at 500 annually, making the frightful total of 40,000". (Mackay. Op. cit.) It must be remembered that this total applies to Britain alone, and takes no account of the terror that was raging on the Continent, and had been continuing for years.
1644. Matthew Hopkins started up in business as "Witch-finder General". He made a profitable career of it, claiming twenty shillings a head for every witch found, and lavish "Expenses" from the authorities who employed him. He has a number of imitators, especially in Scotland.
1681. Joseph Glanvil, in his Sadducismus Triumphatus, says, "Thousands in our own nation have suffered for their vile compacts with apostate spirits", i.e. as witches. It is notable, however, that Sadducismus Triumphatus was written as a pious protest against the growing disbelief in witchcraft. The more intelligent and educated people were growing sickened at the slaughter, and were beginning to doubt the whole phantasmagoria of the Church's teaching about witchcraft.
1711. Jane Wenharn of Walkerne was tried as a witch and, being found guilty by the jury, was condemned to death; but the judge disbelieved the evidence and disagreed with the jury's verdict. He exerted himself to procure her pardon, and she was released. This is generally stated to have been the last trial for witchcraft in England.
1722. An old woman was burned as a witch at Dornoch, in Scotland. This was the last judicial execution in Scotland.
1735. In the reign of George II, the Witchcraft Act of 1735, which said in effect that there was no such thing as witchcraft, and no one in future should be prosecuted for it; but that anyone who pretended to supernormal powers should be prosecuted as an impostor.
1749. Girolamo Tartarotti published at Rovereto, Italy, his book, Del Congresso Nottorno delle Lammie, in which he stated that witchcraft was derived from the old cult of Diana, and drew a distinction between it and ceremonial magic that sought to conjure demons. He had to write very guardedly, because of the danger of too pointedly offending the clergy of Catholic Italy though he was upon the right track, and is, I believe. the earliest writer to take this line.
1809. Brown's Dictionary, published at Edinburgh, defines a witch as "A woman who has dealings with the Devil". (Old ideas evidently died hard in Scotland.)
1848. Modern Spiritualism was founded as a result of investigations into the phenomena produced by the Fox Sisters in America. (Such phenomena had appeared before, but people had been afraid
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