English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists over, the manner of England's governance. The first and second wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament; the war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651. The overall outcome of the war was threefold: the trial and execution of Charles I. In England, the monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship was ended, while in Ireland the victors consolidated the established Protestant Ascendancy. Constitutionally, the wars established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament's consent, although the idea of Parliament as the ruling power of England was only established as part of the Glorious Revolution in 1688; the term "English Civil War" appears most in the singular form, although historians divide the conflict into two or three separate wars.
These wars were not restricted to England as Wales was a part of the Kingdom of England and was affected accordingly, the conflicts involved wars with, civil wars within, both Scotland and Ireland. The war in all these countries is known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. In the early 19th century, Sir Walter Scott referred to it as "the Great Civil War". Unlike other civil wars in England, which focused on who should rule, this war was more concerned with the manner in which the kingdoms of England and Ireland were governed; the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica called the series of conflicts the "Great Rebellion", while some historians – Marxists such as Christopher Hill – have long favoured the term "English Revolution". The two sides had their geographical strongholds, such that minority elements were fled; the strongholds of the royalty included the countryside, the shires, the less economically developed areas of northern and western England. On the other hand, all the cathedral cities sided with Parliament.
All the industrial centers, the ports, the economically advanced regions of southern and eastern England were parliamentary strongholds. Lacey Baldwin Smith says, "the words populous and rebellious seemed to go hand in hand". Many of the officers and veteran soldiers of the English Civil War studied and implemented war strategies, learned and perfected in other wars across Europe, namely by the Spanish and the Dutch during the Dutch war for independence which began in 1568; the main battle tactic came to be known as pike and shot infantry, in which the two sides would line up, facing each other, with infantry brigades of musketeers in the centre, carrying matchlock muskets. The brigades would arrange themselves in lines of musketeers, three deep, where the first row would kneel, the second would crouch, the third would stand, allowing all three to fire a volley simultaneously. At times there would be two groups of three lines allowing one group to reload while the other group arranged themselves and fired.
Mixed in among the musketeers were pikemen carrying pikes that were between 12 feet and 18 feet long, whose primary purpose was to protect the musketeers from cavalry charges. Positioned on each side of the infantry were the cavalry, with a right-wing led by the lieutenant-general, a left-wing by the commissary general; the Royalist cavaliers' skill and speed on horseback led to many early victories. Prince Rupert, the leader of the king's cavalry, learned a tactic while fighting in the Dutch army where the cavalry would charge at full speed into the opponent's infantry firing their pistols just before impact. However, with Oliver Cromwell and the introduction of the more disciplined New Model Army, a group of disciplined pikemen would stand their ground in the face of charging cavalry and could have a devastating effect. While the Parliamentarian cavalry were slower than the cavaliers, they were better disciplined; the Royalists had a tendency to chase down individual targets after the initial charge leaving their forces scattered and tired.
Cromwell's cavalry, on the other hand, was trained to operate as a single unit, which led to many decisive victories. The English Civil War broke out less than forty years after the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603. Elizabeth's death had resulted in the succession of her first cousin twice-removed, King James VI of Scotland, to the English throne as James I of England, creating the first personal union of the Scottish and English kingdoms; as King of Scots, James had become accustomed to Scotland's weak parliamentary tradition since assuming control of the Scottish government in 1583, so that upon assuming power south of the border, the new King of England was genuinely affronted by the constraints the English Parliament attempted to place on him in exchange for money. In spite of this, James's personal extravagance meant he was perennially short of money and had to resort to extra-Parliamentary sources of income; this extravagance was tempered by James's peaceful disposition, so that by the su
Witchfinder General (film)
Witchfinder General is a 1968 British-American horror film directed by Michael Reeves and starring Vincent Price, Ian Ogilvy and Hilary Dwyer. The screenplay was by Tom Baker based on Ronald Bassett's novel of the same name. Made on a low budget of under £100,000, the movie was co-produced by Tigon British Film Productions and American International Pictures; the story details the fictionalised murderous witch-hunting exploits of Matthew Hopkins, a 17th-century English lawyer who claimed to have been appointed as a "Witch Finder Generall" by Parliament during the English Civil War to root out sorcery and witchcraft. The film was retitled The Conqueror Worm in the United States in an attempt to link it with Roger Corman's earlier series of Edgar Allan Poe-related films starring Price in spite of its narrative bearing no relation to Poe's stories, with American prints book-ending the film through Price reading the titular poem through narration. Director Reeves featured many scenes of intense onscreen torture and violence that were considered unusually sadistic at the time.
