One of the difficulties of considering the situation of witches in medieval England is the sources. Most of our information comes from trials in clerical or secular courts, and often these were motivated not by fear of sorcery but by greed, spite and politics. In England some kings feared witches – or found that accusing former mistresses or wives of witchcraft was an easy way to dispose of them, much as later Anne Boleyn was accused of sorcery by her disgruntled husband Henry Tudor. These events were partly high politics. What of the position of witches in more everyday, village settings?
|Witches: a series of sketches attributed to Pieter Breughel|
(or to Hieronymus Bosch) (Source: Wikimedia Commons).
|Rowan, a protection against witches.|