¶ The first attempt of Elizabeth Stile alias Mother Rockingam and her confederates Witches executed for their offences the twentiesix day of February last past practi∣sed against the Author.
BEING AT DI∣uerse and sundry times gréeuouslye vexed, troubled and tormented as∣well in Body as in Minde, some times in my raging fits detesting & abhorring all Company, eftsones again ernestly de¦siring the same, I often Imagined with my selfe what straunge disease and gréef it should be that so should (béeing whole in Body and not ouercharged with sicknesse, although exempt of perfect remem∣brance) abate my flesh and weaken my Body, and lying in my bed forworne wt vnquiet rest, heauy wt ouer much watchīg, & desirous to vāquish my pains by taking a little sléepe: suddainly about twelue a clock in the night a shodowe of a huge and mightie black Cat, appéered in my Chamber, which ye more as shée approched néer my bed side: so much the more began my here to stand vpright, my hart to faint, and my paines more and more to encrease, in so much I was constrained to call for my Fathers Maid, to vring a Candle, wherby I might more cléerly beholde mine Enemie which did so euelly intreat mée, which Maide, béeing entred into my Chamber: I willed to looke for ye Cat, but she was not to be found, neither could the light which shée brought continue burning, at which strange sight beeing amased: the Maide beeing gon to bed again, Page [unnumbered] and I left tumbling and tossing in my bed, more like to dye then any longer to liue, my shéets wring∣ing wet with sweat caused through this suddain feare, I called at the last to my remembrance a Brother of mine named Iames Galis who about the A•e off fiftéene yéeres falling out with one Mo∣ther Dutton one of the hellish broode, and at that time suspected to be in that indéed which afterward shée prooued was in like sorte taken in his bed, and bereft of his wits, which vntil this day are not his owne stil crying away with the Witch away with the Witch, I forewith coniectured that the same Cat which so amazed mée, was either some Witch or of some Witches sending and that my paines be¦fore and at that instaunce sustained was by some Witch practised vpon mée. Whervpon knowing that prayer in all troubles and extremities was the chéefest string wheron each true Christian ought for to strike, I tooke my prayer booke wherin was conteined as wel holsome and godly prayers as psa∣lmes, and with the brackish teares distilling from the fountaines of my eyes, I sometimes red ther∣in, and sometime againe singing Psalmes to the honor and glory of God which had vouchsafed of his meere mercie and goodnes to strenghthen me in this my afflictions, vtterly from the bottome of my hart detesting and hauing in defiaunce all the crue of deuilish Enchaunters, wherof England at this day dooth abounde. Perswading my self that God béeing my helper, buckler and defence, nei∣ther any Witch nor all the Deuils in hel (were they in number as many as the sands in the Sea could haue once power to hurt mée, all this while not forgetting Iob whose faith no plague, no greef paine, nor vexation, that euer Sathan by Gods sufferaunce might ouer charge him with could not Page [unnumbered] any wise remooue, thus as I haue said, spending & contriuing weary and painful night in prayer, Aurora began to shewe her self, whose cristall cléernes as it appéered: so began my paines to surcease, & I to be exonerated of the burthen therof, which when I felt: I caused forwith the Bible to be brought mée, and incontinently I trurned to the before remembred history of that iust man Job, of whose stedfast faith and milde patience when I had read and read againe, such strength in the Lorde did so abound in mée, that after that time all the plagues, mischiefs and torments practised by the said hellish Hagges against mée could not afray mée.
Hovv the Author occasioned to vvalke to Cluevvorth met vvith Mother Dutton vvhome he (least thinking on) brou∣ght to VVindsore before the Magistrates vvhich vvithout any examination set her at libertie.
REcouered of my gréefs and by Gods deuine proui∣dence restored by little and little to my former he∣alth, bearing yet in minde some parte of the said Mother Duttons dealing vsed vpon my said Bro∣ther Iames, and after that vpon my self, I determined hap what hap might, when conuenient leysure might serue to bring the said Mother Dutton to Windesore, before the Ma¦gistrates there, to the intent if otherwise shée could not purge herself the better of that wherwith she should be charged: shée might receiue such condign punishment as for such Offēders by the lawes of ye Realme was due and prouided. Which de¦termination as it was then remembred: so in processe of time was it forgotten, til it fortuned that walking one day after dinner to walk to Cluewoorth about certain my affaires whi¦ch I had there to doo: shée met mée ful in the face, whose sud∣dain méeting remoouing my former intent then set in obliuiō: caused mée furiously to lay holde vpon her arme, by the whi∣ch without many woords giuen I brought her to the hall a pri¦son in Windesor desiring the keeper therof surely to kéep her in his custody vntil commaundement were giuen him by the Page [unnumbered] Magistrates to the contrary which hée denyed to doo without some speciall warrant from ye Maior or the Iustice for his dis∣charge, whervpon I led her before Maister Richard Read∣forth at ye time Maior of Windesor desiring him as he was true Officer to God and to his Prince to giue his warrant to the Iaylor for the better saue keeping of this Witch héer bro∣ught by mee before him, who for her deuilish Sorceries and enchauntments cruelly practised vpon diuers honest men de∣seruēth not to liue, affirming that if I could not prooue her by sufficient tryall to be a weed woorthye of plucking vp: I would receiue such punishment as might be to all (attemp∣ting the like either against man or woman) a good ensample but he being belike as a great number be now a dayes ye more pittie, and I would to God it may be amended, mistrusting her deuilish practises and fearing least some mischief might succéed his correctiō either to him or his, altogither forgetting his oth and dutie towards God and his Prince, for the due punishmēt of Offendors in yt case had & prouided commaūded me yt without further delay I should let her go, which foorth∣with I did no lesse bewailing her libertie then lamenting the lack of better Magistrates to wéed out such Malefactors.
