This is a Copy of the Narrative sent by Mr. Pool, Octob. 24. 1672. to Mr. Archer of Emanuel Colledge, Nephew to the Judge upon the desire of Dr. Bright. But I remember here at Cambridge, I heard the main passages of this Narrative when they first were spread abroad after the Assizes, and particularly by G. Rust after Bishop of Dromore in Ireland. Nor do I doubt but it is a true account of what was attested Page 199 before Judge Archer at the Assizes. For it is a thing to me altogether incredible, that he that was an Officer or Servant of the Judge and pre∣sent in the Court at the Examination and Trial, and there took Notes, should write a Narrative, when there were so many Ear-witnesses besides himself of the same things, that would be ob∣noxious to the disproof of those who were present as well as himself. It may not be amiss here to transcribe what Dr. M. did write to Mr. G. touching this story in a Letter dated Dec. 26. 1678.
This Narrative, says he, hath the most Authentick confirmation that human affairs are capable of, Sense and the sacredness of an Oath. But yet I confess I have heard that judge Archer has been taxed by some of overmuch credulity, for sentencing Julian Cox to death upon those Evidences. But to deal freely I suspect by such as out of their ignorance misinterpreted several passages in the Evidence, or were of such a dull stupid Sadducean temper, that they believe there are no Spirits nor Witches. And truly I must confess that the Huntsman, though he deposed upon Oath, that when he came in to take up the Hare at the Bush, it proved to be Julian Cox with her face towards the ground, &c. his expres∣sing of himself touching her Globes and the Doggs smelling, &c. looks something humoursomly and ludicrousty on it. But I must further add, that I think it was onely that his fancie was tickled with the featness of the Phaenomenon, not that Page 200 he would be so wicked as to tell a lye upon Oath and that for nothing. Sic vita hominum est, says Tully, ut ad maleficium nemo conetur sine spe atque emolumento accedere. But that those half-witted People thought he swore false, I suppose was because they imagined that what he told implied that Julian Cox was turned into an Hare. Which she was not, nor did his report imply any such real Metamorphosis of her body, but that these ludicrous Daemons exhibited to the sight of this Huntsman and his Doggs the shape of an Hare, one of them turning himself into such a form, and others hurrying on the body of Julian near the same place, and at the same swiftness, but interposing betwixt that Hare-like Spectre and her body, modifying the Air so that the scene there, to the beholders sight, was as if nothing but Air were there, and a shew of Earth perpetually suited to that where the Hare passed. As I have heard of some Painters that have drawn the Sky in an huge large Land∣skip, so lively that the Birds have flown against it, thinking it free Air, and so have fallen down. And if Painters' and Juglers by the tricks of Legerdemain can do such strange feats to the de∣ceiving of the sight, it is no wonder that these Airy invisible Spirits as far surpass them in all such praestigious doings as the Air surpasses the Earth for subtilty.
And the like Praestigiae may be in the Toad. It might be a real Toad (though actuated and Page 201 guided by a Daemon) which was cut in pieces, and that also which was whipt about, and at last snatcht out of sight (as if it had vanished) by these AErial Hocus-Pocus's. And if some Juglers have tricks to take hot Coals into their Mouth without hurt, certainly it is no strange thing that some small attempt did not suffice to burn that Toad. That such a Toad, sent by a Witch and crawling up the Body of the Man of the house as he sate by the fire's side, was over∣mastered by him and his Wife together, and burnt in the fire; I have heard sometime ago credibly reported by one of the Isle of Ely. Of these Daemoniack Vermin, I have heard other stories also, as of a Rat that followed a Man some score of Miles trudging through thick and thin along with him. So little difficulty is there in that of the Toad.
And that of Julian Cox's being seen to fly in at her own Chamber Window, there is no difficulty in it, if it be understood of her Familiar, the black Man, that had transformed himself into her shape. For this is no such unusual thing for Witches to appear either in their Astral Spirits or by their Familiars, as if it were their very bodily Persons. But when she appeared to the Maid together with the black Man and offered her to drink, it is likely it was her Astral Spirit, and Julians being wounded in her body by the wound on her Astral Spirit is just such Page 202 another case, as that of Jane Brooks, which you your self note in your Book of Witchcraft.
