Talk:Matthew Hopkins

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Mathew Hopkins[edit]

The sharp eyed will notice the missing 'T' but Hopkins himself is known to have spelled his name with only one 'T' and there is evidence for this in many books I have read on the subject, including one such article (shown in the book) that contains his own signature. I will try and retreive or cite this info in anyway I can. SKC 19:30, 19 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

he did indeed sign himself Mathew Hopkins as shown by a deed held by Suffolk Records Office and imaged in Matthew Hopkins Witch Finder General by Richard Deacon,1976, ISBN 0584101643. Edmund Patrick confer 12:33, 17 June 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Meaningless rubbish removed by Edmund Patrick confer left by:- — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:09, 3 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Puritan or article illogicality?[edit]

looking for the Devil's mark that was supposed to be dead to all feeling and would not bleed. It was believed that the witch's familiar would drink their blood from the mark.

If it didn't bleed, how would the familiar drink blood from it?

Or put another way, is the illogicity here of the Puritans or of the article?

The devils mark is present throughout most witch finding procedures and the frequent explanation is that of the devil (Europe) or familiars (England) suckling blood. I have never heard of this mark intended to not bleed before. Where does it come from?

The mark did bleed, the witchfinders just wanted to know if it hurt. If it didn't, they were accused of being a witch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Androzaniamy (talkcontribs) 22:12, 10 January 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Guy claiming to be the reincarnation of MH[edit]

A man living in New Hampshire who is also named "Matthew Hopkins" and whose father is also curiously named "James" claims that he is in fact the reincarnation of the original Matthew Hopkins. Although he states that he has sworn off the ability to detect witchcraft, it is notable that he is a psychiatrist, and many people consider psychiatry to in fact be a modern form of witchcraft.

I removed this paragraph from the article in chief. Not sure that people claiming to be reincarnations of historical figures are worthy of notice here for that reason alone (see WP:BIO). I also question whether these assertions can be verified. Smerdis of Tlön 19:55, 13 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's back up, and I'm removing it again. Doesn't sound noteworthy, it's unsourced, and the last line sounds like someone with a thing against psychiatrists. 'You don't know the history of Matthew Hopkins, I do', anyone? eiscir 22:56, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Update: a Google search for this Wyoming psychiatrist turns up nothing. I don't think this should be added again. eiscir 22:59, 2 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Was he the inspiration for the Witchsmeller Pursuivant from Blackadder? Adam Bishop 03:07, 19 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I belive so, the common image of a Hopkin trial is very similar to that of the Blackadder trial, except for the burning which was not practices in England, we hanged ours

Dear mister editor! Exemine, please the article. Somebode vandalise it.

Recommend Deletion of non-encyclopedic language[edit]

Under the Life and Career Section:

"This boil would be known as The third nipple then he would cut her arm with a blunt knife and if she didn't bleed she was a witch, not a nice guy!"

  • There is unnecessary formatting of text (bold)
  • "not a nice guy!" is not encyclopedic —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 10 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

early life prior to career,[edit]

I have quickly added the research I have been doing for the last four months. This does mean that the link to the existing maybe poor and I would appriciate fresh eyes on the subject. two things instantly 1- dictionary of nat bio was listed as saying Grantham as place of birth now same ref says Wenham has someone a copy of the publication. Sharpe is great as a criminal historian I do not know of him as a witch historian. 2- I believe there should be a section about the books about Hopkins, which would explain why most references are in pairs and that some "biographys" are more fiction added to fact, (the case of one historian calling the author of one book a "fraudlant and a liar" being a case in point). I am starting on his career which I will add to the existing.Edmund Patrick confer 14:07, 23 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The ODNB doesn't say where Hopkins was born. What it says is: "Hopkins, Matthew (d. 1647), witch-finder, was the son of James Hopkins (d. 1634?), vicar of Wenham in Suffolk." --Malleus Fatuorum 14:11, 23 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Merge discussion[edit]

I am absolutely and fundamentally opposed to the proposed merger of this article with Matthew Hopkins in popular culture. Separating the pop culture trivia from what ought to be a serious historical account in this way has worked well on several other articles such as Adolf Hitler and the Gunpowder Plot. Including a list of heavy metal bands who may or may not have used the name witchfinder general makes the article look like it was written by a 10 year old. Malleus Fatuorum 12:52, 12 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

