Sec. 1.--Witchcraft under Elizabeth (see ch. II).
A large part of the evidence for the trials of Elizabeth's reign is
derived from the pamphlets issued soon after the trials. These pamphlets
furnish a peculiar species of historical material, and it is a species
so common throughout the history of English witchcraft that it deserves
a brief examination i
passing. The pamphlets were written of course by
credulous people who easily accepted what was told them and whose own
powers of observation were untrained. To get at the facts behind their
marvellous accounts demands the greatest care and discrimination. Not
only must the miraculous be ruled out, but the prejudices of the
observer must be taken into account. Did the pamphleteer himself hear
and see what he recorded, or was his account at second hand? Did he
write soon after the events, when they were fresh in his memory? Does
his narrative seem to be that of a painstaking, careful man or
otherwise? These are questions to be answered. In many instances,
however, the pamphlets were not narrative in form, but were merely
abstracts of the court proceedings and testimony. In this case, too,
care must be taken in using them, for the testimony damaging to the
accused was likely to be accented, while the evidence on the other side,
if not suppressed, was not emphasized. In general, however, these
records of depositions are sources whose residuum of fact it is not
difficult to discover. Both in this and in the narrative material the
most valuable points may be gleaned from the incidental references and
statements. The writer has made much use of this incidental matter. The
position of the witch in her community, the real ground of the feeling
against her upon the part of her neighbors, the way in which the alarm
spread, the processes used to elicit confession--inferences of this
sort may, the writer believes, be often made with a good deal of
confidence. We have taken for granted that the pamphlets possess a
substratum of truth. This may not always be the case. The pamphleteer
was writing to sell. A fictitious narrative of witchcraft or of a witch
trial was almost as likely to sell as a true narrative. More than once
in the history of witch literature absolutely imaginary stories were
foisted upon the public. It is necessary to be constantly on guard
against this type of pamphlet. Fortunately nine-tenths of the witch
accounts are corroborated from other sources. The absence of such
corroboration does not mean that an account should be barred out, but
that it should be subjected to the methods of historical criticism, and
that it should be used cautiously even if it pass that test. Happily for
us, the plan of making a witch story to order does not seem to have
occurred to the Elizabethan pamphleteers. So far as we know, all the
pamphlets of that time rest upon actual events. We shall take them up
briefly in order.
The first was The examination and confession of certaine Wytches at
Chensforde in the Countie of Essex before the Quenes maiesties Judges,
the XXVI daye of July Anno 1566. The only original copy of this
pamphlet is in the Lambeth Palace library at London and its binding
bears the initials of R. B. [Richard Bancroft]. The versified
introduction is signed by John Phillips, who presumably was the author.
The pamphlet--a black letter one--was issued, in three parts, from the
press of William Powell at London, two of them on August 13, the third
on August 23, 1566. It has since been reprinted by H. Beigel for the
Philobiblon Society, London, 1864-1865. It gives abstracts of the
confessions and an account of the court interrogatories. There is every
reason to believe that it is in the main an accurate account of what
happened at the Chelmsford trials in 1566. Justice Southcote, Dr. Cole,
Master Foscue, and Attorney-General Gerard are all names we can
identify. Moreover, the one execution narrated is confirmed by the
pamphlet dealing with the trials at Chelmsford in 1579.
The second pamphlet, also in black letter, deals with the Abingdon cases
of 1579. It is entitled A Rehearsall both straung and true of hainous
and horrible actes committed by Elizabeth Stile, alias Rockingham,
Mother Dutten, Mother Devell, Mother Margaret. Fower notorious Witches
apprehended at Winsore in the Countie of Barks, and at Abington
arraigned, condemned and executed on the 28 daye of Februarie last anno
1579. This pamphlet finds confirmation by a reference in the privy
council records to the same event (Acts P. C., n. s., XI, 22).
Reginald Scot, in his Discoverie of Witchcraft, 17, 543, mentions
another, a book of "Richard Gallis of Windesor" "about certaine witches
of Windsore executed at Abington." This would seem to have been a
different account of the Abingdon affair, because Scot also on p. 51
speaks of some details of the Abingdon affair as to be found "in a
little pamphlet of the acts and hanging of foure witches in anno 1579."
It is perhaps the one described by Lowndes, Bibliographer's Manual of
English Literature (p. 2959) under the title The horrible Acts of
Eliz. Style, alias Rockingham, Mother Dutton, Mother Dovell, and Mother
Margaret, 4 Witches executed at Abingdon, 26 Feb. upon Richard Galis
(London, 1579) or that mentioned in the Stationers' Registers, II
(London, 1875), 352, under date of May 4, 1579, as A brief treatise
conteyninge the most strange and horrible crueltye of Elizabeth Sule
[sic] alias Bockingham [sic] and hir confederates executed at
Abingdon upon Richard Galis etc.
The second Chelmsford trials were also in 1579. The pamphlet account was
called A Detection of damnable driftes, practised by three Witches
arraigned at Chelmsforde in Essex at the last Assizes there holden,
whiche were executed in Aprill 1579. There are three references in this
pamphlet to people mentioned in the earlier Chelmsford pamphlet, so that
the two confirm each other.
The third Chelmsford trials came in 1589 and were narrated in a pamphlet
entitled The apprehension and confession of three notorious Witches
arraigned and by Justice condemnede in the Countye of Essex the 5 day of
Julye last past. Joan Cunny was convicted, largely on the evidence of
the two bastard sons of one of her "lewde" daughters. The eldest of
these boys, who was not over ten or twelve, told the court that he had
seen his grandmother cause an oak to be blown up by the roots during a
calm. The charges against Joan Upney concerned chiefly her dealings
with toads, those against Joan Prentice, who lived in an Essex
almshouse, had to do with ferrets. The three women seem to have been
brought first before justices of the peace and were then tried together
and condemned by the "judge of the circuit." This narrative has no
outside confirmation, but the internal evidence for its authenticity is
good. Three men mentioned as sheriff, justice, and landowner can all be
identified as holding those respective positions in the county.
The narrative of the St. Oses case appeared in 1582. It was called A
True and just Recorde of the Information, Examination and Confession of
all the Witches taken at St. Oses in the countie of Essex: whereof some
were executed, and other some entreated according to the determination
of Lawe.... Written orderly, as the cases were tryed by evidence, by W.
W. The pamphlet is merely a record of examinations. It is dedicated to
Justice Darcy; and from slips, where the judge in describing his action
breaks into the first person, it is evident that it was written by the
judge himself. Scot, who wrote two years later, had read this pamphlet,
and knew of the case (Discoverie, 49, 542). There are many references
to the case by later writers on witchcraft.
Eleven years later came the trials which brought out the pamphlet: The
most strange and admirable discoverie of the three Witches of Warboys,
arraigned, convicted and executed at the last assises at Huntingdon ...,
London, 1593. Its contents are reprinted by Richard Boulton, in
his Compleat History of Magick, Sorcery, and Witchcraft (London,
1715), I, 49-152. There can be no doubt as to the historical character
of this pamphlet. The Throckmortons, the Cromwells, and the Pickerings
were all well known in Huntingdonshire. An agreement is still preserved
in the archives of the Huntingdon corporation providing that the
corporation shall pay L40 to Queen's College, Cambridge, in order that a
sermon shall be preached on witchcraft at Huntingdon each Lady day. This
was continued for over two hundred years. One of the last sermons on
this endowment was preached in 1795 and attacked the belief in
witchcraft. The record of the contract is still kept in Queen's College,
Brit. Mus. MSS., 5,849, fol. 254. For mention of the affair see Darrel,
Detection of that sinnful ... discours of Samuel Harshnet, 36, 39,
110; also Harsnett, Discovery of the Fraudulent Practises, 93, 97.
