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Glanvill And Webster And The Literary War Over Witchcraft 1660-1688
James I And Witchcraft
List Of Cases Of Witchcraft 1558-1718 With References To Sources And Literature
List Of Persons Sentenced To Death For Witchcraft During The Reign Of James I
Matthew Hopkins
Notable Jacobean Cases
Reginald Scot
The Beginnings Of English Witchcraft
The Close Of The Literary Controversy
The Exorcists
The Final Decline
The Lancashire Witches And Charles I
The Literature Of Witchcraft From 1603 To 1660
Witchcraft During The Commonwealth And Protectorate
Witchcraft Under Charles Ii And James Ii
Witchcraft Under Elizabeth

The Final Decline

In the history of witchcraft the years from 1688 to 1718 may be grouped
together as comprising a period. This is not to say that the year of the
Revolution marked any transition in the course of the superstition. It
did not. But we have ventured to employ it as a convenient date with
which to bound the influences of the Restoration. The year 1718 derives
its importance for us from the publication, in that year, of Francis
Hutchinson's Historical Essay on Witchcraft, a book which, it is not
too much to say, gave the final blow to the belief in England.[1]

We speak of fixing a date by which to bound the influences of the
Restoration. Now, as a matter of fact, there is something arbitrary
about any date. The influences at work during the previous period went
steadily on. The heathen raged, and the people imagined a vain thing.
The great proletariat hated witches as much as ever. But the justices of
the peace and the itinerant judges were getting over their fear of
popular opinion and were refusing to listen to the accusations that were
brought before them. The situation was in some respects the same as it
had been in the later seventies and throughout the eighties. Yet there
were certain features that distinguished the period. One of them was the
increased use of exorcism. The expelling of evil spirits had been a
subject of great controversy almost a century before. The practice had
by no means been forgotten in the mean time, but it had gained little
public notice. Now the dispossessors of the Devil came to the front
again long enough to whet the animosity between Puritans and Anglicans
in Lancashire. But this never became more than a pamphlet controversy.
The other feature of the period was far more significant. The last
executions for witchcraft in England were probably those at Exeter in
1682.[2] For a whole generation the courts had been frowning on witch
prosecution. Now there arose in England judges who definitely nullified
the law on the statute-book. By the decisions of Powell and Parker, and
most of all by those of Holt, the statute of the first year of James I
was practically made obsolete twenty-five or fifty years before its
actual repeal in 1736. We shall see that the gradual breaking down of
the law by the judges did not take place without a struggle. At the
famous trial in Hertford in 1712 the whole subject of the Devil and his
relation to witches came up again in its most definite form, and was
fought out in the court room and at the bar of public opinion. It was,
however, but the last rallying and counter-charging on a battle-field
where Webster and Glanvill had led the hosts at mid-day. The issue,
indeed, was now very specific. Over the abstract question of witchcraft
there was nothing new to be said. Here, however, was a specific
instance. What was to be done with it? Over that there was waged a merry
war. Of course the conclusion was foregone. It had indeed been
anticipated by the action of the bench.

We shall see that with the nullification of the law the common people
began to take the law into their own hands. We shall note that, as a
consequence, there was an increase in the number of swimming ordeals and
other illegal procedures.

