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Thread: The wizarding world in the 1600s?

  1. #1
    piccplayr
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    The wizarding world in the 1600s?

    I am considering writing an historical fanfiction about the founding of the Salem Witch's Institute. My character would need some reason to leave England, and come to the colonies.

    What might be going on in the wizarding world during this time? How would this correlate with the events of this time in the Muggle world?

    I was considering a character who is not full blooded, possibly muggleborn or halfblood. There might be some kind of persecution similar to that of the religious persecution of the puritans. Or maybe there would be a group of purebloods that wanted to reform education, couldn't, and decided to go to the new world.

    I would love to hear what you think!

    --Caitlin

  2. #2
    Honigkuchenpferd Hufflepuff
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    This was the Tudor Era back then. Until 1547, King Henry VIII reigned.

    In 1558 his second daughter Elizabeth became queen. She created the Church of England, with the Elizabethan Religious Settlement. At the beginning she balanced the interests of Puritans (a part of which in 1570 became the Presbyterians) and Catholics. However, when the war with Catholic Spain at the end of her reign loomed, she clamped down on the Catholics.

    After Elizabeth's death (1603), her closest male relative, King James I of Scotland became king of Great Britian. There were several assassination attempts on him, one was from Catholic conspirators which caused more antipathy towards Catholics.

    So you could have your character and his/her family be Catholics who flee England and go to the Colonies.

    Or, from 1641 to 1653 there was the English Civil War - your character and family could flee to the Colonies to not get involved.

    In 1665 there was the plague in London, and in 1666, the Great Fire nearly ruined London (the city burned for five days).

    Maybe your character and family fled from the plague and fire.

    If you want to go with the Catholicism, in 1685 a Catholic king was crowned in Presbyterian England. Many of population were against him and asked the Dutch Prince William of Orange for help. He defeated the Catholic king, but the Catholics in the population refused him their allegiance. So in 1692 there was the Massacre of Glencoe where thirty-eight males of the Clan McDonald of Glencoe and another forty women and children were killed. Maybe your character is a McDonald and his/her family can flee from the massacre, hiding and then sailing to the Colonies.

    I hope this helped.

    ~Bine

    Note: For references - I used wikipedia for the historical facts and happenings.
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  3. #3
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by piccplayr
    I am considering writing an historical fanfiction about the founding of the Salem Witch's Institute. My character would need some reason to leave England, and come to the colonies.

    What might be going on in the wizarding world during this time? How would this correlate with the events of this time in the Muggle world?

    I was considering a character who is not full blooded, possibly muggleborn or halfblood. There might be some kind of persecution similar to that of the religious persecution of the puritans. Or maybe there would be a group of purebloods that wanted to reform education, couldn't, and decided to go to the new world.

    I would love to hear what you think!

    --Caitlin
    Well, Salutations Caitlin! I'm here to tell you what I think about this pressing historical matter!

    For a bit of historical background, the Plymouth settlers of 1620 were Separatists (the REALLY radical Puritans) who believed that the Church of England was totally beyond saving and were pretty much universally hated by everyone for being stuck-up, holier-than-thou gits who looked down upon anyone who smiled, for that was a sign of possession by Satan!

    All right, I'm exaggerating, but these were deeply religious and frighteningly boring people who left England so they could be free to be more pious than everyone else in peace in the New World.

    For the wizards and witches at Salem, I would imagine a somewhat parallel motivation, but instead of religion being the issue, it is the matter of blood purity. Personally, I would make the wizarding immigrants complete Pureblood fanatics whom everyone despises, since they are just incredibly unpleasant people who nobody would want to be around.

    So, just like the Muggles, these wizards and witches are also Separatists, but of a different kind who believe that English magical society is way too Muggle-friendly for their liking, so they move over to the Americas to found their own settlement of Purebloods.

    Now, I'm thinking that concerning plot, you can have a Puritan girl or boy who discovers that he or she has magical powers. Of course, this is incredibly scary to the Puritan child, because he/she/it believes that witchcraft is the Devil's work, and that he/she has been possessed or something.

    While contemplating what to do, this young Muggle-born stumbles upon the Pureblood wizarding village of Salem, able to pass through the Muggle-repelling charms. Of course, the Pure-blood fanatics are extremely hostile and shoo our young protagonist away.

    The Puritan Muggle-born boy or girl then has a brilliant idea - he/she will lead his/her townspeople to Salem to kill all of the "Satan-worshipping" witches and wizards, and doing this will "cure" him/her of the Devilish magic that has possessed our protagonist.

    With the youth's help, the Muggles manage to take the town of Salem by surprise and penetrate its magical defenses. The Muggles capture a number of witches and wizards who hadn't gotten to their wands quickly enough, and who never would have thought that Muggle "animals" were capable of such feats.

    The Puritan Muggles then burn, hang, crush, etcetera the "Satan-worshiping" witches and wizards they had found, and our young protagonist is proclaimed a hero/heroine, and he/she believes that the evil magic has been exorcised.

    But no. The strange bouts of magic mysteriously continue...

    Tim the Enchanter

  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    You should write that one yourself, Tim! I'd read it.

  5. #5
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    And for some excellent background about the early Puritans in the Colonies, give Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America's First Poet by Charlotte Gordon a shot. It is fascinating, an easy read and very very well written.

    It was shocking to me to find out how inaccurate popular culture was.

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