Hovv the said Mother Dutton after her deliuery from the Authors hands by the Mayor, practised vvith her Associ∣ates his ouerthroovve.
AFter this pestilent Witch was set at libertie, shée with her Confederates perceiuing the little regard the Magistrates appointed to minister Iustice, for the punishment of vice had of the complaintes made and put vp against thē and greatly encouraged therby, ceased not now to practise all kinde of meanes to vexe, trouble and molest mée which because of my stedfast faith in God they could not by thē selues nor by their wicked spirits execute the same vpon mée, they stirred vp others to be their cruel mini∣sters in the same.
¶ First procuring my Fréends whome Nature lincked in the league of looue and Freendship vtterly to detest mée, shame¦fully to vse mée, and that which gréeued mée moste maliciously to enuie mee, in such sorte and so long that I often times wi∣shed exchaunge of my lyfe for a moste hasty and spéedy death, thus liuing there in exile where reason would I should haue béen moste of all succoured, hated of all without cause, and looued of few, it chaunced that a Fréend of mine Maister Robert Handley (before rehersed) who at that time for recrea∣tion sake making his aboade at a house of his in the cuntrie was likewise bewitched in his limmes so that he was not a∣ble to go, who suspecting his gréefes to come by witchcraft, caused mée to be sent for partely for Fréendships sake which alwayes hath béen equall betwixt vs, and partely to vse that by my meanes which hée him self by reason of his gréefs could not put in practise, to whome when I was come after a little talke had, he tolde me that hée douted very much least he was bewitched, wherfore (quoth hée) good R. Galis, if any spark of Fréendship hath euer béen kindled betwixt vs: I pray: thée to fetch mée a Witch, at whose sight, hope perswadeth mée I shall finde ease. At which woordes béeing indéed greatly mooued: inwardly (as one who looued his intire Fréend) Page [unnumbered] bewailing my Fréends troubles more then my owne, I wēt forth with out any woord speaking, and amongst the crue of these helhounds I gat mée and within one half houre after God being my help: I brought foure before him, whose names ensue, videllicet Audrey the Mistresse, Elizabeth Stile allias Mother Rockingham, Mother Dutton and Mother Deuil, all which foure I caused to knéele downe before the said Mai∣ster Handley and one Maister Henry Bust Studient in Phi∣sick (charging them holding a good cudgel ouer their backs) as euer they would passe thence a liue, not only to tel what the said Maister Handley ayled: but also to ease him of his gréef, to whome they replied vsing many excuses, that they neither could tel him his desease much lesse to help him therof.
Then going about to knowe how they had spent their time in the seruice of God: I examined them in the Lordes prayer, the beléef and the ten Commaundements, wherin I founde them (to my great gréef) as blinde as a béetle and as wise as a Calfe, then demaunding the cause of their necligence therin, they replied that since they were borne they were neuer tau∣ght them, neither could they finde any that would instruct them therin, and therfore it was to harde for them vpon so short a warning to answere vnto my obiections, which repli¦cation when I heard, sorye for their time so ill imployed: I drue my purse and gaue each of them a peny, charging them as they looued their owne soules helth: diligently to learn thē least that they come to sōe ill end, for (said I) it can not other, wise be but that for want of thone ye must looue the other and for the lack of the grace of God, the looue of his holy woord and commaundements: ye must néeds serue the Deuil your Lord and Maister, and there withall I bad them in God his name to departe, and in short space after my Fréend Maister Hand¦ley came to his olde course I mean to his former health.
Hovv the same foure VVitches after their departure from Maister Handley his house vvrought the Authors imprison¦ment and of his torments suffered during the time of his be∣ing in holde.
