June 1st - Witchcraft Act of 1563 takes effect in England.
Until the year of 1951, English laws were strictly prohibiting witchcraft and other similar practices like acts of magic, or consulting with the spirit world. The most important act in the history of England’s witchcraft laws and penalty is without a doubt, the one that came into action on the 1st of June 1563. So, on this day all Wicca and Paganism followers mark the beginning of a long history of accusations and penalties for all of those found guilty of witchcraft and spiritualism in the UK.
There has never been a single law in the U.S prohibiting acts of witchcraft. In 1692, when the Salem witch trials took place, the United States were still a part of the British colonies.
Religious tensions in England during the 16th and 17th centuries resulted in the introduction of serious penalties for witchcraft. Henry VIII's Act of 1542 (33 Hen. VIII c. 8) was the first to define witchcraft as a felony, a crime punishable by death and the forfeiture of the convicted felon's goods and chattels. It was forbidden to:
... use devise practise or exercise, or cause to be devysed [sic] practised or exercised, any Invovacons or cojuracons [sic] of Sprites witchecraftes enchauntementes or sorceries to thentent [sic?] to fynde [sic] money or treasure or to waste consume or destroy any persone [sic] in his bodie membres, or to pvoke [provoke] any persone to unlawfull love, or for any other unlawfull intente or purpose ... or for dispite of Cryste, or for lucre of money, dygge up or pull downe any Crosse or Crosses or by such Invovacons or cojuracons of Sprites witchecraftes enchauntementes [sic] or sorceries or any of them take upon them to tell or declare where goodes stollen [sic?] or lost shall become ...
The Act also removed a right known as benefit of clergy from those convicted of witchcraft, a legal device that spared anyone from hanging who was able to read a passage from the Bible. This statute was repealed by Henry's son, Edward VI, in 1547.
Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563
Under the Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563 both the practice of witchcraft and consulting with witches were capital offences. This Act stayed on Scottish statute books until repealed as a result of a House of Lords amendment to the bill for the post-union Witchcraft Act 1735.
Witchcraft Act 1563
An Act agaynst Conjuracons Inchantments and Witchecraftes.
- 1 Witchcraft Act 1542
- 2 Witchcraft Act 1562
- 3 Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563
- 4 Witchcraft Act 1604
- 5 Scottish Witchcraft Act 1649
- 6 Witchcraft Act 1735
- 7 Other related acts
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
Witchcraft Acts Wikipedia
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