History of Witchcraft

History of Witchcraft
Hosted by Sam Hume
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.

While this might sound like a particularly morbid subject, I aim to present it in an entertaining, but informative, way. Of course, there are cases of genuine tragedy in this history of witchcraft, but with a gap of several hundred years, it's ok for us to find humour in the image of, for example, an Anglo-Saxon witch attempting to ward off the Norman invasion of England by exposing her buttocks. That didn't work very well, if you're wondering...
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History of Witchcraft

036 – Burn to Ashes

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


035 – A Magazine of Scandal

July 28, 2018 • 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...

| July 28, 2018

034 – The Witchfinder General

July 21, 2018 • This episode primarily makes use of the following texts:-  Gaskill, Malcolm, Witchfinders: A Seventeenth Century English Tragedy, (2005) -  Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and...

| July 21, 2018

033 – Satan’s Kingdom Divided

June 25, 2018 • 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...

| June 25, 2018

032 – Never a Cross Left

June 9, 2018 • 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...

| June 9, 2018

031 – It’s Treason, then.

May 27, 2018 • 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...

| May 27, 2018

030 – The Lynching of John Lambe

April 21, 2018 • 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...

| April 21, 2018

029 – By the Sword of the Magistrate

April 15, 2018 • 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...

| April 15, 2018

XXVIII – The Burning of Prospero

March 31, 2018 • 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...

| March 31, 2018

027 – A Wonderful Discovery

March 24, 2018 • 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...

| March 24, 2018

026 – Demon Women and Foul Devices

March 17, 2018 • 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...

| March 17, 2018

025 – Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot

March 10, 2018 • 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...

| March 10, 2018

024 – Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair

February 11, 2018 • 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...

| February 11, 2018

023 – Ten Thousand Hells

January 13, 2018 • 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...

| January 13, 2018

022 – Fairies, Demons, and a Cat called Satan

December 9, 2017 • 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...

| December 9, 2017

021 – Gloriana? I Hardly Knew Her!

December 2, 2017 • 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,...

| December 2, 2017

020 – Witchcraft in Tudor England Revisited

November 16, 2017 • 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...

| November 16, 2017

019 – The Eternal City and the Evil Eye

November 7, 2017 • 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...

| November 7, 2017

018 – Halloween – From Pagan, to Christian, to Party

October 22, 2017 • 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...

| October 22, 2017

017 – Poisoners, Soul-Drawers, and Mathematicians

October 19, 2017 • 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,...

| October 19, 2017

016 – The Legacy of the Magi

October 8, 2017 • 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...

| October 8, 2017

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