Early Modern Witches: Witchcraft Cases in Contemporary by Marion Gibson

By Marion Gibson

This selection of pamphlets describes fifteen English witchcraft situations intimately, vividly recreating occasions to offer the reader the semblance of truly being current at witchcraft accusations, trials and hangings. yet how a lot are we sufferers of literary manipulation by means of those texts? The pamphlets are offered in annotated layout, to permit the reader to determine. many of the texts seem in print for the 1st time in 3 centuries, while others are newly edited to provide a clearer photograph of assets.

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Example text

And thys she gave him at all times when he dyd any thynge for her, by pricking her hand or face & puttinge the bloud to hys mouth whyche he sucked, & forthwith wold lye downe in hys pot againe, wherin she kepte him, the spots of all the which priks are yet to be sene in her skin. Also she saythe that another tyme being offended with one father Kersye she toke her catte Sathan in her lap and put hym in the wood before her dore, & willed him to kyll three of this father Kersyes hogges, whiche he dyd, and retourning agayne told her so, and she rewarded hym as before, wyth a chicken and a droppe of her bloud, which chicken he eate up cleane as he didde al the rest, and she {Bv} cold fynde neyther bones nor fethers.

For after he 2 William Alley, bishop since 1560 – see George Oliver, Lives of the Bishops of Exeter (Exeter, 1861), 138–9. 3 Sic. Netherbury is a Dorset village some thirty-five miles east of Exeter. Perhaps Walsh was brought to Exeter because he was suspected within the diocese – his home village lies outside it. 4 Sic. Should presumably read ‘another’. 5 Rodrigo Borgia, pope until 1503. Father of Lucrezia and Cesar, he had numerous enemies willing to defame him. It was also rumoured that he died of poison.

20 Of whom he woulde then aske for any thing stollen, who dyd it, and where the thing stollen was left, and thereby did know, and by the Feries he knoweth who be bewitched. {A5v} Eightly, he being demaunded whether he had ever any Familiar or no: he sayth that he had one of his sayde mayster. Which Familiar (after his booke of Circles was taken from him by one Robert Baber of Crokehorne,21 then beyng Constable, in the yeare. 1565) he coulde never do any thing touching his Familiar, nor the use thereof, but hys Familiar dyd then depart from him, and wyll never come to him agayne, as he sayth.

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