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military highways, built first by General Wade and then by William Caulfield, which opened up certain parts of the Highlands (but by no means all) to influences from further south, the Lowlands and England.2 As far as the Highlands were concerned, the most obvious changes were social and cultural. As Allan MacInnes has put it, ‘The immediate aftermath of the Forty-Five was marked by systematic state terrorism, characterised by a genocidal intent that verged on ethnic cleansing . . . chiefs and leading gentry abandoned their traditional obligations as protectors and

in Beyond the witch trials
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Witchcraft and the symbolics of hierarchy in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Finland

Finland the social dynamics behind witch trials changed during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.1 At this period, the authorities took a paradoxical lead both in initiating trials and in suppressing them, and as a consequence the neighbourhood’s importance diminished in certain respects. Yet the benevolent magic prosecuted during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was firmly rooted in the neighbourhood community, the importance of which cannot be discounted. Witchcraft and witch beliefs were closely connected to questions of power and

in Beyond the witch trials
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Beyond the witch trials

of intellectual and social leaps. It should rather be seen as a period of subtler renegotiation between cultures, and a period when the relationship between private and public beliefs became more problematic and discrete, and therefore more difficult for the historian to detect. The study of witchcraft and magic provides us with an important means of exploring these broad changing patterns of social relations and mentalities, just as it has done much to help our understanding of social relations in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century society. Yet the ‘beyond’ in the

in Beyond the witch trials

4 Beyond the witch trials Responses to witchcraft in Sweden Responses to witchcraft in late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Sweden The aftermath of the witch-hunt in Dalarna Marie Lennersand The witch-hunts of the early modern period must have left a profound mark on many local communities. The intense trials and executions which took place during the second half of the seventeenth century were dreadful events that touched many people. All those involved, from the accused and the witnesses to the judges and the clergy, had to make decisions that changed

in Beyond the witch trials

. This evidence suggests that popular beliefs and practices concerning the fear of witchcraft and other malign forces changed little after the period of the witch trials, except in minor details, and continued through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and well into the twentieth. These objects constitute a large and important body of evidence attesting very positively to the widespread use of and continuation of these practices. At least in terms of the material evidence, it seems that the decline of magic was a slow and long-drawn-out affair. Dating and

in Beyond the witch trials
The discourse of spirits in Enlightenment Bristol

suggests, my concern is with the possible divergence of public and private 120 Beyond the witch trials responses in ‘the discourse of spirits’ and, in a broader sense, the implications of this for our understanding of the decline in the ‘public discourse’ of witchcraft, magic and the supernatural during the eighteenth century. The standard interpretation of this has been to see public discourse following changes in private belief and understanding, as new views of religion, natural philosophy and the like cut back the realm of the supernatural in educated thought. The

in Beyond the witch trials
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A late eighteenth-century Dutch witch doctor and his clients

them at the time. Possibly more people knew that wreaths were a sign of witchcraft and that when they were burned the witch was drawn to her victim. However it may have been, the category ‘witch’ which Hilberding applied, partly overlapped with the possible ‘witch’ that could be discovered by burning wreaths but was not totally identical with it. Evil people belonged to ‘strange folks’, people whom one could meet outside, ‘outside the door’ and to whom entrance could be refused. Friends and next of kin did not resort to that. Change and continuity Meanwhile

in Beyond the witch trials
Feijoo versus the ‘falsely possessed’ in eighteenth-century Spain

know what was happening in distant lands.45 He even practised the art of the ventriloquist, giving his voice distant intonations and changing it so that it appeared to come from different speakers – symptoms that were often interpreted as dialogues with devils: But already some astute physicians have discovered the artifice which consists of articulating words while inhaling; that is at the same time as air is drawn into the lungs . . . I tried to see if I could copy it and with great control and effort I managed it not very well; but it meant a troublesome pain in

in Beyond the witch trials
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A male strategy

, unsurprising that there were Devil’s pact trials during the second half of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Yet, intriguingly, there was no decrease in the number of pact cases before the King’s Council over the whole period concerned. Between 1680–1740 there were fourteen trials, and fifteen between 1741–89. While these figures certainly suggest a stable and unchanging popular belief in the power of the Devil during the eighteenth century, the trial material reveals a significant change in terms of the judicial interpretation of the alleged crime. One of the

in Beyond the witch trials

of older sources, though it is difficult to pinpoint exactly from where individual passages originate. Some of it may have been fictitious. But one look is enough to realise that they dealt with a mix of old and new learned notions reworked into an accessible form. The history of the Endter’s influential Nuremberg publishing company during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries demonstrates well how the publishing agenda changed with regards to the printing of occult books. In the 1670s the young Wolfgang Moritz Endter took over the large and influential

in Beyond the witch trials