Page [unnumbered]WHen these foure loouing Sisters were departed from my Fréends house, being of mée no other wise intreated or vsed then you haue heard, mis∣déeming (and not without good cause) that I wo∣uld woork their ouerthrow in time if I might be suffered, they sought by prison to a bridge my dayes, and because they them¦selues would be blamelesse and void of suspition, not conten∣ted with my paines passed béeing now hated, abhorred and as it were spitted at of all men, and especially of my owne Pa∣rents & naturall Bretheren and brought euen to ye very brik of desperation (had not God of his infinit mercy and goodnes with his mightie hand held me vp giuing me a great patience woorthy to suffer his crosse laid vpon me for my offences) they caused their Familiars without the which they could not doo any thing, to stirre vp and against mée to incence the Maior and Burgesses of the towne of Windesor (wherof my father whilst he liued was a chéef member) who without any offēce committed, any hurt pretended, or complaint made against mée, clapped mée vp in Prison fast locked in a déep dungion, into the which I was let vp and downe with a rope laden wt as many gyues and manacles as either my legges could cary or my hands be able to beare, there to remain without baile, vntil their further pleasure were therin had, a crueltie more woorthy for a traytor or a murderer then for any true subiect to God & to his Prince. After I was thus inclosed in ye dark, depriued of all humain company, refused to haue any bed for my money, or libertie of the Prison vpon good and sufficient bond, I then began to mistrust my self, and feared the sudain losse of my life, which easely then might haue béene depriued and with some surmised tale easely aunswered to the worlde, though not hid from the face of the Lord, neuerthelesse em∣boldened by the mightie help of God to cast away all feare and patiently to suffer my troubles: I ceased not according to my accustomed vse and to my great comfort and consolation, to sing to the honor and prayse of God the fortie one the fortie two and the thrée and fortie Psalmes, begining The man is blest that carefull is the needy consider. &c. during thexecuti∣on of which crueltie: a pittieful sound of groning voice opened Page [unnumbered] the gates of mine eares, and presently my yrōs which before by workemās cunning were riuetted on, making a wonder∣full great noyse much like to a Smyth working of his met∣tall, fell of of my legges, & I taken in so straunge a cace by the space of two houres, that I thought ye soule foorthwith would haue left the chariot of my mortall body. But still perseue∣ring in my prayers, I ceassed not to call vpon the Lorde, not onely for my deliuerance: but also that it would please him to turne the hartes of them which had so vniustly vsed their cor∣rection vpon me. In the morning when it was daye, béeing not called to mine answere: I desired that I might be permit∣ted to haue some cōference with Maister Doctor Day Deane of the Castell royall of Windsore, or with Maister Doctor Wicham of the same Chappell, prebende men of great wise∣dome and learning, to thentēt I might (with their opinions) be fully resolued of that which gnawed my conscience, which by no meanes I could obtaine, but within two dayes after called to my answere before the Maior and his brethren, and examined of my yrons falling of, I tolde them as before is de∣clared, who hauing nought els to charge me with, gaue order for my deliuerāce, vsing with such extremitie their like power vpon me more then a score of times, which here to expresse would be to long, and more tedious to the Reader, so that I was forced of my selfe to weaue the webbe of mine owne ba∣nishemēt, rather desirous to liue amiddes the desertes of Ly∣bia among the Sauadge and wilde beastes then in Windsore with my parentes and kinred.
Hovv by the helpe of Syr Henry Neuell Knight, Maister Ri∣chard VVarde Esquier, and other Gentlemen of vvor∣ship, the author gat leaue to passe the seas into Flaunders, vvhere for a time he serued vnder Captaine Morgaine.
FInding here in natiue soyle no place of rest to shrowde my carefull head but onely an ougly dun∣geon without light or comfort, no refuge succour or helpe, but that which straūgers imparted vnto me, I immagined daily with my selfe what were best for me Page [unnumbered] to do to auoyde these troubles daily more & more encreasing. Sometimes musing vpon this, sometime vpon that, nowe de∣uising one thing, then by and by an other, the lamētable estate and subuersion of the lowe countrie in Flaūders, came to my minde, whereof a whyle cōsidering, I determined to addresse my selfe towardes that coast, there to spend (if not the remain∣der of my dayes) yet at the least some part of my youthfull yeares in the seruice of some one Gentleman or other. No∣thing doubting, but that God knowing mine innocencie and the righteousnesse of my cause, would not onely prosper my attempt: but also giue me happy successe to the ende of my trauayles. Vpon the which point being fully perswaded, loth without licence. First of my deare father had and obtayned to depart (neuerthelesse his vnkinde dealinges considered) I bended my steppes to the worshipfull Sir Henry Neuell Knight, who with Maister Richard Warde Esquier, by waye of humble petition, I moued to talke with my father about the premisses, at whose importunate and earnest perswasiōs béeing ouercome, graunted their requestes, whereof béeing aduertised ioyfull to sée my desier take his effect, what haste I made to set all thinges in order for my trauayle, let thē iudge that haue tasted the like distresse. In fine armed at all assaies to counteruayle my iorney before pretended, and ready prest to set forward on my waye, a double sorrowe began to com∣bate with in mée, and therewithall a doubtfull imagination. The one willing mée to cease trauaile and enioye the presence of my tender parentes, and louing companions no lesse care∣full of my health then my selfe, the other encouraging mée to auoyde the dayly assaultes of my aduersaries by chaunging the soyle to submitte my selfe into the handes of Lady For∣tune. Thus trauersing in doubtfull doubt, nowe musing on the one, then thinking on the other, and troubled beyond all measure, what were best to be doone: I pawsed me a while. At the last ouercome with desier to proceade on my iourney: I determined to put my self to ye mercy of Aeolus puffing blasts and to the merciles waues of Neptunes swelling Seaes.
The next day bidding my Fréends and Cuntrie farwel, I trauiled toward London, and from thence I shipped my selfe Page [unnumbered] into Holland whether béeing safely arriued good hay so fel out on my side that before I had spent a day or two in séeking best for my aduantage, I found vnlooked for of Maister William Morgan Gentleman such gentle intertainment that I im∣ployed all my enduour to augment my credit with him, vn∣der whome I spent some time on the land, some times on the seas as occasion serued as the Souldiers life desireth not rest in one place, halfe a yéeres seruice.
