Chapter XII: 1500 to 1699 CE

by Jesse Potter aka Elkin Vanaeon
 On this ninth day of August in the year of our Lord and Lady 2005 CE

1508 CE - Mass witch trials in Biarn occur.

1510 CE - Expulsion laws to remove European Roma (Gypsies) were enacted in France, which reached far into the sixteenth century. Any Roma caught in the country were flogged. In the following century, Romani women who were captured had their heads shaved and were sent to workhouses. The men were put into chains in galleys.

1512 CE - Matthias Grünewald created the "Isenheim Altarpiece", in the small French town of Colmar on the German border, which glorified suffering and offered comfort to those afflicted with Saint Anthony's fire (now called ergotism). Near the end of the sixteenth century, the only recourse for sufferers was to make a pilgrimage to the various shrines of St. Anthony where the doors were painted red or flame colored to better mark them for the sick. There the monks bore a blue 'T' on their robes, which many believed represented the crutch since those who lost one or both legs would forever use it to walk.

1517 CE - The Reformation - "Humanism, since the time of the Reformation, had released the greatest energies for ecumenical thought and action."

1517 CE - Germany - October 31st, Martin Luther (an Augustinian monk), defiantly nailed his famous protest, "the Ninety-five Theses", on the door of the church of Wittenberg. Included in this protest was Luther's objection to the selling of indulgences or simony.

1519 CE - America - The horse is introduced to North America by Spanish.

1521 CE - The Anabaptists were founded in 1521 by Nicolas Storch, Mark Stubner and Thomas Muncer. They replaced the Lutheran authority of the church and established their own laws and systems of government. "Those that later followed the Anabaptists in Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, became the Adamites, the Apostolics, the Taciturn, the Perfect, the Impeccable, the Liberated Brethren, the Sabbatarians, the Clancularians, the Manifestarians, the Bewailers, the Rejoicers, the Indifferent, the Sanguinarians, the Antimariens, etc.

1524 CE - Mennonite Church is named after Menno Simons (1496-1561), a Dutch Catholic priest who deserted the Catholic Church and led reform movement. Simons was born at Witmarsum, Northern Holland in 1496. He was ordained priest in 1524, remained so for eight years and then left the Catholic Church and was married.

1525 CE - Thomas Munzer, priest and former follower of the teachings of Martin Luther became a leader of The "Peasant Revolt" uprisings in Central Germany in 1525, which had already flared up as part of the Reformation in southwest Germany in 1524. The peasants, who called on the power of Luther's teachings, demanded more just taxation and freedom from oppressive conditions, even if that meant the downfall of the nobles and Princes of Authority. The leaders of the peasants, thinking that Luther would side with them, appealed to him to support their just struggle. Luther vehemently denounced the rising and actively encouraged the nobles to suppress the revolt by killing the peasants in any fashion necessary,en masse, many historians estimate that 100,000 deaths resulted.

1529 CE - Inquisitorial witchcraft trials take place at Luxeuil.

1529 CE - Germany - The Council of Strassburg ordered the breaking in pieces of all remaining altars, images and crosses, and several churches and convents were destroyed. Similar events transpired also in Frankfurt-am-Main. At a religious convention at Hamburg in April 1535 all voted to hang Anabaptists and flog Catholics and Zwinglians before banishing them in the Lutheran towns of Lubeck, Bremen, Hamburg, Luneburg, Stralsund, Rostock and Wismar.

1532 CE - Germany - Declaration of the Carolina Code allowed the imposition of penalties of torture and death on persons who practice witchcraft. This code is technically adopted by the 300-odd small independent states, which comprise the Holy Roman Empire.

1534 CE - Henry VIII breaks England away from the Catholic Church, confiscates monastic property, beginning of Episcopal Church.

1534 CE - Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) was a devout Catholic who lived during the time of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations. He was a Spanish soldier who, after suffering a war injury, underwent a spiritual conversion, which eventually led him to join the priesthood. He was an educated man and developed a following of other religious men, forming the Institute of the Society of Jesus. The pope officially sanctioned the society in 1540. Jesuit Order helped reconvert large areas of Poland, Hungary, and S. Germany and sent missionaries to the New World, India, and China.

1539 to 1569 CE - Thomas Cromwell writes the first English Bible to be authorized for public use in English churches. It was defective in many places, being based on last Tyndale's NT of 1534-1535, corrected by a Latin version of the Hebrew OT, Latin Bible of Erasmus, and Complutensian Polyglot, last edition 1569, never denounced by England!

