Explore Reginald Scot’s “The Discoverie of Witchcraft”, a book considered to be the first published on witchcraft, which fights against the. On such example is Reginald Scot (), who took the incredibly bold step to not only defend accused witches against the charges laid. THE DISCOVERIE v^. WITCHGRAFT. REGINALD SCOT, Esquire. BEING A REPRINT OF THE FIRST EDITION. PUBLISHED IN

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The Discoverie of Witchcraft – Wikipedia

The Discoverie of Witchcraft is considered to be the first published book on witchcraft, and is a wonderful record of superstition and belief in witchcraft, spirits, alchemy and magic in the 16th century. Reginald Scot was born in or around didcoverie Kent into a landed English family.

He married twice, having one child from his first marriage and one step child from his second. He left Oxford University without completing his degree and went hold to hold feginald number of posts and positions, including Member of Parliament for New Romney.

The Discoverie of Witchcraft

He died in When Scot diiscoverie his book inalmost everyone believed in witchcraft or magic dicoverie some form or another. These were ancient superstitions that were deeply ingrained in everyday life.


However, this was also a time of great change, where people were beginning to think more rationally and old beliefs were starting to be questioned. It is in this mood The Discoverie of Witchcraft was published. In The Discoverie of WitchcraftScot is speaking out simultaneously against the existence of witchcraft and in defence of accused witches.

InScot was involved in a dsicoverie capacity in a witch trial in which one Margaret Simmons was accused of witchcraft. It seems that the injustice of the witch trials struck a chord with Scot, and this trial was likely a catalyst for this book. Scot took a real risk writing The Discoverie of Witchcraftas at the time, witchcraft was recognised as a crime by both the reginalr and state.

Scot relies heavily on scripture to back-up his argument, and by doing so he protects himself from the worst of the criticism while, at the same time, meeting those who used the Bible to justify their actions oc witches on a level pegging.

Scot goes after everyone in his book, discrediting those who believe in witches as heretics, witch-hunters as corrupt, and those who claim to be witches as mentally ill.


The Discoverie of Witchcraft

The second half of his book goes on to explain how tricks are carried out without the aid of any magic at all. Then shew the same to the beholders, willing them to remember it: One particularly outraged believer was King James VI of Scotland, who was subsequently inspired to write his own treatise, Daemonologie, in A common legend says that when James took the English throne as King James I inhe called for all copies of The Discoverie of Witchcraft to be destroyed, but there is no contemporary evidence supporting this statement.

Home Explore Shakespeare Blogs The Discoverie of Witchcraft Explore Reginald Scot’s “The Discoverie of Witchcraft”, a book considered to be the first published on witchcraft, which fights against the superstitions and belief in witchcraft, spirits, alchemy, and magic in the 16th century.

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