AgreeSlatersteven (talk)
Agree a vast imporvement on what should be a serious historical account, works elsewhere, and give those researching Hopkins in popular culture a page to hopefully find what they are looking for. Edmund Patrick confer 20:17, 12 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree with Malleus - I oppose a merger of the articles. Richerman (talk) 22:13, 12 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The reason I proposed this is that as is, the article at Matthew Hopkins in popular culture is extremely short and provided only very limited information on the subject matter. Many other articles have such sections. Whether or not sections of popular culture are particularly encyclopedic is another matter entirely, but as is the article at Matthew Hopkins in popular culture has very little use and should therefore either be merged or deleted entirely. Travelbird (talk) 02:24, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have you considered the possibility that these "many other articles" may be sub-optimal in including such pop culture trivia? Malleus Fatuorum 03:21, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also oppose any such merger. If the popular culture article is rubbish, then just delete it. Don't import rubbish here. Parrot of Doom 13:55, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
travelbird I can understand your reasoning but if my memory serves me well Matthew Hopkins in popular culture will increase in size, there are at least two recording groups that I assume will return once they find that they can, amoungst others. i hope it remains and grows and thereby keeps away from the historical article. otherwise as you say delete it. Edmund Patrick confer 19:24, 13 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • After two weeks there is clearly no consensus for this merger proposal, therefore I am removing the merge tags. Malleus Fatuorum 14:05, 27 August 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What's with the Early Life section?[edit]

It starts "Very little is known of Matthew Hopkins before 1644, with no surviving contemporary documents concerning his family, or him" and then goes on to have a rather detailed paragraph about his family including an anecdote about what a great guy his father was. Either cut the first sentence or clarify this, because right now they're completely contradictory. (talk) 21:17, 18 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The situation is correct.There are no contmproary records but a fair amount of folklore.Slatersteven (talk) 12:13, 19 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One more problem with the early life section. It states "In the early 1650s Hopkins moved to Manningtree, Essex, a town across the River Stour from Colchester, about 9 miles (14 km) from Wenham" But as he died in 1647, it seems unlikely he was getting a new lease on life three years or more after his death. Should this read 1630's or 1640's? As I don't know which, I won't edit, but someone needs to clean this up, or else we have a zombie witchfinder acting as an inkeeper. Or perhaps we should add a "Postmortem Career" section? (talk) 17:28, 19 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

just another little annoying vandal edit that slips through many thanks for noticing it. Edmund Patrick confer 05:32, 20 October 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lavenham connection?[edit]

This travelogue blog source [1] says: ".. ‘witches’ were executed in Lavenham by the order of Matthew Hopkins Witchfinder General who charged the town for his services." Is this true and does anyone have a good source? If so, I think it should be added. Thanks. Martinevans123 (talk) 22:08, 3 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some confusion may have been generated by the 1968 Vincent Price horror film Witchfinder General (film), which used Lavenham extensively as a location. See Matthew Hopkins in popular culture. Martinevans123 (talk) 13:41, 13 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Date inconsistency 1644 or 1646?[edit]

The intro to that article says "Hopkins' witch-finding career began in March 1646 and lasted until his retirement in 1647" but later states "He is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of 300 women between the years 1644 and 1646" and the body states "Hopkins began his career as a witch-finder after he overheard various women discussing their meetings with the Devil in March 1644 in Manningtree."

So which is correct?-- (talk) 17:18, 20 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

sorted thank you, not sure how or when that happened.Edmund Patrick confer 21:04, 22 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


300 is 60% of 500, not 40%, so either the article should read "their efforts accounted for about 60 per cent of the total", or the other statistics should be checked and amended so that the given percentage is consistent with the presented data. Sasha (talk) 09:34, 29 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

edited to correct, thanks, not sure how that happened, please be free to edit yourself if you come across the likes again. Be bold

Serial Killer[edit]

Interesting idea, shame it is OR. Any one seen this suggestion in RS?Slatersteven (talk) 13:28, 4 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What suggestion, please provide a link, could be worth investigating. Edmund Patrick confer 15:34, 4 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was referring to the edit inserting the idea he was a serial killer.Slatersteven (talk) 15:50, 4 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see, you are right an interesting point worthy of a discussion somewhere, but one obvious danger (to me) is the imposition of "our" values onto an historic figure and/or event. Thanks, Edmund Patrick confer 07:53, 5 January 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about Gilles de Rais he is listed as a serial killer. Not that much difference between the two.--Fruitloop11 (talk) 17:18, 7 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]