1542 CE - Henry VIII issues a statute against witchcraft.

1545 to 1563 CE - The Council of Trent, Catholic Reformation, or counter-reformation, met Protestant challenge, clearly defining an official theology.

1547 CE - Edward VI repeals the 1542 statute of Henry VIII, against witchcraft.

1548 CE - Edward VI, as supreme Head of the Church, declared it to be ordained any clergyman not using the Book of Common Prayer, or using any other form of prayer, should be imprisoned! Later, priests and the laity were forced to adopt Anglicanism, or suffer death.

1551 CE - Britain - The boy King Edward VI is influenced by his advisors to issue a decree ordering the official recognition of the Anglican Church as the means of replacing Catholicism with Protestantism in Ireland. The Catholic Mass was forbidden at this time.

1584 CE - Elizabeth Barton (the Holy Maid of Kent) was put to Death in the Time of Henry the Eighth, for her Pretensions to "Inspiration, Convulsions, and strange Motions of Body,"

1550 to 1575 CE - Andre Thevet who brought tobacco seeds from Brazil to France introduces tobacco into Western Europe in 1556. Tobacco is dubbed nicotiana in honor of Jean Nicot, who describes its medicinal properties in 1559 and sends it as a medicine to the French court. In 1565 tobacco seeds are introduced into England, but smoking does not spread until Sir Walter Raleigh makes it fashionable in the court in the mid -1570s. Later although smoking for pleasure is still controversial, tobacco as a medicine becomes almost universally approved. Nicolas Monardes devotes a book on New World plants to a lengthy section on tobacco, recommending it as an infallible cure for 36 different ailments. Current beliefs regarding this much praised herba panacea or holy herb, Monardes' work (1571, 1574) becomes the fundamental source for all subsequent pro - tobacco literature.

1557 CE - Toulouse witch trials take place, during which forty witches are condemned and burned.

1560 CE - Geneva Bible, NT a revision of Matthew's version of Tyndale with use of Beza's NT (1556), OT a thorough revision of Great Bible, appointed to be read in Scotland (but not England), at least 140 editions.

1560 CE - Scotch Presbyterian Church founded by John Knox (1505-1572), due to disagreement with Lutherans over sacraments and church government.

1563 CE - Queen Elizabeth issues a statute against witchcraft.

1563 CE - Johan Weyer wrote De Praestigiis Daemonum, this book described his belief that witches were just mentally disturbed old women and that it was the belief in witches which was Satanic. He was forced to leave the Netherlands and Jean Bodin denounced his book.

1562 CE - English men and women who showed sympathy with the Roma (Gypsy) became subject to punishment. The way of life of the Romani was considered a crime, those keeping company with or imitated the Roma way of life were guilty of this crime.

1563 CE - Council of Trent resolves to win back Germany from Protestantism to the Catholic Church; intensification of religious struggles and persecutions results.

1566 CE - The first Chelmsford witches trials. This trial was the first to appear in a secular court in England and resulted in the first woman to be hanged for witchcraft, Agnes Waterhouse. This trial also produced the first chapbook, or tabloid newspaper, relating to witchcraft.

1571 CE - The combined Papal, Spanish, Venetian, and Genoese fleets, under Don John of Austria, gained over the Turkish fleet on 7 Oct., 1571 at Lepanto (Naupactos a titular metropolitan see of ancient Epirus. The latter had 208 galleys and 66 small ships; the Christian fleet about the same number. The Crusaders lost 17 ships and 7500 men; 15 Turkish ships were sunk and 177 taken, from 20,000 to 30,000 men disabled, and from 12,000 to 15,000 Christian rowers, slaves on the Turkish galleys, were delivered. The Turks appeared the next year with a fleet of 250 ships before Modon and Cape Matapan, and offered battle in vain to the Christians. It was of great importance as being the first great defeat of the infidels on the sea. Held by the Venetians from 1687 to 1689, and thence by the Turks until 1827

1572 to 1606 CE - Bishop's Bible, an inadequate and unsatisfactory revision of the Great Bible checked against the Hebrew text, 1st to be published in England by episcopal authority.

1576 CE - Bartolo Spina writes the "Quaestico de Strigibus," in which he describes witches who gather at night to worship "Diana" and have dealings with night spirits.

1579 CE - The Windsor witch trials; also the second Chelmsford trials.

1580 CE - Jean Bodin, a French judge, publishes Daemonomanie des Sorciers condemning witches. According to Bodin, those denying the existence of witches were actually witches themselves.

