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Essex witches (act. 1566–1589), are known from four surviving pamphlets published between 1566 and 1589 describing the lives, and in some cases deaths, of one man and thirty women who were accused of witchcraft in Essex and prosecuted under the Witchcraft Act of 1563. In this period witchcraft was punishable by hanging if a witch was convicted of killing a person, or if he or she committed a second witchcraft offence of any kind. Witches were not burnt in ...

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Hopkins, Matthew (d. 1647), witch-finder, was the son of James Hopkins (d. 1634?), vicar of Wenham in Suffolk. His collaborator John Stearne described Matthew as 'the son of a godly minister' (Stearne, 61). James's will, proved in 1634, mentions six children, only two of whom (...