PhD Candidate, School of History, 2015-2018
My thesis is focused on the East Anglican witchcraft trials of 1645-1647 and the witch-finder John Stearne, who was directly involved in these trials. He and his partner Matthew Hopkins travelled across East Anglia visiting towns concerned with local witches. Once they arrived, the witch-finders sought to extract confessions of guilt from suspects and tried to provide further evidence for successful convictions. Some of these confessions have been recorded in Stearne’s pamphlet, entitled A confirmation and discovery of witchcraft. My research will critically analyse Stearne’s pamphlet and will situate his work within the context of the English Civil War and contemporary print culture. The thesis will also examine the witchcraft confessions Stearne records, paying particular attention to the familiar spirit (a witch’s demonic pet).
Other research interests include religion and politics during the English Civil War, print culture, and the history of European witchcraft and magic.
‘Confessions of a witch-finder: projections of fear and desire in A confirmation and discovery of witchcraft’, Borderlines XX (Dublin, 2016, upcoming)
‘The changing interpretations and representations of fairies’, Borderlines XIX (QUB, 2015)