Tag Archives: Begging

The wonderfull and true relation of the bewitching a young girle in Ireland

Brief summary:
A young girl answer the door to begging witch, gave her food, and ate a leaf she was given then becoming extremely sick, she was transformed by a demon into ghastly shapes, vomited several unpleasant items, the witch was apprehended but said it was useless to kill her because she was under the control of two other witches, the author made a medicine which cured her and included the recipe.

Fuller summary:
It is said that God keeps us from knowing about the unseen world of spirits. However, those who don’t know God would be cured by seeing these spirits and apparitions. In this text written by Daniel Higgs, spirits and devilish forces cannot do anything to us without the power of God, yet a witness presents a case of these satanic forces influencing the power of a bewitchment of a young Irish girl.

As a key character in this detailed account, the little nine year girl goes through a series of torment and unrelenting afflictions at the hands of an evil witch. With no concrete evidence as to why the witch desired to torture her in the first place (the begging hag was presented bread and beer from the girl-was this not good enough?), the innocent child placed the witch’s “gift” of a sorrel leaf in her mouth and from there her horrific battle with countless diseases began. With no relief and for weeks, the girl battled with vomiting horse dung, needles, pins, hairs, feathers, and the occasional shape shifting into demonic animals. To make matters worse, the so-called witch would show up cleverly distanced from her house, yet still placed near enough as to torment the girl even more with her bewitching eye rolls and scorns.

Strangled, burned, and at the verge of being hanged, the accused witch would not free the child from her horrors. Noting that too many weeks had passed, and the bewitching from two other witches onto the girl, there seemed to be no hope. The parents decided it was time to call for a witch physician, and even he couldn’t do much for the girl. After countless sessions with ministers and their exorcisms on the child, her troubles just seemed to proliferate. There was even one point when the minister stopped reading his Bible and the girl became quiet and seemed cured, however, not for long. Her condition shifted from bad to worse and she started throwing up pins and needles from inside her body. These series of unrelenting spectacles inflicted upon the girl were clearly defined as the act of a witch, for it was not even a question that some crafty demonic being was involved. In no way could it ever be normal for these strange, abnormal events to occur without a logical, rational explanation.

The end of this pamphlet describes a final attempt to cure the girl from her wretched dilemma. By carrying her daughter to a special witch doctor in Dublin, the mother was able to get comfort and peace at last. A special ointment made from a mixture of dog grease, bear grease, leaves, and berries all exposed under the sun for nine weeks, cured the girl, leaving her in a transient state of melancholy. These simple human made/available ingredients show that we do have some kind of attack/barrier against the cursing of these witches. From this testimonial we can see the malicious nature of witches and their unrational inflictions which cannot be explained by any reason other than witchcraft. I don’t believe any form of science or morality can explain why a young girl would bloodlessly vomit up needles, knifes and shape shift into strange animals. The forces of a witch and her demonic counterpart are out of the nature of God’s divine power, and this pamphlet shows the degree of how powerful the force of this satanic entity actually is. Also, this account helps to establish the notion that although there is no absolute link for witchcraft, there are common activities involved with their nature, one of which is this narrative of the beggar. This eyewitness account is important because although there were fraud possessions and testimonials against witches, the doctor’s narrative shows a true bewitching of a little girl and her cure.

A relation of the diabolical practices

Brief summary:
A group of men and women being examined for witchcraft reported having needles stuck in them without any blood being drawn, one who didn’t have visible marks was stripped naked and examined, a man who confessed was choked to death by the devil in prison, an Elizabeth Anderson admitted to inviting her father and friends to a meeting with the Devil, they were subsequently arrested, they often saw him in the shape of a black man, the group of witches would make pictures and poke them with pins, a young boy James Lindsay was begging and called a woman a witch, later a Black Grim Man came to him and promised him to be his servant and to clothe him, he said yes, includes other crimes the group committed, several were executed.

