Tag Archives: Marked

A true account of the tryals, examinations, confessions, condemnations, and executions of divers witches

Brief summary:
Bridget Bishop was tried for bewitching persons and cattle, she would pinch and bite persons and force them to write their names in her book, her ghost haunted and beat people, she was known to be at a congregation of witches that took bread and wine as a Devilish sacrament, she haunted and attacked many others as her ghost or through imps, a Susanna Martin asked a man to have her ox help her carry some of her things, when he refused his ox ran into the sea and drowned, she came through a man’s window and lay on top of him for a few hours, he was able to cut her finger and she left her blood on his stairs, she left no prints in the snow besides the threshold, she sent dogs and cats to attack men, a Martha Carrier was accused of bewitching people, those testifying often fell into fits upon seeing her, she bewitch cattle and men, causing sores to appear on people, an unnamed man was also condemned, although weak he could lift heavy objects and was thought to be given strength by the devil, made others sign the Devil’s book in blood, bit many and left marks in their flesh, they were all convicted and sentenced to death, some tempted children were instead given time to repent.

Fuller summary:
A woman or something that took the shape of this woman is said to have been tormenting and hurting people and that this thing attempted to get people to sign their name in a book. One woman who refused was then threatened by the witch, the witch said she would drown her in a river if she did not but the woman still refused, “overcame the temptation” as the pamphlet put it. When this witch looked at a person they were tormented, if they were swooning she could touch them and revive them, and she could perform various other supernatural actions as well.

There were various testaments against her by others in the community, one of which included a man whose home was broken into by some strange creature who offered him a deal where if the man submitted to him he would want for nothing. The man did not consent to the deal and instead fought against the creature but each action he took against it caused a supernatural negative effect to befall him. This woman was also said to always appear with a strange light beside her. Another charge brought against her was that of having caused several cattle to drown and the only survivor of which to go mad, the cattle belonging to a man whom she quite probably felt wrong by and then would have had the motivation to perform this deed.

Several other occurrences likes these were brought as charges against her and she was accused of going to witch meetings and consorting with the devil. From this case and the others who were accused of witchcraft along with her, there was a man who was similarly accused of witchcraft but more specifically of enticing and recruiting people to sign the “Devil’s Book” in blood. All were convicted and quickly executed but children and a few others who had been taken in by these practices received lighter sentences and given time to repent.

The life and conversation of Temperance Floyd

Does not discuss Susanna and Mary, Temperance sees the devil in the shape of a black man, and an ox, bewitched Madam Thomas, the devil struck Temperance on the face and left his mark, she was arrested and put into prison and did not confess for a month, she destroyed many ships, all three pleaded guilty.

A relation of the deuill Balams departure

reverends were apparently approved from royal officials to exorcize the nuns of the Ursuline Church in London, while reverend F. Surin, of the Society of Jesus, exorcized mother Prioreffe, Balam the devil appeared, the father then discussed with the devil, on his hand Joseph was written in blood, apparently a sign of Balam’s departure, St. Joseph had sent a protecting angel to Mother Prioreffe, contains observations of the story

The most wonderfull and true storie

boy gets sick in front of uncle and sees green Angels and a green cat, broke out in warts and fits, Alice Gooderige and others were brought to help, they found a gaping hole a wart on her, attempted to exorcize him but he continues to see dragons and Satan while reacting negatively to the Bible, they try to get her to confess, he is cured and she dies, but was not executed

Newes from Scotland

Brief summary
News from Scottland of sorcerers and witches, deputy bailiff of a Scottish town suspected his servant of witchcraft for having healing powers, tortured her and looked for the mark of the devil, she confessed and then informed them about three other witches, two woman and a man named Doctor Fian, the devil had licked them to leave his mark of which hair is a sign, then one of the accused Agnis Simpson was shaved entirely, the devil made them all kiss his butt, King of Scottland present at the trials, Satan used them for sex, the Doctor was tortured to near death, then executed, and the others remained in prison.

