Four devils appeared unto her

These fragments come from early 17th century witchcraft trials. As a primary source, these accounts provide us with fascinating first-hand evidence of the complex and often baffling details of  narratives and accusations of witchcraft and demonic possession.

The Examination of Anne Baker of Bottesford in the County of Leicester, Spinster:

Shee saith, That she saw a hand appeare unto her, and that shee heard a voyce in the aire said unto her, Anne Baker, save thy selfe, for to morrow thou and thy Master must bee slaine. And the next day her Master and she were in a Cart together; and suddenly she saw a flash of fire, and she said her prayers, and the fire went away and shortly after a Crow came and picked upon her cloathes, and she said her prayers againe, and bade the Crow go to whom he was sent and the Crow went unto her Master, and did beat him to death, and she with her prayers recovered him to life; but he was sicke a fortnight after, and saith, that if she had not had more knowledge then her Master, both hee and shee and all the Cattell had beene slaine.

The said Anne Baker, confesseth before before Sir George Manners Knight, and Samuel Fleming Doctor of Divinity, that she hath a spirit which hath the shape of a white dogge, which she calleth her good spirit.

 

The Examination of Joane Willimot:

This Examinat saith, That upon Friday night last, her Spirit came to her and told her that there was a bad woman at Deeping who had given her soule to the Devill: and that her said Spirit did then appeare unto her in a more ugly forme then it had formerly done, and that it urged her much to give it something. She saith, that shee hath a Spirit which shee calleth Pretty, which was given unto her by William Berry of Langholme in Rutland shire, whom she served three yeares, and that her Master when he gave it unto her, willed her to open her mouth, and hee would blow into her a Fairy which should do her good; and that she opened her mouth; and he did blow into her mouth and presently after his blowing, there came out of her mouth a Spirit, which stood upon the ground in the shape and forme of a woman, which Spirit did aske of her her soule, which she then promised unto it, being willed thereunto by her Master. She further confesseth, That she never hurt any body, but did helpe divers that sent for her, which were stricken or fore-spoken: and that her Spirit came weekely to her and would tell her of divers persons which were stricken and fore spoken. And she saith, That the use which shee had of the Spirit was to know, how those did which she had undertaken to amend; and that she did helpe them by certaine prayers which shee used, and not by her owne Spirit: neither did she imploy her Spirit in any thing, but onely to bring word how those did which she had undertaken to cure.

Shee saith further, That Gamaliel Greete of Waltham in the said County Shepherd, had a Spirit like a white Mouse put into him, in his swearing; and that if he did looke upon any thing with an intent to hurt, it should be hurt, and that he had marke on his left, arme, which was cut away; and that her owne Spirit did tell her all this before it went from her.

Further shee saith, That Joane Flower, Margaret Flower, and she, did meet about a weeke before Joane Flowers apprehension in Blackborrow hill, and went from thence home to the said Joane Flowers house and there shee saw two Spirits, one like a Rat, and the other like an Owle; and one of them did sucke under her right eare, as she thought: and the said Joane told her, that her Spirit did say, she could neither be hanged nor burnt.

 

The Examination of Ellen Greene of Stathorne in the County of Leicester:

She saith, That one Joane Willimot of Goadby came about sixe yeares since, to her in the Wowlds, and perswaded this Examinate to forsake God, and betake her to the Devill, and she would give her two Spirits, to which she gave her consent and thereupon the said Joane Willimot called two Spirits, one in the likenes of a Kitlin, and the other of a Moldiwarp, the first the said Willmot called Pusse, the other Hiffe, hiffe, and they presently came to her, and she departing left them with this Examinate, and they lept on her shoulder, and the Kitlin suckt under her right eare on her necke, and the Moldiwarp on the left side, in the like place. After they had suckt her, shee sent the Kitlin to a Baker of that Towne, whose name she remembers not, who had called her Witch and bade her said Spirit goe and bewitch him to death: the Moldiwarp she then bade goe to Anne Dawse of the same Towne, and bewitch her to death, because shee had; called this Examinate Witch, whore, jade, &c. and within one fortnight after they both died.

About three yeares since, this Examinate removed thence to Stathorne, where she now dwelt: upon a difference betweene the said Willimot and the wife of John Patchet of the said Stathorne Yeoman, she the said Willimot called her this Examinate to goe and touch the said John Patchets wife and her childe, which she did, touching the said John Patchets wife in her bed, and the child in the Grace-wifes armes, and then sent her said Spirits to bewitch them to death, which they did, and so the woman lay languishing by the space of a moneth and more, for then she died; the child died the next day after she touched it.

 

The Examination of Margaret Flower:

She saith and confesseth, That about foure or five yeare since her mother sent her, for the right hand glove of Henry Lord Rosse, afterward that her mother bade her go againe into the Castle of Bever, and bring downe the glove or some other thing of Henry Lord Rosse, and she askt what to do? Her mother replied, to hurt my Lord Rosse: whereupon she brought downe a glove, and delivered the same to her mother, who stroked Rutterkin her Cat with it; after it was dipt in hot water, and so prickt it often, after which Henry Lord Rosse fell sicke within a weeke, and was much tormented with the same.

Shee further faith, That finding a glove about two or three yeares since of Francis Lord Rosse, on a dunghill, shee delivered it to her mother, who put it into hot water and after tooke it out and rubd it on Rutterkin the Cat, and bad him goe upwards, and after her mother buried it in the yard, and said a mischiefe light on him, but hee will mend againe.

Shee further confesseth, that by her mothers commandment, she brought to her a piece of a handkerchiefe of the Lady Katherine the Earles daughter, and her mother put it into hot water, and then taking it out, rubd it on Rutterkin, bidding him flie, and goe; whereupon Rutterkin whined and cried Mew: whereupon she said, that Rutterkin had no power over the Lady Katherine to hurt her.

Margaret Flower, at the same time confesseth, that she hath two familiar Spirits sucking on her, the one white, the other blacke spotted; the white sucked under her left breast, and the blacke spotted within the inward parts of her secrets. When she first entertained them she promised them her soule, and they covenanted to do all things which shee commanded them.

She further saith, That about the 30th of January last past, being Saturday, foure Devills appeared unto her in Lincolne Jayle, at eleven or twelve a clocke at midnight: The one stood at her beds feet, with a blacke head like an Ape, and spake unto her, but what, she cannot well remember, at which she was very angry because hee would speake no plainer, or let her understand his meaning: the other three were Rutterkin, Little Robin, and Spirit; but she never mistrusted them, nor suspected her selfe till then.

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