Witches are one of the few archetypes that never appeared (as far as I know) as an official sub-class in either basic or advanced Dungeons and Dragons. That, despite the fact that we were promised (promised, I say!) a Witch class in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.
The 1978 Holmes edition of Dungeons and Dragons had this to say about additional character classes.
"There are a number of other character classes which are detailed in ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. They are sub-classes of the four basic classes. They are: paladins and rangers (fighting men), illusionists and witches (magic-users), monks and druids (clerics), and assassins (thieves)." [page 7]
Now, i'm not some big-city lawyer ... (gasp!) ... but it seems to me that when we are promised a sub-class in an official D&D game-book, that TSR is obligated to deliver same . I propose, therefore, the immediate activation and use of the wayback machine, in which we will travel back to 1978 and demand, from EGG, the inclusion of Witches in the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Players Handbook.
Perhaps the exclusion of a Witch class was not such a bad thing, what with the D&D hysteria that arose in the early 80's. The existence of a Witch class would certainly have added fodder to the claims that D&D was promoting devil-worship. And if you really wanted a Witch sub-class, there was an un-official version published in the pages of The Dragon, sometime in 1980 or 1981 (i'll have to check the exact issue later today). You could also have houseruled a sub-class, for use in your own campaign.
Still, there was something magical and powerful about having an "official" version of a sub-class. It gives the player some assurance that her character will not be disallowed at the table of the next DM. And it says that the archetype is sufficiently recognizable to permit its inclusion in the official rules.
I'm sure there is a story behind the Witches' exclusion from the Players Handbook. It may be as simple as "there wasn't enough room for another set of specialist spell-lists". Or it may be that Witches were considered as easily represented by the magic-user class, so we didn't need a sub-class for it. Alternatively, it may have been seen as too gender-specific, or even needlessly pandering to an almost non-existent female audience (role-playing and war-gaming being an overwhelmingly male past-time in the 70's).
One of the communication methods I have employed in my writing is to use both male and female pronouns when describing situations. I could use gender-neutral ones instead, but that seems even more complicated.
Going back and looking at the old D&D materials now, I wish there had been more talk of Gladiatrix's, Huntresses, Swordswomen, Sorceresses, Amazons, Witches, and Cutpurses, not as NPC's to be wooed, but as characters to be played.
Not because i'm into gender-bending, but because it would have sent the message that D&D was a game open to all, not just to those who were born with a Y chromosome.