Witchcraft/Witch Week

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Tue Feb 24 10:54:33 EST 2004

Nat wrote:

>In alternate histories, am I right in thinking it is common to put
>modern witch-hunting as a result the Restoration never having
>occurred, i.e. Britain is still under the Puritan Commonwealth or its
>equivalent? I seem to recall this is the case in Orson Scott Card's
>Alvin Maker series, and I have the feeling it is alluded to in Witch
>Week (book at home, can't check, and in any case I think the "split"
>between our world and Witch Week's is left somewhat hazy as I recall).

It happened at precisely the point at which Guy Fawkes either did or did
not blow up the Houses of Parliament, November 5th 1605 (according to the
calendar then in use, of course, which means it wasn't November 5th
now-calendar). And the "bone-fires" started in 1606.  So it was before the
Puritan Commonwealth.  The old lady who used to rescue witches says that
she thinks Cromwell made the first laws against witches, but she also says
she is no historian, and if witches were burnt under those laws in 1606,
she must be confused about *which* Cromwell is all I can say, because
Oliver Cromwell the Lord Protector was only seven years old in 1606.  Maybe
she was thinking of Thomas Cromwell, the Earl of Essex a century earlier.


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