Fuller summary:
February 5th 1697
On touching Iames Lindsay, Christian Shaw’s body stiffened and she collapsed, appearing dead. When she recovered she recalled being confronted by Catherine Campbell, an old servant of her father’s, who had cursed her. Catherine was then interrogated. She adamantly insisted that she was innocent but refused to answer the question to why she wouldn’t pray. She offered to touch the child to prove her innocence, but Christian refused. The bystanders forced Christian to let Catherine touch her and she immediately fell to the ground in a fit. However, this seemed to have loosened Catherine’s tongue and she could now utter prayers. Christian stated that after the fit and hearing Catherine’s prayer she felt free of the fear of Catherine’s touch or that of any of her other tormentors. The Commissioners then asked Catherine why she would not or could not pray prior to touching the child but she could not give a satisfactory answer.

The next person called by the Commissioners was Elizabeth Anderson who had been invited by her father and other people to their rendezvouses with the Devil. The individuals who had been accused by Christian were confirmed by Elizabeth as witches and were sent to prison. Elizabeth however recalled another name however she could only recall the first name (Margaret) and not the last. She was encouraged to write it down but all she could manage was Margaret and the letter L of the surname. Following this she fell into a violent fit and collapsed, appearing dead. When she awoke the ministers presented her with a bible and asked her to read a passage from it. Instead of reading she began singing a melodious tune, she then had a fit and fell to the ground appearing dead. However, the singing continued even when her lips and tongue weren’t moving.

Elizabeth Anderson declared that 20 days prior to this meeting she had accompanied him to Bargarrin’s Yeard at noon. On their way back they met a Black Man whom her father and Agnes Nasmith who was with them at the time told her was the devil. She heard them along with a few hours discussing Christian Shaw who health was unwell and whose life they’d promised to take. Her father told her that she was not meant to tell anybody what she heard or she would be torn to pieces. She declared that both the devil and her father had invited her several times to the devil’s service but she refused them.

February 18th 1697
Elizabeth Anderson was with her grandmother when she saw the man whom she believed to be the devils, enter her house to converse with her grandmother. Her grandmother called her in and asked her to take the man’s hand and in return gave her a new black coat. About a month later when she was with her grandmother in her house, the man returned and spoke to her grandmother in words, which she did not understand. Her grandmother then told her to take the man’s hand but she refused saying that it was the devil. The grandmother tried to convince her but she stuck to her beliefs.
Her father then forced her to accompany him to get meat but instead took her to a meeting where they tried to convince her to do the devil’s work. They offered her better meat and clothes if she did but she refused.

She claims to have been present at many discussions relating to matters of witchcraft. She was present when they called for the destruction of Christian Shaw where some individuals, namely Agnes Nasmith, wanted to stab her with a touck. They told her that if she were to confess, they would tear her to pieces. She also declared to have flown with her father.

James Lindsay confessed to joining ranks with the devil. When he was begging one day he came across his grandmother when a man (fitting the description of Elizabeth’s devil) appeared before him. His grandmother asked him to take his hand and he did, he noted that it was exceedingly cold. The devil asked him to serve him and that he would provide him with many clothes, so he agreed. He claims to have attended many meetings, and in particular being at the putting down of a child in Parklands. It seems that the main group who did this act included Agnes Nasmith and Alexander Anderson.

Thomas Lindsay declared that he too met the devil (in circumstances similar to the other two). He was given a red coat in exchange for him agreeing to give himself to the devil’s services. Awhile later he saw and spoke to his dead grandmother. Late one night, he was awoken and flown to Parkland for the murder of the child. He also recalls being at the meeting where the planning of the murder of Christian Shaw was present.

The Letter
Christian saw the devil in the likeness of a man. She was told to rebuke him but she could not speak. She recovered but was then seized by a fit and she went deaf and blind. The devil then appeared in her bed where she conversed with him, as she returned she was bitten with teeth on her hands and had nail impressions on them. This occurred 24 times, each time she cried. She said in her fit that Margaret Lang had cursed her. Her fit ceased at five that night.

