Kate J. Cole

Kate J. Cole

Kate J Cole is a local historian and genealogist specialising in the history of the East of England, particularly Essex during the Tudor period. She holds a Master’s degree in Local History from Cambridge University. Her dissertation was a case study on religion and society (including witchcraft) within one North Essex town during the English Reformation. She has extensively studied many Essex Tudor women (and a few men) who were accused of being witches. Her research has included the social environment in which those accused operated within – both locally and nationally – along with the English legal system that prosecuted alleged witches. Kate has delivered a variation of her talk on the witches of Essex to an array of clubs and societies across Essex.

A passionate local historian, Kate has written several local history books on a variety of towns and villages in the east of England. She is also a published historian on the First World War, and has spoken on the BBC World Service about the famous football match that took place in the trenches on Christmas Day 1914. Kate has also been researching her own family history for the last 35 years. A quest that has taken her to diverse topics such as a Georgian breach of promise court case, the streets of Jack the Ripper’s East End of London, and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in America.

My Ancestor was a witch: The Witches of Elizabethan and Stuart Essex


In 1562 a devastating Act of Parliament against Conjurations Enchantments and Witchcrafts was passed in England. For the first time, the “common sort” could be put on trial for their life, accused of the diabolical act of witchcraft. With most legal proceedings taking place in Essex, the county became infamous for its witches. This lecture […]

Witchcraft Women