Kate J Cole
Kate J Cole is a local historian specialising in the history of the East of England, particularly Essex during the Tudor period. She holds a Master’s degree in Local History from Cambridge University. Her dissertation was a case study on religion and society (including witchcraft) within Great Dunmow during the English Reformation. She has extensively studied many Essex Tudor women (and a few men) who were accused of being witches.
Her research has included the social environment in which those accused operated within – both locally and nationally – along with the English legal system that prosecuted alleged witches. A passionate local historian, Kate has written several local history books on a variety of towns and villages in the east of England.
Tudor & Elizabethan Great Dunmow
Join local historian Kate J Cole for one or both talks on Talliston's home town during the Reformation and Essex Witch Trials
Saturday 7th April (14:30 – 22:30)
14:30 First talk arrivals
15:00 – 16:00 Religion & Society in Tudor Essex
16:00 – 17:30 Q&A & refreshments
18:00 Second talk arrivals / drinks and light supper
18:30 – 19:30 The Witches of Elizabethan Essex
Talk 1: Great Dunmow during the reign of Henry VIII
The first half of the sixteenth century was a turbulent time to live within any English town or village. The king, Henry VIII, increasingly attacked English life in his quest to rid England of the influence of the pope. This talk is about the impact of the Reformation on the rural town of Great Dunmow and how the town moved from its pre-Reformation Catholic communal life and finally embraced Henry VIII’s Reformation by publicly re-enacting a notorious and bloody murder of a prominent Scottish Catholic.
Talk 2: The Witches of Elizabethan Essex
During the sixteenth century, the cry of “She’s a witch!” was heard throughout many towns and villages across England; particularly within Essex. Our county indicted more than double the combined totals for those accused of witchcraft within Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex. Kate’s talk puts the witchcraft trials of Essex into their historical context and explores specific local cases from Great Dunmow explain why there were so many witchcraft trials in Essex.