Witchcraft and Whigs: The life of Bishop Francis Hutchinson, (1660-1739)

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    This ground-breaking biography of Bishop Francis Hutchinson (1669-1739) draws upon a wealth of primary source material, and provides a rare portrait of an early eighteenth-century Anglican bishop and witchcraft theorist. This study illustrates how one of the most important sceptical texts of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, An Historical essay concerning witchcraft, was constructed, and details the controversial nature of its eventual publication in 1718. It allows the reader a unique insight into how Hutchinson's witchcraft beliefs fitted into the wider intellectual and literary context of the time, examining his views on contemporary debates concerning astrology, prophecy, miracles, demonic and Satanic intervention, and the nature of Angels and hell. Through an un-paralleled study of Hutchinson's clerical career, the book also increases our understanding of the lives and work of the eighteenth-century established clergy, both in England and Ireland. It provides a detailed account of how Hutchinson's 'Whiggish' social and cultural ideology shaped both his commitment to schemes to convert Irish Catholics to Protestantism (using a newly invented, phonetic form of written Irish), and to 'improve' Ireland, socially, culturally and economically. This book will be of particular interest to academics and students in the areas of the history of witchcraft, and the religious, political and social history of Britain and Ireland in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. See all Product Description
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherManchester University Press
    Number of pages219
    ISBN (Print)0719076129
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Sept 2008


    • Witchcraft
    • Angels
    • demonology
    • witches
    • scepticism
    • Queen Anne
    • George I
    • George II
    • Act of Union 1707
    • Church of England
    • Church of Ireland
    • Bishops
    • clergy
    • improvement
    • conversion
    • anti-Catholicism
    • the Irish language
    • Convocation
    • parish clergy
    • Whig party
    • Tory party
    • Royal Dublin Society
    • Archbishop William King
    • party politics
    • low churchman
    • Latitudinarian
    • Sir Issac Newton
    • Newtonian Science.


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