This Man Hunted Witches In The 1600s And Was Responsible For The Deaths Of Over 300 Women

kharchenkoirina - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

In 1603, the kingdoms of Scotland and England were united when King James I took the throne. At that time, the region was steeped with paranoia at the thought of devilry and witchcraft.

The king himself was also convinced that the land in which he ruled was tainted with black magic and witchcraft.

He released a book on the subjects titled “Daemonologie,” which helped spread fear throughout the country. James even persuaded Parliament to pass the Witchcraft Statute of 1604, which ruled the practice of witchcraft as a crime punishable by death.

By the 1640s, everyone was convinced that witches lurked around every corner and that they must be eradicated.

It was then that a man named Matthew Hopkins came onto the scene. He became known as the “Witchfinder General” and is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of over 300 women who were accused of witchcraft.

The earliest records of his witch-hunting career appeared in 1644 when he moved to Manningtree, Essex.

He had turned up in the town to buy a local inn with money he inherited from his father. Hopkins was an impoverished lawyer with a strong religious background. He was willing to jump onto the whole witchcraft train to make some money and rid the world of evil.

In March 1644, he believed that several witches near his home were regularly practicing their dark arts after overhearing a group of women discussing their meetings with the devil.

At that time, 23 women were charged with witchcraft. Four of them died in prison, and 19 were later convicted and hanged.

kharchenkoirina – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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