An account of the tryal and examination of Joan Buts

Joan Butts was indicted for the bewitching to death of Mary Farmer and Elizabeth Burrige, she plead not guilty, when Mary’s clothes were burnt Butts appeared, clay was pulled from Elizabeth’s back, apparently Butts used to go around begging, she was found not guilty.

The witch of the woodlands

Brief summary:
In the woods lived a cobbler called Robin the Devill, forced to marry a woman’s daughter, got into trouble with the town and left, he got lost but found a house with an old lady in it who he then realized was a witch, he went into fits and she seduced him into bed, the next morning three witches came in seeking revenge against him, promised to marry one of them, they turned into spirits, bit, and drew blood from his throat, ‘bum’ and ‘members,’ he turned into a fox and they followed him as dogs, turned him into other animals, he broke free from their spell and headed back to London, then he became a beggar.

Fuller summary:
This pamphlet reads more as an episode of folklore than a “true and genuine” account of witchcraft—in fact it never alleges itself to be true, is accompanied with rhyming couplets, and attributes itself to an author, “L.P.” Nonetheless, it provides a vivid portrait of what constitutes a witch and magic acts. This illustrated pamphlet is twelve pages long and would have looked eye-catching on the table displays. Most of its illustrations, with the exception of the cover page, are of the male protagonist rather than the witches.

The Witch of the Woodlands begins by detailing the exploits of a cobbler named Robin especially eager to please his attractive female customers. He appreciates his “wenches” so much that he impregnates three of them—as the reader later discovers, in one evening. He misses his bachelorhood and feels overwhelmed by his fatherhood responsibilities, so he takes to London to work until his children reach adulthood. On his way, however, he gets lost in “the Woodlands” (emphasis already in place).

“Robin the Cobler” in search of refuge meets an elderly woman, one of whom the reader can immediately tell is a witch by the descriptions of a “staffe in her hand,” and her physical traits: “long nos’d,” “wry mouth’d” and “bow-legg’d.” She offers for them to sleep together “as the Devill hugg’d the Witch” and out of starvation, Robin falls to his knees and agrees.

When Robin wakes up, he finds that the old woman has found three witch friends, who expose his “whoring” habits. The old woman had imps, one of whom took the form of a black cat, and informed her of the women Robin had exploited.

The three witches seek revenge and turn into animal form: a black cat, a bear, and a wolf. They bite his entire body, including his “members.” Three days of torture ensue, all emasculating and with maleficent properties. On the first day, Robin turns into a fox who must run from angry dogs. The second day, as a nag, he must literally permit the witches to ride him all day, tearing his flesh. The witches transform robin into an owl on the last day, plucking at his body parts. When the witches withdraw their spells, they perform one last act of subordination, forcing him to knell and kiss their entire bodies.

Robin is restored as a full human being but now he is witchlike in completion; his eyes are sunken, his skin pale, his nose lengthened. He returns to London in poverty, but finds the mercy of a fellow beggar. He “lay[s] lovingly” with this beggar and they become relatively successful beggars together. When his beggar partner dies, Robin inherits his money and gives it to his former wives, wenches and children.

The witch of the woodlands

Brief summary:
In the woods lived a cobbler called Robin the Devill, forced to marry a woman’s daughter, got into trouble with the town and left, he got lost but found a house with an old lady in it who he then realized was a witch, he went into fits and she seduced him into bed, the next morning three witches came in seeking revenge against him, promised to marry one of them, they turned into spirits, bit, and drew blood from his throat, ‘bum’ and ‘members,’ he turned into a fox and they followed him as dogs, turned him into other animals, he broke free from their spell and headed back to London, then he became a beggar.

Fuller summary:
This pamphlet reads more as an episode of folklore than a “true and genuine” account of witchcraft—in fact it never alleges itself to be true, is accompanied with rhyming couplets, and attributes itself to an author, “L.P.” Nonetheless, it provides a vivid portrait of what constitutes a witch and magic acts. This illustrated pamphlet is twelve pages long and would have looked eye-catching on the table displays. Most of its illustrations, with the exception of the cover page, are of the male protagonist rather than the witches.

