Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)
In this lecture, Professor Wrightson discusses witchcraft and magic. He begins with the context of magic beliefs in this period, introducing the 'cunning folk' who had reputations as healers and were often consulted. He then considers the specific problem of witchcraft, the use of magic to do harm, and its identification by the late medieval church as a form of anti-Christian cult. He examines the distinctive nature of both witchcraft beliefs and the history of witchcraft prosecution in England (as compared with both Scotland and continental Europe), outlining the typical circumstances of a witchcraft accusation and what these might suggest about the rise and fall of concern with witchcraft. Finally he considers a number of unresolved problems in the history of witchcraft in England: the nature of the links between gender and witchcraft; the reasons behind the passage of the statutes defining witchcraft as a crime; and the exceptionally large number of trials conducted in the county of Essex.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Magic 08:56 - Chapter 2. Differences between Witchcraft in England and in Europe 19:26 - Chapter 3. Trials in England 35:05 - Chapter 4. Witchraft Statutes in Essex
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses
This course was recorded in Fall 2009.
This course is intended to provide an up-to-date introduction to the development of English society between the late fifteenth and the early eighteenth centuries. Particular issues addressed in the lectures will include: the changing social structure; households; local communities; gender roles; economic development; urbanization; religious change from the Reformation to the Act of Toleration; the Tudor and Stuart monarchies; rebellion, popular protest and civil war; witchcraft; education, literacy and print culture; crime and the law; poverty and social welfare; the changing structures and dynamics of political participation and the emergence of parliamentary government. This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2009.
As one of the world's great universities, Yale traces its roots back to the early 1640s when colonial clergyman sought to establish a school in order to continue the tradition of European education within the Americas. Yale has now grown to educate over 11,000 students from over 100 countries on a 310-acre campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Within the school's 260 buildings are over 2,000 undergraduate programs in 65 departments taught by a distinguished faculty. As Academic Earth's first partner school, Yale has been a leader within the space of OpenCourseWare by consistently delivering on its esteemed mission to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.