East Anglia Witch Craze

Why was Suffolk important during the Civil War?
It was parliament's main recruiting ground; many husbands left their wives to fall 'vulnerable' to the Devil.
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What was the effect of the absence of men?
Shift in traditional authority; witches in Wingfield and Westhorpe were connected with radical Puritan sects who believed women were equal to men.
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What was the effect of the Civil War on traditional authority?
1) Authority of CofE undermined- many ministers were ejected and replaced with Puritans in East Anglia. 2) Authority of gentry was undermined as they left their estates to fight. 3) Assize courts unable to operate; local magistrates took over.
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Who was the Earl of Warwick?
Appointed in July 1645 to oversee the Essex Assizes, despite having little legal experience.
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What happened during the harvest of 1646?
Summer was wet, meaning that disease affected the livestock and crops. Wheat and rye crops were rotted by ergot. The price of wheat rose by 20%.
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How did the Puritans view this misfortune?
As a punishment from God- a sign that Charles I should not be reinstated to the throne.
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Who was Sir Miles Sandys?
A particularly aggressive landlord who had enclosed 4,000 acres of common land, depriving his tenants of land. A number of suspected witches who faced trial in Ely in 1647 had connections with earlier unrest over enclosure.
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Why were there tensions between the gentry and the poor?
The richer members of society believed the poor to be ungrateful; they were more likely to use witchcraft to get revenge for being poor.
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What was the effect of the Civil War on the local economy?
Since the beginning of the war, the price of livestock had increased by 12% and the price of grain by 15%.
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Who was Margaret Moone?
A woman who fell into poverty because of increasing rent rates and was forced into begging- accused of causing the death of livestock and the murder of a child.
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Who was John Lowes?
An 80 year-old royalist clergyman who was interrogated after defending a woman accused of witchcraft. He eventually confessed to having made a pact with the Devil after floating during the swimming test.
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What happened in spring 1647?
Hopkins attended the Norfolk Assizes, where his authority was questioned by skeptical officials. Hopkins wrote 'The Discovery of Witches' in response.
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What was the significance of women as victims?
80% of victims were women, usually accused of crimes in 'female spaces'. Poor women were involved in dairy farming, so when something went wrong they were accused of witchcraft.
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Why did Hopkins target women?
He wanted to find evidence of sexual activity with the Devil and the suckling of imps. Susanna Stegold was however accused of murdering her husband through witchcraft.
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What were the main methods used by the witch finders?
1) Isolation of the subject for as long as possible. 2) Search women employed to look for Devil's marks. 3) Watching and sleep deprivation. 4) Swimming test; already approved in 'Demonologie'.
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Why was Hopkins important?
He had been raised by an influential and strict Puritan clergyman and it would have been impossible to inherit his family's estate, meaning he needed another way to earn money.
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How much did it cost to keep accused witches at Ipswich?
Imprisonment could cost up to £50 to hold a witch whilst they waited for their assize court date.
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How much did the witch hunt at Aldeburgh cost?
£40- making up 1/7 of the town's entire annual budget.
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What happened in 1646?
Charles I surrendered to the Scots and gentry returned to their estates. The East Anglican Assizes began to operate again and traditional authority was restored. Royalists returned; breaking the dominance of the Puritan leaders.
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What happened towards the end of 1646?
Three witches were brought before the court at Ely by Hopkins. All three were acquitted by John Godbold, suggesting Hopkins' power had been broken.
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Who was John Gaule?
The minister of Great Staughton who opposed Hopkins and Stearne and believed that his parishioners were to blame for their sins, not the witches.
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What did Gaule write in his book, published in 1646?
He said witchfinding should be carried out in a meticulous and cautious way, and complained that the craze was becoming idolatrous. People were losing sight of God, Christ and the Bible.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What was the effect of the absence of men?

Back

Shift in traditional authority; witches in Wingfield and Westhorpe were connected with radical Puritan sects who believed women were equal to men.

Card 3

Front

What was the effect of the Civil War on traditional authority?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Who was the Earl of Warwick?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What happened during the harvest of 1646?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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