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Witchcraft Craze History

Witchcraft in England and Scotland

1542 Statute of Henry VIII against witchcraft
1547 Repeal of statute of 1542 in reign of Edward VI
1563 Statute of Queen Elizabeth against witchcraft
1566 The first Chelmsford witch trials
1579 The Windsor witches; also the second Chelmsford trials
1582 St. Osyth Witches of Essex (case tried at Chelmsford)
1584 Publication of Discovery of Witchcraft, by the sceptic Reginald Scot
1589 Third Chelmsford witch trials
1593 Warboys witches of Huntingdon
1597 Publication of Demonology by James VI of Scotland (later James I of England)
1597 Case of the Burton Boy (Thomas Darling) in Staffordshire
1604 James l's statute against witchcraft
1604 Case of the Northwich Boy (an impostor)
1605 Abingdon witches and Anne Gunter (an impostor)
1612 Lancashire witch trials
1616 Case of the Leicester Boy (John Smith), an impostor
1620 Case of the Bilson Boy (William Perry), an impostor
1645 Case of the Faversham witches, Kent Witchfinder-general Matthew Hopkins and the Chelmsford (or Manningtree) witch trials
1646 Death of Matthew Hopkins by tuberculosis
1647 Publication of Discovery of Witches, Matthew Hopkins
1649 Case of the St. Albans witches, Hertfordshire
1652 "Dr. Lamb's Darling": the trial of Anne Bodenham Trial of the Wapping Witch (Joan Peterson) near London
1662 The Bury St. Edmunds witch trials
1674 Trial of Anne Foster at Northampton
1682 Trial of three Exeter Witches
1684 Last execution for witchcraft in England (Alice Molland at Exeter)
1712 Jane Wenham of Walkern in Herefordshire is last person convicted of witchcraft in England
1722 Last execution for witchcraft in Scotland
1736 Repeal of Statute of James 1 (1604)


Source: Roger Hart, "Witchcraft" (London: Wayland Publishers, 1971)

Page Updated 7th April, 2000
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