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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Sept 21.docx

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Jane Abray

Lecture Outline, Village Curing, Prognostication, Love Magic September 21, 2010 As Lyndal Roper remarks, the multiplication of trials was possible only after the Demonologists persuaded “people that the apocalyptic battle between God and Satan, man and the Devil, was taking place in their very own villages.” Lyndal Roper Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany (Yale UP, 2004), p. 19  Agents of Satan among them in their villages, they should watch out…  To understand the context in which early accusations arrived – need to understand early modern social structure, village structure, village governance, ties that connect urban and rural worlds.  Bring back memories from other courses HIS243!  Big divisions in society were the Estates (First estate: clergy, Second: nobility, Third: everyone else) = scheme served interest of the clergy, promotes them to the top, useful to the nobility, not much good for witch craft historians. Thinking in terms of estate theory is not useful…  Scheme: based on how much land you control, due to how wealthy you are, how many you can order around, scheme is very simple – follow below 1. Top – Great Lords (pope, emperor, kings and queens, dukes, cardinals, arch bishops 2. Territorial Rulers- including prince bishops (German), heads of religious orders, merchant bankers – history of capitalism, trial of rationality – does not help to understand the family history of Fugger‟s - Fugger dabbled in witch-craft to find out how markets would go – where he may make a profit? 3. Local lords- landed gentry, lesser ranks of aristocracy, rights to administer justice to tenants 4. Free cities- within Holy Roman Empire, have the authority to set up courts, for own town and territories they control around town. 5. Kingdoms- royal officials 6. Parish clergy = scheme in which rural population fits, usually have one or another rank of authority immediately above or over them. *Realm of the subjects- those who take the orders- VILLAGES – where Lords subjects mostly live Early Modern European Social Structure Overall structure Kinds of Villages: nucleated, dispersed, hamlets, Farmsteads - 160,000 communities in Western Europe styled villages - Nucleated village: houses are close together, the village has a recognizable built up area with fields out around that – most sophisticated and best organized, places where you may find a few hundred households, 200-800 people approximately. Villagers constantly running into neighbours. - Dispersed- central common facilities like a Church, households spread out around country-side. Villagers may go days at a time without seeing others. - Isolated farmsteads or hamlets- good height with common contact - = Will run into these patterns in witch-craft trials – each community has own kinds of sociability, social relations, and own kinds of witch craft - No distinction between catholic or protestant villages - Life in the country-side- explained because most accusations start out in the villages* The trials usually take place somewhere else, to a grander jurisdiction Kinds of Villagers Socio-economic levels within the rural population  All called “Peasants” – those closely involved in making land fertile, manage land, production of food and crops 1. -Landowners or those with long leases, generating a surplus in all but the most difficult years: - Names: yeomen, laboureurs (French), Bauern (German) - Fairly secure in possession of land These are families accumulating wealth over the years. They own big expensive animals (oxen‟s or horses), large numbers of animals. They are considered wealthy, people dream to have children married into this kind of family. These rich peasants are a minority. Villages might have one or two families at this level. 2. Landowners or those with long leases on enough land to feed their families in all but the worst years: husbandmen, manoeuvriers (French) (included in top rank) – Can support some animals, some big animals, part of envy of village and a minority in village 3. -Families with secure access to a bit of land, but who hire out their labour to make ends meet. - Can keep a pig or chickens but on this plot of land they cannot feed the family, they must hire out labour family members! - Collectively make up labouring poor of countryside- including bottom – Include many accused 4. -Landless families, Hired hands- Hired Labour - Can be either sex, either too poor or young to marry - Some live for long stretches in homes of employers “The typical witch was the wife or widow of an agricultural labourer or small tenant farmer, and she was well known for a quarrelsome and aggressive nature.” *Geoffrey Scarre and John Callow, Witchcraft and Magic in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Europe, 2 nded. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2001), p. 31  Finding out who lives in village: WHOSE POOR? WHO DO THE OTHERS REGARD AS A BAD NEIGHBOUR? WHO IS QUARRELSOME AND AGGRESSIVE?  Accusers are those who feel threatened or those who have suffered a misfortune who think they know which human neighbour called misfortune  Look for people who make people uneasy for a long time  Robin Briggs – once accusations start, the accusers can usually point to not just recent events but also events from the past. – Chain of uncomfortable events before people will turn on a neighbour. The accusations tend to be sincere  Typical pattern- to be accused by someone of same social rank  Grand people typically to accuse people who are envious of them  -Other people living among the villagers, but not engaged in agriculture Land lords agent living amongst villagers to regulate- pull land lords weight- in nucleated village he will find skilled craftsman (blacksmith or miller), baker, tavern etc. Supply needs of communities Some people can be objects of jealousy, tend to be better off than those engaged in agricultural work - Locations have reputations in themselves- millers are found in witchcraft because mills tend to have been associated with witchcraft or labelled as “spooky” - Village will also have people passing through- peddlers, traders, prostitute = curious how witches are mostly female- accused of promiscuity - Those there and then not there- herdsman, Sheppard‟s - Some villagers will be local kids, family roots in the village that go back generations, some come from far – marry in via husband in village who remain outside village sense of “us” – being an outsider increases chance of being thought as different or potentially different – in a world where life is localized, down to words that come out of your mouth! - Living in England, France, Germany, all it takes is to travel for a few days and you will have a hard time understanding others- dialects are different enough to cause problems Village Economics: the household economy - Matters whether talking about rural populations, peasants are said to be tied to the land! - Fertility of crops and animals are tension for witchcraft accusations – exact accusations will vary – Different in uplands vs. low lands, Mediterranean regions, Ills of crops and animals will vary - No matter how much variety there are some features similarities- 1. ORGANIZED BY HOUSEHOLDS! Need an adult man and adult women to keep household working in addition to child labour. - The work is gendered- Men look after draft animals (oxen and horses), Women look after dairy cattle and chicken, slaughter is done by men, women preserve meet, women use sickles, men use sighs, men move further away from house, women tend to remain closer to home once married - Men look after boys older than 7 years - Mothers look after younger children and girls, young girls quickly take up woman‟s work while boys take a bit longer - Women do the cooking, wash the clothing, at every social rite woman are the go to people in the household for medical care by natural means (to know what kind of herb helps with what problem) - Women‟s work is more constant, men are tied to crop cycle, women work more steadily - Each sex is aware of others contribution to household economy - Men can hire woman to look after children and children to labour - Woman cannot have farming household without men though – cannot hire – When marrying you are worried about capacity of other to work and to do labour - Standard of living dependent on marriage- concern for farm and one‟s self including for one‟s partner - There still are ties of natural affection but this is not a world of where sentiment is the only thing - Peasant houses are Egalitarian, privilege male over female consistently – seen through families walking to Church (order), who waits on who? Men sit down at dinner first, who could participate in village assembly? - Peasant society privileges family over single, fertile over infertile - Witchcraft materials- traces of jealousy- married over unmarried- concerns for human fertility Village Politics: who controls village life? Landlord, church, state, urban money-lender village assemblies and “neighbourliness” headmen courting  Peasants are subordinate to landlords, most rent some of the land they farm  Tend to be tenants rather than owners, do not have enough money to own land th  The church claims about a 13 of all agricultural produce and so does thethtate whith has its own taxes and can force male peasants into military practice (16 and 17 century phenomena)  Inside village governance? – - Nucleated village- typically will have village assembly which holds public meetings in parish Church, do not regard Church as belonging to priest but rather community - Both sexes attend in some villages, some just men, mostly all have
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