Hovv his Captaine leauing the Cuntrie the Author vvas pricked vvith a loouely motion to his natiue Cuntrie to make returne to his Father, vvho vpon his submission re∣ceiued him againe.
THe vprores a little before rife in Holand and in all the Cuntries there about, by valiant prowesse of martiall Knights suppressed: my Captain (leauing the Cuntrie) gaue me occasion to think of my Fréen¦des in England in the midst of all mine Enemies not forgot¦ten, which for to sée an earnest desire kindled my brest, and vanquished with looue and dutie had towards them, I made my return again to Windesor, more to recōsile my self to my déer father to whōe before my departure I gaue some occasiō of displeasure, then for any affection I bare to the towne, be¦fore whose Fatherly aspect, when I was approched, my out∣warde teares declaring my inward gréefs: I fel prostrate on my knées and recognising my former follies, I craued medita¦tion of forgiuenes vpon my speedy amendmēt. At the which submission pardoning that which was past vpon performāce of my promise moste like a loouing Father receiued me again greatly ioying my safe return. Neuerthelesse desirous not to remain with him abooue thrée or foure dayes: I departed and made my repaire to London, and in Tower stréet became Couenant with Maister Stephen Heath a Vintner, til such time as my Father oppressed with infinit paines by meanes of this damnable sect did call me home cruelties and iniuries doon and wrought against the braunch could not once stanch Page [unnumbered] their cruell myndes, thirsting after innocent bloud, without the life of my deare father, whose bitter paines diminishing his wonted strēgth by litle and litle caused him to yéeld vnto the mercie of death, to the euerlasting grief of all that loued him, but especially to mée and other his poore children, left as shéepe without a guide to the mercie of the Woulf. Alasse what should I say? to render vnto him his due prayse, I want sufficiencie, and to make long discourse of his milde and méeke pacience, wherein hée continued vnto the last houre of his gasping breath, I can not for teares and grief, wherefore a∣gainst my wil I am cut of from my purpose. But thus much you shall vnderstande that no perswasions could preuayle with him that hée was bewitched, such was his strong belief in God, and yet diuerse time sighingly complaining, would saye: O Lord, shall a man dye and bée not sicke? my harte is whole, and yet my inward paines consume me, and so méeke∣ly like a Lambe to the glorie of God, taking and suffering his troubles, passed the straightes of this mortall life, to lodge with Lazarus in Abrahams bosome.
Hhvve the Author after his fathers death abiding vvith his mother for her better comfort, framing him selfe to liue in the vvorld, vvas preuented by the sayd vvitches to his vtter vndooing to this daye.
MY deare father by these helhoundes and Impes of the deuell, thus bereft mée, and intiered in the ground (after whom we must all hie) I determi∣ned to the comfort of my mother, sorrowing the want of her wedded make, to abyde with her, framing my selfe like a subiect to liue, and as it became an honest man to do, so long as the time of his pilgrimage geueth him leaue to abide, I went (with that litle which God and my father had left mée for my better maintenance) to buye shéepe and other cattell, whereby by due foresight and diligent taking héede; I might make retourne of my principall with some aduantage, but according to the prouerbe, hée that reckoneth before his host must reckon twise, and so it fell to my lot. For after I had Page [unnumbered] stored my self with the said Cattaill more woorth at the time of their sale, then the mony I paid for them, they began now one then an other and in fine almoste all to dye, and the rest liuing in such a case, lest that I was constrained to take half the money they cost mée gaining by them as Dickins did by his Dishes who bying fiue for twopence solde six for a peny, my cattail thus béeing consumed, and many other at∣tempts enterprised by mée, turned topsie turuie, mine olde accustomed and raging fits began to set foot within my minde I to imagin that Sathans whelps were now setting a broch the vessel of their despite to séeke my vtter spoyle and confu∣sion. Wherfore I addressed my self to the woorshipfull Sir Henry Neuel Knight, who sufficently before perswaded of my troubles, and greatly with my good Lady his bedfellowe, (with whome I had often conference) pitying myne estate. I besought euen in the bowels of our Lord Iesus Christe that either my Aduersaries who hourely tormented mée might be cut of: or I my self to receiue the like punishment if good and sufficient proof were not on my side against them.