Several Jacobean writers refer to the case. What seems to be another
edition is in the Bodleian: A True and Particular Observation of a
notable Piece of Witchcraft--which is the inside heading of the first
edition. The text is the same, but there are differences in the paging.
Perhaps the most curious of all Elizabethan witch pamphlets is entitled
The most wonderfull and true Storie of a certaine Witch named Alse
Gooderidge of Stapenhill, who was arraigned and convicted at Darbie, at
the Assizes there. As also a true Report of the strange Torments of
Thomas Darling, a boy of thirteen years of age, that was possessed by
the Devill, with his horrible Fittes and terrible apparitions by him
uttered at Burton upon Trent, in the Countie of Stafford, and of his
marvellous deliverance, London, 1597. There are two copies of this--the
only ones of which the writer knows--in Lambeth Palace library. They are
exactly alike, page for page, except for the last four lines of the last
page, where the wording differs. The pamphlet is clearly one written by
John Denison as an abstract of an account by Jesse Bee. Harsnett,
Discovery of the Fraudulent Practices of John Darrel, 266-269, tells
how these two books were written. Denison is quoted as to certain
insertions made in his manuscript after it left his hands, insertions
which are to be found, he says, on pages 15 and 39. The insertions
complained of by Denison are indeed to be found on the pages indicated
of The most wonderfull and true Storie of ... Alse Gooderidge, thus
establishing his authorship of the pamphlet. The account by Bee, of
which this is an abstract, I have not seen. Alse Gooderidge was put
through many examinations and finally died in prison. "She should have
been executed, but that her spirit killed her in prison." John Darrel
was one of those who sought to help the boy who had been bewitched by
Alice. Darrel, however, receives only passing mention from the author of
this pamphlet. The narrative does not agree very well in matters of
detail with the Darrel tracts, although in the main outlines it is
similar to them. It is very crudely put together, and, while it was
doubtless a sincere effort to present the truth, must not be too
implicitly depended upon.
Two pamphlets are hidden away in the back of the Triall of Maist.
Dorrel (see below, Sec. 2). The first (pp. 92-98) deals with the trial of
Doll Bartham of Shadbrook in Suffolk. She was tried by the chief justice
and hanged the 12th of July, 1599. The second (pp. 99-103) narrates the
trial of Anne Kerke before "Lorde Anderson," the 30th of December, 1599.
She also went to the gallows.
There are other pamphlets referred to in Lowndes, etc., which we have
been unable to find. One of them is The Arraignment and Execution of 3
detestable Witches, John Newell, Joane his wife, and Hellen Calles; two
executed at Barnett, and one at Braynford, 1 Dec. 1595. A second bears
the title The severall Facts of Witchcrafte approved on Margaret
Haskett of Stanmore. 1585. Black letter. Another pamphlet in the same
year deals with what is doubtless the same case. It is An Account of
Margaret Hacket, a notorious Witch, who consumed a young Man to Death,
rotted his Bowells and back bone asunder, who was executed at Tiborn, 19
Feb. 1585. London, 1585. A fourth pamphlet is The Examination and
Confession of a notorious Witch named Mother Arnold, alias Whitecote,
alias Glastonbury, at the Assise of Burntwood in July, 1574: who was
hanged for Witchcraft at Barking. 1575.
The title The case of Agnes Bridges and Rachel Pinder, created by
Hazlitt, Collections and Notes, 1867-1876, out of the mention by
Holinshed of a printed account, means but The discloysing, etc. (see
p. 351). The case--see Holinshed, Chronicles (London, 1808), IV, 325,
and Stow, Annales (London, 1631), p. 678, who put the affair in
1574--was not of witchcraft, but of pretended possession. See above, p.
To this period must belong also A true report of three Straunge
Witches, lately found at Newnham Regis, mentioned by Hazlitt
(Handbook, p. 230). I have not seen it; but the printer is given as
"J. Charlewood," and Charlewood printed between 1562 and 1593. The
Stationers' Registers, 1570-1587 (London; Shakespeare Soc., 1849), II,
32, mention also the licensing in 1577 of The Booke of
Witches--whatever that may have been.
Among pamphlets dealing with affairs nearly related to witchcraft may be
mentioned the following:
A short treatise declaringe the detestable wickednesse of magicall
sciences, as Necromancie, Coniuration of Spirites, Curiouse Astrologie
and such lyke.... Made by Francis Coxe. [London, 1561.] Black letter.
Coxe had been pardoned by the Queen.
The Examination of John Walsh, before Master Thomas Williams,
Commissary to the Reverend father in God, William, bishop of Excester,
upon certayne Interrogatories touchyng Wytch-crafte and Sorcerye, in the
presence of divers gentlemen and others, the XX of August, 1566. 1566.
Black letter. John Ashton (The Devil in Britain and America, London,
1896, p. 202) has called this the "earliest English printed book on
witchcraft pure and simple"; but it did not deal with witches and it was
preceded by the first Chelmsford pamphlet.
The discloysing of a late counterfeyted possession by the devyl in two
maydens within the Citie of London. [1574.] Black letter. The case is
that of Agnes Bridges and Rachel Pinder, mentioned above (pp. 59, 351).
The Wonderfull Worke of God shewed upon a Chylde, whose name is William
Withers, being in the Towne of Walsam ... Suffolk, who, being Eleven
Yeeres of age, laye in a Traunce the Space of Tenne Days ... and hath
continued the Space of Three Weeks, London, 1581. Written by John
Phillips. This pamphlet is mentioned by Sidney Lee in his article on
John Phillips in the Dict. Nat. Biog.
A Most Wicked worke of a Wretched Witch (the like whereof none can
record these manie yeares in England) wrought on the Person of one
Richard Burt, servant to Maister Edling of Woodhall in the Parrish of
Pinner in the Countie of Myddlesex, a myle beyond Harrow. Latelie
committed in March last, An. 1592 and newly recognized acording to the
truth. By G. B. maister of Artes. [London, 1593.] See Hazlitt,
Collections and Notes, 1867-1877. The pamphlet may be found in the
library of Lambeth Palace. The story is a curious one; no action seems
to have been taken.
A defensative against the poyson of supposed prophecies, not hitherto
confuted by the penne of any man; which being eyther uppon the warrant
and authority of old paynted bookes, expositions of dreames, oracles,
revelations, invocations of damned spirits ... have been causes of great
disorder in the commonwealth and chiefly among the simple and unlearned
people. Henry Howard, afterwards Earl of Northampton, was the author of
this "defensative." It appeared about 1581-1583, and was revised and
reissued in 1621.
Three Elizabethan ballads on witches are noted by Hazlitt,
Bibliographical Collections and Notes, 2d series (London, 1882): A
warnynge to wytches, published in 1585, The scratchinge of the
wytches, published in 1579, and A lamentable songe of Three Wytches of
Warbos, and executed at Huntingdon, published in 1593. Already in
1562-3 "a boke intituled A poosye in forme of a visyon, agaynste wytche
Crafte, and Sosyrye," written "in myter" by John Hall, had been
published (Stationers' Registers, 1557-1570, p. 78).
