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Hocus Pocus Junior

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Hocus Pocus Junior:The Anatomie of Legerdemain by anonymous was a 52 page book first published in 1634. It was the first illustrated book in the English language devoted entirely to the subject of magic and possibly the first from the viewpoint of a performing magician. Little is known about the actual author.

Hocus Pocus Junior
Publication Date1634

This book includes detailed work on the Cups and Balls, the first version of the Stack of Pence (also known now as "Stack of Quarters") and the Bonus Genius (Jean de la Vigne).


At 27th Collectors' Day held at the headquarters of the Magic Circle on 25 May, 2002, Dr. Philip Butterworth, Reader in Medieval Literature at the University of Leeds. Dr. Butterworth's presented research that a William Vincent was the possible author.

Table of Contents

  • 03: The Epistle to the Reader
  • 05: The originall of Legerdemaine, and how it come first into this Kingdome
  • 06: The Definiton of the Art of Legerdemaine, with its principal parts
  • 06: The end of the Art of Legerdemaine
  • 06: The Definition, or description of the Operator
  • 07: Of the Play of the Balls (Cups and Balls)
  • 15: How to make a great Ball seem to come through a Table into a Cup
  • 16: Other very pretty tricks with Bals (ancestor of Two in the Hand and One In The Pocket)
  • 17: Another
  • 17: Another
  • 18: How to make a stone seeme to vanish out of your hand
  • 18: Another
  • 19: How to make a Card vanish, and finde it again in a Nut
  • 20: How to seeme to eate a Knife
  • 20: How to rap a Wag on the knuckles
  • 21: How to seeme to swallow a long pudding made of Tinne
  • 22: How to seeme to cut ones nose halfe off
  • 23: How to seeme to pull a rope through your nose
  • 24: How to make a pile of Counters seeme to vanish thorow a Table (Stack of Pence)
  • 26: How to seeme to put a ring through ones checke
  • 27: How to seeme to thrust a Bodkin in your fore-head
  • 27: How to put a locke upon ones mouth
  • 28: The use of it
  • 29: How to breathe fire out of your mouth
  • 29: How to draw ribbins of any colour out of your mouth, and to deliver it by the yard
  • 30: How to make two Bels come into one hand, having put into each hand one
  • 30: How to make a Jugling booke, or a booke for Waggerie
  • 31: Bonus Genius or Nuntius invisibilis
  • 32: Boxes to change Graine
  • 33: How to vanish a glasse full of Beere
  • 34: How to seeme to cut off a mans head, it is called the decollation of John Baptist
  • 36: How to make the face of a Childe to appeare in a pot of water
  • 36: Adwice whereby you may drinke a Tunnell full of drinke, and afterwards seeme to poure the same all out of your sloeve againe
  • 37: How to seeme to make a tooth drop out with a touch
  • 37: Another conceipt to procure laughter
  • 38: How to make two or three egs dance upon a staffe
  • 38: A merry conceit
  • 39: How to knit a hard knot upon a handkercher, and to seem to undoe the same with words
  • 40: A notable feat of Fast and Loose; namely, to pull three beadstones from off a Cord, while you hold fast the ends thereof, without removing of your hands
  • 41: To turne a threed, and so make it whole againe with the ashes thereof
  • 42: To cut a Lace as under in the midst, and to make it whole againe (Cut and Restored Rope)
  • 43: A very strange tricke whereby you may seeme to cut a piece of Tape into 2. or 4. parts, and make it whole againe with words
  • 45: Of divers pretty jugling knacks
  • 45: Feats by conveyance of money
  • 46: A notable trick to transform a Counter into a Groat
  • 47: An excellent seat to make a twopeny peece lie plaine in your hand, and to be passed from thence when you lift
  • 47: How to transforme any one small thing into another forme by folding of paper (Buddha Papers)
  • 48: How to convey money out of one of your hands into the other by Legerdemaine
  • 49: How to make sixe pence seeme to fall thorow a Table
  • 49: How to seeme to blow a sixpence out of another mans hand
  • 50: How to deliver to one man one sixpence, and to another another sixpence, and to make both the testors come into one mans hand
  • 51: Conveyance of Cards and Dice
  • 52: Of Confederacy


  • Thirteen editions of Hocus Pocus Junior were noted by the English bibliographer Raymond Toole Stott in Bibliography of English Conjuring 1596-1876 (published in 1976). The illustrations in the second and third editions are cleaner than the illustrations in the first and they also additional material is explained.
  • 1634
  • Third Edition 1638
  • Fifth Edition 1658 - Spelled "Juinor"
  • Seventh Edition 1671
  • Tenth Edition 1683
  • 1686
  • Twelfth Edition 1691
  • Steve Burton published a hardcover edition, of the 1634 first edition (1997)


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