Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment

Scotland, 1670–1740

  • Lizanne Henderson

Part of the Palgrave Historical Studies in Witchcraft and Magic book series (PHSWM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 1-10
  3. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 11-57
  4. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 58-91
  5. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 126-149
  6. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 298-320
  7. Lizanne Henderson
    Pages 321-328
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 329-382

About this book


Taking an interdisciplinary perspective, Witchcraft and Folk Belief in the Age of Enlightenment represents the first in-depth investigation of Scottish witchcraft and witch belief post-1662, the period of supposed decline of such beliefs, an age which has been referred to as the 'long eighteenth century', coinciding with the Scottish Enlightenment. The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries were undoubtedly a period of transition and redefinition of what constituted the supernatural, at the interface between folk belief and the philosophies of the learned. For the latter the eradication of such beliefs equated with progress and civilization but for others, such as the devout, witch belief was a matter of faith, such that fear and dread of witches and their craft lasted well beyond the era of the major witch-hunts. This study seeks to illuminate the distinctiveness of the Scottish experience, to assess the impact of enlightenment thought upon witch belief, and to understand how these beliefs operated across all levels of Scottish society.


Witchcraft Folk Belief Scottish History Scottish Enlightenment Cultural History cultural history enlightenment Scotland scottish history

Authors and affiliations

  • Lizanne Henderson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GlasgowUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-59313-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-31324-9
  • Buy this book on publisher's site