❧ Hovv vpon complaints made by the Author to Sir Hen∣ry Neuel they vvere cōmaunded to be brought before him, and not beeing able to ansvvere him in the Articles of the Christian faith, they vvere publikly set vnder the Pulpit,
VPon which complaint after Sir Henry Neuel had aduised him self, mooued with the pittefull as∣pect of my wildishe countenance, promise was made me that at a prefixed day he only for that purpose would come to Windesore, and vpon due examina∣tion had, seek redresse of my troubles. At which day appoin∣ted, I posted mée to the lodging of the said Sir Henry Neuel béeing in the Castel, there to renue the remembraunce of his promise, who knowing mine errand vpon my first entrance into his Chamber commaundid me foorthwith to bring them before him, at which commaundement, you may thinke I made no delay, but hasted mée about my busines, & brought Page [unnumbered] before him as many as I suspected, which were, Audrey the Mistresse, Elizabeth Stile, Mother Dutton and Mother Nelson, saying, Sir I haue executed your commaundement and brought them into your presence, which if by good and sufficient tryall, I can not prooue to be Witches: let me re∣ceiue the punishment due vnto them, at which woordes quoth Sir Henry vnto them, what say you to this? Then his Woor∣ship further examined them in the presence of Maister Do∣ctor Wickham Maister Wullard a Prebend of the Castel, Maister Morris, and Maister Stafferton Gentlemen, how and after what sorte they liued, whome they serued and how they had imployed their time, they aunswered, as euery one would in his own case the best, saying, yt where they had been suspected to be Witches & woorkers of mischief against their neighbours, it was contrary and that the occasion put vp a∣gainst them was rather vpon malice then otherwise. Then said I vnder your Woorships correction, if they be such good liuers as they make them selues to be: I beséech you to exa∣mine them in the Articles of the Christian faith, and vpon their aunswere iudge of the rest. Then quoth Maister Wick∣ham, can you say the Lordes prayer which hée hath taught you? No forsooth quoth one, no forsooth quoth an other and likewise the rest, vpon which replycation: Maister Wick∣ham began with a moste godly protestatiō to perswade them not only to forsake their damnable wayes afore & at that time vsed, and diligently to learne the Lordes prayer, the beleef, and the ten Commaundements, but also dayly for their bet∣ter instructions to haue recourse vnto the Temple of God, to heare his deuine seruice, and for th'xecution there of (because none durst wade so farre against them as I) I was appoin∣ted ouerseer, beeing charged that on the next Sunday fol∣lowing they should be brought to the Church, and pub∣likly in the presence of all men to be set vnder the Pulpit during the time of Seruice.
❧ Hovv the said VVitches vvere brought to the place ap∣pointed and hovv Audrey the Mistresse and Mother Nel∣son vvith in short time after died, vpon vvhose death the Author felt moste greeuous torments.
COnceiuīg some good hope of future redresse vpon thexamination had before the said Gentlemen of woorship if otherwise they were not conuerted from their follie: I hied me home to my Chamber, where locking the doore to mee I fel flat on the ground ren∣dring thanks vnto all mightie God for that it had pleased him of his infinit mercy to open the blinde eyes of the Magi∣strates at the last to looke vpon such Offenders which before thorow their necligence, nusted vp in all kinde of wickednes, ceased not day nor night to oppresse the Inocent, (my prayer ended) I went about my busines vntil the day was come wherin I should doo my dutie, at which day I armed my self in the Lord against the said Witches, whome gently intrea∣ting more to win their harts vnto ye Lord, then for any feare I had of them: I cōducted them to the Church and in the place appointed I set them downe, (my self not standing far of thē) where after by the Preacher they had receiued their lesson, and schooled for their lewd behauiour and idle life spent to no profit, but to inuent wickednes and mischief, they departed home. Afterwards whether it were for gréef of the correctiō executed, or the inward gnawing of conscience, feeling themselues by the Preacher touched at the quick, (I cannot tel) but with in short space after, Audrey the Mistresse and Mo∣ther Nelson dyed, after whose death the sisters left behinde giuen ouer to their owne lusts and suffered to wallowe in their owne wickednes, made their assembly in the pits in Maister Dodges backside, a place where all their mischief was pretended, and there in generally agréed either to bring me vnto my end, or liuing stil to féele a life a hundred times more sharpe then a present death, if otherwise the sooner I sought not meanes to dislodge my self, and desirous not to vse any delay in furthering their intents, about their accustomed Page [unnumbered] houres of méeting in the night: my bed, ordained for my quiet rest became the augmentor of my gréefs, and in stead of sléep I was fed with continuall watchings, caused through the extreame torturs and gréeuous paines sustained in the night. Thus hauing ouer passed many nights in paines, di∣uerse and sundry times the aforesaid Cat or the deuil him self in a Cats likenes: vsed to frequent and haunt my Chamber hurring and buzing about my bed, vexing and troubling mée beyond all measure, in such straunge and lamentable wise, that I was enforced with my weapon lying drawen vopon my bed to kéep my self waking in prayers least béeing ouer∣come with sléepe: I should be strangled in my bed.
The Author being almost spent vvith grief, complaineth him the third time to Sir Henry Neuell, before vvhome hee brought the said Elizabeth Stile bound vvith a cart rope on the market daye.
