The History of Witchcraft
By Samuel Hume
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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...
||Clean032 - Never a Cross Left||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 'witches', but find cheering crowds and grateful magistrates waiting for him? Today's episode will examine the possible reasons why the Hopkins witch craze was so exceptional in its scale and brutality.This episode primarily made use of the following texts:- Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, B. P. (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (Oxford, 2013)- Levack, Brian, ‘State-Building and Witch-Hunting’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002- Elmer, Peter,Witchcraft, Witch-Hunting, and Politics in Early Modern England, (Oxford, 2016)- Jackson, Louise, ‘Witches, Wives and Mothers: Witchcraft Persecution and Women’s Confessions in Seventeenth-Century England’, in Oldridge, Darren (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader, 2002For a full bibliography, please see the website: www.thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.ukThe Recorded History Podcast Network: www.recordedhistory.netFriends of the show, Pontifacts: https://pontifacts.podbean.com/||9 6 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean031 - It's Treason, then.||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 English population to the limited prosecutions of witches, spearheaded by the Stuart court. This episode primarily makes use of the following sources:Gaskill, Malcolm, ‘Witchcraft Trials in England’, in Levack, Brian (ed.) The Oxford HandbookHolmes, R., Witchcraft in British History (1974)MacFarlane, A., Witchcraft in Tudor and Stuart England (London, 1970)Levack, B., 'State-Building and Witch Hunting', in Darren Oldridge (ed.), The Witchcraft Reader (London, 2002)Poole, R., (ed.), The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories (2002)A full bibliography can be found on the website.Website: http://thehistoryofwitchcraft.co.ukFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/historyofwitchcraft/Twitter: https://twitter.com/HistofWitchPatreon: https://www.patreon.com/HistoryofWitchcraft||26 5 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean030 - The Lynching of John Lambe||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 ally of Charles. Yet, the reputation of Dr Lambe was so poor that even...||21 4 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean029 - By the Sword of the Magistrate||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 I, continues this approach. Puritanism, the new bogeyman of the Anglican..||15 4 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanXXVIII - The Burning of Prospero||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 dispatched at the head of a Legion to bring his errant son to heel and...||31 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean027 - A Wonderful Discovery||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 published opinions of James I. We further examine how James began to regret...||24 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean026 - Demon Women and Foul Devices||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 trials that dotted his early reign. This episode primarily makes use...||17 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean025 - Gunpowder, Treason, and Plot||James Stuart begins his reign in England||10 3 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean024 - Fair is Foul, and Foul is Fair||Shakespeare | Macbeth | Joan of Arc||11 2 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean023 - Ten Thousand Hells||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 supernatural in their narratives; Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus,...||13 1 2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean022 - Fairies, Demons, and a Cat called Satan||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 ability of witches to effect the physical world, and how they could help or...||9 12 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean021 - Gloriana? I Hardly Knew Her!||Elizabeth Tudor | Puritans | Legal Changes||2 12 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean020 - Witchcraft in Tudor England Revisited||Henry VIII | Poisoning | Prophecy||16 11 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean019 - The Eternal City and the Evil Eye||The Roman Empire | The Evil Eye | Stone Penises||7 11 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean018 - Halloween - From Pagan, to Christian, to Party||Ancient Human Sacrifice | Christian Veneration | Bargain-bin Costumes||22 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean017 - Poisoners, Soul-Drawers, and Mathematicians||Ancient Greece | Divine Sorcerers | Mathematical Wizards||19 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean016 - The Legacy of the Magi||Ahriman, Zoroastrianism, and the Persian Empires||8 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean015 - The Sorcerers of the Pharaohs||Ancient Babylon, Assyria, and Pharaonic Egypt are the topics of today's episode||4 10 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean014 - The Scattering of the Knights Templar||England, Portugal, and Cyprus - How did each ruler treat their newly-criminalised Templars?||25 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean013 - The Crushing of the Knights Templar||The Iron King of France set's his sights on the rich and powerful Templar Knights, and nothing will stop him||16 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean012 - The Rise of the Knights Templar||A band of knights conceived to protect pilgrims became a rich and powerful entity in the space of just a few years...||10 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean011 - Mountaintop Madness||The Republic of Geneva, Calvin, and how a witch trial created a country||4 9 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean010 - The Wisest Fool in Christendom||The last great Scottish trial under the reign of James Stuart||21 8 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean009 - The Devil's Greatest Enemy||The North Berwick Witch Hunt | The Exile of Earl Bothwell | Newes from Scotland||2 8 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean008 - The Cradle King||The bloodsoaked early years of James VI's reign||17 7 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean007 - To Kill a King||James VI of Scotland had one hell of a tough time getting married...||3 7 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean006 - The Synagogue of Satan||What was the Witches' Sabbat, and why was everyone so obsessed with it? Also, Debunking Dunking!||19 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean005 - "I Have Forgiven the Devil"||The Würzburg witch hunts were the deadliest in all of Germany||12 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean004 - Reigns of Terror||Two of the deadliest witch panics in all of European history were the ones held at Fulda and Bamberg||5 6 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean003 - Heartland of the Witch Craze||The Holy Roman Empire was a hotbed of witch panics in this period. In this episode we take a look at two very different trials||29 5 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean002 - A Century of Fire||What caused the deadly witch hunts of the early modern period?||23 5 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean001 - The Hammer of the Witches||Henricus Institoris does a spot of witch hunting||23 5 2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Never knew how widespread witchcraft was believed to be. Enjoyed every episode to date
A level student - very helpful!
Thank you for making these as some are so useful for me as an A level history student whose topics include witchcraft. As well as popular culture and reasons for the start and end of witchcraft we study England, Germany and Salem in great depth. If you could produce any podcasts on Hopkins and Salem before the 6th June (our exam) that would be great! They are an excellent revision tool - thanks.
Very very good.
An excellent podcast. Well presented and interesting. I came across it after the podcaster did a guest episode on The History of England, really glad I did as I have really enjoyed his work.