Tag Archives: Popery

An Account of a strange and prodigious storm of thunder, lighting & hail

there was a terrible storm in Oxfordshire of lightning and hail, barns were burnt down, a boy was struck with thunder but recovered, reports of a Catholic Jesuit churches being destroyed in a similar storm in France, yet the Protestant church in this town remained unharmed, lightning also struck a ship and several crew members

Newes from the stars, or, An ephemeris for the year

reports of four coming eclipses, of the sun and moon, comets in 1665 signify war and peace in the southern colonies, gives month by month astronomical observations and their ramifications for 1666, predictions of war with France and other European disputes, possible plagues in France, then news of peace, the signs of 1666 suggest the downfall of Rome and the Roman Catholic religion, relates this to the number of the beast, sings of disease in Europe

The Lord’s arm stretched ovt

written by father of James Barrow, when reading scripture he felt a horrible burning, rat and cats would appear to him, he was confined to one stool in the house, doctors were consulted, he was brought to Roman Catholics who put crosses on his head, he denied their request to make the boy a Catholic, he was later thought to be bewitched, he would scream in the night, eventually he became dispossessed, a Hannah Crump of Warwick similarly was possessed and dispossessed

The tryall and examination of Mrs. Joan Peterson

Brief summary

Joan Peterson was examined for the poisoning and bewitching of Lady Powel, for which she confessed, Giles Fender also confessed to making a blood covenant with the Devil through a Jesuit, and murdering his wife, he was given a ring that could make him disappear, the Devil appeared to him in the jail as a lawyer and gave him the means to escape, after which he was apprehended again when his covenant wore off, was hanged.

Fuller summary
This pamphlet deals primarily with the 1652 trial of Giles Fenderlin, a soldier who made a pact of protection with the devil via a Jesuit priest. The pamphlet recounts Fenderlin’s confession, beginning with a cursory mention of his murder of a woman purported to be his wife. Fenderlin, a soldier in the Low Countries (Flanders at the time of the covenant) paid a Jesuit priest 45 shillings for protection provided by the Devil. He and the two other soldiers accompanying him asked for demonstrations on a rooster and a cat, and when they were satisfied with the results, paid the priest 45 shillings. For the next five years Fenderlin was protected in battle. Bullets bounced off of him. When the covenant expired he decided to renew it for the next 14. Fenderlin wrote his name in his own blood, and the Jesuit gave Fenderlin an enchanted ring that could reveal money hoards and transport the wearer miles away from danger.

Spirits visited Fenderlin several times while he was incarcerated. The Devil himself visited Fenderlin, who took the form of a lawyer and told Fenderlin to hang himself. A fellow inmate of Fenderlin’s reported seeing a spirit who took the form of a bishop. Fenderlin renounced it, telling the spirit that it should return if it was from hell. The spirit “spit fire in his face like a flame.” Other fellow inmates reported seeing Fenderlin’s familiar, who appeared at night as a man with no arms or head. An apparition of a dog also appeared, but Fenderlin rejected its affections (“saying ‘Avoid Satan’”).

On the eve of Fenderlin’s execution, he warned some inmates “of good repute” that they might be scared by the apparitions that would haunt him that night. The inmates declared they were afraid only of God. That night they heard rustling in the straw, and Fenderlin yelled at an apparent spirit. The inmates, however, asserted that it was not a spirit but “the guilt of your own Conscience, and nothing else; for we are all rational men, and cannot discern any thing.” Fenderlin then assured them that he was in his right mind. Fenderlin was hanged in

This section of the pamphlet brings up several interesting issues that I would like to explore: the treatment of male witches in the late 17th century, the allusions to mental illness, the appearance of a specifically Jesuit Catholic priest, the possible interactions between the representation of Fenderlin’s crime and his term as a soldier in the Low Countries, and the treatment (or lack thereof) of Fenderlin’s crime against his wife.

There is what seems to be a short addendum (or preview of an upcoming pamphlet) about Joan Peterson, who was a “practitioner of physick” accused of witchcraft because a woman she had given a potion died. However, Peterson denied any wrongdoing, as the patient was 80 years old, and insisted that she did not administer any potion and only provided the woman with “comfortable and nourishing” care. The author indicates that a pamphlet directly dealing with the trial is forthcoming.

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

Newes from sundry places…with other great harme done elsewhere, by lightning and thunder

reports of Spanish troops from Venice, news of the Pope from Rome, the stories of a Count Mansfield, then a relation of the storm in Devon and Somersetshire, and the shipwreck in Catwater, a man fell sick as if possessed and asked to go to land, when he was denied by the captain he said ‘d you not see two devils yonder,’ after being tied up he got free and leaped into the ocean, after which there arose a lightning and windstorm, throwing the ship into the rocks, the storm had ramifications on land, killing many crops