Upon its theatrical release throughout the spring and summer of 1968, the movie's gruesome content was met with disgust by several film critics in the UK, despite having been extensively censored by the British Board of Film Censors. In the US, the film was shown intact and was a box office success, but it was completely ignored by reviewers. Witchfinder General developed into a cult film attributable to Reeves's 1969 death from an alcohol and barbiturate overdose at the age of 25, only nine months after Witchfinder's release. Over the years, several prominent critics have championed the film, including J. Hoberman, Danny Peary, Robin Wood and Derek Malcolm. In 2005, the magazine Total Film named Witchfinder General the 15th-greatest horror film of all time. In 1645, during the English Civil War, Matthew Hopkins, an opportunist witchhunter, takes advantage of the breakdown in social order to impose a reign of terror in East Anglia. Hopkins and his assistant, John Stearne, visit village after village, brutally torturing confessions out of suspected witches.
They charge the local magistrates for the work. Richard Marshall is a young Roundhead. After surviving a brief skirmish and killing his first enemy soldier, he rides home to Brandeston, Suffolk, to visit his lover Sara. Sara is the niece of John Lowes. Lowes gives his permission to Marshall to marry Sara, telling him there is trouble coming to the village and he wants Sara far away before it arrives. Marshall asks Sara, she tells him they have been become outcasts in their own village. Marshall vows to Sara, "rest no-one shall harm you. I put my oath to that." At the end of his army leave, Marshall rides back to join his regiment, chances upon Hopkins and Stearne on the path. Marshall gives the two men directions to Brandeston rides on. In Brandeston and Stearne begin rounding up suspects. Lowes is accused at his home and tortured, he has needles stuck into his back, is about to be killed, when Sara stops Hopkins by offering him sexual favours in exchange for her uncle's safety. However, soon Hopkins is called away to another village.
Stearne takes advantage of Hopkins' absence by raping Sara. When Hopkins returns and finds out what Stearne has done, Hopkins will have nothing further to do with the young woman, he instructs Stearne to begin torturing Lowes again. Shortly before departing the village and Stearne execute Lowes and two women. Marshall is horrified by what has happened to Sara, he vows to kill both Stearne. After "marrying" Sara in a ceremony of his own devising and instructing her to flee to Lavenham, he rides off by himself. In the meantime and Stearne have become separated after a Roundhead patrol attempts to commandeer their horses. Marshall locates Stearne, he informs him of Marshall's desire for revenge. Hopkins and Stearne enter the village of Lavenham. Marshall, on a patrol to locate the King, learns they are there and rides to the village with a group of his soldier friends. Hopkins, having earlier learned that Sara was in Lavenham, has set a trap to capture Marshall. Hopkins and Stearne frame Marshall and Sara as witches and take them to the castle to be interrogated.
Marshall watches as needles are jabbed into Sara's back, but he refuses to confess to witchcraft, instead vowing again to kill Hopkins. He breaks free from his bonds and stamps on Stearne's face, at the same time that his army comrades approach the castle dungeon. Marshall grabs an axe and strikes Hopkins; the soldiers are horrified to see what their friend has done. One of them puts the mutilated by shooting him dead. Marshall's mind snaps and he shouts, "You took him from me! You took him from me!" Sara apparently on the brink of insanity, screams uncontrollably over and over again. Tigon British Film Productions owned the rights to Ronald Bassett's 1966 novel, Witchfinder General, loosely based on the historical Matthew Hopkins, a self-described "witchhunter" who claimed to have been commissioned by Parliament to prosecute and execute witches. Hopkins was in fact never given an official mandate to hunt witches. Tony Tenser, the founder and chief executive of Tigon, had read Bassett's book while it was still in galley form and
Evocation is the act of calling upon or summoning a spirit, god or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions and may employ the use of mind-altering substances with and without uttered word formulas; the Latin word evocatio was "summoning away" of a city's tutelary deity. The ritual was conducted in a military setting either as a threat during a siege or as a result of surrender, aimed at diverting the god's favor from the opposing city to the Roman side, customarily with a promise of a better-endowed cult or a more lavish temple. Evocatio was thus a kind of ritual dodge to mitigate looting of sacred objects or images from shrines that would otherwise be sacrilegious or impious; the calling forth of spirits was a common practice in Neoplatonism and other esoteric systems of antiquity. In contemporary western esotericism, the magic of the grimoires is seen as the classical example of this idea. Manuals such as the Greater Key of Solomon the King, The Lesser Key of Solomon, the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage and many others provided instructions that combined intense devotion to the divine with the summoning of a personal cadre of spiritual advisers and familiars.
