2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

The Witchcraze in Seventeenth-Century England: A Gender Analysis of the Witch Trials in the County of Essex in 1645
Caitlin L. McGrath
Dr. Kathryn Brammall and Dr. David Robinson, Faculty Mentors

During the witchcraze that took place in England in the seventeenth century a majority of the individuals accused were female. Moreover, in the county of Essex in England, 92 percent of the accused witches were female. This staggeringly large percentage calls for a gender analysis to discover why the ratio of females to males was so dramatically disproportionate. This paper examines four particular witch trials that took place within Essex in 1645, two female trials and two male trials. The background of gender practices in England are explored and compared to how the individuals are treated during their trials. The communities these individuals come from, as well as their social and economic roles in their communities, are scrutinized in order to find connections between the economic issues faced by these communities and the individuals on trial in Essex in 1645.

Keywords: Witch trials, History, England, Seventeenth Century, Gender

Topic(s):History Senior Seminar

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-3
Location: VH 1236
Time: 8:30

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