By Reginald Scot. The complete text, and scans, is available at

4 Annotations

First Reading

Michael Robinson  •  Link

Scot, Reginald, 1538?-1599.

The discovery of witchcraft: proving, that the compacts and contracts of witches with devils and all infernal spirits or familiars, are but erroneous novelties and imaginary conceptions. Also discovering, how far their power extendeth in killing, tormenting, consuming, o curing the bodies of men, women, children, or animals, by charms, philtres, periapts, pentacles, curses, and conjurations. Wherein likewise the unchristian practices and inhumane dealings of searchers and witch-tryers upon aged, melancholly, and superstitious people, ... are notably detected. ... In sixteen books. By Reginald Scot Esquire. Whereunto is added an excellent discourse of the nature and substance of devils and spirits, in two books: the first by the aforesaid author: the second now added in this third edition, as succedaneous to the former, and conducing to the compleating of the whole work: with nine chapters at the beginning of the fifteenth book of the discovery.
London : printed for A. Clark, and are to be sold by Dixy Page at the Turks-Head in Cornhill near the Royall Exchange, 1665.

fo., [18], 292, [14], 72, [2] p. : ill. ;
"A discourse concerning the nature and substance of devils and spirits." has separate title page, with imprint "printed in the year M.DC.LXV.", and begins new pagination with quire 3A. With a final contents leaf. [A variant of the edition with "Mris. Cotes’s near the Golden-Ball in Aldersgatestreet " in the imprint, Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), S945A]
Wing (CD-Rom, 1996), S945. PL 2046

Earlier editions in 1584, 1651, 1654

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Scot's Discovery of vvitchcraft proving the common opinions of witches contracting with divels, spirits, or familiars ... to be but imaginary, erronious conceptions and novelties : wherein also, the lewde unchristian all written and published in anno 1584, by Reginald Scot, Esquire.
Scot, Reginald, 1538?-1599.
[London]: Printed by R.C. and are to be sold by Giles Calvert ..., 1651.
Early English Books Online [full text]…

Terry Foreman  •  Link

The Discoverie of Witchcraft is a partially sceptical book published by the English gentleman Reginald Scot in 1584, intended as an exposé of medieval witchcraft. It contains a small section intended to show how the public was fooled by charlatans, which is considered the first published material on magic.…

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.