In the late 1500s, Britain was, spiritually speaking, in something of a confusing place for the average citizen. With the protestant reform in full swing, many old traditions were being unceremoniously cast aside by the officials, whilst still being clung to by the public, leading to a thriving underground trade in charms and trinkets and the quiet trade of conjurers, folk healers and those ministers willing to indulge the old Catholic rituals. In Cleworth Hall, an estate manor on the outskirts of Manchester, the owner, Nicholas Starkie was forced to dig into this deep underground market, when he found his household ravaged by a host of demons. Fortunately there was an exorcist willing to help, though with his ministry as controversial as it was, it would not be long before the officials would sweep him away with all the other traditions that they felt no longer had a place in a society that was rapidly changing, seemingly at times, without a rudder.

Darrell, John (1600) A True Narration…. The English Secret Press, London, UK.

More, George (1600) A True Discourse…. Richard Schilders, London, UK.

Harland, John & Wilkinson, T. T. (1867) Lancashire Folk-Lore. Frederick Warne & Co. London, UK.

Almond, Philip C. (2004) Demonic Possession & Exorcism in Early Modern England. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Orchard Halliwell, James (1642) The Private Diary of Dr John Dee. John Bowyer Nichols & Son, London, UK.

Young, Francis (2014) A History of Anglican Exorcism. I.B. Tauris, London, UK.

Walsh, Brendan C. (2021) The English Exorcist: John Darrell & The Shaping of Early Modern English Protestant Demonology. Routledge, London, UK.

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