¶ The Apprehension and confession of three notorious Witches.
Arreigned and by Iustice condemned and executed at Chelmes-forde, in the Countye of Essex, the 5. day of Iulye, last past. 1589.
¶ With the manner of their diuelish practices and keeping of their spirits, whose fourmes are heerein truelye proportioned.
To the Reader.
IF we would call to remembrance the manifolde mercies and innumerable benefites which the Almighty hath and daily bestoweth vpon vs, in con∣sideration therof, we are bound to with-draw our filthy affections and naughty dispositions, from the vse of such detestable dealinges, as both are detested of God, whose almighty commaundements forbiddeth them, and vnto man, whose lawes are consti∣tuted to punish them as odious before the sight of God, wheron our earthly lawes groundeth and consisteth, and therfore vsed to punish or cut of such lewde or filthye of∣fenders as by breaking the deuine decrees of the Almigh∣tie, by the lawes of man descrues to be condemned: But such is the blindenes of our estate, the naughtines of our affections, and the desire of our diuelish appetites, that neither the commaundements of God, the lawes of our Realme, the loue of our neighbours, our owne wel∣fare, or the fall of others can or may moue vs to consider how profitable it were for vs to examine our liues, and to blemish such vices in vs as both the lawes of God and man forbiddeth: For what can be more odious or abho∣minable vnto God then the depriuation of his diuine po∣wer, by yeelding our selues seruiles vnto sathan for a lit¦tle worldly wealth, or hatred we haue to our neighbours, where we might rest the seruantes, nay the Sonnes of Al∣mighty Page [unnumbered] God, who sent his only Sonne to redeeme vs from the seruitude of bondage, and to bring vs vnto his blisse and eternall felicitie, which shall euermore remain perfect, which if we would consider, what christian is so blinded with ignorance or ouercome with the illusions of Sathan, but he would tremble to think vpon the iudg∣ments of the Almightie pronounced against such offen∣ders, or the lawes of the Realme, which by iustice decy∣deth them from their deuilish practises and abhominati∣ons? the glory wherof, although it be secretly concealed and vsed, yet can it not long continue, because the Al∣mighty will be no partaker of any such dealinges, nor the hart of any faithfull Christian conceale the secrets therof: which for example I haue heere published vnto you the discourse of such diuelish practises as haue beene vsed by notorious Witches, whose names and actions I haue se∣uerally touched in the treatise following: with the man∣ner of their accusations, taken and approued before both honorable and woorshipfull her Maiesties Iustices, at the last Assises holden at Chelmesford in the County of Essex, according to the coppies both of the offendours confession by examinati∣on: and their accusations regestred.Page [unnumbered]
The araignement and execution of Ioan Cunny of Stysted in the Countye of Essex widowe, of the age of fourescore yeeres, or ther-abouts, who was brought be∣fore Anthony Mildemay Esquire, the last day of March. 1589.
IN primis,* this examinate saith and con∣fesseth, that she hath knowledge and can doo the most detestable Arte of Witche∣craft, and that she learned this her know∣ledge in the same, of one mother Humfrye of Maplested, who told her that she must kneele down vpon her knees, and make a Circle on the ground, and pray vnto Sathan the cheefe of the Deuills, the forme of which praier that she then taught her,* this exami∣nate hath now forgotten, and that then the Spirits would come vnto her, the which she put in practise a∣bout twenty yeeres since, in the Feelde of Iohn Wise∣man of Stysted Gentleman, called Cowfenne feelde, and there making a Circle as she was taught, and kneeling on her knees, said the praier now forgotten, and inuocating vpon Sathan: Two Sprites did ap∣peere vnto her within the said Circle, in the similitude and likenes of two black Frogges,* and there demaun∣ded of her what she would haue, beeing readye to doo for her what she would desire, so yt she would promise to giue them her soule for their trauaile, for otherwise: they would doo nothing for her. Wher-upon she did promise them her soule, and then they concluded with her so to doo for her, what she would require, and gaue thēselues seuerall names, that is to say, the one Iack, and ye other Iyll, by the which names she did alwaies after call them. And then taking them vp, she caried Page [unnumbered] them home in her lap and put them in a Box and gaue them white bread and milke.*
And within one moneth after she sent them to milke Hurrelles Beastes, which they did, and they would bring milke for their owne eating and not for her.
And further, she saith that her sprites neuer chan∣ged their colour since they first came vnto her, and that they would familiarly talke with her, when she had any thing to say or doo with them in her owne lan∣guage.*
And likewise she confesseth that she sent her saide spirits to hurt the wife of Iohn Sparrow the elder, of Stysted, which they did, and also that where Mai∣ster Iohn Glascock of Stysted, aforesaide: had a great stack of Logges in his yarde, she by her said Spirits did ouerthrowe them.
