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Exploring the traditions and folklore surrounding the practice of Witchcraft

Witch Trials: The rare Case of Ireland

Very few countries were immune to the Witch Trials that swept through Europe in the early modern period. Ireland, however, proved to be a rare exception. The combination of prevailing pagan beliefs and Christianity created a completely different spiritual and cultural identity to that of its neighbouring countries, leading to a society more tolerant and accepting of the supernatural. For example, the prevailing belief in the Sidhe (fairies) who were known for […]

Witch Trials and The channel islands: annoyingly hard to research

tw: mention of torture, bodily harm. Eight islands lie between the English and French coasts, the largest being Jersey and Guernsey. Although the populations of these two islands are rather small they suffered more from the witch trials than any other country within the British Isles. Their proximity to mainland Europe, continued practice of Catholicism and sheltering of Calvinist Protestants have all been suggested as possible reasons for such a high percentage […]

Ethnobotany: An Introduction

Ethnobotany is an interdisciplinary study of a region’s plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a culture of peoples. In short, the relationship between plants and communities (Okogun 2002). Traditionally the subject focused on cataloguing the ways people use plants but over the last few decades ethnobotany has grown to become an interdisciplinary subject, encompassing chemistry, pharmacology, biology, and anthropology. Contemporary studies focus on the traditional knowledge and use […]

The Witch of Eye-next-Westminster

We don’t know much about Margery Jourdemayne; we know she was born around the end of the 14th century; we know she married a man named William Jourdemayne, and we know she had an awful lot of high profile, wealthy friends… which was quite unusual for the wife of a cowherd. Margery was known in her community for being a cunning woman – someone locals could turn to who could cure ailments […]

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