The Witch of the Woodlands begins by detailing the exploits of a cobbler named Robin especially eager to please his attractive female customers. He appreciates his “wenches” so much that he impregnates three of them—as the reader later discovers, in one evening. He misses his bachelorhood and feels overwhelmed by his fatherhood responsibilities, so he takes to London to work until his children reach adulthood. On his way, however, he gets lost in “the Woodlands” (emphasis already in place).

“Robin the Cobler” in search of refuge meets an elderly woman, one of whom the reader can immediately tell is a witch by the descriptions of a “staffe in her hand,” and her physical traits: “long nos’d,” “wry mouth’d” and “bow-legg’d.” She offers for them to sleep together “as the Devill hugg’d the Witch” and out of starvation, Robin falls to his knees and agrees.

When Robin wakes up, he finds that the old woman has found three witch friends, who expose his “whoring” habits. The old woman had imps, one of whom took the form of a black cat, and informed her of the women Robin had exploited.

The three witches seek revenge and turn into animal form: a black cat, a bear, and a wolf. They bite his entire body, including his “members.” Three days of torture ensue, all emasculating and with maleficent properties. On the first day, Robin turns into a fox who must run from angry dogs. The second day, as a nag, he must literally permit the witches to ride him all day, tearing his flesh. The witches transform robin into an owl on the last day, plucking at his body parts. When the witches withdraw their spells, they perform one last act of subordination, forcing him to knell and kiss their entire bodies.

Robin is restored as a full human being but now he is witchlike in completion; his eyes are sunken, his skin pale, his nose lengthened. He returns to London in poverty, but finds the mercy of a fellow beggar. He “lay[s] lovingly” with this beggar and they become relatively successful beggars together. When his beggar partner dies, Robin inherits his money and gives it to his former wives, wenches and children.

The Full and true relation of the tryal, condemnation, and execution of Ann Foster

Brief summary:
A woman came into the house of a grazier when mutton was scarce and demanded some of his, he denied her to find a few days later that thirty of his sheep had been killed, he then burned one of his sheep according to the advice of the town and the witch appeared, he cut her thinking by popular opinion that taking her blood would take away her powers, she said she’d have him arrested and demanded money and set his house on fire later, she was apprehended, first pleaded guilty, and then confessed, she began to swell and mentioned the devil came to suck on her in the form of a rat, she was hanged.

Fuller summary:
In 1674, an unknown writer in London published a pamphlet describing the accusation and conviction of an elderly woman named Ann Foster for consorting with the devil and using witchcraft against her neighbor. The full title of this pamphlet is as follows: “A Full and True Relation of the Tryal, Condemnation, and Execution of Ann Foster, (Who was Arrained for a Witch) on Saturday the 22nd of this Instant August, 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 belonging to one Joseph Weeden living in Eastcoat, and bewitched a whole Flock of Sheep in a most lamentable manner, and betwitching all his Horses, with his other Cattle, to the utter Ruin and undoing of the said Joseph Weeden. And also in what likeness the Devil appeared to Her while she was in Prison, and the manner of her Deportment at her Tryal”.

The pamphlet begins as an almost academic argument about the existence of witches and witchcraft. The writer reveals that he had previously not believed in such things, until he witnessed the damage Ann Foster had done. This tale is set in a town called Eastcoat in Northampton Shire in April.

It was the time of year in which mutton is scarce and precious. However, Joseph Weeden, referred to as the Grazier, choose to slaughter a sheep for his family. Knowing this, Ann Foster appeared at his house, asking for some charity. She did not want to pay the full worth of any of the meat, and thus Weeden declined. Elderly and already possessing the reputation of talking to herself, Ann left muttering threats. A couple days later, Weeden finds thirty of his sheep dismembered in their pasture.