The story of the Lancashire demonomania is not unlike the story of
William Somers in Nottingham a century before. In this case there was no
John Darrel, and the exorcists were probably honest but deluded men. The
affair started at the village of Surey, near to the superstition-brewing
Pendle Forest. The possessed boy, Richard Dugdale, was a gardener and
servant about nineteen years of age.[3] In April, 1689, he was seized
with fits in which he was asserted to speak Latin and Greek and to
preach against the sins of the place. Whatever his pretensions were, he
seemed a good subject for exorcism. Some of the Catholics are said to
have tampered with him, and then several Puritan clergymen of the
community took him in hand. For eight months they held weekly fasts for
his recovery; but their efforts were not so successful as they had
hoped. They began to suspect witchcraft[4] and were about to take steps
towards the prosecution of the party suspected.[5] This came to
nothing, but Dugdale at length grew better. He was relieved of his fits;
and the clergymen, who had never entirely given up their efforts to cure
him, hastened to claim the credit. More than a dozen of the dissenting
preachers, among them Richard Frankland, Oliver Heywood,[6] and other
well known Puritan leaders in northern England, had lent their support
to Thomas Jollie, who had taken the leading part in the praying and
fasting. From London, Richard Baxter, perhaps the best known Puritan of
his time, had sent a request for some account of the wonder, in order to
insert it in his forthcoming book on the spirit world. This led to a
plan for printing a complete narrative of what had happened; but the
plan was allowed to lapse with the death of Baxter.[7] Meantime,
however, the publication in London of the Mathers' accounts of the New
England trials of 1692[8] caused a new call for the story of Richard
Dugdale. It was prepared and sent to London; and there in some
mysterious way the manuscript was lost.[9] It was, however, rewritten
and appeared in 1697 as The Surey Demoniack, or an Account of Strange
and Dreadful Actings in and about the Body of Richard Dugdale. The
preface was signed by six ministers, including those already named; but
the book was probably written by Thomas Jollie and John Carrington.[10]
The reality of the possession was attested by depositions taken before
two Lancashire justices of the peace. The aim of the work was, of
course, to add one more contemporary link to the chain of evidence for
the supernatural. It was clear to the divines who strove with the
possessed boy that his case was of exactly the same sort as those in the
New Testament. Moreover, his recovery was a proof of the power of

Now Non-Conformity was strong in Lancashire, and the Anglican church as
well as the government had for many years been at no little pains to put
it down. Here was a chance to strike the Puritans at one of their
weakest spots, and the Church of England was not slow to use its
opportunity. Zachary Taylor, rector of Wigan and chaplain to the Bishop
of Chester, had already familiarized himself with the methods of the
exorcists. In the previous year he had attacked the Catholics of
Lancashire for an exorcism which they claimed to have accomplished
within his parish.[11] Pleased with his new role, he found in Thomas
Jollie a sheep ready for the shearing.[12] He hastened to publish The
Surey Impostor,[13] in which, with a very good will, he made an assault
upon the reality of Dugdale's fits, charged that he had been
pre-instructed by the Catholics, and that the Non-Conformist clergymen
were seeking a rich harvest from the miracles they should work.
Self-glorification was their aim. He made fun of the several divines
engaged in the affair, and accused them of trickery and presumption in
their conduct of the case.[14]

Of course Taylor was answered, and with a bitterness equal to his own.
Thomas Jollie replied in A Vindication of the Surey Demoniack. "I will
not foul my Paper," wrote the mild Jollie, "and offend my reader with
those scurrilous and ridiculous Passages in this Page. O, the
Eructations of an exulcerated Heart! How desperately wicked is the Heart
of Man!"[15]

We shall not go into the details of the controversy, which really
degenerated into a sectarian squabble.[16] The only discussion of the
subject that approached fairness was by an anonymous writer,[17] who
professed himself impartial and of a different religious persuasion from
Jollie. To be sure, he was a man who believed in possession by spirits.
It may be questioned, too, whether his assumption of fair dealing
towards the Church of England was altogether justified. But, at any
rate, his work was free from invective and displayed moderation. He felt
that the Dissenting clergymen were probably somewhat deluded. But they
had acted, he believed, under good motives in attempting to help one who
had appealed to them. Some of them were not only "serious good Men," but
men well known in the nation. This, indeed, was true. The Dissenters had
laid themselves open to attack, and doubtless some of them saw and
regretted their mistake. At least, it seems not without significance
that neither Oliver Heywood nor Richard Frankland nor any other of the
Dissenters was sure enough of his ground to support Jollie in the
controversy into which he had been led.[18]

We have gone into some detail about the Dugdale affair because of its
importance in its time, and because it was so essentially characteristic
of the last era of the struggle over the power of the Devil. There were
cases of possession not only in Lancashire but in Somersetshire and in
and around London. Not without a struggle was His Satanic Majesty
surrendering his hold.