Some notion of the first step in the Elizabethan procedure against a
witch may be gathered from the specimens of "indictments" given in the
old formula book of William West, Simboleography (pt. ii, first
printed in 1594). Three specimens are given; two are of indictments "For
killing a man by witchcraft upon the statute of Anno 5. of the Queene,"
the third is "For bewitching a Horse, whereby he wasted and became
worse." As the documents in such bodies of models are usually genuine
papers with only a suppression of the names, it is probable that the
dates assigned to the indictments noted--the 34th and 35th years of
Elizabeth--are the true ones, and that the initials given, "S. B. de C.
in comit. H. vidua," "Marg' L. de A. in com' E. Spinster," and "Sara B.
de C. in comitatu Eb. vidua," are those of the actual culprits and of
their residences. Yorkshire is clearly one of the counties meant. It
was, moreover, West's own county.
Sec. 2.--The Exorcists (see ch. IV).
The account of Elizabethan exorcism which we have given is necessarily
one-sided. It deals only with the Puritan movement--if Darrel's work may
be so called--and does not treat the Catholic exorcists. We have omitted
the performances of Father Weston and his coadjutors because they had
little or no relation to the subject of witchcraft. Those who wish to
follow up this subject can find a readable discussion of it by T. G. Law
in the Nineteenth Century for March, 1894, "Devil Hunting in
It is a rather curious fact that the Puritan exorcist has never, except
for a few pages by S. R. Maitland, in his Puritan Thaumaturgy (London,
1842), been made a study. Without doubt he, his supporters, and his
enemies were able between them to make a noise in their own time. To be
convinced of that one need only read the early seventeenth-century
dramatists. It may possibly be that Darrel was not the mere impostor his
enemies pictured him. Despite his trickery it may be that he had really
a certain hypnotic control over William Somers and perhaps over
Whatever else Darrel may have been, he was a ready pamphleteer. His
career may easily be traced in the various brochures put forth, most of
them from his own pen. Fortunately we have the other side presented by
Samuel Harsnett, and by two obscure clergymen, John Deacon and John
Walker. The following is a tentative list of the printed pamphlets
dealing with the subject:
A Breife Narration of the possession, dispossession, and repossession
of William Sommers: and of some proceedings against Mr. John Dorrel
preacher, with aunsweres to such objections.... Together with certaine
depositions taken at Nottingham ..., 1598. Black letter. This was
written either by Darrel or at his instigation.
An Apologie, or defence of the possession of William Sommers, a yong
man of the towne of Nottingham.... By John Darrell, Minister of Christ
Jesus.... [1599?] Black letter. This work is undated, but, to judge
from the preface, it was probably written soon after both Darrel and
More were imprisoned. It is quite clear too that it was written before
Harsnett's Discovery of the Fraudulent Practices of John Darrel, for
Darrel says that he hears that the Bishop of London is writing a book
The Triall of Maist. Dorrel, or A Collection of Defences against
Allegations.... 1599. This seems written by Darrel himself; but the
Huth catalogue (V, 1643) ascribes it to James Bamford.
A brief Apologie proving the possession of William Sommers. Written by
John Dorrel, a faithful Minister of the Gospell, but published without
his knowledge.... 1599.
A Discovery of the Fraudulent Practises of John Darrel, Bacheler of
Artes ..., London, 1599. The "Epistle to the Reader" is signed "S. H.,"
i. e., Samuel Harsnett, then chaplain to the Bishop of London. The
book is an exposure, in 324 pages, of Darrel's various impostures, and
is based mainly on the depositions given in his trial at Lambeth.
A True Narration of the strange and grevous Vexation by the Devil of
seven persons in Lancashire ..., 1600. Written by Darrel. Reprinted in
1641 with the title A True Relation of the grievous handling of William
Somers of Nottingham. It is again reprinted in the Somers Tracts,
III, and is the best known of the pamphlets.
A True Discourse concerning the certaine possession and dispossession
of 7 persons in one familie in Lancashire, which also may serve as part
of an Answere to a fayned and false Discoverie.... By George More,
Minister and Preacher of the Worde of God ..., 1600. More was Darrel's
associate in the Cleworth performances and suffered imprisonment with
A Detection of that sinnful, shamful, lying, and ridiculous discours of
Samuel Harshnet. 1600. This is Darrel's most abusive work. He takes up
Harsnett's points one by one and attempts to answer them.
Dialogicall Discourses of Spirits and Divels by John Deacon [and] John
Walker, Preachers, London, 1601.
A Summarie Answere to al the Material Points in any of Master Darel his
bookes, More especiallie to that one Booke of his, intituled, the
Doctrine of the Possession and Dispossession of Demoniaks out of the
word of God. By John Deacon [and] John Walker, Preachers, London, 1601.
The "one Booke" now answered is a part of Darrel's A True Narration.
The Discourses are dedicated to Sir Edmund Anderson and other men
eminent in the government and offer in excuse that "the late bred
broyles ... doe mightilie over-runne the whole Realme."
A Survey of Certaine Dialogical Discourses, written by John Deacon and
John Walker ... By John Darrell, minister of the gospel ..., 1602.
The Replie of John Darrell, to the Answer of John Deacon, and John
Walker concerning the doctrine of the Possession and Dispossession of
Demoniakes ..., 1602.
Harsnett's second work must not be omitted from our account. In his
famous Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures, 1603 and 1605, he
shows to even better advantage than in the earlier work his remarkable
talents as an exposer and gives freer play to his wicked humor.
A True and Breife Report of Mary Glover's Vexation, and of her
deliverance by the meanes of fastinge and prayer.... By John Swan,
student in Divinitie ..., 1603.
This narrates another exorcism in which a number of clergymen
participated. Swan, the author, in his dedication to the king, takes up
the cudgels vigorously against Harsnett. Elizabeth Jackson was accused
of having bewitched her, and was indicted. Justice Anderson tried the
case and showed himself a confirmed believer in witchcraft. But the king
was of another mind and sent, to examine the girl, a physician, Dr.
Edward Jorden, who detected her imposture and explained it in his
pamphlet, A briefe discourse of a disease called the Suffocation of the
Mother, Written uppon occasion which hath beene of late taken thereby,
to suspect possession of an evill spirit.... (London, 1603). He was
opposed by the author of a book still unprinted, "Mary Glover's late
woefull case ... by Stephen Bradwell.... 1603" (Brit. Mus., Sloane,
831). But see also below, appendix C, under 1602-1603.
One other pamphlet dealing with this same episode must be mentioned.
Hutchinson, Historical Essay on Witchcraft, and George Sinclar,
Satan's Invisible World Discovered (Edinburgh, 1685), had seen an
account by the Rev. Lewis Hughes (in his Certaine Grievances) of the
case of Mother Jackson, who was accused of bewitching Mary Glover.
Although Hughes's tale was not here published until 1641-2, the events
with which it deals must all have taken place in 1602 or 1603. Sir John
Crook is mentioned as recorder of London and Sir Edmund Anderson as
chief justice. "R. B.," in The Kingdom of Darkness (London, 1688),
gives the story in detail, although misled, like Hutchinson, into
assigning it to 1642.
It remains to mention certain exorcist pamphlets of which we possess
only the titles:
A history of the case of Catherine Wright. No date; written presumably
by Darrel and given by him to Mrs. Foljambe, afterwards Lady Bowes. See
C. H. and T. Cooper, Athenae Cantabrigienses (Cambridge, 1858-1861),
Darrel says that there was a book printed about "Margaret Harrison of
Burnham-Ulpe in Norfolk and her vexation by Sathan." See Detection of
that sinnfull ... discours of Samuel Harshnet, 36, and Survey of
Certaine Dialogical Discourses, 54.
The strange Newes out of Sommersetshire, Anno 1584, tearmed, a
dreadfull discourse of the dispossessing of one Margaret Cooper at
Ditchet, from a devill in the likenes of a headlesse beare. Referred to
by Harsnett, Discovery of the Fraudulent Practises of John Darrel, 17.