The grimoires provided a variety of methods of evocation. The spirits are, in many cases, commanded in the name of God - most using cabalistic and Hellenic'barbarous names' added together to form long litanies; the magician used wands, staves and fire, daggers and complex diagrams drawn on parchment or upon the ground. In Enochian magic, spirits are evoked into a crystal ball or mirror, in which a human volunteer is expected to be able to see the spirit and hear its voice, passing the words on to the evoker. Sometimes such a seer might be an actual medium. In other cases the spirit might be'housed' in a symbolic image, or conjured into a diagram from which it cannot escape without the magician's permission. While many corrupt and commercialized grimoires include elements of'diabolism' and one offers a method for making a pact with the devil, in general the art of evocation of spirits is said to be done under the power of the divine; the magician is thought to gain authority among the spirits only by purity and personal devotion and study.
In more recent usage, evocation refers to the calling out of lesser spirits, sometimes conceived of as arising from the self. This sort of evocation is contrasted with invocation, in which spiritual powers are called into the self from a divine source. Important contributors to the concept of evocation include Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Francis Barrett, Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers, Aleister Crowley, Franz Bardon and Kenneth Grant; the work of all of these authors can be seen as attempts to systematize and modernize the grimoiric procedure of evocation. Many modern authors, such as Peter Carroll and Konstantinos, have attempted to describe evocation in a way independent enough from the grimoiric tradition to fit similar methods of interaction with alleged supernatural agents in other traditions. Conjuration in traditional and most contemporary usage refers to a magical act of invoking spirits or using incantations or charms to cast magical spells. In the context of legerdemain, it may refer to the performance of illusion or magic tricks for show.
This article discusses the original and primary usage, describing acts of a supernatural or paranormal nature. The word conjuration can be interpreted in several different ways: as an evocation; the word is used synonymously with terms such as "invocation" or "evocation" or "summoning", although many authors find it useful to maintain some distinction between these terms. The term "conjuring" is used as a general term for casting spells in some magical traditions, such as Hoodoo. In that context and talismans are kept in a "conjure bag" and "conjuring oils" may be used to anoint candles and other magical supplies and thus imbue them with specific magical powers. Alternatively, the term "conjuration" may be used refer to an act of illusionism or legerdemain, as in the performance of magic tricks for entertainment. One who performs conjurations is called a conjuror; the word was used in its Latin meaning of "conspiracy". The text of the charms to be recited to conjure the spirit varies from simple sentences to complex paragraphs with plenty of magic words.
The language is that of the conjurer's, but since the Middle Ages in Western tradition, Latin was the most common. The conjuration of the ghosts or souls of the dead for the purpose of divination is called necromancy; when it is said that a person is calling upon or conjuring misfortune or disease, it is due to the ancient belief that personified diseases and misfortune as evil deities, spirits or demons that could enter a human or bestial body. A conjuration is traditionally linked to repelling negative spirits away, protecting an individual, space or collective. However, it is believed by some in Christianity and Islam, that magic and conjuration is an inherently evil practice. Conjurers summon demons or other evil spirits to cause harm to people or things, to obtain favors from them, or to enter their servitude; the belief in similarly-minded conjurers exists in be
Bury St Edmunds
Bury St Edmunds referred to locally as Bury, is a historic market town and civil parish in Suffolk, England. Bury St Edmunds Abbey is near the town centre. Bury is the seat of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich of the Church of England, with the episcopal see at St Edmundsbury Cathedral; the town called Beodericsworth, was built on a grid pattern by Abbot Baldwin around 1080. It is known for brewing and malting and for a British Sugar processing factory, where Silver Spoon sugar is produced; the town is the cultural and retail centre for West Suffolk and tourism is a major part of the economy. The name Bury is etymologically connected with borough, which has cognates in other Germanic languages such as the German burg meaning "fortress, castle", they all derive from Proto-Germanic *burgs meaning "fortress". This in turn derives from the Proto-Indo-European root *bhrgh meaning "fortified elevation", with cognates including Welsh bera and Sanskrit bhrant-; the second section of the name refers to Edmund King of the East Angles, killed by the Vikings in the year 869.
