022 – Fairies, Demons, and a Cat called Satan

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, 2013

For a full bibliography, please see the website

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