A ballad seems to have been written about the Somers case. Extracts from
it are given by Harsnett, ibid., 34, 120.
Sec. 3.--James I and Witchcraft and Notable Jacobean Cases (see chs. V,
The Most Cruell and Bloody Murther committed by an Innkeepers Wife
called Annis Dell, and her Sonne George Dell, Foure Yeares since....
With the severall Witch-crafts and most damnable practices of one Iohane
Harrison and her Daughter, upon several persons men and women at
Royston, who were all executed at Hartford the 4 of August last past
1606. So far as the writer knows, there is no contemporary reference to
confirm the executions mentioned in this pamphlet. The story itself is a
rather curious one with a certain literary flavor. This, however, need
not weigh against it. It seems possible rather than probable that the
narrative is a fabrication.
The severall notorious and lewd Cosenages of Iohn West and Alice West,
falsely called the King and Queene of Fayries ... convicted ... 1613,
London, 1613. This might pass in catalogues as a witch pamphlet. It is
an account of two clever swindlers and of their punishment.
The Witches of Northamptonshire.
Agnes Browne } Arthur Bill }
Joane Vaughan} Hellen Jenkenson} Witches.
Mary Barber }
Who were all executed at Northampton the 22. of July last. 1612.
Concerning this same affair there is an account in MS., "A briefe
abstract of the arraignment of nine witches at Northampton, July 21,
1621" (Brit. Mus., Sloane, 972). This narrative has, in common with the
printed narrative, the story of Mistress Belcher's and Master Avery's
sufferings from witchcraft. It mentions also Agnes Brown and Joan Brown
(or Vaughan) who, according to the other account, were hanged. All the
other names are different. But it is nevertheless not hard to reconcile
the two accounts. The "briefe abstract" deals with the testimony taken
before the justices of the peace on two charges; the Witches of
Northamptonshire with the final outcome at the assizes. Three of those
finally hanged were not concerned in the first accusations and were
brought in from outlying districts. On the other hand, most of those who
were first accused by Belcher and Avery seem not to have been indicted.
The Wonderfull Discoverie of Witches in the countie of Lancaster. With
the Arraignement and Triall of Nineteene notorious Witches, at the
Assizes and generall Gaole deliverie, holden at the Castle of Lancaster,
upon Munday, the seventeenth of August last, 1612. Before Sir James
Altham, and Sir Edward Bromley.... Together with the Arraignement and
Triall of Jennet Preston, at the Assizes holden at the Castle of Yorke,
the seven and twentieth day of Julie last past.... Published and set
forth by commandement of his Majesties Justices of Assize in the North
Parts. By Thomas Potts, Esq. London, 1613. Reprinted by the Chetham
Soc, J. Crossley, ed., 1845. Thomas Potts has given us in this book the
fullest of all English witch accounts. No other narrative offers such an
opportunity to examine the character of evidence as well as the court
procedure. Potts was very superstitious, but his account is in good
Witches Apprehended, Examined and Executed, for notable villanies by
them committed both by Land and Water. With a strange and most true
trial how to know whether a woman be a Witch or not. London, 1613.
A Booke of the Wytches Lately condemned and executed at Bedford,
1612-1613. I have seen no copy of this pamphlet, the title of which is
given by Edward Arber, Transcript of the Registers of the Company of
Stationers of London, 1554-1640 (London, 1875-1894), III, 234b.... The
story is without doubt the same as that told in the preceding pamphlet.
We have no absolutely contemporary reference to this case. Edward
Fairfax, who wrote in 1622, had heard of the case--probably, however,
from the pamphlet itself. But we can be quite certain that the narrative
was based on an actual trial and conviction. Some of the incidental
details given are such as no fabricator would insert.
In the MS., "How to discover a witch," Brit. Mus., Add. MSS., 36,674, f.
148, there is a reference to a detail of Mother Sutton's ordeal not
given in the pamphlet I have used.
A Treatise of Witchcraft.... With a true Narration of the Witchcrafts
which Mary Smith, wife of Henry Smith, Glover, did practise ... and
lastly, of her death and execution ... By Alexander Roberts, B. D. and
Preacher of Gods Word at Kings-Linne in Norffolke. London, 1616. The
case of Mary Smith is taken up at p. 45. This account was dedicated to
the "Maior" and aldermen, etc., of "Kings Linne" and was no doubt
semi-official. It is reprinted in Howell, State Trials, II.
The Wonderful Discoverie of the Witchcrafts of Margaret and Phillip
Flower, daughters of Joan Flower neere Bever Castle: executed at
Lincolne, March 11, 1618. Who were specially arraigned and condemned
before Sir Henry Hobart and Sir Edward Bromley, Judges of Assize, for
confessing themselves actors in the destruction of Henry, Lord Rosse,
with their damnable practises against others the Children of the Right
Honourable Francis Earle of Rutland. Together with the severall
Examinations and Confessions of Anne Baker, Joan Willimot, and Ellen
Greene, Witches in Leicestershire, London, 1619. For confirmation of
the Rutlandshire witchcraft see Cal. St. P., Dom., 1619-1623, 129;
Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports, Rutland, IV, 514. See also Gentleman's
Magazine, LXXIV, pt. ii, 909: "On the monument of Francis, sixth earl
of Rutland, in Bottesford church, Leicestershire, it is recorded that by
his second lady he had 'two Sons, both which died in their infancy by
wicked practices and sorcery.'"
Another pamphlet seems to have been issued about the affair: Strange
and wonderfull Witchcrafts, discovering the damnable Practises of seven
Witches against the Lives of certain noble Personages and others of this
Kingdom; with an approved Triall how to find out either Witch or any
Apprentise to Witchcraft, 1621. Another edition in 1635; see Lowndes.
The Wonderfull discoverie of Elizabeth Sawyer ... late of Edmonton, her
conviction, condemnation and Death.... Written by Henry Goodcole,
Minister of the word of God, and her continuall Visiter in the Gaole of
Newgate.... 1621. The Reverend Mr. Goodcole wrote a plain,
unimaginative story, the main facts of which we cannot doubt. They are
supported moreover by Dekker and Ford's play, The Witch of Edmonton,
which appeared within a year. Goodcole refers to the "ballets" written
about this case.
The Boy of Bilson: or A True Discovery of the Late Notorious Impostures
of Certaine Romish Priests in their pretended Exorcisme, or expulsion of
the Divell out of a young Boy, named William Perry.... London, 1622.
Preface signed by Ryc. Baddeley. This is an account of a famous
imposture. It is really a pamphlet against the Catholic exorcists. On
pp. 45-54 is given a reprint of the Catholic account of the affair; on
pp. 55-75 the exposure of the imposture is related. We can confirm this
account by Arthur Wilson, Life and Reign of James I, 107-111, and by
John Webster, Displaying of Supposed Witchcraft, 274.
A Discourse of Witchcraft As it was acted in the Family of Mr. Edward
Fairfax of Fuystone in the County of York, in the year 1621. Edited by
R. Monckton Milnes (the later Lord Houghton) for vol. V of Miscellanies
of the Philobiblon Soc. (London, 1858-1859, 299 pages). The editor says
the original MS. is still in existence. Edward Fairfax was a natural
brother of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton. He translated into English
verse Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered, and accomplished other poetic
feats. His account of his children's bewitchment and of their trances is
very detailed. The book was again published at Harrogate in 1882, under
the title of Daemonologia: a Discourse on Witchcraft, with an
introduction and notes by William Grainge.
Sec. 4.--Matthew Hopkins (see ch. VIII).
