A Profile of Romantic-Period Popular Magic: Taxonomies of Evidence

  • Stephanie Elizabeth Churms
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and Cultures of Print book series (PERCP)


This chapter provides a profile of the living contours and resonances of popular magic during the 1790s in terms of its practitioners, clientele and ambiguous legal status in the wake of the 1735 Witchcraft Act. Material manifestations of the cunning man’s trade are delineated using three ‘case studies’ which investigate in detail some of the textual evidence for magical practices that exist from the Romantic period. These case studies include two chapbook-style pamphlets that act as biographies of the cunning men John Roberts and Richard Morris, the evangelical, didactic productions of Hannah More, two pamphlets produced in the wake of the execution of Mary Bateman, the notorious ‘Yorkshire Witch’ and convicted poisoner, and The Conjuror’s Magazine, an occult miscellany published monthly from 1791 to 1794.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Elizabeth Churms
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarSurreyUK

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