¶ A most true Discourse, declaring the life and death of one Stubbe Peeter, being a most wicked Sorcerer.
THose whome the Lord dooth leaue to followe the Imagination of their own hartes, dispising his proffered grace, in the end through the hardnes of hart and con∣tempt of his fatherly mercy, they enter the right path to perdicion and destruction of body and soule for euer: as in this present historie in perfect sorte may be seene, the strangenes whereof, together with the cru∣elties committed, and the long time therin continued, may driue many in doubt whe∣ther the same be truth or no, and the ra∣therfore that sundry falce & fabulous mat∣ters Page 2 haue héertofore passed in print, which hath wrought much incredulitie in ye harts of all men generally, insomuch that now a daies fewe thinges doo escape be it neuer so certain, but that it is embased by the tearm of a lye or falce reporte. In the reading of this story, therfore I doo first request refor∣mation of opinion, next patience to peruse it, because it is published for examples sake, and lastly to censure thereof as reason and wisdome dooth think conueniēt, considering the subtilty that Sathan vseth to work the soules destruction, and the great matters which the accursed practise of Sorcery dooth effect, the fruites whereof is death and de∣struction for euer, and yet in all ages prac∣tised by the reprobate and wicked of the earth, some in one sort, and some in another euen as the Deuill giueth promise to per∣fourme. But of all other that euer liued, none was comparable vnto this helhound, whose tiranny and cruelty did well declare he was of his Father the deuill, who was a murderer from the beginning, whose life and death and most bloody practises the dis∣course following dooth make iust reporte. Page 3 In the townes of Cperadt and Bedbur neer vnto Collin in high Germany, there was continually brought vp and nourished one Stubbe Peeter, who from his youth was greatly inclined to euill, and the practising of wicked Artes euen from twelue yéers of age till twentye, and so forwardes till his dying daye, insomuch that surfeiting in the Damnable desire of magick, negromancye, and sorcery, acquainting him selfe with ma∣ny infernall spirites and feendes, insomuch that forgetting ye God that made him, and that Sauiour that shed his blood for mans redemption: In the end, careles of saluati∣on gaue both soule and body to the deuil for euer, for small carnall pleasure in this life, that he might be famous and spoken of on earth, though he lost heauen thereby. The Deuill who hath a readye eare to listen to the lewde motions of cursed men, promised to giue vnto him whatsoeuer his hart de∣sired during his mortall life: wherupon this vilde wretch neither desired riches nor promotion, nor was his fancy satisfied with any externall or outward pleasure, but ha∣uing a tiramous hart, and a most cruell Page 4 bloody minde, he only requested that at his plesure he might woork his mallice on men, Women, and children, in the shape of some beast, wherby he might liue without dread or danger of life, and vnknowen to be the executor of any bloody enterprise, which he meant to commit▪ The Deuill who sawe him a fit instruemēt to perfourm mischeefe as a wicked feend pleased with the desire of wrong and destruction, gaue vnto him a girdle which being put about him, he was straight transfourmed into the likenes of a gréedy deuouring Woolf, strong and migh∣ty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkeled like vnto brandes of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharpe and cruell teeth, A huge body, and mightye pawes: And no sooner should he put off the same girdle, but presently he should appéere in his former shape, according to the pro∣portion of a man, as if he had neuer beene changed.