A Most certain, strange and true Discovery of a Witch, Being overtaken
by some of the Parliament Forces, as she was standing on a small
Planck-board and sayling on it over the River of Newbury, Together with
the strange and true manner of her death. 1643. The tale told here is a
curious one. The soldiers saw a woman crossing the river on a plank,
decided that she was a witch, and resolved to shoot her. "She caught
their bullets in her hands and chew'd them." When the "veines that
crosse the temples of the head" were scratched so as to bleed, she lost
her power and was killed by a pistol shot just below the ear. It is not
improbable that this distorted tale was based on an actual happening in
the war. See Mercurius Civicus, September 21-28, 1643.
A Confirmation and Discovery of Witch-craft ... together with the
Confessions of many of those executed since May 1645.... By John Stearne
... London, 1648.
The Examination, Confession, Triall, and Execution of Joane Williford,
Joan Cariden and Jane Hott: who were executed at Feversham, in Kent ...
all attested under the hand of Robert Greenstreet, Maior of Feversham.
London, 1645. This pamphlet has no outside evidence to confirm its
statements, but it has every appearance of being a true record of
A true and exact Relation of the severall Informations, Examinations,
and Confessions of the late Witches arraigned and executed in the County
of Essex. Who were arraigned and condemned at the late Sessions, holden
at Chelmesford before the Right Honorable Robert, Earle of Warwicke, and
severall of his Majesties Justices of Peace, the 29 of July 1645....
London, 1645. Reprinted London, 1837; also embodied in Howell, State
Trials. This is a very careful statement of the court examinations,
drawn up by "H. F." In names and details it has points of coincidence
with the True Relation about the Bury affair; see next paragraph
below. It is supported, too, by Arthur Wilson's account of the affair;
see Francis Peck, Desiderata Curiosa (ed. of London, 1779), II, 476.
A True Relation of the Araignment of eighteene Witches at St.
Edmundsbury, 27th August 1645.... As also a List of the names of those
that were executed. London, 1645. There is abundance of corroborative
evidence for the details given in this pamphlet. It fits in with the
account of the Essex witches; its details are amplified by Stearne,
Confirmation of Witchcraft, Clarke, Lives of sundry Eminent Persons,
John Walker, Suffering of the Clergy ... in the Grand Rebellion
(London, 1714), and others. The narrative was written in the interim
between the first and second trials at Bury.
Strange and fearfull newes from Plaisto in the parish of Westham neere
Bow foure miles from London, London, 1645. Unimportant.
The Lawes against Witches and Conjuration, and Some brief Notes and
Observations for the Discovery of Witches. Being very Usefull for these
Times wherein the Devil reignes and prevailes.... Also The Confession of
Mother Lakeland, who was arraigned and condemned for a Witch at Ipswich
in Suffolke.... By authority. London, 1645. The writer of this pamphlet
acknowledges his indebtedness to Potts, Discoverie of Witches in the
countie of Lancaster (1613), and to Bernard, Guide to Grand Jurymen
(1627). These books had been used by Stearne and doubtless by Hopkins.
This pamphlet expresses Hopkins's ideas, it is written in Hopkins's
style--so far as we know it--and it may have been the work of the
witchfinder himself. That might explain, too, the "by authority" of the
Signes and Wonders from Heaven.... Likewise a new discovery of Witches
in Stepney Parish. And how 20. Witches more were executed in Suffolk
this last Assise. Also how the Divell came to Soffarn to a Farmers house
in the habit of a Gentlewoman on horse backe. London, . Mentions
the Chelmsford, Suffolk, and Norfolk trials.
The Witches of Huntingdon, their Examinations and Confessions ...,
London, 1646. This work is dedicated to the justices of the peace for
the county of Huntingdon; the dedication is signed by John Davenport.
Three of the witches whose accusations are here presented are mentioned
by Stearne (Confirmation of Witchcraft, 11, 13, 20-21, 42).
The Discovery of Witches: in answer to severall Queries, lately
Delivered to the Judges of Assize for the County of Norfolk. And now
published by Matthew Hopkins, Witchfinder. For the Benefit of the Whole
Kingdome.... London, 1647. Hopkins's and Stearne's accounts fit into
each other and are the two best sources for ch. VIII.
The [D]Ivell in Kent, or His strange Delusions at Sandwitch, London,
1647. Has nothing to do with witches; shows the spirit of the times.
A strange and true Relation of a Young Woman possest with the Devill.
By name Joyce Dovey dwelling at Bewdley neer Worcester ... as it was
certified in a Letter from Mr. James Dalton unto Mr. Tho. Groome,
Ironmonger over against Sepulchres Church in London.... Also a Letter
from Cambridge, wherein is related the late conference between the Devil
(in the shape of a Mr. of Arts) and one Ashbourner, a Scholler of S.
Johns Colledge ... who was afterwards carried away by him and never
heard of since onely his Gown found in the River, London, 1647. In the
first narrative a woman after hearing a sermon fell into fits. The
second narrative was probably based upon a combination of facts and
The Full Tryals, Examination and Condemnation of Four Notorious
Witches, At the Assizes held in Worcester on Tuseday the 4th of March
... As also Their Confessions and last Dying Speeches at the place of
Execution, with other Amazing Particulars ..., London, printed by "I.
W.," no date. Another edition of this pamphlet (in the Bodleian) bears
the date 1700 and was printed for "J. M." in Fleet street. This is a
most interesting example of a made-to-order witch pamphlet. The preface
makes one suspect its character: "the following narrative coming to my
hand." The accused were Rebecca West, Margaret Landis, Susan Cook, and
Rose Hallybread. Now, all these women were tried at Chelmsford in 1645,
and their examinations and confessions printed in A true and exact
Relation. The wording has been changed a little, several things have
been added, but the facts are similar; see A true and exact
Relation,10, 11, 13-15, 27. When the author of the Worcester pamphlet
came to narrate the execution he wandered away from his text and
invented some new particulars. The women were "burnt at the stak." They
made a "yelling and howling." Two of them were very "stubborn and
refractory." Cf. below, Sec. 10.
The Devill seen at St. Albans, Being a true Relation How the Devill was
seen there in a Cellar, in the likenesse of a Ram; and how a Butcher
came and cut his throat, and sold some of it, and dressed the rest for
himselfe, inviting many to supper ..., 1648. A clever lampoon.
Sec. 5.--Commonwealth and Protectorate (see ch. IX).
The Divels Delusions or A faithfull relation of John Palmer and
Elizabeth Knott two notorious Witches lately condemned at the Sessions
of Oyer and Terminer in St. Albans ..., 1649. The narrative purports to
be taken from a letter sent from St. Alban's. It deals with the
practices of two good witches who were finally discovered to be black
witches. The tale has no outside confirmation.
Wonderfull News from the North, Or a True Relation of the Sad and
Grievous Torments Inflicted upon the Bodies of three Children of Mr.
George Muschamp, late of the County of Northumberland, by Witchcraft,
... As also the prosecution of the sayd Witches, as by Oaths, and their
own Confessions will appear and by the Indictment found by the Jury
against one of them, at the Sessions of the Peace held at Alnwick, the
24 day of April 1650, London, 1650. Preface signed: "Thine, Mary
Moore." This pamphlet bears all through the marks of a true narrative.
It is written evidently by a friend of the Mistress Muschamp who had
such difficulty in persuading the north country justices, judges, and
sheriffs to act. The names and the circumstances fit in with other known
The strange Witch at Greenwich haunting a Wench, 1650. Unimportant.
A Strange Witch at Greenwich, 1650.