He became venerated as a saint and a martyr, his shrine made Bury St Edmunds an important place of pilgrimage. The formal name of both the borough and the diocese is "St Edmundsbury", the town is colloquially known as Bury. An archaeological study in the 2010s on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds uncovered evidence of bronze age activity in the area; the dig uncovered Roman coins from the first and second centuries. Samuel Lewis, writing in 1848, notes the earlier discovery of Roman antiquities, as with several other writers connects Bury St Edmunds with Villa Faustini or Villa Faustina, although the location of this Roman site is discussed by E. Gillingwater who notes the lack of evidence for it being here; the town was one of the royal boroughs of the Saxons. Sigebert, king of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633, which in 903 became the burial place of King Edmund, slain by the Danes in 869, owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king.
The town grew around a site of pilgrimage. By 925 the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide, the name of the town was changed to St Edmund's Bury. In 942 or 945 King Edmund had granted to the abbot and convent jurisdiction over the whole town, free from all secular services, Canute in 1020 freed it from episcopal control. Edward the Confessor made the abbot lord of the franchise. Sweyn, in 1020, having destroyed the older monastery and ejected the secular priests, built a Benedictine abbey on St Edmund's Bury. Count Alan Rufus is said to have been interred at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in 1093. In the 12th and 13th centuries the head of the de Hastings family, who held the Lordship of the Manor of Ashill in Norfolk, was hereditary Steward of this abbey. On 18 March 1190, two days after the more well-known massacre of Jews at Clifford Tower in York, the people of Bury St Edmunds massacred 57 Jews; that year, Abbot Samson petitioned King Richard I for permission to evict the town's remaining Jewish inhabitants "on the grounds that everything in the town... belonged by right to St Edmund: therefore, either the Jews should be St Edmund’s men or they should be banished from the town."
This expulsion predates the Edict of Expulsion by 100 years. In 1198, a fire burned the shrine of St Edmund, leading to the inspection of his corpse by Abbot Samson and the translation of St Edmund's body to a new location in the abbey; the town is associated with Magna Carta. In 1214 the barons of England are believed to have met in the Abbey Church and sworn to force King John to accept the Charter of Liberties, the document which influenced the creation of the Magna Carta, a copy of, displayed in the town's cathedral during the 2014 celebrations. By various grants from the abbots, the town attained the rank of a borough. Henry III in 1235 granted to the abbot two annual fairs, one in December and the other the great St Matthew's fair, abolished by the Fairs Act of 1871. In 1327, the Great Riot occurred; the burghers were angry at the overwhelming power and corruption of the monastery, which ran every aspect of local life with a view to enriching itself. The riot destroyed a new, fortified gate was built in its stead.
However, in 1381 during the Great Uprising, the Abbey was looted again. This time, the Prior was executed. On 11 April 1608 a great fire broke out in Eastgate Street, which resulted in 160 dwellings and 400 outhouses being destroyed; the town developed into a flourishing cloth-making town, with a large woollen trade, by the 14th century. In 1405 Henry IV granted another fair. Elizabeth I in 1562 confirmed the charters; the reversion of the fairs and two markets on Wednesday and Saturday were granted by James I in fee farm to the corporation. James I in 1606 granted a charter of incorporation with an annual fair in a market. James granted further charters in 1608 and 1614, as did Charles II in 1668 and 1684. Parliaments were held in the borough in 1272, 1296 and 1446, but the borough was not represented until 1608, when James I conferred on it the privilege of sending two members; the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 reduced the representation to one. The borough of Bury St Edmunds and the surrounding area, like much of East Anglia, being part of the Eas
Matthew Hopkins was an English witch-hunter whose career flourished during the English Civil War. He claimed to hold the office of Witchfinder General, although that title was never bestowed by Parliament, his witch-hunts took place in East Anglia. Hopkins' witch-finding career began in March 1644 and lasted until his retirement in 1647, he and his associates were responsible for more people being hanged for witchcraft than in the previous 100 years, were responsible for the increase in witch trials during those years. He is believed to have been responsible for the executions of 300 alleged witches between the years 1644 and 1646, it has been estimated that all of the English witch trials between the early 15th and late 18th centuries resulted in fewer than 500 executions for witchcraft. Therefore, presuming the number executed as a result of investigations by Hopkins and his colleague John Stearne is at the lower end of the various estimates, their efforts accounted for about 60 per cent of the total.
