Categories
Possession

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

Categories
Witchcraft

The wonderfull discouerie of Elizabeth Savvyer

original suspicions of Elizabeth Savvyer, spinster, after the death of nurse-children and cattle, used an ‘old ridiculous custome’ of burning the thatch of her house to see if she would come, she confessed that the Devil accessed her through her tongue, they had a woman search her body and found a mark in the form of a ‘teate,’ contains interrogation of her in dialogue, was executed

Categories
Witchcraft

A treatise of witchcraft VVherein sundry propositions are laid downe

mostly a theoretical discussion of witchcraft, Marie Smith became jealous of her neighbors for selling cheese better than she, cursed them, the Devil appeared to her in the shape of a black man, she cursed a sailor who struck her son, he became sick and his fingers rotted off, she bewitched several other men and women, and confessed publicly before execution

Categories
Witchcraft

VVitches apprehended, examined and executed

widowed Mother Sutton and her daughter Mary, mother becomes Hog-keeper and was blamed for the disease and death of cows, she trained her daughter in the arts and killed men’s horses and hogs, a Master Engers hit Mary Sutton’s bastard son for goofing around, after his horses went crazy, they sent a Beetle to put his servant in a trance, Mary tried to seduce him in his bed, they bewitched to death Enger’s son after he confronted them, Master Engers apprehended her, took some of her blood, her imps sucked her teats, he beat the daughter to near death, threw her into water to see if she would drown or float and then check for her mark, she survived and then confessed so they executed them both

Categories
Witchcraft

The most cruell and bloody murther committed by an Inkeepers wife

Brief summary
Annis and George Dell ransacked the house of Anthony James, killed him, then the woman stabbed his pregnant wife with a knife killing her, sister revealed the murder even after having her tongue cut out, Annis was apprehended and brought to the Assizes when the boy of Anthony James was found in the bottom of a pond, she became a beggar after, they were both executed in addition to Iohane Harrison and her daughter.

Fuller summary
Anthony James is introduced as a hard workingman with a relationship like “ Abraham and Sara, he loving to her, she obedient to him”.(3). Together they had one daughter, Elizabeth, and a son, Anthony.

According to the pamphlet, the children came across the house of a very rich man. He had gold and silver among other things. They bound him and he begged them to take everything in exchange for his life. They kill the wealthy man’s child, his wife, and him. Then, two men named George Dell and a man Nicholas Dracon brutally murdered the son in Hatfield, as the title suggests. Ultimately, the men were executed in the public square of execution.

The last two pages of the pamphlet specifically talk about Iohane Harrifon, who has been accused and convicted of being a witch. Essentially, the pages focus on her in Royfton. For example, it focuses on her having taken advantage of an innocent and honest man and her Witch- side came out. He escaped but was not found and the ending of the pamphlet states that he was with George Dell and other victims, thus implying that he was dead.

Categories
Witchcraft

A strange report of sixe most notorious vvitches

Paule Gamperle was trained by grandmother, made lame those he owed debts too, murdered others, robbed churches, and burnt down houses; Anne Gamperle his wife confessed to murdering a hundred children, harmed livestock and elderly people; Simon Gamperle his son confessed to murdering thirty children and stealing from churches; Iacob the other son confessed to the same; Vllrich Sehelltibaum confessed to murdering the young and old, and robbing churches; George Smaltes confessed to similar crimes—the mother’s breasts were cut off, and they beat her sons and her with them, tortured them, and then they were all burnt

Categories
Possession

A true discourse concerning the certaine possession and dispossession of 7 persons

a Nicholas Starkie married a rich woman who inherited her money from her papist relatives, she gave birth to a daughter and a son, Anne and John, who both began to go into violent fits, he consulted an Edmond Hartley, a known witch, who used popish charms on the children and cured them for a year, after they got sick again he consulted doctors, whomever Edmond kissed would have the Devil breathed into them, he drew circles in the ground, Margaret Byrom relative of Mrs. Starkie also fell into fits, he charmed Jane Ashton with marriage and flattery, and then kissed her as well, Margaret began to accuse him, she saw apparitions and the Devil, he prevented them from speaking often, Edmond was condemned and hanged

Categories
Possession

A brief apologie prouing the possession of William Sommers

written by the minister himself but apparently published without his knowledge, descriptions of his fits and a black dog that appeared, argues that the swellings seen across his body could not be counterfeited, criticizes Sommers for being a liar, claims that the confession of Alice Goodridge also confirms that the Thomas Darling was not lying either, contains a list of evidence supporting his case

Categories
Witchcraft

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.

Categories
Witchcraft

A true discourse

Brief summary:
Stubbe Peeter was known to practice magic and witchcraft as a young kid, the devil transformed him into a strong and greedy wolf, killed livestock would find women or children he lusted over, ‘ravish,’ and murder them, committed incest, he was apprehended by hunters, examined, and then confessed out of fear of torture, however he was tortured to death and his daughter and ‘Gossip’ were burnt to death.

Fuller summary:
Decorated by a storyboard illustration of the capture and execution of the infamous Stubbe Peeter and his guilty family members, this 16th century pamphlet tells the story of a “wicked sorcerer” who, in the form of a wolf, repeatedly raped and murdered members of his community for 25 years. The pamphlet beings with a footnote version of the youth of Stubbe Peeter, noting that he had exhibited a proclivity for devilish activities from the age of 12. His continuous flirtation with devilish spirits and fiends eventually led him to sell his soul to the devil and abandon salvation. For 25 years, he assumed the shape of a greedy wolf and terrorized the streets of Collin, Bedbur, and Cperdadt. Before he assumed his full evil nature, he conceived a daughter named Stubbe Beell. He turned her wicked through his seduction and abuse and eventually had a child with her, who he made his concubine. After the pamphlet details all of these developments in Stubbe Peeter’s life, it narrates how the communities terrorized by him contacted a former resident of their village living London, imploring him for help. He rallied the folks of these villages together, and they hunted him down in his wolf form. They tailed him back to his house, where he turned back into a human. They brought him in from of the magistrates and he was sentenced to a painful death along with his daughter and his concubine daughter/granddaughter conceived through incest. The pamphlet ends with a warning of the justice that will be served to those who perform equally malevolent acts.