Includes the story of Steven Cooper and his wife Margaret, Cooper fell sick and sent his wife to do business about a farm he owned, she began to act as if possessed by some evil spirit, she went into fits and foamed at the mouth, she saw visions of a snail carrying fire, saw the Devil, in the shape of a headless bear he came and took her away for a while, she felt better later and admitted her sinning was the cause of the possession; also includes the story of a maid in Germany who died, but when her mother went to say goodbye to her body, she awoke and began preaching about the end of the world, she had visions of an old man and angels, many religious men came to visit her.
Strange News out of Sommersetshire
These events occurred in September of last year in the town of Dichet, Sommersetshire. They concern a Yeoman and his wife, both known to be of good wealth and well loved by their neighbors. On September 9th Steven Cooper, being sick and weak, sent his wife, Margaret Cooper, to Glocestershire to handle business concerning their farm. She returned home after a day and a half with suggestions for bettering the farm, speaking idly and at great length about the farm and about a groate [silver coin?] that her young son had found the previous week. She continued speaking of these things for over a day, at which time her husband, disquieted by her idle talk, persuaded her to call upon God and counseled her to pray with him. Unable to maintain her prayer, withdrawn by the Devil, she demanded to see the groate her son had found, in addition to her wedding ring. When her husband would not show her the requested items she stared at him until he was frightened and called her sister and others to come help. When they arrived they held her down in her bed and she fought violently to get up until she began foaming at the mouth. After this episode of physical violence Margaret Cooper began to talk of a headless bear that had followed her on her trip into town. This went on intermittently for a week. At midnight on Sunday the candle in her room burned out and she claimed to see a snail carrying fire. She told her husband that she saw the Devil, and her husband himself saw a headless bear approaching her bed. Seven people in the room saw the bear strike Margaret Cooper’s feet, then roll her into a ball and throw her around the room and down a flight of stairs. Fiery flames and a horrible stink filled the hall. Her husband continued to pray until she told all present that the bear had gone. She returned to bed, where the candle burned dimly. Very suddenly her legs were out the open window at the head of the bed, though no witness can say how the window was opened, and her legs were wrapped around the post in the middle of the window. There was a knocking heard near where her feet hung, accompanied by more fire and stink. Steven Cooper and his brother pulled her back indoors, cried for the Lord to save her, and put her on her feet. At this point she saw a shining child outside of the window, which her husband and the rest saw as well. The candle in the room burned very bright and the child disappeared. Margaret Cooper was laid back in her bed, feeling better, and acknowledged it was for her sins that she was so tormented by the evil spirit.
The Wonderful work of God, showed by a Prophesy of a poor Country mans Daughter in Germany. 1613.
Last October 1st there was a wedding between a townsman, of low birth but very well liked, and the daughter of a gentleman at Rostorfe, near Melwing, Germany. The next day the bridegroom’s sister, a countryman’s daughter, came to visit with another young lady. The bride insulted her young sister-in-law’s clothes, mocking her father’s poverty. The gentleman’s daughter boasted of her own fine attire and jewels, having them brought out to show off. The third day after the wedding the poor country girl and the gentleman’s daughter both died suddenly within the same hour. Twenty-two hours after their death the mother of the country girl asked to have a final look at her daughter’s corpse, at which time the girl woke up and spoke to her mother, saying she had been sent as a messenger, to warn those who had sinned against God, and would return to the grave in five days. She told a story of meeting an old man with a long gray beard on a bridge. He took her to a castle filled with angels and charged her with the task of spreading mercy to the penitent and warning others who sin through pride and envy. She warned of God’s wrath, made manifest in wars, murder and natural disasters. The clothes that the gentleman’s daughter wore, because of the pride and vanity of her and her parents, were made to stink so much that no one could ever wear them again and the entire chamber where her body lay had to be walled in. Many people came to listen to the country girl’s speeches and on the fifth day, after taking the sacrament, she committed her Soul to God.
The Overflowing of Waters, breaking from the Seas in the County of Lincolne.
In the present month of November, a flood began in the village of Long-sutton and spread to cover the entire county of Lincolne. The wind was blowing from North and North-east, and the water came in very suddenly, appearing like clouds rolling out of the sky, covering 18-20 villages over the span of 16 miles. It is reported that over two thousand head of cattle and many thousands of sheep perished, whole stacks and ricks of peas and beans were overturned, and nothing could be seen but the upper parts of houses and the tops of trees. Some families climbed up into trees to remain safe, one man swam a mile with his wife and children on his back, and others rode on swimming horses to safety. At this time few people are known to have perished. The damage caused over the course of 4 days will take over 7 years to repair. This event calls to mind similar stories from other parts of England, including near London. Water, like Fire, must be kept under the government of God in his mercy; both elements are good when well used but evil when abused.