The Witchcraft Acts

  • Witchcraft
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

 The ''Witchcraft Acts'' were a series of codified English Laws, first enacted under Authority of King Henry VIII, in 1542. The Laws specifically address Witches, Warlocks and The Craft itself as a Capital Offense, punishable by Death (Hanging, Burning or Beheading - at best!). The manner of determination or ''Testing'' was still left to extremely superstitious ''means''. In addition to The Death Penalty being applied, any ''Lands, Property or Monies'' could be seized by The Crown (including Family). The 1542 Enactment also removed a ''Test Clause'' (as we have discussed) known as ''The Prayer Test''. By this perhaps a literate Witch only had to recite a passage from The Holy Bible to escape punishment. A total of (6) Acts would be enacted from 1542 until 1735. By this final Act, Witchcraft was no longer seen as a supernatural affliction, but one of ''trickery'' and ''confidence''. Violators were sent to Prison and fined. Even torture was outlawed. Amazingly, The 1735 Act would remain ''On The Books'' in English Law until officially repealed in 1951!