An elderly widow named Alice Fowler, thought to be a witch for a long time because she often talked to herself, people thought she talked to spirits, she nursed a girl who reported she was a witch, her son Walter often accused her as well, but was hung in Barbados for murdering his wife, after which Alice fell sick, a neighbor nursing her found her dead, naked, and with clay all over he back, her toes tied together, they found five black teats on her.
Strange News from Shadwell, Being a True and Just Relation of the Death of Alice Fowler takes place in King Fleet and focuses on the accusation against Alice of being a witch and her eventual death. Alice Fowler was a widowed woman that was viewed as being evil and had been deemed a witch by her peers for years. When she was witnessed speaking to herself, some would say that she was talking to spirits and communicating with those beyond the realm of the living. Although she sold biscuits, it was not enough to keep her from living a life of poverty.
While there was no concrete evidence of the accusations against Alice, a young girl whom she had nursed accused her of being a witch. Even after twenty years had passed, the young girl, now a young woman was still afraid of Alice and her “trickery”. Many people believed the young woman was scared of Alice and her perceived witchcraft until the day she died. The young woman’s accusations were not the only ones that helped other believe that she was a witch; her own son accused her of the same crime. Her son, Walter, left to Barbados and fifteen years after his move he still was being bewitched by his mother. Walter believed that he could still see his mother in his room, though no one else would be able to do so. Walter continued to accuse his mother of bewitchment until the day of his death which he caused by murdering his wife and being hung as a punishment.
Over the years, Alice had become ill and had to resort to having a neighbor help with her care in her own furnished room. One day her neighbor had left to retrieve something for her and had left her alone and locked in her room, he returned and found Alice dead. Alice’s body had been found lying naked on the floor and with her two great toes tied together. Other neighbors were called in to see Alice and they all were shocked when they saw her dead body and said it smelled terrible. Some neighbors were curious enough to want to search her body and they found five black teats on her private area. Because of the previous accusations made against Alice and the condition of her dead body, everyone refused to attend her burial. At the end of the pamphlet we are told that this was a true story and the people of King-Street all affirmed this. All of the statements are believed to come from a credible source, who investigated the story from people who had been neighbors of Alice.
Mr. William Harrison, steward to Lady Nowell, hired a son of a widow named Perry to be his servant, she was thought to be a witch, she and her two sons encountered Harrison, beat, and robbed him, his family thought him to be murdered when they couldn’t find him, the three were suspected, examined, and hanged at the Assizes in Glocester, they would not confess however, and said he was not murdered, he was at the time was apprehended by a Turkish ship and employed as a servant there until his master died and he returned to England, this was apparently caused by witchcraft.
widowed Mother Sutton and her daughter Mary, mother becomes Hog-keeper and was blamed for the disease and death of cows, she trained her daughter in the arts and killed men’s horses and hogs, a Master Engers hit Mary Sutton’s bastard son for goofing around, after his horses went crazy, they sent a Beetle to put his servant in a trance, Mary tried to seduce him in his bed, they bewitched to death Enger’s son after he confronted them, Master Engers apprehended her, took some of her blood, her imps sucked her teats, he beat the daughter to near death, threw her into water to see if she would drown or float and then check for her mark, she survived and then confessed so they executed them both
Elizabeth Stile, widow, fed her rat with blood, Mother Dutten keeps Satan as toad and feeds it with blood from her butt, in poverty, a Mother Deuell feeds her Satan-cat blood and milk, Elizabeth confessed to feeding her rat with blood, all of them including Mother Margaret and Father Rosimond would meet at night, they murdered a man, they would prick voodoo dolls and kill livestock, Stile confessed and they were all apprehended and arranged
told from the POV of the author, who after having fits at night, saw the shadow of a black cat in his room, presumably Mother Dutton as she had also visited his brother at night, he brought her to Windesore before the Magistrates, they told him to let her go, she and her confederates then went out to haunt the author and bewitch his friends, they used their familiars to make the Mayor put him in prison for no apparent reason, eventually Elizabeth Stile, Mother Dutton, and the rest were examined, Elizabeth and the author got into a fight, the author fought them off but later saw the Devil, Elizabeth was apprehended and executed
Includes introductory poem, Elizabeth Frauncis was taught witchcraft by her grandmother Eue of Hatfyelde, she fed a white cat ‘Sathan,’ her blood at her grandmother’s command, she wanted money so the cat gave her sheep, she wanted Andrew Byles to be her husband and was commanded by the Devil to be ‘abused’ by him, when he did not marry her she had the Devil bewitch him to death, destroyed her unborn child with poison, Elizabeth gave the cat to Mother Agnes Waterhouse who also made a blood covenant, it could transform to a dog or toad, she killed livestock, Satan killed her husband for her, Ioane her daughter associated with the Devil too, they all confessed and Anges Waterhouse was executed