We turn from this controversy to follow the decisions of those eminent
judges who were nullifying the statute against witches. We have already
mentioned three names, those of Holt, Powell, and Parker. This is not
because they were the only jurists who were giving verdicts of
acquittal--we know that there must have been others--but because their
names are linked with significant decisions. Without doubt Chief Justice
Holt did more than any other man in English history to end the
prosecution of witches. Justice Powell was not so brave a man, but he
happened to preside over one of the most bitterly contested of all
trials, and his verdict served to reaffirm the precedents set by Holt.
It was Justice Parker's fortune to try the last case of witchcraft in

Holt became chief justice of the king's bench on the accession of
William and Mary. Not one of the great names in English judicial rolls,
his decided stand against superstition makes him great in the history of
witchcraft. Where and when he had acquired his skeptical attitude we do
not know. The time was past when such an attitude was unusual. In any
case, from the moment he assumed the chief justiceship he set himself
directly against the punishment of witchcraft. As premier of the English
judiciary his example meant quite as much as his own rulings. And their
cumulative effect was not slight. We know of no less than eleven trials
where as presiding officer he was instrumental in securing a verdict of
acquittal. In London, at Ipswich, at Bury, at Exeter, in Cornwall, and
in other parts of the realm, these verdicts were rendered, and they
could not fail to influence opinion and to affect the decisions of other
judges. Three of the trials we shall go over briefly--those at Bury,
Exeter, and Southwark.

In 1694 he tried Mother Munnings at Bury St. Edmunds,[19] where his
great predecessor Hale had condemned two women. Mother Munnings had
declared that a landlord should lie nose upward in the church-yard
before the next Saturday, and, sure enough, her prophecy had come true.
Nevertheless, in spite of this and other testimony, she was acquitted.
Two years later Holt tried Elizabeth Horner at Exeter, where Raymond had
condemned three women in 1682. Bishop Trelawny of Exeter had sent his
sub-dean, Launcelot Blackburne (later to be Archbishop of York), to look
into the case, and his report adds something to the account which
Hutchinson has given us.[20] Elizabeth was seen "three nights together
upon a large down in the same place, as if rising out of the ground." It
was certified against her by a witness that she had driven a red-hot
nail "into the witche's left foot-step, upon which she went lame, and,
being search'd, her leg and foot appear'd to be red and fiery." These
testimonies were the "most material against her," as well as the
evidence of the mother of some possessed children, who declared that her
daughter had walked up a wall nine feet high four or five times
backwards and forwards, her face and the fore part of her body parallel
to the ceiling, saying that Betty Horner carried her up. In closing the
narrative the archdeacon wrote without comment: "My Lord Chief Justice
by his questions and manner of hemming up the evidence seem'd to me to
believe nothing of witchery at all, and to disbelieve the fact of
walking up the wall which was sworn by the mother." He added, "the jury
brought her in not guilty."

The case of Sarah Moordike of London versus Richard Hathaway[21] makes
even clearer the attitude of Holt. Sarah Moordike, or Morduck, had been
accused years before by a Richard Hathaway of causing his illness. On
several occasions he had scratched her. Persecuted by the rabble, she
had betaken herself from Southwark to London. Thither Richard Hathaway
followed her and soon had several churches praying for his recovery. She
had appealed to a magistrate for protection, had been refused, and had
been tried at the assizes in Guildford, where she was acquitted. By this
time, however, a good many people had begun to think Hathaway a cheat.
He was arrested and put under the care of a surgeon, who watched him
closely and soon discovered that the fasts which were a feature of his
pretended fits were false. This was not the first time that he had been
proved an impostor. On an earlier occasion he had been trapped into
scratching a woman whom he erroneously supposed to be Sarah Morduck. In
spite of all exposures, however, he stuck to his pretended fits and was
at length brought before the assizes at Southwark on the charge of
attempting to take away the life of Sarah Moordike for being a witch. It
is refreshing to know that a clergyman, Dr. Martin, had espoused the
cause of the witch and had aided in bringing Hathaway to judgment. Chief
Justice Holt and Baron Hatsell presided over the court,[22] and there
seems to have been no doubt about the outcome. The jury "without going
from the bar" brought Hathaway in guilty.[23] The verdict was
significant. Pretenders had got themselves into trouble before, but were
soon out. The Boy of Bilston had been reproved; the young Robinson, who
would have sent to the gallows a dozen fellow-creatures, thought it hard
that he was kept a few months confined in London.[24] A series of cases
in the reign of Charles I had shown that it was next to impossible to
recover damages for being slandered as a witch, though in the time of
the Commonwealth one woman had come out of a suit with five shillings to
her credit. Of course, when a man of distinction was slandered,
circumstances were altered. At some time very close to the trial of
Hathaway, Elizabeth Hole of Derbyshire was summoned to the assizes for
accusing Sir Henry Hemloke, a well known baronet, of witchcraft.[25]
Such a charge against a man of position was a serious matter. But the
Moordike-Hathaway case was on a plane entirely different from any of
these cases. Sarah Morduck was not a woman of position, yet her accuser
was punished, probably by a long imprisonment. It was a precedent that
would be a greater safeguard to supposed witches than many acquittals.