Little is known of Matthew Hopkins before 1644, there are no surviving contemporary documents concerning him or his family. He was born in Great Wenham and was the fourth son of six children, his father, James Hopkins, was a Puritan clergyman and vicar of St John's of Great Wenham, in Suffolk. The family at one point held title "to lands and tenements in Framlingham'at the castle'", his father was popular with his parishioners, one of whom in 1619 left money to purchase Bibles for his three children James and Thomas. Thus Matthew Hopkins could not have been born before 1619, could not have been older than 28 when he died, but he may have been as young as 25. Although James Hopkins had died in 1634, when the iconoclast William Dowsing, commissioned in 1643 by the Parliamentarian Earl of Manchester "for the destruction of monuments of idolatry and superstition", visited the parish in 1645 he noted that "there was nothing to reform". Hopkins' brother John became Minister of South Fambridge in 1645 but was removed from the post one year for neglecting his work.
Hopkins states in his book The Discovery of Witches that he "never travelled far... to gain his experience". In the early 1640s Hopkins moved to Manningtree, Essex, a town on the River Stour, about 10 miles from Wenham. According to tradition Hopkins used his acquired inheritance of a hundred marks to establish himself as a gentleman and to buy the Thorn Inn in Mistley. From the way that he presented evidence in trials, Hopkins is thought to have been trained as a lawyer, but there is scant evidence to suggest this was the case. Following the Lancaster Witch Trials, William Harvey, physician to King Charles I of England, had been ordered to examine the four women accused, from this there came a requirement to have material proof of being a witch; the work of Hopkins and John Stearne was not to prove any of the accused had committed acts of maleficium, but to prove that they had made a covenant with the Devil. Prior to this point, any malicious acts on the part of witches were treated identically to those of other criminals, until it was seen that, according to the then-current beliefs about the structure of witchcraft, they owed their powers to a deliberate act of their choosing.
Witches became heretics to Christianity, which became the greatest of their crimes and sins. Within continental and Roman Law witchcraft was crimen exceptum: a crime so foul that all normal legal procedures were superseded; because the Devil was not going to "confess", it was necessary to gain a confession from the human involved. The witch-hunts undertaken by Stearne and Hopkins took place in East Anglia, in the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk and Huntingdonshire, with a few in the counties of Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire, they extended throughout the area of strongest Puritan and Parliamentarian influences which formed the powerful and influential Eastern Association from 1644 to 1647, centred on Essex. Both Hopkins and Stearne would have required some form of letters of safe conduct to be able to travel throughout the counties. According to his book The Discovery of Witches, Hopkins began his career as a witch-finder after he overheard various women discussing their meetings with the Devil in March 1644 in Manningtree.
In fact, the first accusations were made by Stearne and Hopkins was appointed as his assistant. Twenty-three women were accused of witchcraft and were tried at Chelmsford in 1645. With the English Civil War under way, this trial was conducted not by justices of assize, but by justices of the peace presided over by the Earl of Warwick. Four died in prison and nineteen were hanged. During this period, excepting Middlesex and chartered towns, no records show any person charged of witchcraft being sentenced to death other than by the judges of the assizes. Hopkins and Stearne, accompanied by the women who performed the pricking, were soon travelling over eastern England, claiming to be commissioned by Parliament to uncover and prosecute witches. Together with their female assistants, they were well paid for their work, it has been suggested that this was a motivation for his actions. Hopkins states that "his fees were to maintain his company with three horses", that he took "twenty shillings a town".
The records at Stowmarket show their costs to the town to have been £23 plus his travelling expenses. The cost to the local community of Hopkins and his company were such that, in 1645, a special local tax rate had to be levied in Ipswich. Parliament was
Wallace Notestein was an American historian and Sterling Professor of English History at Yale University from 1928 to 1947. He was married to women's educational pioneer Ada Louise Comstock. A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718 The English People on the Eve of Colonization, 1603-1630 Four Worthies: John Chamberlain, Anne Clifford, John Taylor, Oliver Heywood The House of Commons 1604-1610 The Scot in history: a study of the interplay of character and history The winning of the initiative by the House of Commons English folk, a book of characters. Theodore K. Rabb,'Parliament and Society in Early Stuart England: The Legacy of Wallace Notestein', The American Historical Review, 77: 705-714. JSTOR 1870347. Works by Wallace Notestein at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Wallace Notestein at Internet Archive Notestein papers at Yale University Library