A Most Certain, Strange, and True Discovery of a Witch. 1643. The first decades of the 17th century in England saw religious turmoil alongside a civil war between parliament and the monarchy. Part of the religious conflict during the English civil war (1642–1651), was the puritan fight against the forced monopoly of the Church of England on Christian worship in England, whose doctrines conflicted with those of Puritan worship. The religious conflict also extended into an increase of witch hysteria, mostly by the actions of the English witch hunter Matthew Hopkins (c. 1620 – 12 August 1647) who titled himself the Witch finder General. From 1644- 1647, Hopkins and his associates were responsible for more witchcraft accusations, trials and executions than in the previous 100 years, resulting in the death of 300 women between the years 1644 and 1646. This title on these wooden plaques is from a pamphlet of the same name tells of the sighting, capture and execution of a suspected witch by Parliamentary soldiers who was floating on a plank of wood on the river near Newbury, England in September 1643.