Between 1570 and 1630, there was intense persecution and thousands of executions of suspected witches in Lorraine, a small duchy on the borders of France and the Holy Roman Empire. In some cases, suspicious citizens waited decades to report their neighbours as witches. But why did they take so long to use the law to eliminate the supposedly dangerous figures who lived amongst them?
Robin Briggs - Emeritus Fellow at All Souls College Oxford - has delved into perhaps the richest surviving archive of witchcraft trials to be found in Europe. In this edition of Not Just the Tudors, he talks to Professor Suzannah Lipscomb about his conclusion that witchcraft was actually perceived as having strong therapeutic possibilities: once a person was identified as the cause of a sickness, they could be induced to take it off again.