Justice Powell was not to wield the authority of Holt: yet he made one
decision the effects of which were far-reaching. It was in the trial of
Jane Wenham at Hertford in 1712. The trial of this woman was in a sense
her own doing. She was a widow who had done washing by the day. For a
long time she had been suspected of witchcraft by a neighboring farmer,
so much so that, when a servant of his began to act queerly, he at once
laid the blame on the widow. Jane applied to Sir Henry Chauncy, justice
of the peace, for a warrant against her accuser. He was let off with a
fine of a shilling, and she was instructed by Mr. Gardiner, the
clergyman, to live more peaceably.[26] So ended the first act. In the
next scene of this dramatic case a female servant of the Reverend Mr.
Gardiner's, a maid just getting well of a broken knee, was discovered
alone in a room undressed "to her shift" and holding a bundle of sticks.
When asked to account for her condition by Mrs. Gardiner, she had a
curious story to tell. "When she was left alone she found a strange
Roaming in her head, ... her Mind ran upon Jane Wenham and she thought
she must run some whither ... she climbed over a Five-Bar-Gate, and ran
along the Highway up a Hill ... as far as a Place called Hackney-Lane,
where she look'd behind her, and saw a little Old Woman Muffled in a
Riding-hood." This dame had asked whither she was going, had told her to
pluck some sticks from an oak tree, had bade her bundle them in her
gown, and, last and most wonderful, had given her a large crooked
pin.[27] Mrs. Gardiner, so the account goes, took the sticks and threw
them into the fire. Presto! Jane Wenham came into the room, pretending
an errand. It was afterwards found out that the errand was fictitious.

All this raised a stir. The tale was absolutely original, it was no less
remarkable. A maid with a broken knee had run a half-mile and back in
seven minutes, very good time considering the circumstances. On the next
day the maid, despite the knee and the fits she had meantime contracted,
was sent out on an errand. She met Jane Wenham and that woman quite
properly berated her for the stories she had set going, whereupon the
maid's fits were worse than ever. Then, while several people carefully
watched her, she repeated her former long distance run, leaping over a
five-bar gate "as nimbly as a greyhound."

Jane Wenham was now imprisoned by the justice of the peace, who
collected with all speed the evidence against her. In this he was aided
by the Reverend Francis Bragge, rector of Walkerne, and the Reverend
Mr. Strutt, vicar of Audley. The wretched woman asked the justice to
let her submit to the ordeal of water,[28] but he refused, pronouncing
it illegal and unjustifiable. Meantime, the Rev. Mr. Strutt used the
test of the Lord's Prayer,[29] a test that had been discarded for half a
century. She failed to say the prayer aright, and alleged in excuse that
"she was much disturbed in her head," as well she might be. But other
evidence came in against her rapidly. She had been caught stealing
turnips, and had quite submissively begged pardon, saying that she had
no victuals that day and no money to buy any.[30] On the very next day
the man who gave this evidence had lost one of his sheep and found
another "taken strangely, skipping and standing upon its head."[31]
There were other equally silly scraps of testimony. We need not go into
them. The two officious clergymen busied themselves with her until one
of them was able to wring some sort of a confession from her. It was a
narrative in which she tried to account for the strange conduct of Anne
Thorne and made a failure of it.[32] A few days later, in the presence
of three clergymen and a justice of the peace, she was urged to repeat
her confession but was "full of Equivocations and Evasions," and when
pressed told her examiners that they "lay in wait for her Life."

