The Tudor Society
  • Witchcraft in Tudor times

    With it being Hallowtide, I’m seeing lots of photos of people dressed up as witches for costume parties and trick or treating, so I used this as inspiration for this talk.

    I always find it fascinating how in the Tudor period, a world that was run by religion, people were also incredibly superstitious and put their trust in charms, amulets, weird remedies, and astrology, things that are seen as counter-religion today.

    In today’s talk, I explain just how these topics were integrated in Tudor life, and the different attitudes towards what was seen as white magic versus witchcraft, and how so many people, mainly women, came to lose their lives in the 16th and 17th centuries accused of witchcraft.

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  • Tudor & Stuart Witchcraft & Medicine Tour – open for bookings!

    In this video, I introduce this October 2020 tour that she is co-leading with Philippa Lacey Brewell of British History Tours.

    The Tudor and Stuart periods were fascinating times, where medicine, science, astrology, religion and superstition were all inextricably linked, and in this exciting new tour we delve into these wonderful topics and learn from expert tour guides and speakers. Plus we get to visit some stunning places!

    Find out more and book your place at https://www.britishhistorytours.com/history-tours/tudor-witchcraft-medicine

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  • 5 July – The Essex Witches

    On this day in Tudor history, 5th July 1589, three Essex women were hanged at Chelmsford, Essex, after being found guilty of murder by witchcraft. Their names were Joan Cunny, Joan Prentice and Joan Upney.

    In today’s talk, I explain how these women came to be accused of witchcraft and why they were hanged.

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  • Witches and Witchcraft Crossword Puzzle

    Today’s Sunday fun is a crossword puzzle to test your knowledge on witches and witchcraft.

    If you haven’t listened to Kate Cole’s excellent expert talk on the subject then you might want to listen to that first…

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  • 5 July 1589 – The hanging of Joan Cunny, one of the ‘Essex Witches’

    On this day in history, 5th July 1589, Joan Cunny (Cony), one of the ‘Essex Witches’, was hanged at Chelmsford.

    Joan Cunny was born in around 1508 and was from Stisted in Essex. She was accused of killing her neighbours and causing a great storm. Cunny had told of how she knelt in a circle and prayed to Satan to conjure her familiar and spirits. The pre-trial examination of Joan Cunny, along with those of Joan Prentice and Joan Upney, was published in 1589 as The Apprehension and Confession of Three Notorious Witches. Joan Prentice, who had a ferret-shaped familiar named Satan who had killed a child, was also hanged on 5th July, as was Joan Upney.

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