Stubbe Peeter héerwith was excéedingly well pleased, and the shape fitted his fancye and agréeed best with his nature▪ being in∣clined to blood and crueltye, therfore satisfi∣ed Page 5 with this strange and diuelish gifte, for that it was not troublesome nor great in cariage, but that it might be hidden in a small room, he proceeded to the execution of sundry most hainous and vilde murders, for if any person displeased him, he would in∣continent thirst for reuenge, and no sooner should they or any of theirs walke abroad in the feeldes or about the Cittie, but in the shape of a Woolfe he would presentlye in∣counter them, and neuer rest till he had pluckt out their throates and teare their ioyntes a sunder: And after he had gotten a taste heerof, he tooke such pleasure and de∣light in shedding of blood, that he would night and day walke the Féelds, and work extreame cruelties. And sundry times he would goe through the Streetes of Collin, Bedbur, and Cperadt, in comely habit, and very ciuilly as one well knowen to all the inhabitants therabout, & oftentimes was he saluted of those whose fréendes and chil∣dren he had buchered, though nothing sus∣pected for the same. In these places, I say, he would walke vp & down, and if he could spye either Maide, Wife or childe, that his Page 6 eyes liked or his hart lusted after, he would waite their issuing out of ye Cittie or town, if he could by any meanes get them alone, he would in the feeldes rauishe them, and af∣ter in his Wooluish likenes cruelly murder them: yea often it came to passe that as he walked abroad in the feeldes, if he chaunste to spye a companye of maydens playing to∣gether, or else a milking of their Kine, in his Wooluishe shape he would incontinent runne among them, and while the rest esca∣ped by flight, he would be sure to laye holde of one, and after his filthy lust fulfilled, he would murder her presentlye, beside, if he had liked or knowne any of them, look who he had a minde vnto, her he would pursue, whether she were before or behinde, and take her from the rest, for such was his swiftnes of foot while he continued a woolf: that he would outrunne the swiftest grey∣hound in that Countrye: and so muche he had practised this wickednes, that ye whole Prouince was feared by the cruelty of this bloody and deuouring Woolfe. Thus conti∣nuing his diuelishe and damnable déedes within the compas of fewe yeeres, he had Page 7 murdered thirteene yong Children, and two goodly yong women bigge with Child, tearing the Children out of their wombes, in most bloody and sauedge sorte, and after eate their hartes panting hotte and rawe, which he accounted dainty morsells & best agreeing to his Appetite.
Moreouer he vsed many times to kill Lambes and Kiddes and such like beastes, feeding on the same most vsually raw and bloody, as if he had béene a naturall Woolfe indeed, so that all men mistrusted nothing lesse then this his diuelish Sorcerie.
He had at that time liuing a faire yong Damosell to his Daughter, after whom he also lusted most vnnaturallye, and cruellye committed most wicked inceste with her, a most groce and vilde sinne, far surmoun∣ting Adultrye or Fornication, though the least of the thrée dooth driue the soule into hell fier, except hartye repentance, and the great mercy of God. This Daughter of his he begot when he was not altogither so wickedlye giuen, who was called by the name of Stubbe Beell, whose beautye and good grace was such as deserued commen∣dacions Page 8 of all those that knewe her: And such was his inordinate lust and filthye de∣sire toward her, that he begat a Childe by her, dayly vsing her as his Concubine, but as an insaciate and filthy beast, giuen ouer to woork euil, with greedines he also lay by his owne Sister, frequenting her company long time euen according as the wicked∣nes of his hart lead him: Moreouer being on a time sent for to a Gossip of his there to make merry and good chéere, ere he thence departed he so wunne the woman by his faire and flattering spéech, and so much pre∣uailed, yt ere he departed the house: he lay by her, and euer after had her companye at his commaund, this woman had to name Katherine Trompin, a woman of tall and comely stature of excéeding good fauour and one that was well esteemed among her neighbours. But his lewde and inordinat lust being not satisfied with the company of many Concubines, nor his wicked fancye contented with the beauty of any woman, at length the deuill sent vnto him a wicked spirit in the similitude and likenes of a wo∣man, so faire of face and comelye of perso∣nage, Page 9 that she resembled rather some hea∣uenly Hellin then any mortall creature, so farre her beauty excéeded the cheifest sorte of women, and with her as with his harts delight, he kept company the space of seuen yeeres, though in the end she proued and was found indeed no other then a she De∣uil, notwithstanding, this lewd sinne of le∣cherye did not any thing asswage his cruell and bloody minde, but continuing an insati∣able bloodsucker, so great was the ioye he took therin, that he accoūted no day spent in pleasure wherin he had not shed some blood not respecting so much who he did murder, as how to murder and destroy them, as the matter ensuing dooth manifest, which may stand for a speciall note of a cruell and hard hart. For hauing a proper youth to his sonne, begotten in the flower and strength of his age, the firste fruite of his bodye, in whome he took such ioye, that he did com∣monly call him his Hartes ease, yet so farre his delight in murder excéeded the ioye he took in his only Sonne, that thirsting after his blood, on a time he inticed him into the feeldes, and from thence into a Forrest hard Page 10 by, where making excuse to stay about the necessaries of nature, while the yong man went on forward, incontinent in the shape and likenes of a Walfe he encountred his owne Sonne, and there most cruelly slewe him, which doon, he presently eat the brains out of his head as a most sauerie and dain∣ty delycious meane to staunch his greedye apetite: the most monstrous act that euer man heard off, for neuer was knowen a wretch from nature so far degenerate.