The last two pamphlets are mentioned by Lowndes. The second pamphlet I
have not seen; as, however, Lowndes cites the title of the first
incorrectly, it is very possible that he has given two titles for the
The Witch of Wapping, or an Exact and Perfect Relation of the Life and
Devilish Practises of Joan Peterson, who dwelt in Spruce Island, near
Wapping; Who was condemned for practising Witchcraft, and sentenced to
be Hanged at Tyburn, on Munday the 11th of April 1652, London, 1652.
A Declaration in Answer to several lying Pamphlets concerning the Witch
of Wapping, ... shewing the Bloudy Plot and wicked Conspiracy of one
Abraham Vandenhemde, Thomas Crompton, Thomas Collet, and others,
London, 1652. This pamphlet is described above, pp. 214-215.
The Tryall and Examinations of Mrs. Joan Peterson before the Honourable
Bench at the Sessions house in the Old Bayley yesterday. . This
states the case against Mistress Joan in the title, but (unless the
British Museum copy is imperfect) gives no details.
Doctor Lamb's Darling, or Strange and terrible News from Salisbury;
Being A true, exact, and perfect Relation of the great and wonderful
Contract and Engagement made between the Devil, and Mistris Anne
Bodenham; with the manner how she could transform herself into the shape
of a Mastive Dog, a black Lyon, a white Bear, a Woolf, a Bull, and a
Cat.... The Tryal, Examinations, and Confession ... before the Lord
Chief Baron Wild.... By James [Edmond?] Bower, Cleric, London, 1653.
This is the first account of the affair and is a rather crude one.
Doctor Lamb Revived, or, Witchcraft condemn'd in Anne Bodenham ... who
was Arraigned and Executed the Lent Assizes last at Salisbury, before
the Right Honourable the Lord Chief Baron Wild, Judge of the Assize....
By Edmond Bower, an eye and ear Witness of her Examination and
Confession, London, 1653. Bower's second and more detailed account. It
is dedicated to the judge by the writer, who had a large part in the
affair and frequently interviewed the witch. He does not present a
record of examinations, but gives a detailed narrative of the entire
affair. He throws out hints about certain phases of the case and rouses
curiosity without satisfying it. His story of Anne Bodenham is, however,
clear and interesting. The celebrated Aubrey refers to the case in his
Remaines of Gentilisme and Judaisme, 261. His account, which tallies
well with that of Bower, he seems to have derived from Anthony Ettrick
"of the Middle Temple," who was a "curious observer of the whole
A Prodigious and Tragicall History of the Arraignment, Tryall,
Confession, and Condemnation of six Witches at Maidstone, in Kent, at
the Assizes there held in July, Fryday 30, this present year, 1652.
Before the Right Honourable, Peter Warburton.... Collected from the
Observations of E. G. Gent, a learned person, present at their
Conviction and Condemnation, and digested by H. F. Gent., London, 1652.
It is a pity that the digesting was not omitted. The account, however,
is trustworthy. Mention is made of this trial by Elias Ashmole in his
Diary (London, 1717) and by The Faithful Scout, July 30-August 7,
The most true and wonderfull Narration of two women bewitched in
Yorkshire: Who camming to the Assizes at York to give in Evidence
against the Witch after a most horrible noise to the terror and
amazement of all the beholders, did vomit forth before the Judges, Pins,
wool.... Also a most true Relation of a young Maid ... who ... did ...
vomit forth wadds of straw, with pins a crosse in them, iron Nails,
Needles, ... as it is attested under the hand of that most famour
Phisitian Doctor Henry Heers, ... 1658. In the Bodleian. The writer of
this pamphlet had little information to give and seems to have got it at
second or third hand.
A more Exact Relation of the most lamentable and horrid Contract which
Lydia Rogers, living in Pump-Ally in Wapping, made with the Divel....
Together with the great pains and prayers of many eminent Divines, ...
1658. In the Bodleian. This is a "Relation of a woman who heretofore
professing Religion in the purity thereof fel afterwards to be a
sectary, and then to be acquainted with Astrologers, and afterwards with
the Divel himself." A poor woman "naturally inclin'd to melancholy"
believed she had made a contract with the Devil. "Many Ministers are
dayly with her."
The Snare of the Devill Discovered: Or, A True and perfect Relation of
the sad and deplorable Condition of Lydia the Wife of John Rogers House
Carpenter, living in Greenbank in Pumpe alley in Wappin.... Also her
Examination by Mr. Johnson the Minister of Wappin, and her Confession.
As also in what a sad Condition she continues.... London, 1658. Another
tract against the Baptists. In spite of Lydia Rogers's supposed contract
with the Devil, she does not seem to have been brought into court.
Strange and Terrible Newes from Cambridge, being A true Relation of the
Quakers bewitching of Mary Philips ... into the shape of a Bay Mare,
riding her from Dinton towards the University. With the manner how she
became visible again ... in her own Likeness and Shape, with her sides
all rent and torn, as if they had been spur-galled, ... and the Names of
the Quakers brought to tryal on Friday last at the Assises held at
Cambridge ..., London, 1659. This is mentioned by John Ashton in the
bibliographical appendix to his The Devil in Britain and America.
The Just Devil of Woodstock, or a true narrative of the severall
apparitions, the frights and punishments inflicted upon the Rumpish
commissioners sent thither to survey the manors and houses belonging to
His Majesty. 1660. Wood, Athenae Oxonienses (ed. of 1817), III, 398,
ascribes this to Thomas Widdowes. It was on the affair described in this
pamphlet that Walter Scott based his novel Woodstock. The story given
in the pamphlet may be found in Sinclar's Satan's Invisible World
Discovered. The writer has not seen the original pamphlet.
Sec. 6.--Charles II and James II (see ch. XI).
The Power of Witchcraft, Being a most strange but true Relation of the
most miraculous and wonderful deliverance of one Mr. William Harrison of
Cambden in the County of Gloucester, Steward to the Lady Nowel ...,
A True and Perfect Account of the Examination, Confession, Tryal,
Condemnation and Execution of Joan Perry and her two Sons ... for the
supposed murder of William Harrison, Gent ..., London, 1676. These are
really not witchcraft pamphlets. Mr. Harrison disappears, three people
are charged with his murder and hanged. Mr. Harrison comes back from
Turkey in two years and tells a story of his disappearance which leads
to the supposition that he was transported thither by witchcraft.
A Tryal of Witches at the assizes held at Bury St. Edmonds for the
County of Suffolk; on the tenth day of March, 1664, London, 1682;
another edition, 1716. The writer of this tract writes in introducing
it: "This Tryal of Witches hath lain a long time in a private
Gentleman's Hands in the Country, it being given to him by the Person
that took it in the Court for his own satisfaction." This is the much
quoted case before Sir Matthew Hale. The pamphlet presents one of the
most detailed accounts of the court procedure in a witch case.
The Lord's Arm Stretched Out in an Answer of Prayer or a True Relation
of the wonderful Deliverance of James Barrow, the Son of John Barrow of
Olaves Southwark, London, 1664. This seems to be a Baptist pamphlet.
The wonder of Suffolke, being a true relation of one that reports he
made a league with the Devil for three years, to do mischief, and now
breaks open houses, robs people daily, ... and can neither be shot nor
taken, but leaps over walls fifteen feet high, runs five or six miles in
a quarter of an hour, and sometimes vanishes in the midst of multitudes
that go to take him. Faithfully written in a letter from a solemn
person, dated not long since, to a friend in Ship-yard, near Temple-bar,
and ready to be attested by hundreds ..., London, 1677. This is
mentioned in the Gentleman's Magazine, 1829, pt. ii, 584. I have not
seen a copy of the pamphlet.