Bragge and Strutt had shown a great deal of energy in collecting
evidence. Yet, when the case came to trial, the woman was accused only
of dealing with a spirit in the shape of a cat.[33] This was done on the
advice of a lawyer. Unfortunately we have no details about his reasons,
but it would look very much as if the lawyer recognized that the
testimony collected by the ministers would no longer influence the
court, and believed that the one charge of using a cat as a spirit might
be substantiated. The assizes were largely attended. "So vast a number
of People," writes an eye-witness, "have not been together at the
Assizes in the memory of Man."[34] Besides the evidence brought in by
the justice of the peace, who led the prosecution with vigor, the Rev.
Mr. Bragge, who was not to be repressed because the charges had been
limited, gave some most remarkable testimony about the stuffing of Anne
Thorne's pillow. It was full of cakes of small feathers fastened
together with some viscous matter resembling much the "ointment made of
dead men's flesh" mentioned by Mr. Glanvill. Bragge had done a piece of
research upon the stuff and discovered that the particles were arranged
in geometrical forms with equal numbers in each part.[35] Justice Powell
called for the pillow, but had to be content with the witness's word,
for the pillow had been burnt. Arthur Chauncy, who was probably a
relative of the justice of the peace, offered to show the judge pins
taken from Anne Thorne. It was needless, replied the judge, he supposed
they were crooked pins.[36] The leaders of the prosecution seem to have
felt that the judge was sneering at them throughout the trial. When Anne
Thorne was in a fit, and the Reverend Mr. Chishull, being permitted to
pray over her, read the office for the visitation of the sick, Justice
Powell mockingly commented "That he had heard there were Forms of
Exorcism in the Romish Liturgy, but knew not that we had any in our
Church."[37] It must have been a great disappointment to these Anglican
clergymen that Powell took the case so lightly. When it was testified
against the accused that she was accustomed to fly, Powell is said to
have said to her, "You may, there is no law against flying."[38] This
indeed is quite in keeping with the man as described by Swift: "an old
fellow with grey hairs, who was the merriest old gentleman I ever saw,
spoke pleasing things, and chuckled till he cried again."

In spite of Powell's obvious opinion on the trial, he could not hinder a
conviction. No doubt the jury were greatly swayed by the crowds. The
judge seems to have gone through the form of condemning the woman, but
took pains to see that she was reprieved.[39] In the mean time her
affair, like that of Richard Dugdale, had become a matter of sectarian
quarrel. It was stated by the enemies of Jane Wenham that she was
supported in prison by the Dissenters,[40] although they said that up to
this time she had never been a church-going woman. It was the Dugdale
case over again, save that the parties were reversed. Then Puritans had
been arrayed on the side of superstition; now some of the Anglicans seem
to have espoused that cause.[41] Of course the stir produced was
greater. Mistress Jane found herself "the discourse of the town" in
London, and a pamphlet controversy ensued that was quite as heated as
that between Thomas Jollie and Zachary Taylor. No less than ten
brochures were issued. The justice of the peace allowed his story of the
case to be published and the Reverend Mr. Bragge rushed into print with
a book that went through five editions. Needless to say, the defenders
of Jane Wenham and of the judge who released her were not hesitant in
replying. A physician who did not sign his name directed crushing
ridicule against the whole affair,[42] while a defender of Justice
Powell considered the case in a mild-mannered fashion: he did not deny
the possibility of witchcraft, but made a keen impeachment of the
trustworthiness of the witnesses against the woman.[43]

But we cannot linger over the details of this controversy. Justice
Powell had stirred up a hornets' nest of opposition, but it meant
little.[44] The insects could buzz; but their stingers were drawn.

