Reginald Scot (or Scott) (c. 1538 – 9 October 1599) was an English country gentleman and Member of Parliament, now remembered as the author of The Discoverie of Witchcraft, which was published in 1584. The witch on the other side exspecting hir neighbours mischances, and seeing things sometimes come to passe according to hir wishes, cursses, and incantations (for Bodin himselfe confesseth, that not above two in a hundred of their witchings or wishings take effect) being called before a Justice, by due examination of the circumstances is driven to see hir imprecations and desires, and hir neighbors harmes and losses to concurre, and as it were to take effect: and so confesseth that she (as a goddes) hath brought such things to passe. On such example is Reginald Scot (1538-1599), who took the incredibly bold step to not only defend accused witches against the charges laid before them, but to also prove once and for all that witchcraft does not exist! Reginald Scot, by the way, looked like he was trained in Kabbalistic teachings and ceremonial evocation. Don’t believe me? Surely the first chapter of his Eighth Book is a clear announcement of atheism: That miracles are ceased… Yet the treatise is valuable; it gives us the complete armoury of the atheist. Of Scot himself, Summers throws the biggest criticism he can muster: Upon a careful investigation it appears that the flaw in Scot’s argument is not that admitting the existence of evil spirits he declared that we know nothing of them or in relation to them save that they do not and cannot intermingle with the affairs of men, a sufficiently illogical position, but rather that although for caution’s sake covering his atheism with the thinnest veneer, in fact he wholly and essentially denies the supernatural. Javascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. Me fail early modern English? It was a central text in witchcraft debates and there were numerous challenges to Scot’s beliefs (not least from King James VI and I in his own book on witchcraft, Daemonologie) as well as a smaller number of defences. 1964. The date 1852 should instead be 1582. We may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service. Despite the work being sceptical of the ideas surrounding witchcraft, it… *****************************************, Awesome post. I’ve written before about the real human suffering these witch hunts inflicted. Society must always be vigilant and ready to push back against such irrational fear-mongering and superstition. Itsem, a witch is not to be delivered, though she endure all the tortures, and confesse nothing; as all other are in anie criminall cases. The Discoverie of Witchcraft itself is a shotgun blast against the belief in witches and against the credulous and conniving people who promote that belief. Hopefully you have some evidence to prove your case. 400 pages. This is an awesome argument, and truly a daring “throwing down the gauntlet” to the witchhunters! The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster is the account of a series of English witch trials that took place on 18–19 August 1612, commonly known as the Lancashire witch trials. A second edition, published by G. Basson, the first editor's son, was printed at Leiden in 1637. The third edition was published with two imprints in 1665, one being the Turk Head edition, the scarcer variant was at the Golden-Ball. The descriptions of magical ritual themselves do not make Scot a follower of magic, any more than my description of Scot’s book makes me one. Some, that they are monarchs and princes, and that all other men are their subjects: some, that they are brute beasts: some, that they be urinals or earthen pots, greatlie fearing to be broken: some, that everie one that meeteth them, will conveie them to the gallowes; and yet in the end hang themselves. He died in 1599. I actually read the book, cover to cover, and found pretty much none of what you describe. But sir, said she, you shall understand, that this our vicar is diseased with such a kind of hoarseness, as divers of our neighbors in this parish, not long since, doubted that he had the French pox; & in that respect utterly refused to communicate with him:  untill such time as (being therunto injoined by M.D. It contains a small section intended to show how the public was fooled by charlatans, which is considered the first published material on illusionary or stage magic. Scot later wrote an account of his involvement in the trial, referring to the charge of witchcraft as “ridiculous”, writing that “...the name of a witch is so odious, and his power so feared among the common people, that is the honestest bodie living chance to be arraigned thereupon, she shall hardlie exacape condemnation”. He attended college a short time at Hart Hall (which would later become Hertford College), though he left without a degree. None intercession, no delaie, none excuse, no deniall would serve, neither in jest nor derision, nor yet through sober or honest meanes; but he was assigned a peremptorie daie, to answer for life. ComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Um, no. Reginald Scot was born in or around 1538 in Kent into a landed English family. Scot maintained that those who had been accused and executed for witchcraft were innocent and blamed the Catholic Church for encouraging these superstitious beliefs.