The Witch Hunts in England

The Devil would imprint a distinctive mark on the witch’s body, usually in a concealed spot, as a sign of her allegiance. He would then give her careful instructions for the performance of her maleficent work (Briggs 1996). When the witch-hunt process started it is presented that England was the only country in Europe that had a elaborate structures into its legal system .In England judges could not be able to start a trial or legal proceeding but were to wait for an accusation to be made against a witch. With its legal system England depend on juries to find proof and duly determine the outcome of the case. In the proceeding the accusers, watchers, searcher and investigator were the main source of evidence .In there consideration of the proceedings the juries were concerned with the accuser motives towards the witch and the history of the witch in regards to evil acts. The witch- hunt led to enactment of The Witchcraft Act of 1563 witch was to compel witness to attend to the trials. It provided for statement to be given on oath whereas without the stamen being given on oath the magistrate would not be in position to take the case with the seriousness it deserve statute provide that testimony of a minor was to be taken without consideration of the oath.

It should be noted that during this period, a trial was only one of the possible methods of resolving cases of witchcraft. Alternatives included the employment of doctors, Godly ministers and counter magic. A legal trial was often a last resort because it was an expensive process. Sharpe (2001) present that King James played an important role in the development and belief of witchcraft, encouraging belief in witches and witchcraft and increasing the punishments for convicted witches. King James was brought up under the control of the Presbyterian clergy and was an intelligent man, who was fascinated by witchcraft. He came to believe in and fear witches around 1590 when a conspiracy against his life was revealed. He was convinced that he, as a divine right monarch, was the chief enemy of Satan. On his return to Scotland in 1590 with his new wife, Princess Anne of Denmark, James encountered storms at sea. These were subsequently blamed on a group of North Berwick witches.

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