Paper Title

[3.3] The Intellectual Reasons for the Lull in English Witchcraft Convictions, 1630-1640.

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

History | Intellectual History | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

"The Intellectual Reasons for the Lull in English Witchcraft Convictions, 1630-1640." Student: Catherine Reardon. Supervisor: Ruth Frost, UBC Okanagan. Thesis: Charles I’s beliefs and policies that led to a lull in witchcraft convictions from 1630 to 1640 were the product of the influence of sceptical ecclesiastical, intellectual, and scientific elite at the Royal Court of the Stuart monarchy. Key words: Witchcraft, Stuart, England, Intellectual Two Lancashire witchcraft trials occurred in the Pendle Forest of, England: one trial in 1612 and another in 1634. The first trial resulted in the executions of ten “witches”, but in the second, only twenty-two years later, no one was executed. The circumstances under which the witch-hunts began were similar, but the trials ended differently due to a sea change at court. In this presentation, I will determine the influences that brought about a dramatic decrease in convictions for witchcraft during the reign of Charles I. The constant presence of scientifically-minded physicians such as William Harvey, contributed to King Charles I’s tolerance for “witches”. Many elites in the Stuart court believed witchcraft cases could be attributed to fraudulence, ill health, or misinterpretation of natural processes. When Charles I took the throne in 1625, witchcraft was considered a social disturbance not worthy of condemnation. Witchcraft convictions became rare in the decade 1630 to 1640. Charles I’s enlightened attitude toward witchcraft resulted in a lull in witchcraft convictions seldom seen before that time and that would not be seen again during the English Civil War and Interregnum period.

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Jan 18th, 9:00 AM Jan 18th, 10:15 AM

[3.3] The Intellectual Reasons for the Lull in English Witchcraft Convictions, 1630-1640.

IB 1020

"The Intellectual Reasons for the Lull in English Witchcraft Convictions, 1630-1640." Student: Catherine Reardon. Supervisor: Ruth Frost, UBC Okanagan. Thesis: Charles I’s beliefs and policies that led to a lull in witchcraft convictions from 1630 to 1640 were the product of the influence of sceptical ecclesiastical, intellectual, and scientific elite at the Royal Court of the Stuart monarchy. Key words: Witchcraft, Stuart, England, Intellectual Two Lancashire witchcraft trials occurred in the Pendle Forest of, England: one trial in 1612 and another in 1634. The first trial resulted in the executions of ten “witches”, but in the second, only twenty-two years later, no one was executed. The circumstances under which the witch-hunts began were similar, but the trials ended differently due to a sea change at court. In this presentation, I will determine the influences that brought about a dramatic decrease in convictions for witchcraft during the reign of Charles I. The constant presence of scientifically-minded physicians such as William Harvey, contributed to King Charles I’s tolerance for “witches”. Many elites in the Stuart court believed witchcraft cases could be attributed to fraudulence, ill health, or misinterpretation of natural processes. When Charles I took the throne in 1625, witchcraft was considered a social disturbance not worthy of condemnation. Witchcraft convictions became rare in the decade 1630 to 1640. Charles I’s enlightened attitude toward witchcraft resulted in a lull in witchcraft convictions seldom seen before that time and that would not be seen again during the English Civil War and Interregnum period.