Daimonomageia: a small Treatise of Sicknesses and Diseases from
Witchcraft and Supernatural Causes.... Being useful to others besides
Physicians, in that it confutes Atheistical, Sadducistical, and
Sceptical Principles and Imaginations ..., London, 1665. Though its
title-page bears no name, the author was undoubtedly that "William
Drage, D. P. [Doctor of Physic] at Hitchin," in Hertfordshire, to whose
larger treatise on medicine (first printed in 1664 as A Physical
Nosonomy, then in 1666 as The Practice of Physick, and again in 1668
as Physical Experiments) it seems to be a usual appendage. It is so,
at least, in the Cornell copy of the first edition and in the Harvard
copy of the third, and is so described by the Dict. Nat. Biog. and by
the British Museum catalogue.
Hartford-shire Wonder. Or, Strange News from Ware, Being an Exact and
true Relation of one Jane Stretton ... who hath been visited in a
strange kind of manner by extraordinary and unusual fits ..., London,
1669. The title gives the clue to this story. The narrator makes it
clear that a certain woman was suspected of the bewitchment.
A Magicall Vision, Or a Perfect Discovery of the Fallacies of
Witchcraft, As it was lately represented in a pleasant sweet Dream to a
Holysweet Sister, a faithful and pretious Assertor of the Family of the
Stand-Hups, for preservation of the Saints from being tainted with the
heresies of the Congregation of the Doe-Littles, London, 1673. I have
not seen this. It is mentioned by Hazlitt, Bibliographical
Collections, fourth series, s. v. Witchcraft.
A Full and True Relation of The Tryal, Condemnation, and Execution of
Ann Foster ... at the place of Execution at Northampton. With the Manner
how she by her Malice and Witchcraft set all the Barns and Corn on Fire
... and bewitched a whole Flock of Sheep ..., London, 1674. This
narrative has no confirmation from other sources, yet its details are so
susceptible of natural explanation that they warrant a presumption of
Strange News from Arpington near Bexby in Kent: Being a True Narrative
of a yong Maid who was Possest with several Devils ..., London, 1679.
Strange and Wonderful News from Yowell in Surry; Giving a True and Just
Account of One Elisabeth Burgess, Who was most strangely Bewitched and
Tortured at a sad rate, London, 1681.
An Account of the Tryal and Examination of Joan Buts, for being a
Common Witch and Inchantress, before the Right Honourable Sir Francis
Pemberton, Lord Chief Justice, at the Assizes ... 1682. Single leaf.
The four brochures next to be described deal with the same affair and
The Tryal, Condemnation, and Execution of Three Witches, viz.
Temperance Floyd, Mary Floyd, and Susanna Edwards. Who were Arraigned at
Exeter on the 18th of August, 1682.... London, 1682. Confirmed by the
records of the gaol deliveries examined by Mr. Inderwick (Side-Lights
on the Stuarts, p. 192).
A True and Impartial Relation of the Informations against Three
Witches, viz. Temperance Lloyd, Mary Trembles, and Susanna Edwards, who
were Indicted, Arraigned, and Convicted at the Assizes holden ... at ...
Exon, Aug. 14, 1682. With their several Confessions ... as also Their
... Behaviour, at the ... Execution on the Twenty fifth of the said
Month, London, 1682. This, the fullest account (40 pp.), gives
correctly the names of these three women, whom I still believe the last
put to death for witchcraft in England.
Witchcraft discovered and punished. Or the Tryals and Condemnation of
three Notorious Witches, who were Tryed the last Assizes, holden at the
Castle of Exeter ... where they received sentence of Death, for
bewitching severall Persons, destroying Ships at Sea, and Cattel by
Land. To the Tune of Doctor Faustus; or Fortune my Foe. In the
Roxburghe Collection at the British Museum. Broadside. A ballad of 17
stanzas (4 lines each) giving the story of the affair.
The Life and Conversation of Temperance Floyd, Mary Lloyd and Susanna
Edwards ...; Lately Condemned at Exeter Assizes; together with a full
Account of their first Agreement with the Devil: With the manner how
they prosecuted their devilish Sorceries ..., London, 1687.
A Full and True Account of the Proceedings at the Sessions of Oyer and
Terminer ... which began at the Sessions House in the Old Bayley on
Thursday, June 1st, and Ended on Fryday, June 2nd, 1682. Wherein is
Contained the Tryal of many notorious Malefactors ... but more
especially the Tryall of Jane Kent for Witchcraft. This pamphlet is a
brief summary of several cases just finished and has every evidence of
being a faithful account. It is to be found in the library of Lincoln's
Strange and Dreadful News from the Town of Deptford in the County of
Kent, Being a Full, True, and Sad Relation of one Anne Arthur. 1684/5.
One leaf, folio.
Strange newes from Shadwell, being a ... relation of the death of Alice
Fowler, who had for many years been accounted a witch. London, 1685. 4
pp. In the library of the Earl of Crawford. I have not seen it.
A True Account of a Strange and Wonderful Relation of one John Tonken,
of Pensans in Cornwall, said to be Bewitched by some Women: two of which
on Suspition are committed to Prison, London, 1686. In the Bodleian.
This narrative is confirmed by Inderwick's records.
News from Panier Alley; or a True Relation of Some Pranks the Devil
hath lately play'd with a Plaster Pot there, London, 1687. In the
Bodleian. A curious tract. No trial.
Sec. 7.--The Final Decline, Miscellaneous Pamphlets (see ch. XIII).
A faithful narrative of the ... fits which ... Thomas Spatchet ... was
under by witchcraft ..., 1693. Unimportant.
The Second Part of the Boy of Bilson, Or a True and Particular Relation
of the Imposter Susanna Fowles, wife of John Fowles of Hammersmith in
the Co. of Midd., who pretended herself to be possessed, London, 1698.
A Full and True Account Both of the Life: And also the Manner and
Method of carrying on the Delusions, Blasphemies, and Notorious Cheats
of Susan Fowls, as the same was Contrived, Plotted, Invented, and
Managed by wicked Popish Priests and other Papists.
The trial of Susannah Fowles, of Hammersmith, for blaspheming Jesus
Christ, and cursing the Lord's Prayer ..., London, 1698.
These three pamphlets tell the story of a woman who was "an impostor and
Notorious Lyar"; they have little to do with witchcraft. See above, ch.
XIII, note 23.
The Case of Witchcraft at Coggeshall, Essex, in the year 1699. Being
the Narrative of the Rev. J. Boys, Minister of the Parish. Printed from
his manuscript in the possession of the publisher (A. Russell Smith),
A True and Impartial Account of the Dark and Hellish Power of
Witchcraft, Lately Exercised on the Body of the Reverend Mr. Wood,
Minister of Bodmyn. In a Letter from a Gentleman there, to his Friend in
Exon, in Confirmation thereof, Exeter, 1700.
A Full and True Account of the Apprehending and Taking of Mrs. Sarah
Moordike, Who is accused for a Witch, Being taken near Paul's Wharf ...
for haveing Bewitched one Richard Hetheway.... With her Examination
before the Right Worshipful Sir Thomas Lane, Sir Owen Buckingham, and
Dr. Hambleton in Bowe-lane. 1701. This account can be verified and
filled out from the records of the trial of Hathaway, printed in Howell,
State Trials, XIV, 639-696.
A short Account of the Trial held at Surry Assizes, in the Borough of
Southwark; on an Information against Richard Hathway ... for Riot and
Assault, London, 1702.
The Tryal of Richard Hathaway, upon an Information For being a Cheat
and Impostor, For endeavouring to take away The Life of Sarah Morduck,
For being a Witch at Surry Assizes ..., London, 1702.
