Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 1983 Sheila Joshi. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


History Department

First Advisor

Robert S. DuPlessis


This thesis synthesizes the socio-psychological causes and implications of the witch trials in Essex County, England in the mid-seventeenth century. Citing several texts, primary and secondary sources including period accounts and historical analyses, Joshi examines the relationship between the aggressors and the victims of the Essex County Witch Hunt, and the context and combination of circumstances in which they were borne. She maintains that the extreme trials functioned as penance for the accusers, who belonged to a community attached to apocalyptic narratives.