599)


Weyer, Johann, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563)


Spee, Friedrich, Cautio Criminalis (1531)

Remy, Nicholas, Demonolatry (1595)


Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch Hunting in South-Western Germany, 1972


Barry, Jonathan and Davies, Owen, Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography, 2007





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Jun 12, 2017
004 - Reigns of Terror
2127
In this episode, we examine two of the more brutal and violent witch panics in all of European history; Fulda between 1602 and 1606, and Bamberg, between 1626 and 1632. Both ruled by Catholic clergy-lords, one a Prince-Abbot and the other a Prince-Bishop, they reigned over substantial territories, and their word was law. So when they began trials against suspected witches, they rapidly escalated to every part of society. No one was safe.

This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1530)

Del Rio, Martin, Disquisitiones Magicae, (1599)


Weyer, Johann, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563)


Spee, Friedrich, Cautio Criminalis (1531)

Remy, Nicholas, Demonolatry (1595)


Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch Hunting in South-Western Germany, 1972


Barry, Jonathan and Davies, Owen, Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography, 2007




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Jun 05, 2017
003 - Heartland of the Witch Craze
2244
Here we begin with the events themselves. Today we look at a case of slander in Rothenburg ob de Tauber, which ended relatively peacefully and no one was burnt as a witch, and then contrast it with the Trier Witch Trials, which were not at all peaceful and involved hundreds of people being burnt as witches. I do love a good contrast!

 

This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1530)

Del Rio, Martin, Disquisitiones Magicae, (1599)


Weyer, Johann, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563)


Spee, Friedrich, Cautio Criminalis (1531)

Remy, Nicholas, Demonolatry (1595)


Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch Hunting in South-Western Germany, 1972


Barry, Jonathan and Davies, Owen, Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography, 2007




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May 29, 2017
002 - A Century of Fire
2366
The witch trials of the 16th and 17th centuries are, by far, the reason for many of the stereotypes of witchcraft. The belief in witch cults was rife throughout the educated classes of Christendom, and when combined with the desperate anger of starving peasants and townsfolk these beliefs spread fire and destruction on an unprecedented scale. This is the Century of Fire, when innumerable men, women, and children were burnt at the stake, bishops celebrated their newly-enforced orthodoxy, and executioners profited.

This episode will explain the background of these events, and covers what I have found to be the most convincing explanations for why these trials happened.

 

This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1530)

Del Rio, Martin, Disquisitiones Magicae, (1599)

Weyer, Johann, De Praestigiis Daemonum (1563)

Spee, Friedrich, Cautio Criminalis (1531)

Remy, Nicholas, Demonolatry (1595)

Oldridge, Darren, (ed.) The Witchcraft Reader, London, 2002

Midelfort, H. C. Erik, Witch Hunting in South-Western Germany, 1972

Barry, Jonathan and Davies, Owen, Palgrave Advances in Witchcraft Historiography, 2007




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May 23, 2017
001 - The Hammer of the Witches
2489
The Malleus Maleficarum, the 'Hammer of the Witches', was the lifes work of Papal Inquisitor Henricus Institoris, who held a particular hatred of witchcraft and those who practiced it. For him, witchcraft was the fruit of female sexuality and the corrupting influence of the Devil, only occasionally finding men guilty of the crime. His work was either a seminal work on witchcraft theory, or a fabricated mess worth barely any mention, depending on who you ask.



This episode primarily made use of the following texts, among others:



Henricus Institoris and Jacob Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum, (1487)




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May 23, 2017