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Here be witchmarks! Carvings to protect James I after 1605 Gunpowder Plot found in Kent rt.com... The book he wrote. Daemonologie. by King of England James I www.gutenberg.org... internetshakespeare.uvic.ca...;jsessionid=B83D3A8FE007F347B978E70B248D926C From the Daemonologie In the dialogue, the authority-figure, Epistemon, explains what kinds of "unlawful charms, without natural causes" are to be considered witchcraft: I mean by such kind of charms as commonly daft wives use, for healing of forspoken [bewitched] goods, for preserving them from evil eyes, by knitting . . . sundry kinds of herbs to the hair or tails of the goods; by curing the worm, by stemming of blood, by healing of horse-crooks, . . . or doing of such like innumerable things by words, without applying anything meet to the part offended, as mediciners do. The crucial test is that the charm works at a distance, unlike accepted medicine; it is witchcraft even when its purpose is good. In all fairness, it seems likely that by the time Macbeth was written James had become rather more skeptical; he continually warned his judges not to allow themselves to be deceived.