And further, faith that she hath hurt diuers persons within this sixteene or twenty yeeres, but how many she now knoweth not.
Furthermore, she confesseth that she sent her sprites vnto William Unglee of Stysted Miller, and because they could not hurt him, she sent them to hurt one Bar∣nabie Griffyn his man, which they did. Likewise she confesseth, that she sent her saide sprites, to hurt Maister Kitchin Minister of the saide towne, and also vnto one George Coe of the saide towne shoo∣maker, to hurt him likewise: but they could not, and the cause why they could not, as the saide sprites tolde her, was because they had at their comming a strong faith in God, and had inuocated and called vpon him, that they could doo them no harme.
And further she saith, that Margaret Cunny her Daughter, did fall out with Father Hurrill, and gaue Page [unnumbered] him cucsed speeches, and ther-vpon, she thinketh she sent her spirits to her.
Also she dooth vtteriye denye that she sent her saide spirits to Finches wife, Deuenishes wife, and Renold Ferror or any of them to hurt them.
And beeing further examined, she confesseth that al∣though her said spirits at some time can haue no pow∣er to hurt men, yet they may haue power to hurt their Cattell.
This Ioane Cunny, liuing very lewdly, hauing two lewde Daughters, no better then naughty packs, had two Bastard Children: beeing both boyes, these two Children were cheefe witnesses, and gaue in great eui∣dence against their Grandam and Mothers, the eldest being about 10. or 12. yeeres of age.
Against this Mother Cunny the elder Boye gaue in this euideoce which she herselfe after confessed, that she going to Braintye Market, came to one Harry Fin∣ches house, to demaund some drink, his wife being bu∣sie and a brewing, tolde her she had no leysure to giue her any. Then Ioane Cunnye went away disconten∣ted: and at night Finches wife was greeuously taken in her head, and the next day in her side, and so conti∣nued in most horrible paine for the space of a week, and then dyed.
Mother Cunnye confessed that she sent her spirite Iill to torment her.
The same boy confessed that he was commaunded by his Grandmother to fetch a burden of wood, which he gathered, but another boye stole it from him, and he came home without: and tolde his Grandam: and she commaunded her sprite to prick the same boy in the foote▪ which was doone▪ and the same boye came to the Page [unnumbered] barre lame and gaue euidence against her.
Againe the same boy confessed that his Grandam when he had lost his wood, saide she would haue wood enough: and bad him goe into Sir Edward Huddle∣stones ground beeing high Sheriffe of the Sheere, and to take with him Iack the sprite, and so he did, who went vnseene to any body but to the boy, and when they came to a mighty Oke-tree, the spirit went about it, and presentlye the Tree blew vp by the roots: and no winde at all stirring at this time: which Ma∣ster high Sheriffe acknowledged to be blown down in a great calme.
¶ The confession of Ioan Vpney of Dagenham, in the Countye of Essex, who was brought before Sir Hen∣rye Gray Knight, the third of May. 1589.
THis examinate saith, that one Fustian Kirtle, o∣therwise called White-cote, a witch of Barking, came to her house about seauen or eight yeeres agoe, and gaue her a thing like a Moule, and tolde her if she ought any body any ill will, if she did bid it, it would goe clap them.
She saith that Moule taryed not aboue a yeere with her, but it consumed away, and then she gaue her a∣nother Moule and a Toad, which she kept a great while, and was neuer without some Toades since till her last going away from her house, when she con∣fesseth she ranne away, because she heard Iohn Har∣rolde and Richard Foster say she was a witch, and urch other woordes.
She saith that one day she lest a Toade vnder the groundsill at Harrolds house, and it pinched his wife Page [unnumbered]
She saith, that one day another Toade went o∣uer her threshold as Richard Fo∣sters wife was coming that way, and it went and pinched her, and ne∣uer returned againe.
Other two Toades she left at home, when she ran away, but they consumed away.
She saith that her eldest Daughter would neuer a∣bide to meddle with her Toades, but her youngest daughter would handle them, and vse them as well as her selfe.
The examination of Ioan Prentice, one of the women of the Almes house of Hinningham Sibble, within the saide County: beeing taken the 29. of March, in the 31. yeere of the raigne of our Soueraigne Lady Elizabeth.
