Matthew Hopkins

Matthew Hopkins (c. 1620 – 12 August 1647) was an English witchhunter whose career flourished during the time of the English Civil War. He claimed to hold the office of Witchfinder General, although that title was never bestowed by Parliament. His witchhunts mainly took place in the eastern counties of Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, and occasionally in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and Huntingdonshire.

Hopkins' witch-finding career began in March 1644 and lasted until his retirement in 1647. During that period, he and his associates were responsible for more people being hanged for witchcraft than in the previous 100 years, and were solely responsible for the increase in witch trials during those years. He is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of 300 women between the years 1644 and 1646. It has been estimated that all of the English witch trials between the early 15th and late 18th centuries resulted in fewer than 500 executions for witchcraft. Therefore, presuming the number executed as a result of investigations by Hopkins and his colleague John Stearne is at the lower end of the various estimates, their efforts accounted for about 40 per cent of the total; in the 14 months of their crusade Hopkins and Stearne sent to the gallows more people than all the other witchhunters in the 160 years of persecution in England.

Read more about Matthew Hopkins:  Early Life, Witch Hunting, Death and Legacy

Other articles related to "matthew hopkins, hopkins":

Matthew Hopkins - Death and Legacy
... See also Matthew Hopkins in popular culture Matthew Hopkins died at his home in Manningtree, Essex, on 12 August 1647, probably of pleural tuberculosis ... In the words of historian Malcolm Gaskill, Matthew Hopkins "lives on as an anti-hero and bogeyman – utterly ethereal, endlessly malleable" ... According to historian Rossell Hope Robbins, Hopkins "acquired an evil reputation which in later days made his name synonymous with fingerman or informer paid by authorities to ...

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