The major two religions in Elizabethan England were Catholic and Protestant religions,

  • Choosing the “wrong” religion brought risks to personal wealth, freedom, and life
  • Schools taught these “favored” religions; if you did not practices these religions then it would lead to great danger: Imprisonment, Torture. Execution
  • Catholics believed that the pope or the priest could forgive sins
  • Elizabethan Protestants believed that only God could forgive sins

Witchcraft and Witches

During the Elizabethan Era, people would blame unexplainable events of the work on witches

  • Women were mostly accused of being witches
  • When the deadly outbreak of the Black death occurred they also blamed it on witches
  • Queen Elizabeth passed a harsh law in 1562 leading to witch hunts
  • Types of witches include: White witch and Black witch
  • White withes were seen as a help to their community and known for healing
  • Black withes were seen as people who practice secret arts in order to harm others


Fear of supernatural and forces of Nature or God resulted in superstition

  • Elizabethan superstitions came due to the fear of witchcraft and witches
  • Some superstitions that affected the everyday life of Elizabethans were:
  • Shoes on a table – If you put shoes on a table it was very bad luck – inviting an imminent death
  • Spilling Salt or pepper – Seen as bad luck
  • It was unlucky for a black cat to cross your path

Medicine and Illnesses

Elizabethan medicine was very basic in an era when terrible illnesses kill almost one third of the population (Black Death)

  • Medicine was simple and basic in this era because doctors did not know what caused illness
  • Elizabethan illnesses were similar to modern age illnesses
  • Broken bones, wounds were treated in unsanitary places which often caused the problem to get worse
  • The only cure for a toothache was to pull it out (with no medicine or anesthetic)

Some cures are :

  • Head Pains- were treated with sweet-smelling herbs such as rose, lavender, sage, and bay
  • Cuts or Wounds- Vinegar was widely used as a cleansing agent as it was believed that it would kill disease.
author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0


    • witchcraft pretty much did not exist and it was proved…
      and burning people people who were under suspicion of a witch is a crime against humanity

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