IN Primis, this saide examinate saith and confesseth, that about sixe yeeres last past, betweene the feastes of all Saintes, and the birth of our Lord God, the de¦uill appeered vnto her in the Almes house aforesaide: about ten of the Clock in the night time, beeing in the shape and proportion of a dunnish culloured Ferrit, ha∣uing fiery eyes, and the saide Examinate beeing alone Page [unnumbered]
Page [unnumbered]Item, the saide examinate saith further, that about one moneth after, the saide Ferrit came againe vnto her in the night time as she was sitting vpon a little stoole, preparing her selfe to bed-ward, as is aboue saide: Ioan wilt thou goe to bed, to whome she an∣swered yea that I will by Gods grace, then presently the Ferret leapt vp vpon her lap, and from thence vp to her bosome, and laying his former feete vpon her lefte shoulder, sucked blood out of her lefte cheeke, and then he saide vnto her, Ioan if thou will haue me doo any thing for thee, I am and wilbe alwaies ready at thy commaundement, and ther-upon she beeing a lit∣tle before fallen out with William Adams his wife of Hinningham Sibble aforesaide: willed the Ferret to spoile her drinke which was then in brewing, which he did accordingly.
Item, the saide examinate furthermore saith and con∣fesseth, that the saide Ferret diuers times after appee∣red vnto her alwaies at the time when she was going to bed, and the last time he appeered vnto her was a∣bout seauen weekes last past, at which time she going to bed, the Ferrit leapt vpon her left shoulder, and suc∣ked blood out of her lefte cheeke, and that doone: he de∣maunded of her what she had for him to doo? To whō she answered, goe vnto Maister Glascocks house, and nippe one of his Children a little, named Sara, but hurt it not, and the next night he resorted vnto her a∣gaine, and told her that he had doon as she willed him: namely, that he had nipt Sara Glascock, and that she should dye therof, to whome she answered and saide, thou villaine what hast thou doon, I bid thee to nip it but a little and not to hurt it, and hast thou killed the Page [unnumbered] childe? which speech beeing vttered, the Ferrit vani∣shed away suddenly, and neuer came to her sithence.
Item, she affirmeth, that the occasion why she did will her Ferret to nippe the saide childe, was for that she beeing the daye before at the house of the saide Maister Glascok, to begge his almes, answere was made to her by one of his maiden seruantes, that both her Maister and Mistres were from home, and ther∣fore desired her to be contented for that time, and ther∣upon the examinate departed greatlye discontented, and that night sent her Ferret to nip the childe as is a∣bouesaide.
Item, she saith and affirmeth, that at what time so∣euer she would haue her Ferret doo any thing for her, she vsed these woordes, Bidd, Bidd, Bidd, come Bidd, come bidd, come bidd, come suck, come suck, come suck, and that presently he would appeere as is aforesaide: and suckt blood out of her left cheeke, and thenperfour∣med any mischeefe she willed or wished him to doo for her vnto or against any of her neighbours.
Lastly the said examinate saith, and confesseth, that one Elizabeth Whale, the wife of Michaell Whale of Henningham Sibble aforesaide labourer, and Eliza∣beth Mott, the wife of Iohn Mot of the saide Towne Cobler, are as well acquainted with her Bidd as her selfe is, but knoweth not what hurt they or any of thē haue doone to any of their neighbours.
WHen their inditements were read, and their exa∣minations also, they stoode vpon their tearmes, to prolong life: yet to make the matters more appa∣rant, sundry witnesses were produced to giue euidēce Page [unnumbered] against them▪ and firste the Iudge of the circuite very wisely with a great foresight, called in the two Ba∣sterd Children before mencioned, and contended them greatlye for telling the trueth of that which he should aske them, concerning their Grandam and their mo∣thers, which they did, and hauing saide what they could, together with the depositions of sundrye other witnesses, they hauing confessed sufficient matter to proue the inditements. The Iury found these bad wo∣men guiltie and that they had slaine Men, women, and Children, And committed very wicked and horri∣ble actions, diuers and sundrye times, and ther-upon, the Iudge proceeded, and pronounced the sentence of death against them, as worthely they had deserued.
After they had receiued their iudgments, they were conuayed from the Barre backe againe to Prison, where they had not stayed aboue two howers, but the officers prepared them-selues to conduct them to the place of execution: to which place they led them, and being come thether, one Maister Ward a learned de∣uine, beeing desired by the Iustices, did exhorte these wicked women to repentance, And perswaded them that they would shewe vnto the people the trueth of their wickednes, and to call vpon God for mercy with penitent hartes. And to aske pardon at his hands for the same: some fewe prayers they saide after the pre∣cher, but little els: more then this, that they had deser∣ued to dye, in committing those wicked sinnes: and so tooke their deathes patiently.
Note, that Mother Upney being inwardlye pricked and hauing some inward feeling in conscience cryed out saying: that she had greeuously sinned, that the de∣uill Page [unnumbered] had deceiued her, the deuill had deceiued her, and that she had twice giuen her soule to the Deuill, yet by the meanes of Gods spirite woorking in her, and the paines which Maister ward tooke with her, she seemed very sorry for ye same, and died very penitent, asking God & the world for∣giuenes, euen to ye last gaspe, for her wicked and dete∣stable life.