Make your own free website on
King James and Witches
The Punishment of Witches


Young King James I
King James' Rise to Power
Interesting Facts and Tidbits About King James I
The Begginngs of Witches
The Punishment of Witches
Witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth and Their Importance
A Good Witch Or A Bad Witch?
Timeline of King James and Shakespeare's Works
King James' Disgust for Witches

Witches were not considered human, but rather supernatural beings of the devil.  The punishments they received were numerous and usually idiotic.

The punishment for being a witch was usually death after much torturing.  In some areas over eighty percent of the accused women were killed.  Estimates of how many women were killed run wild.  England alone killed over one thousand women.  More astounding is Scotland's number of accused witches, over thirteen hundred witches.  Taking into consideration that eighty percent of accused witches were killed, Scotland executed over a thousand women, while it killed the same about as England, Scotland had almost one fourth the population of England at the time.  In two German villages so many women were killed only one female was left!  More frequestly, though, was that one woman would be killed per two families.
All of these killings first came ffrom accusations, which after being accused usually lead to the execution in the same week.  A women being accused of witchcraft was very common.  If a child was to die from a disease, whether known or unknown, a woman who had been mean to the child probably would be accused of witchcraft.  Any foul weather, ill crops, animals acting strangely, or something out of the ordiary would be blamed on a woman.
Women who were accused suffered horrible fates.  A woman would first be accused, held prisoner, then put on trial.  During the trial a woman would have all the claims listed out against her.  People would speak out against her being a witch and for her being a witch.  None of these proved her being a witch, but the court would somehow determine the woman to be a witch and then sentence her to another test.  For example, some women were bound at hand and foot and thrown into a river.  It was believed that if she was a witch she had no soul and would therefore float becasue she would be 'lighter' than the water.  If she sank, the woman would frequently drowned, if she swam or floated she was declared a witch and guilty to be hung or burned.  Only sometimes were relatives allowed to place a rope around te victim's wait so that if she sank they could pull her to land and revive her, but still the time that she was forced to be underwater usually meant death.

Men with this funky looking hair usually judged the court trials for pusedo-fairness.


After being accused and put on trial, women convicted of being witches were hung.