The Grazier was so “amazed at the strangeness of the spectacle” that he called several of his neighbors over. They agreed that he was probably bewitched, and that burning one of the sheep carcasses would summon the witch who had cursed Weeden. Ann came running almost as soon as the sheep was on the fire. It was also general knowledge that “fetching the blood” from the witch would drain her of her powers. Thus, the Grazier also cut her above the hand. An infection formed within the cut, and Ann threated to have him arrested. Wanting to avoid trouble, Weeden offered to pay for her to go to a healer. The old woman took the money, claiming it to be “the Divils mony” and that it would allow her to punish him.

The next month (May), Weeden’s house and barns caught fire and could not be contained. One barn burned down completely and some of his wheat was lost. Foster was seen watching the blaze and telling the townsfolk that they would not be able to put out the fire. The townsfolk then brought these occurrences to the local Justice of the Peace and claimed Ann Foster was a witch and consorting with the devil.

Foster originally claimed she was not guilty, but confessed after hearing witness statements. “Seeing that Sentence of Death was past upon her”, the woman then tried to ask God and Weeden for forgiveness and asked that her life be spared. When it became clear that she was going to be executed, she asked to be burned at the stake. However, the court executed her in its usual manner, by hanging.

In this case, it appears that Ann Foster, an elderly and unpopular member of the community, may have practiced, or claimed to have practiced, witchcraft as a means of social power. When she does not get her way, she threatens Joseph Weeden. She threatens him with magic and legal action on two separate occasions and invokes the Devil’s name in her arguments. However, such evidence was done publicly and backfired for her when the villagers had her arrested. Here, Ann confesses, but claims to see God’s light and attempts to talk her way out of execution. Unfortunately for her, it does not work. As my research continues, it would be interesting to see if there are other instances in which women practice, or claim to practice, witchcraft in order to exert some power through intimidation or fear in their communities.

Relation of the most remarkable proceedings at the late assizes

Mary Foster begged for money and food from a Joseph Weedon, and when he denied her he found his sheep to be dead, she was called before a Justice of the Peace multiple times but denied, a jury of women examined her to find teats on her body that were sucked on, she admitted to being carried into the air by the devil to light his barn on fire, she confessed to the crimes but not to being a witch, wanted to be burnt but was hanged, she was asked to do a trick by a citizen of London and almost escaped on a floating bason/basin?, a highway robber confessed and was also executed, along with another woman who killed her bastard child.

The witch of the woodlands

Brief summary:
In the woods lived a cobbler called Robin the Devill, forced to marry a woman’s daughter, got into trouble with the town and left, he got lost but found a house with an old lady in it who he then realized was a witch, he went into fits and she seduced him into bed, the next morning three witches came in seeking revenge against him, promised to marry one of them, they turned into spirits, bit, and drew blood from his throat, ‘bum’ and ‘members,’ he turned into a fox and they followed him as dogs, turned him into other animals, he broke free from their spell and headed back to London, then he became a beggar.

Fuller summary:
This pamphlet reads more as an episode of folklore than a “true and genuine” account of witchcraft—in fact it never alleges itself to be true, is accompanied with rhyming couplets, and attributes itself to an author, “L.P.” Nonetheless, it provides a vivid portrait of what constitutes a witch and magic acts. This illustrated pamphlet is twelve pages long and would have looked eye-catching on the table displays. Most of its illustrations, with the exception of the cover page, are of the male protagonist rather than the witches.

The Witch of the Woodlands begins by detailing the exploits of a cobbler named Robin especially eager to please his attractive female customers. He appreciates his “wenches” so much that he impregnates three of them—as the reader later discovers, in one evening. He misses his bachelorhood and feels overwhelmed by his fatherhood responsibilities, so he takes to London to work until his children reach adulthood. On his way, however, he gets lost in “the Woodlands” (emphasis already in place).

“Robin the Cobler” in search of refuge meets an elderly woman, one of whom the reader can immediately tell is a witch by the descriptions of a “staffe in her hand,” and her physical traits: “long nos’d,” “wry mouth’d” and “bow-legg’d.” She offers for them to sleep together “as the Devill hugg’d the Witch” and out of starvation, Robin falls to his knees and agrees.

