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Witchcraft and Witch-Trials, 1470-1700

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Francis Young (University of Oxford) explores witchcraft in the British Isles. In the first module, we look at what witchcraft actually is. In the second module, we turn to look at witch-hunting and the trial of witches, asking how and why witchcraft became a matter of judicial concern. In the third module, we focus specifically on the Matthew Hopkins witch-hunt of 1645-47, before in the fourth module looking at the decline of the witch-trials and the reasons behind this. In the fifth and final module, we look at the decriminalisation of witchcraft and what this meant for the survival of those who self-identify as witches.

About the Lecturer

Francis Young is a tutor at the University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education. His research interests lie in early modern Catholicism, folklore, magic, and other forms of supernatural belief. Some of his recent publications include the co-authored volume English Catholicism 1558-1642 (2021), Catholic East Anglia: A History of the Catholic Faith in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (2016), and (2015). His book Pagans in the Early Modern Baltic was also awarded the Book Subvention Award by the Association for the Advancement of Baltic studies in 2021.