The Lancashire Witches: Notes & Works Cited


  1. The marketing slogan for the Granada paperback edition of 1980.
  2. The accompanying advertisements were written in a garish ‘creepy’ font, causing Thackeray to remark that, ‘I thought I was drunk when I saw the placards in the street.’ Thackeray, ‘To Frances Fladgate’, January 1848, letter 442 of The Letters, vol. 2, 344.
  3. Thomas Potts, The Wonderfvll Discoverie of Witches in the Covntie of Lancaster. With the Arraignement and Triall of Nineteene notorious WITCHES, at the Affizes and generall Gaole deliuerie, holden at the Caftle of LANCASTER, vpon Munday, the feunteenth of Auguft laft, 1612, ed. James Crossley (Manchester: The Chetham Society, 1845.)
  4. Dr. Whitaker was a historian and collector of rare manuscripts who provided George Ormerod of the Chetham Society with material for the collection Remains Historical and Literary connected with the palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester of which Potts’s Discoverie is a part.
  5. See Keith Thomas, Religion and the Decline of Magic (London: Penguin, 1971), Chapter 14.
  6. See Christina Hole, Witchcraft in England (London: B.T. Batsford, 1977).
  7. See Gary Will, Witches and Jesuits, Shakespeare’s Macbeth (London: OUP, 1995) for an excellent example of this reading.
  8. This anticipates her father’s later comment that: ‘I am a true English-man, I love the Princes Rights and Peoples Liberties, and will defend them both with the last penny in my purse, and the last drop in my veins, and dare defy the witless Plots of Papists.’ Shadwell, III. This line was prudently omitted from the original text.
  9. In the original, the male rider and poetic voice imagines: ‘“O mercy!” to myself I cried/“If Lucy should be dead!”’ (Wordsworth, ‘Strange fits of passion I have known,’ 1800, 27 – 8).
  10. See my essay ‘Writing the Underworld: Ainsworth’s Jack Sheppard and the Newgate Controversy’ in The Life & Works of the Lancashire Novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, 1805 – 1882 (New York: EMP, 2003). Available at:
  11. See Vladimir Propp, ‘The Function of the Dramatis Personae’, XIV, Morphology of the Folktale, trans. Laurence Scott (Austin: University of Texas, 1998).
  12. See Edmund and Ruth Frow, Manchester and Salford Chartists (Manchester: Lancashire Community Press, 1996).
  13. G.P.R. James, Dark Scenes of History (London: T.C. Newby, 1849). Various historical events are presented as romantic tales, which would appeal to Ainsworth.
  14. Shirley had been published the previous month.


Ainsworth, W.H. (1881). The Lancashire Witches. A Romance of Pendle Forest. The Original Illustrated Edition of the Novels of William Harrison Ainsworth, 31 vols. London: George Routledge and Sons. (Original work published 1848).

Ainsworth, W.H. Autograph letters of W.H. Ainsworth to James Crossley, 11 vols. Manchester: Archives Section, Local Studies Unit, Central Library. (Manuscript source).

Anon. (2012). ‘Statue of Pendle Witch Alice Nutter unveiled.’ In BBC News, July 28. Available at: (accessed August 26, 2016).

Brontë, Charlotte. (1966). Jane Eyre (Q.D. Leavis ed). London: Penguin. (Original work published 1847).

Brontë, Charlotte. (1974). Shirley (Andrew and Judith Hook eds). (Original work published 1849).

Carver, Stephen James. (2003). The Life & Works of the Lancashire Novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, 1805 – 1882. New York: EMP.

Cronin, Frances. (2011). ‘The witch trial that made legal history.’ In BBC News Magazine August 17. Available at: (accessed August 25, 2016).

Crossley, James and Evans, John eds. (1881). Specially Revised Accounts of the Recent Banquet to William Harrison Ainsworth, Esq., by Thomas Baker, Mayor of Manchester. As an expression of the high esteem in which he is held by his Fellow-townsmen and of his services to literature. Manchester: Privately printed.

Dinesen, Isak (Karen Blixen) (1963). Seven Gothic Tales. London: Penguin. (Original work published 1934).

Gaskell, Elizabeth. (1886). Cranford and Other Tales, Collected Works. London: Smith, Elder & Co.

Gilbert, Sandra M. and Gubar, Susan. (1979). The Madwoman in the Attic. New Haven: Yale UP.