The last trial for witchcraft was conducted in 1717 at Leicester by
Justice Parker.[45] Curiously enough, the circumstances connected with
it make it evident that crudest forms of superstition were still alive.
Decency forbids that we should narrate the details of the methods used
to demonstrate the guilt of the suspected parties. No less than
twenty-five people banded themselves against "Old woman Norton and
daughter" and put them through tests of the most approved character. It
need hardly be said that the swimming ordeal was tried and that both
creatures "swam like a cork." The persecutors then set to work to "fetch
blood of the witches." In this they had "good success," but the witches
"would be so stubborn, that they were often forced to call the constable
to bring assistance of a number of persons to hold them by force to be
blooded."[46] The "old witch" was also stripped and searched "publickly
before a great number of good women." The most brutal and illegal of all
forms of witch procedure had been revived, as if to celebrate the last
appearance of the Devil. But the rest of the story is pleasanter. When
the case came before the grand jury at the assizes, over which Justice
Parker was presiding, "the bill was not found."

With this the story of English trials comes to an end. The statute of
James I had been practically quashed, and, though it was not to be taken
from the law books for nineteen years, it now meant nothing. It was very
hard for the great common people to realize what had happened. As the
law was breaking down they had shown an increasing tendency to take
justice into their own hands. In the case with which we have just been
dealing we have seen the accusers infringing the personal rights of the
individual, and calling in the constables to help them in their utterly
unlawful performances. This was not new. As early as 1691, if Hutchinson
may be trusted, there were "several tried by swimming in Suffolk, Essex,
Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire and some were drowned." It would be
easy to add other and later accounts,[47] but we must be content with
one.[48] The widow Coman, in Essex, had recently lost her husband; and
her pastor, the Reverend Mr. Boys, went to cheer her in her melancholy.
Because he had heard her accounted a witch he questioned her closely and
received a nonchalant admission of relations with the Devil. That
astounded him. When he sought to inquire more closely, he was put off.
"Butter is eight pence a pound and Cheese a groat a pound," murmured the
woman, and the clergyman left in bewilderment. But he came back in the
afternoon, and she raved so wildly that he concluded her confession was
but "a distraction in her head." Two women, however, worried from her
further and more startling confessions. The minister returned, bringing
with him "Mr. Goldsmith and Mr. Grimes," two of the disbelieving "sparks
of the age." The rest of the story may be told as it is given in another
account, a diary of the time. "July 3d, 1699, the widow Coman was put
into the river to see if she would sinke, ... and she did not sinke but
swim, ... and she was tryed again July 19, and then she swam again. July
24 the widow was tryed a third time by putting her into the river and
she swam. December 27. The widow Coman that was counted a witch was
buried." The intervening links need hardly be supplied, but the Reverend
Mr. Boys has given them: "whether by the cold she got in the water, or
by some other means, she fell very ill and dyed."

It must have been very diverting, this experimentation by water, and it
had become so popular by the beginning of the eighteenth century that
Chief Justice Holt[49] is said to have ruled that in the future, where
swimming had fatal results, those responsible would be prosecuted for
murder. Such a declaration perhaps caused some disuse of the method for
a time, but it was revived in the second third of the eighteenth

Popular feeling still arrayed itself against the witch. If the
increasing use of the swimming ordeal was the answer to the
non-enforcement of the Jacobean statute, it was the answer of the
ignorant classes. Their influence was bound to diminish. But another
possible consequence of the breaking down of the law may be suggested.
Mr. Inderwick, who has looked much into English witchcraft, says that
"from 1686 to 1712 ... the charges and convictions of malicious injury
to property in burning haystacks, barns, and houses, and malicious
injuries to persons and to cattle increased enormously."[50] This is
very interesting, if true, and it seems quite in accord with the history
of witchcraft that it should be true. Again and again we have seen that
the charge of witchcraft was a weapon of prosecutors who could not prove
other suspected crimes. As the charges of witchcraft fell off,
accusations for other crimes would naturally be multiplied; and, now
that it was no longer easy to lay everything to the witch of a
community, the number of the accused would also grow.

We are now at the end of the witch trials. In another chapter we shall
trace the history of opinion through this last period. With the
dismissal of the Norton women at Leicester, the courts were through with
witch trials.

[1] See below, pp. 342-343.

[2] We are assuming that the cases at Northampton in 1705 and at
Huntingdon in 1716 have no basis of fact. At Northampton two women,
according to the pamphlet account, had been hanged and burnt; at
Huntingdon, according to another account, a woman and her daughter. It
is possible that these pamphlets deal with historical events; but the
probabilities are all against that supposition. For a discussion of the
matter in detail see below, appendix A, Sec. 10.