The most incredible thing is her eating of Pins, she knowing them to be such. But they that are bewitched are not themselves, and being possessed are actuated in the parts of their body, and their mind driven by that ugly inmate in them, to what he will; which is notorious in the story of Mrs. Frogmorton's Children. And for the Pins thus swallowed, their come∣ing out into the exterior parts of her body, Examples of this sort are infinite; and far more strange than these are recorded by Baptista Van Helmont, de Injectis.
These are the most incredible passages in this Narrative, and yet you see how credible they are, if rightly understood. But those that be∣lieve no Spirits will believe nothing never so credible of this kind, and others that have some natural aversion from these things will presently interpret them in the vulgar sense, and then sweetly snear at their own ignorance. But I must confess if this be a true Relation of what passed in the Court, I do not question but the things that were sworn did so appear to them that swore them. Or else there is nothing to be credited in human affairs. But concerning the truth of the Relation, besides what I hinted in my last to you, you would do well to write to some or other in Taunton, &c. Thus far Dr. M.
Page 203And if any one be so curious as to desire an account of Mr. G. his further inquiry into this business, I can tell him that he wrote to Mr. Hunt who then busy in some Court, yet made shift to read the Narrative and wrote two or three lines to him back to this effect. That one principal Evidence was omitted in the Narrative, but that is nothing against the truth of the rest. But he adds also, that some things were false. Which would stumble one and make him think that the credit of this Narrative is quite blasted thereby. But this Riddle is easily un∣riddled by him that considers, that Mr. Hunt may respect those things that are said to be con∣fest by her in her examination before a Justice of Peace. For he also having some time Ex∣amined her, and she making no such confession to him (as Mr. G. himself says in a Letter to Dr. M. that he perused that Examination in Mr. Hunts Book, and there was not any thing considerable therein) might speak this in refe∣rence to the Examination which he had taken, she then not confessing so freely as to some other Justice, whose Examination therefore was made use of in the Court. But this cannot concern at all the rest of the Narrative, which was given upon Oath in the Court in the hearing of all. This I thought fit not to omit as being desirous to deal with all faithfulness in concealing no∣thing, and not to impose upon the Reader, but that he may make his judgment upon the whole matter.
Page 204As for the Witches being hurried along with that Hare-like Spectre, her being out of breath (as the Huntsman testified) makes it most pro∣bable; or at least that she was hurried from some other place on the earth, or in the air (to meet there at length with the Hare-like Spectre) but this invisibly by that〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or Prestigiato∣ry art or faculty of these ludicrous Daemons, whereby they can so modifie the Air immedi∣ately next to the party they would conceal, that it looks there like the free Skie, or what Landskip they please; as when they shew in a Shew-stone or Glass, the very Room in which the party is, the Daemon by the power of his Imagination, so modifying at least his own Vehicle. Which pow∣er some of those of the Atheistick Brotherhood cannot wish any face deny, supposing there are Daemons, they giving a greater power to the I∣magination of a Man, as if it were able to transform the Air into real Birds or Mice, or such like Creatures livingly such for the present. But any thing must be believed, rather than the Existence of Witches and Daemons.
It will not be amiss here to take notice what an eminent example this Julian Cox is of Moses his Megnonenah or Mecassephah taken in the same sense, that is, of such a Witch as is thought by a〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or prestigiatory power (though it is the Devil that does these feats, not she) to transform her self into strange shapes, and use other like deceptions of the sight. Page 205 As also it is a notable instance of the Astral Spirits of Witches, how strongly, though at a di∣stance of place, they are tyed together in a fa∣tal Sympathy with their Bodies, the Body of Ju∣lian being wounded by a stab at her Astral Spi∣rit, as it fared also in Jane Brooks, and an Old Woman in Cambridge-shire, whose Astral Spirit coming into a Mans house, (as he was sitting alone at the fire) in the shape of an huge Cat, and setting her self before the fire, not sar from him, he stole a stroke at the back of it with a Fire-fork, and seemed to break the back of it, but it scambled from him, and vanisht be kn•…w not how. But such an Old Wo∣man, a reputed Witch, was found dead in her Bed that very night, with her Back broken, as I have heard some years ago credibly report∣ed.
That also is a marvellous Magical Sympa∣thy in this story of Julian Cox, that the burn∣ing of the Ears of the Beast bewitched by her, should put her into such rage and torment. Like the heating of the Tile red hot in the story of Florence Newton, and pouring some of the bewitched Maids water upon it. Which puts me in mind of a very remarkable story of this kind, told me by Mr. Brearly, once Fellow of Christs Colledge in Cambridge, who boarded in an house in Suffolk, where his Landlady had been ill handled by Witchcraft.
