Before Salem: Witch Hunting in the Connecticut River Valley, 1647-1663 (Paperback)
  • Before Salem: Witch Hunting in the Connecticut River Valley, 1647-1663 (Paperback)
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Before Salem: Witch Hunting in the Connecticut River Valley, 1647-1663 (Paperback)

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£43.50
Paperback 344 Pages / Published: 30/04/2017
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From 1647-1663 eleven people were hanged as witches on the New England frontier, in the Connecticut River Valley. The outbreak of witch hunting in New England was directly influenced by the English Civil War and the witchcraft trials begun in 1644 led by the witch-hunter Matthew Hopkins in East Anglia, England. The authorities in New England were armed with a legal manual influenced by recent English demonological writings for identifying a witch and new techniques pioneered by Hopkins for examining witches. This book examines why the witch hysteria first erupted in the Connecticut River Valley. The accounts from this first outbreak of witch hunting included information on the devil's role, demonic possession, bewitchment, apotropaic magic, witch accusations, legal issues, and the role of the clergy in these trials. These early witch hunting accounts later influenced contemporary writers on the Salem witch trials in 1692.

This study offers a fresh assessment of the first outbreak of witch accusations, trials and executions in the Connecticut River Valley. It discusses the witchcraft trials before Salem and the reasons for the continued witch hunting that led to the executions of convicted witches up to 1663. After 1663 the hanging of witches was ended in Connecticut. The book concludes with a discussion as to why these executions ceased and how the local communities resolved the continuing conflict over their fear of witches in the face of a progressive magistracy unwilling to try and convict witches. Apotropaic magic is examined with evidence linking some aspects to specific occupations. The source of the Connecticut document ""Grounds for Examination of a Witch"" is identified.

Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc
ISBN: 9781476666488
Number of pages: 344
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm

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