[3] For his early history see The Surey Demoniack, ... or, an Account
of Satan's ... Actings, In and about the Body of Richard Dugdale....
(London, 1697).

[4] The Catholics do not seem, so far as the account goes, to have said
anything about witchcraft.

[5] The Surey Demoniack, 49; Zachary Taylor, The Surey Impostor,
being an answer to a ... Pamphlet, Entituled The Surey Demoniack
(London, 1697), 21-22.

[6] "N. N.," The Lancashire Levite Rebuked, or a Vindication of the
Dissenters from Popery.... (London, 1698), 3-4; see also the preface of
The Surey Demoniack.

[7] Ibid.

[8] The Wonders of the Invisible World: being an Account of the Tryals
of ... Witches ... in New England (London, 1693), by Cotton Mather, and
A Further Account of the Tryals of the New-England Witches (London,
1693), by Increase Mather. See preface to The Surey Demoniack.

[9] Thomas Jollie told a curious tale about how the manuscript had been
forcibly taken from the man who was carrying it to the press by a group
of armed men on the Strand. See ibid.

[10] Alexander Gordon in his article on Thomas Jollie, Dict. Nat.
Biog., says that the pamphlet was drafted by Jollie and expanded by
Carrington. Zachary Taylor, in his answer to it (The Surey Impostor),
constantly names Mr. Carrington as the author. "N. N.," in The
Lancashire Levite Rebuked, also assumes that Carrington was the author.

[11] The Devil Turned Casuist, or the Cheats of Rome Laid open in the
Exorcism of a Despairing Devil.... By Zachary Taylor, ... (London,

[12] It is interesting that Zachary Taylor's father was a
Non-Conformist; see The Lancashire Levite Rebuked, 2.

[13] London, 1697.

[14] The Devil Turned Casuist.

[15] A Vindication of the Surey Demoniack, 17.

[16] Taylor replied to Jollie's Vindication of the Surey Demoniack in
1698 with a pamphlet entitled Popery, Superstition, Ignorance and
Knavery ... very fully proved ... in the Surey Imposture. Then came
The Lancashire Levite Rebuked, by the unknown writer, "N. N.," whose
views we give in the text. Taylor seems to have answered in a letter to
"N. N." which called forth a scathing reply (1698) in The Lancashire
Levite Rebuked, or a Farther Vindication of the Dissenters.... Taylor's
reply, which came out in 1699, was entitled Popery, Superstition,
Ignorance, and Knavery Confess'd and fully Proved on the Surey

[17] "N. N." The Lancashire Levite Rebuked. The Rev. Alexander Gordon,
in his article on Zachary Taylor, Dict. Nat. Biog., says that
Carrington probably wrote this book. This seems impossible. The author
of the book, in speaking of Mr. Jollie, Mr. R. Fr. [Frankland], and Mr.
O. H. [Oliver Heywood], refers to Mr. C. as having "exposed himself in
so many insignificant Fopperies foisted into his Narrative"--proof
enough that Carrington did not write The Lancashire Levite Rebuked.

[18] Several dissenting clergymen had opposed the publication of The
Surey Demoniack, and had sought to have it suppressed. See The
Lancashire Levite Rebuked, 2.

[19] For an account of this case see Francis Hutchinson, Historical
Essay on Witchcraft (London, 1718), 43. Hutchinson had made an
investigation of the case when in Bury, and he had also Holt's notes of
the trial.

[20] Hutchinson had Holt's notes on this case, as on the preceding;
ibid., 45. Blackburne's letter is printed in Notes and Queries, 1st
series, XI, 498-499, and reprinted in Brand, Popular Antiquities
(1905), II, 648-649.

[21] See The Tryal of Richard Hathaway, ... For endeavouring to take
away the Life of Sarah Morduck, For being a Witch ... (London, 1702),
and A Full and True Account of the Apprehending and Taking of Mrs.
Sarah Moordike, ... accused ... for having Bewitched one Richard
Hetheway ...; see also Hutchinson, op. cit., 224-228.