Long time he continued this vilde and villanous life, sometime in the likenes of a Woolfe, sometime in the habit of a man, sometime in the Townes and Citties, and sometimes in the Woods and thickettes to them adioyning, whereas the duche coppye maketh mention, he on a time mette with two men and one woman, whom he great∣ly desired to murder, and the better to bring his diuelish purpose to effect, doubting by them to be ouermatched and knowing one of them by name, he vsed this pollicie to bring them to their end. In subtill sorte he conuayed himselfe far before them in their way and craftely couched out of their sight, Page 11 but as soone as they approched néere the place where he lay, he called one of them by his name, the partye hearing him selfe cal∣led once or twice by his name, supposing it was some familier friend that in iesting sorte stood out of his sight, went from his companye towarde the place from whence the voice procéeded, of purpose to see who it was, but he was no sooner entred within the danger of this transformed man, but in∣continent he was murdered in yt place, the rest of his company staying for him, expec∣ting still his returne, but finding his stay o∣uer long: the other man lefte the woman, and went to looke him, by which means the second man was also murdered, the woman then séeing neither of both returne againe, in hart suspected that some euill had fallen vpon them, and therfore with all the pow∣er she had, she sought to saue her selfe by flight, though it nothing preuailed, for good soule she was also soone ouertaken by this light footed Woolfe, whom when he had first deflowred, he after most cruelly murdered, the men were after found mangled in the wood, but the womans body was neuer af∣ter Page 12 séene, for she the caitife had most raue∣noullye deuoured, whose fleshe he estéemed both swéet and dainty in taste.
Thus this damnable Stubbe Peeter li∣ued the tearme of fiue and twenty yeeres, vususpected to be Author of so many cruell and vnnaturall murders, in which time he had destroyed and spoyled an vnknowen number of Men, Women, and Children, shéepe, Lambes, and Goates: and other Catttell, for when he could not through the warines of people drawe men, Women, or Children in his danger, then like a cruell and tirannous beast he would woorke his cruelty on brut beasts in most sauadge sort, and did act more mischeefe and cruelty then would be credible, although high Germany hath been forced to taste the trueth thereof.
By which meanes the inhabitantes of Collin, Bedbur and Cperadt, seeing them∣selues so gréeuously endaungered, plagued, and molested by this greedy & cruel Woolfe, who wrought continuall harme and mis∣cheefe, insomuch that few or none durst tra∣uell to or from those places without good prouision of defence, and all for feare of this Page 13 deuouring and fierce woolf, for oftentimes the Inhabitants found the Armes & legges of dead Men, Women, and Children, scat∣tered vp and down the feelds to their great greefe and vexation of hart, knowing the same to be doone by that strange and cruell Woolfe, whome by no meanes they could take or ouercome, so that if any man or woman mist their Childe, they were out of hope euer to see it again aliue, mistrusting straight that the Woolfe had destroyed it.
And héere is to be noted a most strange thing which setteth foorth the great power and mercifull prouidence of God to ye com∣fort of eache Christian hart. There were not long agoe certain small Children play∣ing in a Medowe together hard by y• town, where also some store of kine were feeding, many of them hauing yong calues sucking vpon thē: and sodainly among these Chil∣dren comes this vilde Woolfe running and caught a prittie fine Girle by the choller, with intent to pull out her throat, but such was ye will of God, that he could not pearce the choller of the Childes coate, being high and very well stiffened & close claspt about her neck, and therwith all the sodaine great Page 14 crye of the rest of the childrē which escaped, so amazed the cattell feeding by, that being fearfull to be robbed of their young, they al∣together came running against the Woolfe with such force that he was presently com∣pelled to let goe his holde and to run away to escape ye danger of their hornes, by which meanes the Childe was preserued from death, and God be thanked remains liuing at this day.
