A history of witchcraft in England
A History of Witchcraft in England from by Wallace Notestein
writer has found himself forced to divergence of view. He recognizes nevertheless the importance of Professor
Kittredge's contribution to the study of the whole subject and acknowledges his own indebtedness to the essay
for suggestion and guidance.
The author cannot hope that the work here presented is final. Unfortunately there is still hidden away in
England an unexplored mass of local records. Some of them no doubt contain accounts of witch trials. I have
used chiefly such printed and manuscript materials as were accessible in London and Oxford. Some day
perhaps I may find time to go the rounds of the English counties and search the masses of gaol delivery
records and municipal archives. From the really small amount of new material on the subject brought to light
by the Historical Manuscripts Commission and by the publication of many municipal records, it seems
improbable that such a search would uncover so many unlisted trials as seriously to modify the narrative.
Nevertheless until such a search is made no history of the subject has the right to be counted final. Mr. Charles
W. Wallace, the student of Shakespeare, tells me that in turning over the multitudinous records of the Star
Chamber he found a few witch cases. Professor Kittredge believes that there is still a great deal of such
material to be turned up in private collections and local archives. Any information on this matter which any
student of English local history can give me will be gratefully received.
I wish to express my thanks for reading parts of the manuscript to William Savage Johnson of Kansas
University and to Miss Ada Comstock of the University of Minnesota. For general assistance and advice on
the subject I am under obligations to Professor Wilbur C. Abbott and to Professor George Burton Adams of
Yale University. It is quite impossible to say how very much I owe to Professor George L. Burr of Cornell.
From cover to cover the book, since the award to it of the Adams Prize, has profited from his painstaking
criticism and wise suggestion.
Minneapolis, October 10, 1911.