A Full and True Account of the Discovering, Apprehending and taking of
a Notorious Witch, who was carried before Justice Bateman in Well-Close
on Sunday, July the 23. Together with her Examination and Commitment to
Bridewel, Clerkenwel, London, 1704. Signed at the end, "Tho. Greenwel."
An Account of the Tryals, Examination, and Condemnation of Elinor Shaw
and Mary Phillips ..., 1705.
The Northamptonshire Witches ..., 1705.
The second of these is the completer account. They are by the same
author and are probably fabrications; see below, Sec. 10.
The Whole Trial of Mrs. Mary Hicks and her Daughter Elizabeth ...,
1716. See below, Sec. 10.
Sec. 8.--The Surey Pamphlets (see ch. XIII).
The Devil Turned Casuist, or the Cheats of Rome Laid open in the
Exorcism of a Despairing Devil at the House of Thomas Pennington in
Oriel.... By Zachary Taylor, M. A., Chaplain to the Right reverend
Father in God, Nicholas, Lord Bishop of Chester, and Rector of Wigan,
The Surey Demoniack, Or an Account of Satan's Strange and Dreadful
Actings, In and about the Body of Richard Dugdale of Surey, near Whalley
in Lancashire. And How he was Dispossest by Gods blessing on the
Fastings and Prayers of divers Ministers and People, London, 1697.
Fishwick, Notebook of Jollie (Chetham Soc.), p. xxiv says this was
written by Thomas Jollie and John Carrington. The preface is signed by
"Thomas Jolly" and five other clergymen. Probably Jollie wrote the
pamphlet and Carrington revised it. See above, ch. XIII, note 10. Jollie
disclaimed the sole responsibility for it. See his Vindication, 7.
Taylor in The Surey Impostor assumes that Carrington wrote The Surey
Demoniack; see e. g. p. 21.
The Surey Imposter, being an answer to a late Fanatical Pamphlet,
entituled The Surey Demoniack. By Zachary Taylor. London, 1697.
A Vindication of the Surey Demoniack as no Imposter: Or, A Reply to a
certain Pamphlet publish'd by Mr. Zach. Taylor, called The Surey
Imposter.... By T. J., London, 1698. Written by Jollie.
Popery, Superstition, Ignorance and Knavery very unjustly by a letter
in the general pretended; but as far as was charg'd very fully proved
upon the Dissenters that were concerned in the Surey Imposture. 1698.
Written by Zachary Taylor.
The Lancashire Levite Rebuked, or a Vindication of the Dissenters from
Popery, Superstition, Ignorance, and Knavery, unjustly Charged on them
by Mr. Zachary Taylor.... London, 1698. Signed "N. N.;" see above ch.
XIII, note 17.
The Lancashire Levite Rebuked, or a Farther Vindication, 1698. This
seems to have been an answer to a "letter to Mr. N. N." which Taylor had
published. We have, however, no other mention of such a letter.
Popery, Superstition, Ignorance, and Knavery, Confess'd and fully
Proved on the Surey Dissenters, from a Second Letter of an Apostate
Friend, to Zach. Taylor. To which is added a Refutation of T. Jollie's
Vindication ..., London, 1699. Written by Zachary Taylor.
A Refutation of Mr. T. Jolly's Vindication of the Devil in Dugdale; Or,
The Surey Demoniack, London, 1699.
It is not worth while to give any critical appraisement of these
pamphlets. They were all controversial and all dealt with the case of
Richard Dugdale. Zachary Taylor had the best of it. The Puritan
clergymen who backed up Thomas Jollie in his claims seem gradually to
have withdrawn their support.
Sec. 9.--The Wenham Pamphlets (see ch. XIII).
An Account of the Tryal, Examination, and Condemnation of Jane Wenham,
on an Indictment of Witchcraft, for Bewitching of Matthew Gilston and
Anne Thorne of Walcorne, in the County of Hertford.... Before the Right
Honourable Mr. Justice Powell, and is ordered for Execution on Saturday
come Sevennight the 15th. One page.
A Full and Impartial Account of the Discovery of Sorcery and
Witchcraft, Practis'd by Jane Wenham of Walkerne in Hertfordshire, upon
the bodies of Anne Thorn, Anne Street, &c.... till she ... receiv'd
Sentence of Death for the same, March 4, 1711-12, London, 1712.
Anonymous, but confessedly written by Francis Bragge. 1st ed. in Cornell
library and Brit. Mus.; 2d ed. in Brit. Mus.; 3d ed. in Brit. Mus.
(Sloane, 3,943), and Bodleian; 4th ed. in Brit. Mus.; 5th ed. in Harvard
library: all published within the year.
Witchcraft Farther Display'd. Containing (I) An Account of the
Witchcraft practis'd by Jane Wenham of Walkerne, in Hertfordshire, since
her Condemnation, upon the bodies of Anne Thorne and Anne Street....
(II) An Answer to the most general Objections against the Being and
Power of Witches: With some Remarks upon the Case of Jane Wenham in
particular, and on Mr. Justice Powel's procedure therein.... London,
1712. Introduction signed by "F. B." [Francis Bragge], who was the
A Full Confutation of Witchcraft: More particularly of the Depositions
against Jane Wenham, Lately Condemned for a Witch; at Hertford. In which
the Modern Notions of Witches are overthrown, and the Ill Consequences
of such Doctrines are exposed by Arguments; proving that, Witchcraft is
Priestcraft.... In a Letter from a Physician in Hertfordshire, to his
Friend in London. London, 1712.
The Impossibility of Witchcraft, Plainly Proving, From Scripture and
Reason, That there never was a Witch; and that it is both Irrational and
Impious to believe there ever was. In which the Depositions against Jane
Wenham, Lately Try'd and Condemn'd for a Witch, at Hertford, are
Confuted and Expos'd, London, 1712. 1st ed. in Brit. Mus.; 2d ed.,
containing additional material, in the Bodleian. The author of this
pamphlet in his preface intimates that its substance had earlier been
published by him in the Protestant Post Boy.
The Belief of Witchcraft Vindicated: proving from Scripture, there have
been Witches; and from Reason, that there may be Such still. In answer
to a late Pamphlet, Intituled, The Impossibility of Witchcraft ..., By
G. R., A. M., London, 1712.
The Case of the Hertfordshire Witchcraft Consider'd. Being an
Examination of a Book entitl'd, A Full and Impartial Account ...,
London, 1712. Dedicated to Sir John Powell. In the Cornell copy of this
booklet a manuscript note on the title-page, in an eighteenth century
hand, ascribes it to "The Rector of Therfield in Hertfordshire, or his
Curate," while at the end of the dedication what seems the same hand has
signed the names, "Henry Stebbing or Thomas Sherlock." But Stebbing was
in 1712 still a fellow at Cambridge, and Sherlock, later Bishop of
London, was Master of the Temple and Chaplain to Queen Anne. See Dict.
A Defense of the Proceedings against Jane Wenham, wherein the
Possibility and Reality of Witchcraft are Demonstrated from
Scripture.... In Answer to Two Pamphlets, Entituled: (I) The
Impossibility of Witchcraft, etc. (II) A Full Confutation of
Witchcraft, By Francis Bragge, A. B., ... London, 1712.
The Impossibility of Witchcraft Further Demonstrated, Both from
Scripture and Reason ... with some Cursory Remarks on two trifling
Pamphlets in Defence of the existence of Witches. By the Author of The
Impossibility of Witchcraft, 1712. In the Bodleian.
Jane Wenham. Broadside. The writer of this leaflet claims to have
transcribed his account from an account in "Judge Chancy's own hand".
Chauncy was the justice of the peace who with Bragge stood behind the
It is very hard to straighten out the authorshi