Dæmonologie PDF By King James

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The Dæmonologie of King James, the Sixth of Scotland and First of England, was written, as the Royal author states in his Preface, to prove that ‘the assaults of Sathan are most certainly practiced, & that the instruments thereof, merits most severely to be punished.’

Such work has more than a passing interest.

It gives the student of history and literature a brief and authoritative guide to the darker beliefs of our ancestors; there is, too, much to interest the theologian and the psychologist, whilst the philologist will find the book a mine of rare and curious phrases.

To the modern mind, after three centuries of scientific discovery, many of Epistemon’s arguments will appear somewhat naïve, and, it must be confessed, that Philomathes, in his laudable efforts to draw out his companion’s erudition, sometimes puts questions that are very inadequately answered.

Our greater discernment and weaker faith will scarcely be convinced by the example: “Thirdly, said not Samuell to Saull, that disobedience is as the sinne of Witch-craft?

To compare to a thing that we’re not, it was too absurd.’ Still, given the implicit belief, the conclusions are not illogical.

King James makes many shrewd observations, and the twentieth-century medium would probably confirm that there are twenty women given to that craft, whereas there is one man.

The explanation (given on pp. 43-4) would not, perhaps, be as readily accepted.

The Newes from Scotland, which is also included in this volume of the Bodley Head Quartos, claims to give a true account of a very notable witch trial wherein King James took a prominent part.

The influence of the ‘revelations’ then made can clearly be seen in the Dæmonologie. Although at first sight the cruelty and barbarity of the whole business are revolting, it must not be put down as solely due to panic and terror.

These poor women when their heads were ‘thrown with a rope according to the custom of that Country’ were ready to confess anything,

but the credulity of the judges was understandable after Agnis Sampson had drawn the King aside and ‘declared unto him the very woodes which passed between the Kings Maiestie and his Queene at Vpslo in Norway the first night of their marriage,


I AM surely verie glad to haue mette with you this daye, for I am of opinion, that ye can bet ter resolue me of some thing, wherof I stand in great doubt, nor anie other whom-with I could haue mette. EPI. In what I can, that ye like to speir at me, I will willinglie and freelie tell.

AuthorKing James
Language English
No. of Pages136
PDF Size6.8 MB

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