Witchcraft and Whigs

The life of Bishop Francis Hutchinson (1660-1739)

By Andrew Sneddon

Witchcraft and Whigs

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9678-5
  • Pages: 236
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £18.99
  • Published Date: October 2014
  • BIC Category: Early Modern History, Religion, History, Ireland, European history, RELIGION / Wicca, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, Humanities / Witchcraft, Humanities / British & Irish history


This ground-breaking biography of Bishop Francis Hutchinson (1669-1739) provides a detailed and rare portrait of an early eighteenth century Irish bishop and witchcraft theorist. Drawing upon a wealth of printed primary source material, the book aims to increase our understanding of the eighteenth-century established clergy, both in England and Ireland. It illustrates how one of the main sceptical texts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Historical essay concerning witchcraft (1718), was constructed and how it fitted into the wider intellectual and literary context of the time, examining Hutchinson's views on contemporary debates concerning modern prophecy and miracles, demonic and Satanic intervention, the nature of Angels and hell, and astrology.

This book will be of particular interest to academics and students of history of witchcraft, and the religious, political and social history of Britain and Ireland in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.


PART I - England
1. Childhood and early career, 1660-c.1690
2 . The national church in a Suffolk parish, St. James', Bury St. Edmunds, 1692-1720
3. 'A well affected man': Hutchinson and party politics, 1700-20
4. Angels and demons: the mental world of an eighteenth-century Anglican pastor.
5. Hutchinson and witchcraft: An historical essay concerning witchcraft (1718)
PART II - Ireland
6. The bishop of Down and Connor and the established Church and state in Ireland, 1721-39
7. 'Darkness must be expell'd by bringing in the light': the conversion of Irish Catholics, c.1721-34
8. 'Improve everything that is improveable': the social, economic, and cultural 'improvement' of Ireland and the Irish, 1721-39


Andrew Sneddon is Lecturer in International History at the University of Ulster

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