Peter Watershippe, born in 1409, was a young man beginning to practice magic in Norwich when the Raven King left England in 1434. Therefore, he witnessed firsthand the decline of English magic and wrote its history in his most noted work, A Faire Wood Withering, published in 1444.
Watershippe also wrote three other books: Death's Library (1448), A Defense of my Deeds Written while Wrongly Imprisoned by my Enemies in Newark Castle (1459/60), and Crimes of the False King (1461?, published 1697, Penzance) . The titles of the two latter volumes suggest Watershippe may have embroiled himself in matters of state and suffered consequences.
The first spell ever cast by Jonathan Strange is an adaptation by Gilbert Norrell of a Lancashire spell published in Watershippe's Death's Library .