020 – Witchcraft in Tudor England Revisited

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, 1984

Please see the full bibliography of the website.