When Robin wakes up, he finds that the old woman has found three witch friends, who expose his “whoring” habits. The old woman had imps, one of whom took the form of a black cat, and informed her of the women Robin had exploited.

The three witches seek revenge and turn into animal form: a black cat, a bear, and a wolf. They bite his entire body, including his “members.” Three days of torture ensue, all emasculating and with maleficent properties. On the first day, Robin turns into a fox who must run from angry dogs. The second day, as a nag, he must literally permit the witches to ride him all day, tearing his flesh. The witches transform robin into an owl on the last day, plucking at his body parts. When the witches withdraw their spells, they perform one last act of subordination, forcing him to knell and kiss their entire bodies.

Robin is restored as a full human being but now he is witchlike in completion; his eyes are sunken, his skin pale, his nose lengthened. He returns to London in poverty, but finds the mercy of a fellow beggar. He “lay[s] lovingly” with this beggar and they become relatively successful beggars together. When his beggar partner dies, Robin inherits his money and gives it to his former wives, wenches and children.

The witch of the woodlands

Brief summary:
In the woods lived a cobbler called Robin the Devill, forced to marry a woman’s daughter, got into trouble with the town and left, he got lost but found a house with an old lady in it who he then realized was a witch, he went into fits and she seduced him into bed, the next morning three witches came in seeking revenge against him, promised to marry one of them, they turned into spirits, bit, and drew blood from his throat, ‘bum’ and ‘members,’ he turned into a fox and they followed him as dogs, turned him into other animals, he broke free from their spell and headed back to London, then he became a beggar.

Fuller summary:
This pamphlet reads more as an episode of folklore than a “true and genuine” account of witchcraft—in fact it never alleges itself to be true, is accompanied with rhyming couplets, and attributes itself to an author, “L.P.” Nonetheless, it provides a vivid portrait of what constitutes a witch and magic acts. This illustrated pamphlet is twelve pages long and would have looked eye-catching on the table displays. Most of its illustrations, with the exception of the cover page, are of the male protagonist rather than the witches.

The Witch of the Woodlands begins by detailing the exploits of a cobbler named Robin especially eager to please his attractive female customers. He appreciates his “wenches” so much that he impregnates three of them—as the reader later discovers, in one evening. He misses his bachelorhood and feels overwhelmed by his fatherhood responsibilities, so he takes to London to work until his children reach adulthood. On his way, however, he gets lost in “the Woodlands” (emphasis already in place).

“Robin the Cobler” in search of refuge meets an elderly woman, one of whom the reader can immediately tell is a witch by the descriptions of a “staffe in her hand,” and her physical traits: “long nos’d,” “wry mouth’d” and “bow-legg’d.” She offers for them to sleep together “as the Devill hugg’d the Witch” and out of starvation, Robin falls to his knees and agrees.

When Robin wakes up, he finds that the old woman has found three witch friends, who expose his “whoring” habits. The old woman had imps, one of whom took the form of a black cat, and informed her of the women Robin had exploited.

The three witches seek revenge and turn into animal form: a black cat, a bear, and a wolf. They bite his entire body, including his “members.” Three days of torture ensue, all emasculating and with maleficent properties. On the first day, Robin turns into a fox who must run from angry dogs. The second day, as a nag, he must literally permit the witches to ride him all day, tearing his flesh. The witches transform robin into an owl on the last day, plucking at his body parts. When the witches withdraw their spells, they perform one last act of subordination, forcing him to knell and kiss their entire bodies.

Robin is restored as a full human being but now he is witchlike in completion; his eyes are sunken, his skin pale, his nose lengthened. He returns to London in poverty, but finds the mercy of a fellow beggar. He “lay[s] lovingly” with this beggar and they become relatively successful beggars together. When his beggar partner dies, Robin inherits his money and gives it to his former wives, wenches and children.

Signes and wonders from heaven

a woman came to a house where only a maid was present demanding beer and bacon, when the family returned the maid was trembling in silence and the beer was everywhere and the master’s pigs died, reports of 40 arraigned and 20 executed witches at the Assizes in Norfolke