[22] Ibid., 226.

[23] A somewhat similar case at Hammersmith met with the same treatment,
if the pamphlet account may be trusted. Susanna Fowles pretended to be
possessed in such a way that she could not use the name of God or
Christ. The application of a red-hot iron to her head in the midst of
her fits was drastic but effectual. She cried out "Oh Lord," and so
proved herself a "notorious Lyar." She was sent to the house of
correction, where, reports the unfeeling pamphleteer, "She is now
beating hemp." Another pamphlet, however, gives a very different
version. According to this account, Susan, under Papist influences,
pretended to be possessed in such a way that she was continually
blaspheming. She was indicted for blasphemy, fined, and sentenced to
stand in the pillory. (For the graphic titles of these contradictory
pamphlets and of a folio broadside on the same subject, see appendix A,
Sec. 7).

[24] Probably not by any court verdict, but through the privy council.

[25] See J. C. Cox, Three Centuries of Derbyshire Annals (London,
1890), II, 90.

[26] Jane Wenham (broadside); see also A Full and Impartial Account
of the Discovery of Sorcery and Witchcraft, Practis'd by Jane Wenham
... (London, 1712).

[27] This narrative is given in great detail in A Full and Impartial
Account. It is of course referred to in nearly all the other pamphlets.

[28] Jane Wenham (broadside) see also A Full and Impartial Account,

[29] Jane Wenham (broadside); see also A Full and Impartial Account,

[30] Jane Wenham (broadside); see also A Full and Impartial Account,

[31] Ibid., 14.

[32] It was suggested by some who did not believe Jane guilty, that she
confessed from unhappiness and a desire to be out of the world,
Witchcraft Farther Display'd. Containing (I) An Account of the
Witchcraft practis'd by Jane Wenham, ... An Answer to ... Objections
against the Being and Power of Witches ... (London, 1712), 37.

[33] A Full and Impartial Account, 24.

[34] An Account of the Tryal, Examination and Condemnation of Jane

[35] A Full and Impartial Account, 27.

[36] A Full and Impartial Account, 26.

[37] Ibid., 25.

[38] For this story I have found no contemporary testimony. The earliest
source that I can find is Alexander Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary
(London, 1812-1827), XXV, 248 (s. v. Powell).

[39] After her release she was taken under the protection of Colonel
Plummer of Gilston, who had followed the trial. Hutchinson, Historical
Essay on Witchcraft, 130. On his death she was supported by the Earl
and Countess of Cowper, and lived until 1730. Robert Clutterbuck,
History and Antiquities of the County of Hertford (London, 1815-1827),
II, 461, note.

[40] Witchcraft Farther Displayed, introduction.

[41] See the dedication to Justice Powell in The Case of the
Hertfordshire Witchcraft Consider'd (London, 1712).

[42] A Full Confutation of Witchcraft: More particularly of the
Depositions against Jane Wenham.... In a Letter from a Physician in
Hertfordshire, to his Friend in London (London, 1712).

[43] The Case of the Hertfordshire Witchcraft Consider'd. For more as
to these discussions see below, ch. XIV.

[44] It seems, however, that the efforts of Lady Frances ---- to bring
about Jane's execution in spite of the judge were feared by Jane's
friends. See The Impossibility of Witchcraft, ... In which the
Depositions against Jane Wenham ... are Confuted ... (London, 1712), 2d
ed. (in the Bodleian), 36.

[45] See Brit. Mus., Add. MSS., 35,838, f. 404.

[46] They could "get no blood of them by Scratching so they used great
pins and such Instruments for that purpose."

[47] See Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports, Various, I, 160; see also C. J.
Bilson, County Folk Lore, Leicestershire and Rutland (Folk Lore Soc.,
1895), 51-52.

[48] The Case of Witchcraft at Coggeshall, Essex, in the year 1699.
Being the narrative of the Rev. J. Boys ... (London, 1901).

[49] By some Parker is given the credit. I cannot find the original

[50] Inderwick, Sidelights on the Stuarts, 174, 175.

Next: The Close Of The Literary Controversy

Previous: Glanvill And Webster And The Literary War Over Witchcraft 1660-1688

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