Tag Archives: AccuserSon

Strange nevvs from Shadwell

Brief summary
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.

Fuller summary
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.

The apprehension and confession of three notorious witches

Brief summary:
Condemned and executed, Ioan Cunny taught by mother to draw circles in the ground for Satan, made frog spirits appear and sent them to hurt people, reported by two sons, Ioan Vpney had a mole and a toad spirit, sent the toad to kill wives of accusers, Ioan Prentice saw the devil appear to her in the form of a ferret which sucked her blood, executed together

Brief summary:
This pamphlet includes the confessions of three witches, as well as some of the evidence given against them and the result of their trial. The pamphlet begins with an address to the reader, warning against the seductiveness of having dealings with Satan. This address reminds the reader that God will not allow such actions, and no one should hide such offenders.

Following this warning, the first main section of the pamphlet contains the confession of Joan Cunny, a widow from Essex. Mother Cunny explains that she learned to be a witch from Mother Humfrye who instructed her to draw a circle on the ground and say a specific prayer to Satan. Mother Cunny says that when she first called on Satan two spirits appeared to her in the shape of frogs, and it is suggested that she had at least two more spirits. All four of the spirits have names, and notes in the margins explain their different abilities-one killed men, one killed women, one killed horses and one killed cattle. Mother Cunny also confesses that she had sent her spirits to hurt a variety of people in the village, and while some people were able to repel them by the force of their belief in God, other people were harmed by the spirits. She denies sending her spirits to hurt some specific people, but does say that her daughter Margaret may have sent out the spirits to hurt people as well.

Following this confession, Mother Cunny’s oldest grandson gives evidence against her, saying that she had cursed Harry Finches’ wife for not giving her anything to drink and that the woman died a week later. The grandson also explains that once he was sent to get wood but had it stolen from him by another boy, and that when he told Mother Cunny this she told her spirit to prick the thief in the foot and he became lame. Then, the boy continues, they went together to the Sheriff’s field and she had her spirit knock down an Oak tree, although there was no wind. This is the end of the confession of the first witch.

The second witch, Joan Upney, begins her confession by saying that a different witch came to her house and gave her something that looked like a mole and told her it would do her bidding. That Mole left her about a year later, but the same witch gave her another mole and a toad, and Mother Upney says she has always had a toad to do her bidding since that time. She admits that she send her toad to pinch a variety of people, and that her younger daughter used them as well. That is the end of her confession.

The confession of the final witch, Joan Prentice, begins with Mother Prentice saying that six years ago the devil appeared to her in the shape of a ferret as she was getting ready for bed. She recounts that the ferret asked her for her soul and when asked what he was said he was Satan but that she should not fear him as he just wanted her soul. Mother Prentice said that her soul belonged to Jesus and she could not give it to the ferret, so the ferret asked for her blood and drank from a finger on her left hand, and told her his name was Bidd. Mother Prentice recounts that the ferret came to her often, only as she was getting ready for bed, and that it drank blood from her left cheek and asked for her commands. Mother Prentice confesses that she asked the ferret to spoil a neighbors’ drink, and to nip one of Master Glascocks’ children, a girl named Sara. The ferret came back to report that it had bit the child and that the child would die, and Mother Prentice said she had told it not to kill the child, and states that she has not seen the ferret since. She explains that she wanted the ferret to nip the child because one of Master Glascock’s servants had turned her away when she was begging at his house. Mother Prentice also recounts what she said to call the ferret to her, and names two other women who also call upon the ferret, although she does not know what they have asked the ferret to do.

The pamphlet ends with a narration of the end of the women’s’ trials, and, as they are all found guilty, they are sent back to jail for a few hours before being taken to their execution. All three women were given the opportunity to repent and ask God for mercy, and Mother Upney did so before her death.

The pamphlet has a picture on the front and portions of that picture are recreated and spaced throughout the text. The picture shows the three women hanging, two of Mother Cunny’s sprites with name tags, the toads of Mother Upney, and Mother Prentice sitting in a chair letting the ferret drink blood from her cheek.

A true and iust recorde, of the information, examination and confession

huge document with multiple offenders male and female, Vrsley Kemp was thought to have bewitched a young boy into fits, Thomas Rabbet said that his mother had spirits in the shapes of cats, a toad, and a lamb that would suck her blood, she bewitched to death people and livestock, associated with Ales Newman she confessed; Ales Hunt’s daughter testified to her having two horse figurines that she fed, Ales herself confessed and was jailed, admitted to having two spirits as cats and two as toads, Margerie Sammon her sister also admitted to having two spirits that would suck her blood; Anis Glascocke was charged for stone-throwing, found by woman to have teats for sucking,; Elizabeth Bennett was the lover of William Bonner’s wife, she kissed her and she immediately became disfigured and froze; Ioane Pechey was accused of having sex with her son, Henry Cilles and his wife bewitched livestock, they confessed, some where executed but doesn’t seem to say which