1582 CE - St. Osyth Witches of Essex (case tried at Chelmsford).

1584 CE - Publication of Discovery of Witchcraft by the skeptic Reginald Scot, who argued witches might not exist after all.

1589 CE - Third Chelmsford Witch Trials.

1589 CE - King of Denmark, decreed any leader of a Roma band (Gypsies) found on Danish soil was to be sentenced to death.

1589 CE - Fourteen convicted witches at Tours to King Henry III.

1590 CE - William V begins witch-hunt in Bavaria.

1590 CE - The North Berwick witch trials began when an alleged coven of witches was exposed in 1590-91, resulting in Scotland's most celebrated witch trials and executions. King James VI (who became James I of England), a devout believer in witches, even took part in the proceedings. The torture applied to the victims was among the most brutal in Scotland's entire history of witchcraft prosecution.

1592 CE - Father Cornelius Loos writes of those arrested and accused of witchcraft:

Wretched creatures are compelled by the severity of the torture to confess things they have never done... and so by the cruel butchery innocent lives are taken; and, by a new alchemy, gold and silver are coined from human blood.

1592 CE - Pope Clement VIII wrote,"All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. They have brought many unfortunate peoples into a state of poverty, especially farmers, working-class people, and the very poor."

1593 CE - Warboys witches of Huntingdon put on trial.

1596 CE - Ukranian Catholic Church forms when Ukranian subjects of the king of Poland are reunited with Rome, at the Union of Brest-Litovsk. Several million Ukrainian and Byelorussian Orthodox Christians, living under Polish rule, leave the Russian Orthodox Church and recognize the Pope of Rome (without giving up their Byzantine liturgy and customs). This was the beginning of what is variously known as the Uniate, Eastern Rite Catholic, or Greek Catholic Church.

1597 CE - Publication of Demonology by James VI of Scotland (later James I of England).

1597 CE - Case of the Burton Boy (Thomas Darling) in Staffordshire.

1600 CE

1600 to 1800 CE - Slavery of African and Native American people. Slaves became essential to the economies of Europe and America. They were essential to the forced labor of Virginia by the 1680s and lived in all of England's North American colonies by the 17th and 18th century. North America alone had acquired nearly 650,000 Africans before Great Britain prohibited the slave trade, but by 1850 nearly eleven million Africans were enslaved worldwide! Slavery was not just inclusive of African people, it was expanded to the peoples of the Native American cultures. The colonial "wars" led to the forced enslavement and transportation of tens of thousands of Native Americans, which included the tribes of the Pequots, the Tuscaroras, the Yamasees, and many other Indian nations. Nearly 25 percent of the slaves in the Carolinas were Cherokee, Creek or other Native Americans by 1730 CE. Intermarriages were common and many Africans and Indians integrated their cultures. Afro-Indian communities began to be built in areas of Southeastern Virginia, the Low Country of the Carolinas and Silver Bluff, S.C.! The 1740 slave code enacted in South Carolina ended this by stating, "All Negroes and Indians, mulattos, mustezoes and all their issue and offspring...shall be and they are hereby declared to be, and remain hereafter absolute slaves!"

1600 to 1900 CE - The Roma in Wallachia and Moldavia (present day Romania) were forced into serfdom. Romani women who were caught in the former Moravia and Bohemia had their left ear cut off, this practice of owning Roma slaves continued until around 1864. Slavery became the solution to the problem of the "Romani"(Gypsies) as European countries began deporting the Romani to their colonies as cheap sources of labor:

1604 CE - James I releases his statute against witchcraft, in which he writes that they are "loathe to confess without torture."

1604 CE - Case of the Northwich Boy.

1605 CE - Abingdon witches and Anne Gunter.

1626 CE - Catholicism in England is under persecution - Parliament a statute is proclaimed which reads, 'Any person discovering where 'Mass' was said, shall have his own pardon and one-third of the goods forfeited by the attainder.' English Lord (Scroop) was chastised and accused of being too lenient to the people for having only convicted 1,670 Catholics in the area of East Riding in Yorkshire in 1626 CE.

1609 CE - Baptist Church founded by John Smyth, due to objections to infant baptism and demands for church-state separation.

1609 to 1610 CE - Rheims - Douay Bible, 1st Catholic English translation, OT is published in two volumes, based on an unofficial Louvain text corrected by Sistine Vulgate (1590), NT is Rheims text of 1582.

