Tag Archives: VictimBoy

The detection of a popish cheat

A young boy named James Day was an apprentice to a smith his Father in Dublin, he declared that he was in league with the Devil and was visited by Minister Mr. Travers, another smith told him to write a prayer in blood to get money, he summoned the devil in this way, a black man appeared and offered him many things including money, the boy’s uncle Patrick Dayson a Papist brought him to his house, he was told to wear a crucifix, they tried to get him to convert, the boy later confessed it was all a plot with his Uncle’s family, they were apprehended and tried at the next Quarter Sessions.

True account of a strange and wonderful relation of John Tonken

The young boy broke out into fits and reported seeing an apparition that warned him he would throw up pins, the next day he did so along with walnut shells, continued to be possessed and to throw up, now grains, he is feeling better now but two old women, Iane Noal and Betty Seeze, were put in jail and are to be arranged at the next Assizes

A strange and wonderful relation of Margaret Gurr

Brief summary:
A first person account of the Devil coming to Margaret Gurr in her sleep, giving her extreme pains, entering her and speaking through her with ugly sounds, a witch came and also entered her, Doctor Skinner told her to pray when they came but they overpowered her, she was tempted to kill herself, later she was able to read the Bible again, another young man was possessed by the devil in the shape of a greyhound.

Brief summary:
This pamphlet was purportedly written by Margaret Gurr and is, therefore, a first hand account of her possession. It begins in July 1681 when she is visited by two devils, one dressed in gray and the other dressed in black. The devils try to convince her to kill herself, first by hanging and in the case that she would not do that, by putting knitting needles in her ears. She does not kill herself. A week later the gray devil returns to her and holds her down on her bed so that she cannot move. The devil holds her so tight that her hands consequentially swell. The gray devil leaves her as soon as Margaret thinks about God. After the gray devil leaves her she feels a pain in her neck. The black devil then came, stared at her for a few moments, and then disappeared. When he disappeared the pain left her as well. On the fourth of August the devils return to Margaret. The black devil enters inside her and speaks through her, saying that if she does as he wants her to do she will be well. Then, on the fifth day of August a witch enters inside her as well and tells her the same thing, saying that if she follows the witch’s lead and acts the way she does she will be very healthy. Margaret was forced to do as the witch wanted her to do and if she tried to pray she was unable to speak. The next day she was once again visited by the devils. They took her flying through the air. She remembers the words of Doctor Skinner and prays. The witch threatens her for going to Doctor Skinner for help. After this, Doctor Skinner casts the devils and the witch out of Margaret’s body. He also cures her of the scurvy and gout so she is healthier than she has ever been before. She notes that before this possession took place she was unable to read and therefore could not read the word of God but after the possession she was blessed with the ability to read.

There is another shorter story included in this pamphlet about a 17 year old servant boy. A spirit in the form of a greyhound appears to him, telling him to go to Virginia. The boy starts getting seemingly unhealthy, his speech fails and all those around him notice and look for help. The author is the person that they found to help the boy. The author found that the boy was possessed by the devil and the author gave the boy medicines and the boy was cured as the devil was cast out of him.

The final story from this pamphlet is one of three miraculous cures. One girl had “evil in her eyes”, one had “evil in her throat” and the other had pain in her head, near her eyes. The author was able to cure all of them. As soon as they found the author they were cured.

A return of prayer: or A faithful relation of some remarkable passages

a boy named Thomas Sawdie went to the town fair, he wanted money from his mother but did not get any, when he was alone a woman in all white appeared and offered him money, when he said no she disappeared and big black dog took her place, seeing this Thomas fainted and awoke with them gone, he continued to see the dog at night, eventually he received money from it for the next fair, he then fell sick and started swelling, a physician deemed him possessed and he went into fits, he would often run and take off his clothes, he often saw fires and the devil as a rat, the devil eventually left him

A true and strange relation of a boy, who was entertained by the devill

John Buxford had a son named Joseph who he apprenticed to a weaver, he ran away temporarily to live as a soldier, his master changed into a black flying horses and took him away into the air, and then into the middle of the earth, he was revealed to be the Devil, saw many people being tortured in hell, he was returned to earth and found speechless and burnt

A true relation of the grievous handling of William Sommers

William Sommers, son-in-law of Robert Cowper, bought a hat with a copper band with an old lady who demanded to have it and threatened him, when he returned home he fell sick and went into fits, which his master suspected as being faked and whipped him, which he didn’t not feel, he was made an apprentice of another master, he was sometimes cast into the fire and covered in flames but did not burn, evil spirits talked through him, he was eventually dispossessed

The boy of Bilson

a young boy was thought to be possessed, could identify his supposed bewitcher when she was in the room but could not hear verse, he was found to be mixing ink with urine to feign bewitchment, he confessed to have meet a Thomas a priest, who taught him how to pretend in order to skip school, they tried to convert him, he begged for pardon after confessing

A discouery of the fraudulent practises of Iohn Darrel

60+, included here because trial seems to be of interest, over 150 pages, a discourse attempting to prove that Minister Dorrell taught Sommers to counterfeit his possession, too long to summarize but an outline of the arguments is broken down by book at the end of the document