Witchcraft In Seventeenth-Century England

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The East Anglia witch hunt was a turning point for English witchcraft. Witchcraft hysteria lessen as the seventeenth-century continued. After the end of the civil wars, Oliver Cromwell became the Lord Protector of England. Cromwell was not a believer in witchcraft, he tried to repress it in England. During the 1950s witch hunting had its times of highs and lows. Political debate regarding witchcraft had begun during Cromwell’s rule. New religious groups, such as Baptist, formed fear of witchcraft in some cases leading to accusations and trials. Baptist rejected any modern medicine of the time and choose essential oils in healing bewitchment. Cromwell himself was accused of being a witch in the late 1650s. In 1657, a Royalist spy claimed…show more content…
More witchcraft pamphlets were printed in the 1680s than any other decade. The pamphlets described witchcraft in all its forms textually as well as visually. After the Bideford witchcraft trial there was a pamphlet created to tell the story of the three witches. From 1670s onward, the Church of England would associate Roman Catholics with witchcraft. This type of propaganda caused people to continue to accuse Catholics of being witches. Yet there were still few trials people were becoming skeptical of…show more content…
This effected claim of witches: contorting their bodies, loss of memory, sight and hearing, unknow languages, hallucinations, strange voices or lesions on the skins; symptoms were now being examined as a mental illness. It was psychological rather than supernatural. Intellectual people were becoming a fashionable idea, before they were ridiculed by others for being non-believers. People were becoming interested in mathematics, physics and astronomy. They were exploring many things which helped them to understand the world. With people being more tolerant religious wars began to subside. The government grew stronger and did not want their societies disrupted with outburst of witchcraft. Science did have a direct effect in the decline of witchcraft. The same social, religion and political factors that created witch hunting impacted the decline and end of the witch hunts. In England there were only about one thousand that are believed to have been executed for being witches. Witchcraft belief continued in England but in 1736 the Witchcraft Act was changed to decriminalize witchcraft and charge a person who claimed any human had magical powers. People found it unreasonable to believe in the old view of a world haunted by evil
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