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A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 17

Glanvill and webster and the literary war over witchcraft


The second part of Glanvill's _Sadducismus Triumphatus_ is full of these depositions.

[28] For a full account of this affair see Glanvill's _Sadducismus Triumphatus_, pt. ii, preface and Relation I. Glanvill had investigated the matter and had diligently collected all the evidence. He was familiar also with what the "deriders" had to say, and we can discover their point of view from his answers. See also John Beaumont, _An Historical, Physiological and Theological Treatise of Spirits, Apparitions, Witchcrafts, and other Magical Practices_ (London, 1705), 307-309.

[29] _Ibid._, 309.

[30] _Cal. St. P., Dom., 1671_, 105, 171.

[31] We have two accounts of this affair: _Strange and Wonderful News from Yowell in Surry_ (1681), and _An Account of the Tryal and Examination of Joan Buts_ (1682).

[32] Roger North, _op. cit._, 131-132.

[33] _York Depositions_, 247.

[34] _A True Account ... of one John Tonken, of Pensans in Cornwall ..._ (1686). For other examples of spectral evidence see _York Depositions_, 88; Roberts, _Southern Counties_ (London, 1856), 525-526; _Gentleman's Magazine_, 1832, pt. II, 489.

[35] _York Depositions_, 112, 113.

[36] Drage, _Daimonomageia_, 12.

style="text-align: justify;">[37] For an account of her case, see Glanvill, _Sadducismus Triumphatus_, pt. ii, 127-146.

[38] _York Depositions_, 191-201.

[39] For a complete account of the Julian Cox case see Glanvill, _Sadducismus Triumphatus_, pt. ii, 191-209.

[40] _A Full and True Relation of the Tryal ... of Ann Foster ..._ (London, 1674).

[41] _Sussex Archaeological Collections_, XVIII, 111-113.



In an earlier chapter we followed the progress of opinion from James I to the Restoration. We saw that in the course of little more than a half-century the centre of the controversy had been considerably shifted: we noted that there was a growing body of intelligent men who discredited the stories of witchcraft and were even inclined to laugh at them. It is now our purpose to go on with the history of opinion from the point at which we left off to the revolution of 1688. We shall discover that the body of literature on the subject was enormously increased. We shall see that a larger and more representative group of men were expressing themselves on the matter. The controversialists were no longer bushwhackers, but crafty warriors who joined battle after looking over the field and measuring their forces. The groundworks of philosophy were tested, the bases of religious faith examined. The days of skirmishing about the ordeal of water and the test of the Devil's marks were gone by. The combatants were now to fight over the reality or unreality of supernatural phenomena. We shall observe that the battle was less one-sided than ever before and that the assailants of superstition, who up to this time had been outnumbered, now fought on at least even terms with their enemies. We shall see too that the non-participants and onlookers were more ready than ever before to join themselves to the party of attack.

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