For an Old Man that Travelled up and down Page 206 the Country, and had some acquaintance at that house, calling in and asking the Man of the house how he did and his Wife; He told him that himself was well, but his Wife had been a long time in a languishing condition, and that she was haunted with a thing in the shape of a Bird, that would flurr near to her face, and that she could not enjoy her natural rest well. The Old Man bid him and his Wife be of good courage. It was but a dead Spright, he said, and he would put him in a course to rid his Wife of this languishment and trouble. He there∣fore advised him to take a Bottle, and put his Wives Urine into it, together with Pins and Needles and Nails, and Cork them up, and set the Bottle to the fire, but be sure the Cork be fast in it, that it fly not out. The Man fol∣lowed the prescription, and set the Bootle to the fire well corkt, which when it had felt a while the heat of the fire began to move and joggle a little, but he for sureness took the Fireshovel, and held it hard upon the Cork. And as he thought he felt something one while on this side, another while on that, shove the Fireshovel off, which he still quickly put on again, but at last at one shoving the Cork bounced out, and the Urine, Pins, Nails and Needles all flew up, and gave a report like a Pistol, and his Wife continued in the same trouble and languishment still.
Not long after, the Old Man came to the house again, and inquired of the Man of the Page 207 house how his Wife did. Who answered as ill as ever, if not worse. He askt him if he had fol∣lowed his direction. Yes, says he, and told him the event as is abovesaid. Ha, quoth he, it seems it was too nimble for you. But now I will put you in a way, that will make the business sure. Take your Wive's Urine as before, and Cork it in a Bottle with Nails, Pins and Needles, and bury it in the Earth; and that will do the feat. The Man did accordingly. And his Wife began to mend sensibly, and in a competent time was finely well recovered. But there came a Woman from a Town some miles off to their house, with a lamentable Out-cry, that they had killed her Husband. They askt her what she meant and thought her distracted, telling her they knew nei∣ther her nor her husband. Yes, saith she, you have killed my husband, he told me so on his Death-bed. But at last they understood by her, that her Husband was a Wizzard, and had be∣witched this Mans Wife, and that this Coun∣ter-practice prescribed by the Old Man, which saved the Mans Wife from languishment, was the death of that Wizzard that had bewitcht her. This story did Mr. Brearly hear from the Man and Womans own Mouth who were concerned, and at whose House he for a time Boarded, nor is there any doubt of the truth thereof.
But it will be more easie for any rational Man to believe stories of this kind, than to find out a satisfactory account of the operation and ef∣fect, Page 208 or to assure the lawfulness of such counter-practice against Witchcraft, unless they can be resolved into the Sympathy and Synenergy of the Spiritus Mundanus, (which Plotinus calls〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the grand Magician) such as the operation of the Weapon-salve, and other Magnetick Cures are resolved into. And for∣asmuch as the power of a truly Divine Magick, such as Prophets and Holy Law-givers are en∣dued with, is too great and August to be sound in ordinary good Men, that are to bring in no new Law or Religion into the World, the benig∣nity of Providence is to be acknowledged in that the Villanies of Witchcraft lye obnoxious to such a natural or ratified way of Discoveries and Counter-practices as these. But how this ob∣noxiousness of Witches is complicated with their Familiars sucking their Bodies, is a point too nice and prolix to enter upon here. But it is most safe not to tamper at all with these things, and most happy to have no occasion for it.
Lastly, as for Julian Cox her not being able to say one of the Petitions in the Lords Prayer, the case is like that of Florence Newton the Irish Witch, but unlike in this, that it was not the same Petition Florence Newton stuck at. And I remember when I had the curiosity with a friend of mine, of examining certain Witches at Castle-hill in Cambridge, the most notorious of them, who also was hanged for a Witch, offe∣red to say the Creed and Lords Prayer, as an Page 209 Argument she was no Witch, and so far as I remember, she said the Lords Prayer right, but was out at the Creed; nor do I think this any certain sign of their guilt or innocenty, and there∣fore Judge Archer did well to lay no stress on it. But these things are of less moment, and therefore I pass to the next Relation, which looks not so much like Witchcraft, as the Apparition of the Ghost of one deceased.