1611 to 1800 CE - King James (Authorized) Version, based on Bishop's Bible of 1572 with use of Rheims NT of 1582 - included Apocropha, alterations are found in many editions through 1800, revisers are accused of being "damnable corrupters of God's word."

1612 CE - Lancashire witches trials.

1616 CE - Case of the Leicester Boy (John Smith).

1616 CE -US - Witch Trial as recorded in the Records of the Florida Supreme Court. 'Mary Smith' was accused of Witchcraft and was described by the English Court as a "hagge" who had become envious of her neighbors. Smith and her neighbors, it seems, competed against each other as cheese merchants. Within the records, Smith had openly cursed her competitors and all then had fallen ill. "She even had used a large cat," said the judge, "which was placed on one victim's stomach and bewitched the victim with weakness and unusual weight loss." She was recorded of using a "birchin broome" to attack and curse one of her victims. Smith's accusers all agreed that she had entered a compact with the "Devell," in which she renounced God and was given these supernatural powers. She was executed by hanging on the day of her conviction. English Common Law, which dates to around 1000 CE, was the Florida law at this time.

1618 CE - Germany - Start of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) during which the witch-hunt throughout Germany was at its height.

1619 CE- America - Planters purchase any labor they are offered without question at a slave auction in Jamestown, Virginia. One hundred and forty white female convicts are transported and sold against their weight in tobacco (poundage for the crop). Most fetched between two hundred and six hundred pounds each depending on their age and condition. This was followed by another recorded shipment of 105 female convicts (women and girls). Convicts were considered slaves without any rights during the period of their sentence, so anyone that could be kidnapped, convicted as a criminal, made a prisoner of war or self-sold was made a slave. It didn't matter if they were red, white, black, male or female. The island of Jamaica was notorious as a stopover to America and slaves were sold, branding and flogged for sugar.

1620 CE - Case of the Bilson Boy (William Perry).

1622 CE - Goodwife Joan Wright of Jamestown Virginia, America was arraigned for witchcraft but not clearly tried. She was recorded to have been married to her husband Robert Wright for 16 years. (Source: Davis, Richard Beale "The Devil in Virginia in the Seventeenth Century" Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 65 (1957) 131-49.)

1623 CE - Melanchthon asked the state to compel the people to attend Protestant services. Later on, in Saxony (1623), auricular confession and the Eucharist were made strictly obligatory by law, punishable by banishment. Near the end of 1530, Melanchthon drafted a memorandum defending coercion by the sword (i.e., death for Anabaptists). Luther signed it with the words, "It pleases me," and added:Though it may appear cruel to punish them by the sword, yet it is even more cruel of them . . . not to teach any certain doctrine -- to persecute the true doctrine.

1625 CE - Start of general decline of witch trials in France.

1628 CE - Trial of Johannes Junius, mayor of Bamberg, was tried for the practice of witchcraft.

1630 CE - America - English Puritans founded Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1631 CE - Publication ofCautio Criminalis by Friedrich von Spee, opposing the witch hunt.

1632 CE - Death of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg marks the end of the terrible persecutions in this large principality (1609-1632).

1636 CE - Roger Williams expelled from Massachusetts. He founds Rhode Island as a haven for religious dissidents.

1637 CE - The Massachusetts militia massacres the Pequod village at Mystia killing about 600; take 30 males offshore, drown them and sell the women and children as slaves. The technical term for a mass drowning is:Noyäde'. The Pequod Indian slaves were transported to the Indies aboard, the first American Slave Ship,The Desire.

1640 CE - Barbados was the first British possession to enact restrictive legislation governing slaves in 1644, and other colonial administrations, especially Virginia and Maryland, quickly adopted similar rules modeled on it. Whipping and branding, borrowed from Roman practice via the Iberian-American colonies, appeared early and with vicious audacity.

1641 CE - Massachusetts outlaws slavery. The code of laws, Body of Liberties, adopted in 1641, Article 91 reads "there shall never any bond slaverie, villinage, or captivites amongst us unless it be lawfull captives taken in just wars, and such strangers as willingly selle themselves or are sold to us. And these shall have all the liberties and Christian usages which the law of God established in Israell concerning such persons doeth morally require. This exempts none from servitude who be judged thereto by Authoritie."

1642 CE - Ireland - The Presbyterian Church is officially organized in Ireland.

1645 CE - Case of the Faversham witches, Kent Witchfinder-general Matthew Hopkins and the Chelmsford (or Manningtree) witch trials.