COnsumed with these infinite paines both in body and purse eche night assayled with a newe grief, lothing anie longer to liue, séeing that in foure yéeres past, no reformation might bée had for all my complaintes. Leauing my careful bedde, the witnes of my griefe and of my inwarde sorrowe: I made me ready and gir∣ding my Skeane about my middle with a good cudgill in my hande, I gate me to Farneham to the house of father Rose∣man, whom furiously pulling out of his house by head and shoulders I charged (not vsing any daliaunce with me) to tell me my griefes. Who béeing agast at my dealinges, and fea∣ring least that béeing not able to gouerne mée in my fury, I would strike of his head: Said, O maister you are bewit∣ched, you are bewitched, wherefore looke to your selfe, if not: in fine you wilbe distroyed, for you haue many wicked wo∣men in Windsore, and such as doe much harme, and who practized the like on mée once, because I did displease them. Then I bad him tell mée what they were, who aunswered, that their names were Elizabeth Stile, Mother Dutton, and Mother Deuell, at which wordes leauing him (not alto∣gether recouered of the feare hee conceiued by mée) I went to the sayde Elizabeth Stiles house, charging her to goe with mée vnto Sir Henry Neuelles, which squatting downe vp∣pon her buttockes, shée denyed to doo. Then finding a Carte rope harde by, I bounde it about her myddle, and layde the rope on my shoulder, wherewith forceably I pul∣led her out of her house, drawing her a long the streate, bée∣ing on the market daye (not one daring once to helpe mee) but a litle boye, which helde the rope by the ende) vntill I came vnto the lodging of Sir Henry Neuell, vnto whome in the presence of a companie of Gentlemen at that time talking with him, I offered vp my present, saying, be∣hold Page [unnumbered] here rigth worshipfull, I haue brought you héer a mon∣ster, which because of her féebled lymmes, is not able to goe, I haue taken paynes to drawe. Then shée began to curse, banne and sweare, foming at the mouth like a bore, to the great astonishement of all the beholders, which amased with that horrible sight (more for feare I thinke then for any good wyll) suffered her to escape, with the which departure (as I could not chuse béeing greatly gréeued) séeing that for all my complaintes made, no hope of redresse was to bée looked for at the Magistrates handes: I thought nowe to vse myne owne force vppon them. Wherefore dayly frequenting my selfe to haue once a daye my recourse by their doores, I would nowe one, then an other, so Ribrost with my cudgell (caried always about mée for the same purpose) that in the ende getting the vpper hand, I had them in such awe, that the Scholer hauing offended, feared not so much his Maisters correction as they did my presence, as afterwardes it appeared by Mother Dut∣ton, who so soone as shée had heard of my comming that waye: would haue runne and locked her selfe into a Cheste for feare.
Hovve the Author hauing occasion to be abroade one night at the houre of their meeting, hee savve the Deuell in a Carte sitting, and hovve by the helpe of God he put him to flight, and of other strange ac∣cidentes done by him.
MY courage nowe béeing augmented by the trium∣phant victorie gotten ouer myne enemies, and fée∣ling no more taste of my passed grieffes, my busi∣nesse so falling foorth, it was my chance one night about xj. of the clocke in the night to ride by the place where these Impes acustomed vse was to méete, to my house.
And in my waye as I was ryding, my horse Léeyng Page [unnumbered] of a very good stomacke, sudainly stopped flinging and lashing out behinde, snorting and taking on out of all measure, ney∣ther proceading further nor retorning back, wherewith all béeing litle amased because it was no straunge thing vnto mée, I alighted and taking my sworde drawen in the one hand, and my buckler in the other, casting myne eye aside to see if I could perceiue anie bodie stirring, I sudainly spied a most horrible sight and oughly feende sitting in a poore mans cart, like one ryding to fetche in his haruest, with a payre of eies burning like the fiery flames, whose ougly shape when I behelde, falling on my knées in the middes of the dirt, I be∣sought God to assist mée with his strength against this feende, and that through his mightie power I might get the victorie. Then rising, I went towardes the place where this good fel∣lowe was watching for his praye. At whom (my faith sted∣fastly set in the Lord) I let flye with my sword, saying, auoide Sathan auoyde, and in the name of God I charge thée to a∣uoide, thou hast nought to do with mee, wherefore go hunte after the Doe which hath caused thée here to sitte. At which wordes: a great light appeared round about the carte where hee sat, and therewithall an horrible sent of brymstone was dispersed abroade, but hée was no more seene afterwarde, with the which sent Maister Afton of the Scalding house cō∣ming that waye the self same present time, thought presently to haue died, had not helpe come in the meane time.
