Lucy Worsley InvestigatesHistorians will re-examine four dramatic chapters from Britain’s past in a new BBC series.
In each episode she brings a contemporary perspective to the mystery in question, exploring how gender politics, class inequality, mental health and changing attitudes toward children can challenge our perceptions of the past and provide new answers. .
A modern look will be cast on the 16th-century witch trials, the Black Plague, the madness of King George III, and the princes in the tower.
Here’s what you need to know before the first episode.
What happened to Agnes Sampson?
Lucy Worsley begins her investigation in North Berwick, a seaside town near Edinburgh where the first witch hunt began.
The story goes that in 1590 a group of witches gathered here to perform magic to try to kill the King of Scotland, James VI.
Perusing an account from the time called News From Scotland and other direct sources, Lucy uncovers a web of political intrigue that led to the investigation of a woman named Agnes Sampson, a healer and midwife.
Agnes is accused of witchcraft and is interrogated at Holyrood Castle by King James himself, before being tortured and killed.
Agnes was caught in a perfect storm: uncompromising Protestant reformers intent on sanctifying Scotland, a king eager to prove himself a righteous leader, and a new ideology that claimed Satan was actively involved in was recruiting women as witches.
Agnes under torture named her alleged accomplices, some 59 other innocent people, making her the first successful large-scale witch hunt in Scotland.
Its brutal success became the model for the started witch trials in Scotland and England for the next 100 years.
“Women in the Mouth” Behave Like Witches
60,000 people, mostly women, were accused of witchcraft across Europe during the height of the campaign, with many countries passing anti-witchcraft laws around the 16th century.
Lucy Worsley believes that “prejudice due to witch hunting has not completely disappeared” and this can be seen in the way modern women are treated and quoted.
speaking with radio program Magazine, the 48-year-old said, “The witch was a particularly dangerous fantasy. They identified members of the community who were likely older, unmarried women, over childbearing age, who had lived in a house outside the village limits. Didn’t do anything more suspicious.
“Many people today, but perhaps especially women, feel a sense of kinship with our ancestors who were persecuted in this way. Anyone who has ever been considered a “tough” woman is a distant echo of the past. Hears.
“We like to think that we are better than the people who witch hunts, but witch hunts still happen in some parts of the world today and even that prejudice has not completely disappeared.
“It is still true that women, especially the awkward-looking and talkative, often feel the anger of men whose hair they lift.”
Devoted problem solver. Tv advocate. Avid zombie aficionado. Proud twitter nerd. Subtly charming alcohol geek.