1645 CE - Hugh and Mary Parsons were accused of witchcraft in Springfield Massachusetts, New England (Source: Drake, Frederick C. "Witchcraft in the American Colonies, 1647-62" American Quarterly 20 (1968): 694-725)

1646 CE - Earliest known Masonic Lodge to allow non-professional or "free" masons, in Warrington, England.

1647 CE - Matthew Hopkins publishes the "Discovery of Witches".

1647 CE - England - Christmas was banned in England. Father Christmas who visited his people during the traditional mumming plays, issued a taunting challenge to authority by chanting, "In comes I, Old Father Christmas, Be I welcome or be I not, I hope that Christmas will ne'er be forgot"

1647 CE - Peter Pipernus writes the De Nuce Maga Beneventana & De Effectibus Magicis in which he documents knowledge of a woman named Violanta who lived in the town of Benevento, Italy, who confessed to worshipping Diana at the site of an old walnut tree.

1648 to 1650 CE -"The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) had begun in England and was founded by George Fox around 1650. The basis of all Quaker beliefs is the presence of 'God' in everyone. Worship included the practices of:

"The first Friends called themselves the 'Children of the Light' in the oldest Quaker community at Mansfield in 1648." Early Quakers were subject to the inducement of trances, violent shaking [hence the name 'Quakers'], glossolalia, visions and mindless ecstasy.

1648 CE - America - Alse Young of Charleston New England Massachusetts was arrested for witchcraft, fate unknown.

1648 CE - America - Mary Jonson of Wethersfld New England Connecticut, was arrested for witchcraft and executed by hanging.

1648 (6/15) CE - America - Jones, Margaret of Charleston New England Massachusetts was arrested for witchcraft and executed at Boston. She used medicines to cure the sick.

1649 CE - America - Matthew Grant of Windsor New England Connecticut was acquitted of Witchcraft, disappearing from the colony shortly after his trial.

1649 CE - America - Mary Oliver of Boston New England Massachusetts confessed to Witchcraft, Fate unknown.

1649 to 1705 CE - Testimony of Titus Oates and his associates must rank among the most shameful miscarriages of justice in English history. Sixteen innocent men were executed (barring one, who apparently escaped) for their part in an alleged plot to kill the king (Charles II), together with eight Catholic priests executed in the ensuing purge against Catholics, but the real death toll was much higher. According to one (admittedly partisan) account, "Hundreds of innocent people died through the Oates Plot; one Jesuit, William Culcheth, reckoned that four hundred perished in prison, some of them victims of the plague" (Bernard Basset, SJ,The English Jesuits, 1967).

1649 CE - The case of the Witches of St.Albans, Hertfordshire was recorded.

1650 CE - Virginia legalized slavery in 1661, following the lead of Massachusetts and Connecticut. In 1672 the king of England chartered the Royal African Company to bring the shiploads of slaves into trading centers like Jamestown, Hampton, and Yorktown.

1651CE - America; Massachusetts - English Puritans banned the pagan observance of Yule-Christmas.

1652 CE - The trial of Anne Bodenham (Dr. Lamb's Darling), and trial of the Wapping Witch (Joan Peterson) near London.

1652 to1658 CE - Patriarch Nikon of Moscow revises liturgical books to bring them into conformity with the Greek Orthodox liturgy. Opponents of this reform were excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church and become known as Old Believers, which are now divided into several sects. Those excommunications were rescinded in 1971.

1652 CE - Ireland - The Cromwell Settlement Act, established the dispossession of over 800,000 Irish people of their lands and holdings with over a thousand transported to the West Indies as laborers. Due to the Act the population of Ireland drops from about 1,500,000 to fewer than 610,000, which does not include nearly 150,000 Scotch and English already living there? In 1641, the Irish Catholics owned nearly 11,000,000 acres and Protestants about 9,000,000. By 1652, the Irish Catholics owned only 2,000,000 acres of which most all of it was in Connacht.

1655 CE - Last execution for witchcraft in Cologne (where persecution less severe).

1659 to 1662 CE - America - Quakers hanged in Massachusetts, persecuted in Virginia, and victims of the prevailing belief in enforced religious uniformity.

1660 to 1685 CE - Charles II king of England, restoration of monarchy in England beginning under Charles II, continuing through James II, reversed decision of Long Parliament of 1644, reinstating the Apocrypha, reversal not heeded by non-conformists.

1661 CE - Peter Cornellsson Plockhoy's pacifist Mennonite settlement established at Whorekill Confirmation of Lord Baltimore's charter for land in Maryland by Charles II.

