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Matthew Hopkins Witchfinder General: An Anthology


John King Libri


Matthew Hopkins, the self-styled ?Witchfinder General? and the most infamous witchfinder in history, was responsible for the torture and execution of hundreds of innocent people. Matthew Hopkins: Witchfinder General an Anthology contains the four most important writings that defined his life and terrible activities: (1) Daemonologie (1597), by King James VI of Scotland (1566-1625). The book that inspired and justified Hopkins in his witch finding. Hopkins cited Daemonologie directly in The Discovery of Witches to justify torturing suspected witches; (2) The Witchcraft Act (1604), the law that Matthew Hopkins worked under. It prescribed the death penalty without clergy for witches; (3) Select Cases of Conscience Touching Witches (1646), by John Gaule (1603-1687). The book that condemned Hopkins and his torturous methods. It marked the beginning of the end of Hopkins? witchfinding. Hopkins responded in The Discovery of Witches. Gaule?s work was cited in the Salem with trials; (4) The Discovery of Witches (1647), by Matthew Hopkins (1620-1647). Hopkins describes his murderous practices in detail and hits back at Gaule and others by justifying the terrible deaths of the hundreds of innocents his investigations concluded were witches.
 
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