Fuller summary
As is often the case, the pamphlet is prefaced with a note to the reader justifying and guaranteeing the truthfulness of the events to be described. The pamphlet begins with a brief praise of God, and mentions His intention to shed light on witchcraft to mankind through the various witchcraft-related events that occured. It is also mentioned that all the events were described to the King.

Geillis Duncane, maid servant of David Seaton, often went out to help the poor and afflicted. She did this with such miraculous efficacy and skill (given her lack of experience) that Seaton, her master, grew suspicious. He interrogated Geillis on the matter and, since she gave no response, proceeded to torture her “with the helpe of others”. Seaton and his fellows discovered a mark on her throat that seemed to be that of the devil. Upon discovery, Geillis confessed to witchcraft. She was sent to prison where she named several other individuals who were witches, including John Cunningham (aka Doctor Fian) and Agnis Thompson. Similarly, Thompson wouldn’t confess to anything in spite of intense torture until her hairs were all shaven and a Devil’s mark found “upon her privities”.

Thompson describes to the King a gathering of two-hundred witches (among them, Geillis) at the “kerke of North Barrick in Lowthian” during the night of Allhollon Even (Halloween?) where the Devil manifested himself in the form of a man and required that each witch “kiss his buttocks in sign of duty to him,” after which he expressed his deep hatred of the King and, having received oath of the witches’ service to him, left. The King being skeptical of Thompson’s words, she proceeds to whisper to him the exact words he had exchanged with the Queen on the first night of their marriage, in Norway. The King is astonished and believes her entirely from then on.

The pamphlet describes attempts at the King’s life by Thompson: poisoning his clothes and setting the wind against his boat at sea using a “christened cat”. She affirms that she would have succeeded had it not been for the faith of the King and the devotion of his servants. The questioned witches describe that, having vowed themselves to the Devil, would be “carnally used” by him.

John Cunningham, also denounced by Geillis, was imprisoned and tortured with “the most severe and cruel pain in the world” (the boots) but still would not confess until certain charmed pins thrust under his tongue were removed by fellow witches. Cunningham then confessed to being the “Clarke” at the witch congregations (keeping count of the witches who did or didn’t renew their oath to the devil). He initially turned to sorcery/witchcraft to “obtain” the gentlewoman of whom he was enamoured by convincing her brother, one of his students, to bring him three of the girl’s private hairs with which he could magically make her love him. The plan failed when the girl’s mother finds out about it and made the boy give Cunningham three cow hairs. As soon as he “wrought his Art” upon the hairs, the cow ran into the church where he was and “leaped and danced upon him”. Because many townsfolk saw this happen, Doctor Cunningham (aka Doctor Fian) became well-known in Scotland as someone who worked with the devil.

After his confession, Fian was sent back to prison where he renounced his alliance to the devil and converted himself to a devout Christian. That night, the devil appeared to Fian and asked him if he would keep serving him, to which Fian directly responds that he will not but would forsake him, and Satan vanished. The following day, Fian appeared solitary and seeking redemption, calling upon God, and yet that same night steals the key to his prison door and escapes back to his residence at the Salt Pans. The King initiated a “hot and hard pursuit” and brought him back to the prison. That night, Fian denied all that he had confessed and attested true under his name the day before. Suspected of having pacted with the devil anew, Fian is searched for another mark of the devil, in vain. He is then tortured by having his fingernails pulled off with pincers and having two needles thrust where the fingernails would have been, yet still does not confess. He is then once again tortured with the boots—this time to irreparable, excruciating extremes—yet still does not admit to his previous confession, stating that his confession and previous actions were only said and done for fear of going through the tortures again.

Following this, the King decides to soon have Doctor Fian executed. He was strangled and burned in a great fire in the Castle Hill of Edenbrough in January 1591. The other witches not yet executed were, at the time of the pamphlet, still in prison. The pamphlet ends with an elogy of the King as a true Christian and an undaunted mind.