Anti-Witchcraft Laws of England (1542 to present day)
The following are an extracts from the article `60 years after Repealing the Witchcraft Act’ – published in Gaian Times eco-spiritual online magazine in June 2011 www.GaianTimes.com) Article (c) Mani Navasothy
- Witchcraft Act 1542 (Henry VIII). “The Bill against conjurations and witchcraft and sorcery and inchantments…,” begins the Act, which made witchcraft a felony in England under a statute of King Henry VIII and punishable by hanging.
- 1547 – An Act for the repeal of certain Statutes, etc. (Edward VI). During the reign of King Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII, who was more liberal in his thinking about these matters, repealed the 1542 Witchcraft Act.
- Witchcraft Act of 1563 (Elizabeth I). An Act against conjurations, inchantments and witchcraft. Elizabeth I, daughter of Anne Boleyn, introduces a new Witchcraft Act in England, making ‘folk magic’ and spirit invocation punishable by death, imprisonment or pillory.
- Witchcraft Act of 1604 – An Act against conjuration, witchcraft and dealings with evil and wicked spirits.
- Witchcraft Act of 1736. “An Act to repeal the Statute made in the first year of the reign of King James 1, intituled, an Act against conjuration, witchcraft and dealing with evil and wicked Spirits, except so much thereof as repeals an Act of the Fifth Year of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, against conjurations, inchantments and witchcraft and to repeal an Act passed in the Parliament of Scotland in the Ninth Parliament of Queen Mary, intituled, Anentis w, and for punishing such persons as pretend to exercise or use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, Inchantment, or conjuration….” And so on.
- Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951- 1951 CHAPTER 33 14 and 15 Geo 6. An Act to repeal the Witchcraft Act 1735, and to make, in substitution for certain provisions of section four of the Vagrancy Act 1824, express provision for the punishment of persons who fraudulently purport to act as spiritualistic mediums or to exercise powers of telepathy, clairvoyance or other similar powers. [22nd June 1951]
When we speak of the Repealing of the Witchcraft Act, we are in fact referring to the 1951 Fraudulent Mediums Act, which repealed the previous Witchcraft Act of 1735!
Article (c) Mani Navasothy