ERO Presents: Hunting for Essex Witches through archives and archaeology
Reconstructing the lives of marginalised Elizabethan women and discovering the beliefs of luck, protection and magical-medicine
The broad-brush history of witchcraft in Essex has been extensively studied over the years - is there anything else to discover about those accused? Well, yes there is! Join us to hear how, through the detailed examination of documents looked after by Essex Record Office, Prof Marion Gibson has been able to trace their lives and give them back their identities before they were accused of witchcraft. Marion will explain in new detail why the “St Osyth” witches of 1582 - actually from St Osyth, Little Clacton, Thorpe and Walton le Soken and Little Oakley - might have been accused in the first place.
Dr Ceri Houlbrook will then discuss the variety of objects discovered in the historic buildings of Essex, from witch-bottles to concealed shoes. Drawing on archaeology and folklore, Ceri will consider the beliefs around luck, protection, and magical-medicine that may have motivated people in the past to hide these objects in the fabric of their homes.
Registration, tea and coffee from 10:00am.
Need to know
Save money with your Explorer Pass
Our annual Explore Essex Pass will give you and your family the freedom to explore some of the incredible places and green spaces that Essex has to offer, as many times as you like throughout the year, with free parking at seven country parks, 2 or 1 on Sky Ropes, priority booking on specific events, and 10% discounts at many cafes and visitor centres.
For almost the last two centuries, railways, both main- and branch-lines, have dissected the county, taking commuters to the metropolis, goods to market and trippers to the seaside.
- Dates: April 1, 2023
- Venue: Essex Record Office
- Times: 10:00am - 3:30pm
- For the whole family
- Price: £30-£35