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Historian Visit

Corby Business Academy 6th form history students were privileged to have been able to hear a specialist historian talk to them about the subject of their forthcoming coursework, the causes of the early-modern witch craze in England.

Dr Cathy Smith of Northampton University gave a fascinating account of witch trials in the Northamptonshire area during the Early Modern Period. Dr Smith spoke about the origins of society’s fears of evil doers, stemming back to the outbreak of the Black Death in 1348, the mutation of belief systems that gave Lucifer more power to challenge God, James I’s interests in Daemonology and squabbles between women that all unfolded to provide witch accusations. It was a vivid insight into how the women and men of Northamptonshire came to be executed for the crime of witchcraft.

Dr Smith also ran a fascinating session on how to analyse early modern sources. Students discovered the difference between Acts of Parliament showing elite concerns, woodcuts designed to educate or excite the illiterate, treatises constructing elite ideological thought and trials providing a detailed insight into the personal arguments.  

All the 6th form History students seemed to really enjoy this visit.