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang. (1979). Faust Part Two (Philip Wayne ed and trans). London: Penguin. (Original work published 1831).

Grindon, Leo H. (1892). Lancashire – Brief Historical and Descriptive Notes. London: Seeley & Co.

Hole, Christina. (1977). Witchcraft in England. London: B.T. Batsford.

Hutchinson, Thomas ed. (1985). William Wordsworth, Poetical Works. London: OUP.

Jackson, Kate. (2008). ‘Call for Pendle witches to be pardoned.’ In This is Lancashire, February 28. Available at: (accessed August 26, 2016).

Keynes, Geoffrey ed. (1972). Complete Writings of William Blake. London: OUP.

Le Fanu, J.S. (1994). Madam Crowl’s Ghost and other stories (M.R. James ed). London: Wordsworth. (Original collection published posthumously, 1923).

Mackay, Charles. (1852). Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds. 2nd. Ed. London: National Illustrated Library.

Marlowe, Christopher. (1988). The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus (John D. Jump ed). Manchester: MUP. (Original work published c.1589).

Marshall, Tyrone. (2012). ‘Burnley-based brewery Moorhouses launches official campaign to pardon the Pendle Witches.’ In The Bolton News, January 24. Available at: (accessed August 26, 2016).

Middleton, Thomas. (1994). The Witch (Elizabeth Schafer ed). London: Bloomsbury. (Original work published c.1616).

Milton, John. (1997). Paradise Lost. (Alastair Fowler ed). 2nd ed. London: Longman. (Original work published 1667).

Potts, Thomas. (1845). The Wonderfvll Discoverie of Witches in the Covntie of Lancaster. With the Arraignement and Triall of Nineteene notorious WITCHES, at the Affizes and generall Gaole deliuerie, holden at the Caftle of LANCASTER, vpon Munday, the feunteenth of Auguft laft, 1612 (James Crossley ed). Manchester: The Chetham Society. (Original work published in 1612).

Praz, Mario. (1970). The Romantic Agony (Angus Davidson trans). 2nd ed. London: OUP.

Punter, David. (1996). The Literature of Terror, A History of Gothic Fictions from 1765 to the Present Day, 2nd ed, 2 vols. London: Longman.

Raines, F.R. ed. (1969). The Journal of Nicholas Assheton of Downham, in the county of Lancaster, esq. for part of the year 1617, and a part of the year following: interspersed with notes from the life of his contemporary, John Bruen Stapleford, in the county of Chester, esq. New York: Johnson Reprint. (Original work written c. 1618).

Ray, Gordon N. ed. (1945). The Letters and Private Papers of William Makepeace Thackeray, 4 vols. London: OUP.

Rigby, Elizabeth. (1848). Rev. of Jane Eyre by Currer Bell. The Quarterly Review, 84, December.

Rowley, William. (1986). The Witch of Edmonton. In Three Jacobean Witchcraft Plays: Sophonisba; the Witch; the Witch of Edmonton (Douglas Sedge ed). Manchester: MUP. (Co-written with Thomas Dekker and John Ford; The Witch of Edmonton originally published c.1621).

Shadwell, Thomas. (1927). The Lancashire Witches, and Tegue O Devilly The Irish Priest. Collected Works (Montague Summers ed) 5 vols, vol 4. London: The Fortune Press. (Original work first performed in 1681).

Shakespeare, William. (1998). The Tragedy of Macbeth. (Nicholas Brooke ed). London: OUP. (MacBeth first performed 1606, first published in the Folio of 1623).

Shelley, Mary. (1968). Frankenstein. In Three Gothic Novels (Peter Fairclough ed). London: Penguin. (Original work published in 1818).

Shelley, Percy Bysshe. (1840). Essays, Letters from Abroad, Translations and Fragments (Mary Shelley ed). London: Edward Moxon. (‘A Defence of Poetry’ originally written in 1821).

Sprenger, James and Kramer, Heinrich. (1978). Malleus Maleficarum (Montague Summers trans). London: Dover. (Original work published c. 1486).

Thomas, Keith. (1971). Religion and the Decline of Magic. London: Penguin.

Wheatley, Dennis. (1971). The Devil and All His Works. London: Hutchinson.

Will, Gary. (1995). Witches and Jesuits, Shakespeare’s Macbeth. London: OUP.