And that this thing is true, Maister Tice Artine a Brewer dwelling at Puddle∣wharfe, in London, beeing a man of that Country borne, and one of good reputation and account, is able to iustifie, who is néere Kinsman to this Childe, and hath from thence twice receiued Letters conserning the same, and for that the firste Letter did rather driue him into wondering at the act then yeelding credit therunto, he had short∣lye after at request of his writing another letter sent him, wherby he was more fully satisfied, and diuers other persons of great credit in London hath in like sorte receiued letters from their freends to the like effect.
Likewise in the townes of Germany a∣foresaid continuall praier was vsed vnto Page 15 god that it would please him to deliuer thē from the danger of this gréedy Woolfe.
And although they had practised all the meanes that men could deuise to take this rauenous beast, yet vntill the Lord had de∣termined his fall, they could not in any wise preuaile: notwithstanding they day∣lye continued their purpose, and daylye sought to intrap him, and for that intent continually maintained great mastyes and Dogges of muche strength to hunt & chase the beast whersoeuer they could finde him. In the end it pleased God as they were in readines and prouided to méete with him, that they should espye him in his wooluishe likenes, at what time they beset him round about, and moste circumspectlye set their Dogges vpon him, in such sort that there was no means to escape, at which aduan∣tage they neuer could get him before, but as the Lord deliuered Goliah into ye handes of Dauid, so was this Woolfe brought in danger of these men, who seeing as I saide before no way to escape the imminent dan∣ger, being hardly pursued at the heeles pre∣sently he slipt his girdle from about him, wherby the shape of a Woolfe cleane auoi∣ded, Page 16 and he appéered presently in his true shape & likenes, hauing in his hand a staffe as one walking toward the Cittie, but the hunters whose eyes was stedfastly bent v∣pon the beast, and seeing him in the same place metamorphosed contrary to their ex∣pectation: it wrought a wonderfull amaze∣ment in their mindes, and had it not beene that they knewe the man so soone as they sawe him, they had surely taken the same to haue beene some Deuill in a mans like∣nes, but for as much as they knewe him to be an auncient dweller in the Towne, they came vnto him, and talking with him they brought him by communication home to his owne house, and finding him to be the man indeede, and no selusion or phanta∣sticall motion, they had him incontinent before the Maiestrates to be examined.
Thus being apprehended, he was short∣ly after put to the racke in the Towne of Bedbur, but fearing the torture, he vollun∣tarilye confessed his whole life, and made knowen the villanies which he had com∣mitted for the space of xxv. yeeres, also he cōfessed how by Sorcery he procured of the Deuill a Girdle, which beeing put on, he Page 17 forthwith became a Woolfe, which Girdle at his apprehension he confest he cast it off in a certain Uallye and there left it, which when the Maiestrates heard, they sent to the Uallye for it, but at their comming found nothing at al, for it may be supposed that it was gone to the deuil from whence it came, so that it was not to be found. For the Deuil hauing brought the wretch to al the shame he could, left him to indure the torments which his deedes deserued.
After he had some space beene impriso∣ned, the maiestrates found out through due examination of the matter, that his daugh ter Stubbe Beell and his Gossip Katherine Trompin, were both accessarye to diuers murders committed, who for the same as also for their leaud life otherwise commit∣ted, was arraigned, and with Stubbe Pee∣ter condempned, and their seuerall Iudge∣mentes pronounced the 28 of October 1589▪ in this manor, that is to saye: Stubbe Pee∣ter as principall mallefactor, was iudged first to haue his body laide on a wheele, and with red hotte burning pincers in ten seue∣ral places to haue the flesh puld off from the bones, after that, his legges and Armes to Page 18 be broken with a woodden Are or Hatchet, afterward to haue his head strook from his body, then to haue his carkasse burnde to Ashes.
Also his Daughter and his Gossip were iudged to be burned quicke to Ashes, the same time and day with the carkasse of the aforesaid Stubbe Peeter, And on the 31. of the same moneth, they suffered death ac∣cordingly in the town of Bedbur in the pre∣sence of many péeres & princes of Germany.
Thus Gentle Reader haue I set down the true discourse of this wicked man Stub Peeter, which I desire to be a warning to all Sorcerers and Witches, which vnlaw∣fully followe their owne diuelish imagina∣tion to the vtter ruine and destruction of their soules eternally, from which wicked and damnable practice, I beséech God kéepe all good men, and from the crueltye of their wicked hartes.