This doone, I gate mée to my horse, vpon whose back whē I was amounted: I passed to my house as quietly as might be without harme, where not forgetting the goodnesse of God towardes them that put their trust in him, I spent an howre or two in prayer. The next day béeing come, no lesse desirous to be reuenged of theim then they were to molest mée before: Hoping still to finde a meanes to cut theim off, and to weede theim cleane from the face of the earth, I practised many at∣temptes, and not so many as often executed to the entent I might bée brought to some further answere, for the extirpa∣ting and pulling vp the saide wicked wéedes by the rootes. And because there was no Iustice that would execute his of∣fice therein by the othe derected vnto them. I determined to Page [unnumbered] prooue what I could doo my selfe, wherefore I gat me a pounde of brimstone, and melted the same and dipped therein as it melted a great drie linnen cloth, and into a houile of strawe of mother Duttons, I thrust it whereunto I put a great fier brande béeing of it selfe (the brimstone taken away) sufficient inough to haue consumed a hundreth times as much, which burned vnto ashes, yt strawe not once perished. An other time likewyse, one Richard Parker standing by, hauing bought a quarter of a pounde of gunne poulder, and as much of brim∣stone, I chose an arrowe from out of a sheafe, and thereunto I bounde the said poulder and brimstone with stringes, making therein a litle touchhole whereby to giue fier thereunto (whē I thought it good) and thrust the same into an other houile ad∣ioyning to her house, fully determined to bring her togither with her house by fier to playe the last act of her tragedy, vnto the which, with a matche set at the ende of a long sticke I gaue fier, which arrowe albeit, it consumed to ashes, yet ne∣uerthelesse ye strawe still remained without any signe of hurt which straunge sight when I behelde, béeing a thing no lesse straunge to be tolde, then harde to be beleued: I sighing, sayde to my selfe. O Lord, what shall I doo vnto this wicked impe, & to the rest of her confederates, whom neither fier or sworde may deuoure, neither Gods thundering threates prouoke to repentance. To suffer them longer to experiment life in their wickednesse, and to the ouerthrowe of their neighbours, my hart refuseth. And still to contriue and spende my time about it: is to my hinderance. If I complaine mée of their detestable dooings: the magistrates seame deafe, if I (as enemies to God and their Prince) molest or vrge them: imprisonment laden with gyues falleth out to my share. If I craue helpe of the in∣ferior sort (my correction so affrayes them) that albeit they would helpe, yet they dare not. Thus doo I sée al hope of mās helpe taken from mee, and all comfort bereft mée: Wherefore I will henceforth cease and bridle my desires. And vnto thée O Lorde, which knowing the secretes of all mens hartes, canst and wilt, when thou séest the time, roote out and pull vp from thy good and chosen plantes such wicked graftes. To thee (I saie) will I remitte my cause, and séeke to lodge and settle Page [unnumbered] my selfe in some other soyle where iustice may be ministred, vice corrected, & wronges redressed. And therewithal departed to my house, from whence within fewe daies, after I had set my affaires in good order: I departed to seeke my aduentures, since which time of my departure, it hath pleaseth God at the last to strike these wicked and defestable liuers with the rod of his correction. Who with the pot of their wickednesse so long powred the water of God his vengeance vpon them that at the length they were apprehēded and committed to the cō∣mon gaile there to remaine vntill by due proofe of their dia∣bolicall liuings be tried, & after triall had, receiue the Guer∣don answerable their demerites, where beeing founde giltie and conuicted of the crime obiected against them: they suffered at Abingdon the sixe and twentie daie of February last past for the same, as by the brief and summe of their cōfession here ensuing, thou maist more at large perceiue.
The cōfession of Elizabeth Stile, alias Rockinham, a vvitch dvvelling in VVindsore in the Countie of Barke, decla∣red in the gaile of Reading, in the said County in the xxi. yere ef the raigne of our most dread soueraigne Lady Eli∣zabeth. Queene of England, Fraunce and Ireland &c.
ELizabeth Stile, alias Rockingham apprehēded for her witchcraft vsed in Windsore, and for the same brought before Sir Henry Neuel Knight, was by him examined, who for that he by manifest proofes of her vniust & vnhonest behauiour, founde her an offendour vnto the Quéenes Maiesties liedge people, committed her to the common gaile at Reading, where shée béeing examined, had (the feare of God pricking her thereunto as it seamed) some remorse of conscience, and confessed before Thomas Rowe, the Iaylour, Iohn Knight, the Cunstable Iohn Grif∣fith an Inholder, & one William Pryntall, of diuers as well men as women, that vsed to doo much harme, by Sorcery, witchecrafte, & enchantemēts, whose names hereafter ensue.
1 First that one father Rosiman alias Osborne, dwelling in Farneham in the Countie of Buckingham, and his daugh∣ter are witches, & that the said Rosiman can alter & chaunge Page [unnumbered] him selfe into any kinde of beast that him listeth.
2 Item one mother Dutton, dwelling within Hodgkins in the parishe of Cleworth nere Windsore, can tell euery mans errand assoone as shée seeth him, & worketh by a spirit in like∣nesse of a tode which shee nominateth Mawde, and she giueth him a drop of bloud in her flancke, and kéepeth him alwayes in a gardein in a border of grene herbes.
3 Item one mother Deuell dwelling in Windsore by the pounde, keepeth a black Cat which shée nameth Iyll, & vseth to carrie it in her lappe, and feedeth it with blood and milke, and Rosimans daughter hath a white Cat.
4 Item one mother Margaret a lame woman, gooing with crutches, féedeth a kitling with crummes of bread and with some of her blood, and calleth it Iynne.
5 Item the said Elizabeth Stile, sayth that shée her self kept a Ratte, which shée named Philip, the which shée fedde with crummes of bread and blood of her right arme about the hand wrest, the place thereof not hidden, and saith, that further shée with the rest hath geuen her right side to the Deuill.
6 Item this examinat further, saieth that father Rosimond and his daughter, mother Margarete, mother Duttō, and her selfe, were accustomed to make their méeting on the backside of Maister Dodges, where they vsed to conferre of such their enterprises as before they had determined of and practized.
7 Item shée also confesseth that mother Deuell was a poore woman, and vsed to go about begging of the almes of her ho∣nest neighbours, which if they did once deny her request; mi∣schief alwayes ensued to them or to their cattel.
8 Itē she further saieth, yt as concerning their craft & wicked practises, they haue vsed it vpon diuers & sundry persons, of whō one Langford a Farmer, inhabitīg in Windsore by the theāes side was one, who died therby & whose maid shortly af∣ter drunk of yt same cup wherof the maister before had tasted.
