School of History and School of Archaeology and Anthropology joint seminar: Reflections on Prince Rupert’s Dog

Witchcraft and Propaganda during the English Civil War


This paper explores the collection of fantastical stories which swirled around the figure of the Royalist commander Prince Rupert of the Rhine during the English Civil War of 1642-46. It investigates the tangled origins of the claim that Rupert's dog, 'Boy', was, in fact, a shape-shifting witch from Lapland who had rendered the prince invulnerable to musket-fire, and, more generally it provides a new perspective on the ways in which popular and elite ideas about politics, religion and the supernatural converged with each other during the troubled 1640's'.


Mark Stoyle is Professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton in England and has written widely on politics, religion and society in Tudor and Stuart Britain. He is particularly interested in the causes and consequences of the English Civil War and has published a series of books and articles about that conflict. His other research interests include Tudor rebellions, the early modern town, and ethnicity and identity in early modern Cornwall. Mark grew up in rural Devon, worked as an archaeologist after leaving school and was awarded his D.Phil at Oxford in 1992. He is currently writing a book about the underground passage network of medieval Exeter.
Professor Stoyle’s visit is funded by the Research School of Humanities and the Arts.


All welcome. Please direct enquiries to

Date & time

Wed 19 Mar 2014, 4.15–5.30pm


McDonald Room, Menzies Library ANU

Event series


School of History


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