1662 CE - The Bury St. Edmunds witches trials.

1662 CE - The general assembly of Virginia passed an act which directly and consciously invoked Justinian code of partvs seqvitvr ventram, whereby a child born of a slave mother was also held to be a slave, regardless of its father's legal status.

1664 CE - America - Slavery was introduced into law in Maryland! The law also prohibited marriage between white women and black men. This particular act remained in effect for over 300 years, and between 1935 and 1967 the law was extended to forbid the marriage of Malaysians with blacks or whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967. (Maryland State Archive, 'The Archivists' Record Series of the Week, Phebe Jacobsen "Colonial Marriage Records" Bulldog Vol. 2, No. 26 18 July 1988.

1670 CE - Rouen Witch-trials.

1670 CE - French physician, Dr. Thuillier put forth the concept the outbreaks of St. Anthony's Fire was an infectious disease, due to the consumption of rye infected with ergot.

1671 CE - America - witchcraft occurred at Groton, recorded by Reverend Samuel Willard. Dr. Cotton Mather refers to it in his "Magnalia Christi Americana" (book vi. chapter vii. page 67), Reverend Samuel Willard later published a volume of sermons entitled "Useful Instructions for a professing People in Times of great Security and Degeneracy. Elizabeth Knapp was the daughter of James and Elizabeth (Warren) Knapp, and born at Watertown, on April 21, 1655.

1674 CE - Trial of Anne Foster in Northampton was recorded.

1679 to 1682 CE - The notorious Chanibre d'ardente affair: Louis XIV's Star Chamber investigates poison plots and hears evidence of widespread corruption and witchcraft. More than 300 people arrested and 36 executed. The affair ended with a royal edict, which denied the reality of witchcraft and sorcery.

1681 CE - William Penn, leader of the Quakers, receives a charter for Pennsylvania; Penn establishes religious liberty in the colony.

1683 CE - Members of German Protestant sects begin arriving in Pennsylvania, attracted by religious liberty.

1684 CE - Last execution for witchcraft in England (Alice Molland at Exeter).

1683 CE - America - The Reverend Francis Makemie of Donegal arrived in Virginia and organizes Presbyterianism in America.

1688 to 1772 CE - Emanuel Swedenborg experienced altered states of consciousness and embraced the philosophies of transcendentalism, spiritualism, faith healing, mesmerism, perfectionism, and millenarianism. He had experienced visions of supernatural flashes of light and other manifestations and held conversations with angels and spirits since 1736 CE. He argued that his interpretations of the spiritual meaning of Scripture constituted Christ's 'Second Coming' or the 'New Jerusalem.' He established the Church of the New Jerusalem, which extended into Europe and the United States and taught the doctrine of great judgments on mankind, which signaled the apocalypse.

1688 - America; Massachusetts - Anne "Goody" Glover of Ireland is hanged as a witch for speaking in foreign tongues and making signs. She was one of the Irish slaves that escaped Barbados. She was Catholic, spoke Gaelic, and prayed in Latin.

1689 CE - English Parliament passes "The Toleration Act", which improves the conditions of dissenters throughout the American colonies.

1692 CE - America, Salem Massachusetts - Nine-year-old Elizabeth Parris and eleven-year-old Abigail Williams began to exhibit strange behavioral symptoms. Other girls soon began to behave similarly. The inability to determine any physical cause for the reason for the dreadful behavior led the religious leaders of the community to the conclusion the girls were under satanic influence. More than sixteen people were accused of witchcraft. The execution was on September 22nd of 1692. Records relating to the witches arrest and trial are still found in the first volume of "The Witchcraft Papers," numbered 91 to 107 in the office of the clerk of the courts for Essex County, Salem, USA. The legal authority for the trials and executions of Massachusetts Bay Colony was based on British law. The historical documentation of the symptoms of the strange behavior were:

The symptoms exhibited within the colony records, which were once viewed as mass hysteria, were similar to previous massive outbreaks recorded in Europe of St. Anthony's Fire (Ergot Poisoning). Contaminated grains were probably brought either by ship from Europe or grown and cultivated near marshes at the colony. Ergot Outbreaks are still being recorded as of 2003 CE and although Ergotism is a registered known disease treated with specific medications and medical treatments - it is still viewed by superstitious people as demonic possession.


Return to Elkin Vanaeons History Section

Idaho Web Design Tools
Idaho Web Design Tools