The Witch Hunts 1645-47

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  • Three Ways Civil War helped lead to Witch hunts
    • What?
      • Witch hunts were when people actively tried to discover witches occurred during English Civil Wars, a period of great upheaval
      • Hundreds of women and a few men were investigated. Convicted then executed by hanging
    • Reasons for intensity of hunts
      • Social changes: War left women on their own as husbands fought. More strangers around as people traveled with armies or searched for work
      • Lack of authority: Civil war weakened control of local authorities. In some areas, Law and order collapsed completely-most were men
      • Economic problems: Civil War and poor harvests caused economic failure. People looked for scapegoats
      • Religious change: religious differences were increased by war. Many puritans believed witchcraft was used by the royalists, most Catholic
      • Influence of individuals:Since 1603 James I promoted witch hunting. Hopkins stirred up fear. James I daemonologie outlined his beliefs in witchcraft, how they can be found and treated
        • Matthew Hopkins
          • Employed by JPs to find witches in Essex and East Anglia
          • Received money for each person prosecuted. Estimated that his work led to 300 people being investigated 112 hanged
          • Used torture to extract confessions often including other to investigate
          • Stirred up mass panic and fear by his prosecutions and pamphlets 1645-47
        • Evidence of Witchcraft
          • Unusual marks on body
          • Witness accoutns
          • When pricked doesn't bleed
          • When in water they float


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