9 Item one maister Richard Galis Gent, (father of the au∣thor) who in times past, & yt thrise at ye least, aswel for his wis∣dome as for his pollitique & good gouernment, had béen Maior of windsore, was by their practise brought likewise to his end.
10 Itē one Switcher a Butcher, was serued of ye same sauce.
Page [unnumbered] 11 Item shée also saith that shée her self was the death of one Saddock by a clap shée gaue him on the shoulder, because hée brake his promise in not giuing her an olde cloke which hée promised to doo.
12. Item that Mother Denel did ouer speake one Willi∣am Foster a Fisher, and one Hil his wife a Baker.
13. Item she also confesseth that they altogither with one consent ouer spake on Humfrey Hesey and his wife, Ri∣chard Mils and Iohn Mattingley, so that they lay euery one long time sick before they could recouer again their helth also and one Mastline a 〈◊〉
14 Item shée saith that on a time a Childe (béeing a mans Sonne in Windesore) hurled a stone on her house wherwith béeing mooued to anger shée tooke his pot from him, threat∣ned to be euen with him, wherwithall the Child went home wardes, and in the way méeting his Father he tolde him what had happened. To whome his Father said: ye hast doon some vnhappinesse to her, come with mee and I will speak with her, and as they went togithers towards her house, the Childe sudainly began to cry out Oh my hand my hand, and his Father meruailing what hée ailed looking vpon his hand and beholding it turned clean out of course and that otherwise then Nature had framed it: tooke it in his hand and assayed to haue turned it right again, but hée & an other man a neigh∣bour of his (béeing with him at that present) could not doo it, the which was holpen afterwardes by Mother Dutton,
15. Item she saith that as woorking the death of th'afore named Lanckforde, Maister Galis Lankfoords Maide and Suitcher the said Mother Dutton did make a picture of wax and did stick a hauthorn prick as it were against the hart of it that they died shortly after, and the said pictures they conuei∣ed in a hole made for the nonce in the Chimney coruer, before the which they set two bricks & as the wax melted so the man consumed vnto death by which meanes shée saith they could kil any of what degrée soeuer.
16. Item shée also saith that the said Mother Dutton did giue a picture but whether it were of man or womā she dooth Page [unnumbered] not remember & the man that had it of her, shée thinkeh to be dead, and also yt one Gorge Whiting seruāt to Mathew Pain of Caton had a picture of her self for one Foster, for that that the same Gorge and Foster fel at woords and the picture, was made in Mother Duttons house, and Mother Deuil said to her bun, spare not to plague him, thrusting a hauthorn prick against the hart of it, so yt he lay at the point of death, a long time but in the end Mother Dutton recouered him a∣gain, vsing their extremitie by kiling of a Cowe of his.
17 Item the said Elizabeth saith that the said Mother Dut∣ton and Mother Deuil were the first Inticers of her to all those afore said dooings, and that she and euery of them did oftē times meet togither at Maister Dodges pits and sōetime at the pound about eleuen a clock at night, & that Mother Dutton and Mother Deuil did alure her to doo and exercise yt craft which they them selues then and before vsed, and with them to sorsake God and all his woorks and to giue her selfe to the Deuil.
18 Item shée saith that on a time shée went to olde Rosi∣mans house and found him sitting at the root of an oke like an Ape and there talked with him long, and leauing him at her departure in the same shape, and at an other time she found him like an horse.
19. Item shee saith that shée went on a time to olde Winde∣sore to the bedmaker to beg milk which shee could not haue be¦cause the maid was a milking but at her return shee said her Rat had prouidid bothe milk and creame.
20 Item shée confesseth that one Mother Audrey béeing one of the foure that sat vnder the Pulpit before she wed inhabi∣ting in the Almes house was the chéef Mistresse of them all but shée is dead.
21 Item shée saith that foure or fiue of the ablest men in Windesor (if shée had béen so disposed) should not haue brou∣ght her to the Gaile but that shée came of her owne accorde, for by the way as shée went with Iohn Browne to the Gaile who was her Guide thither, her Bun came to her in the like nesse of a great black Cat and would haue had her away, but Page [unnumbered] hoping for fauour, she banished him againe.
22 Item shée also saith that their woords of charme weare these, come on let vs go about it, and presently they were changed into a new shape.
¶ To all which aforesaid Articles the said Eliza∣beth saied shée would affirme, and vnto her death truely stand to.
This is not to be forgotten that the said Mother Stile albeit at the time of her apprehension and conduction to the Gaile shee was of perfect limme and ioint: yet neuerthelesse was shée after the said confession made, so altered and changed, by the inchauntments of her owne Confederates: that she was ye moste odiblest creature that euer man beheld, insomuch that shee was brought vpon a barrowe to her arrainment before the Iudges.
This is to be remembred also that amongst the Offenders afore said, and that at the time of their execution, Mother Margaret béeing vpon the ladder and readye to playe the last act, of her life, and commiting her self to the merecie of the law, by the which shée was adiudged for her desarts to suffer death: began to say the Lordes prayer in the which shée con∣tinued til shee came to these woords and forgiue vs our trespa∣ses &c. at which place making a stay crying out against one Sauoye Haruy of Windesor Ostler her accuser, which then was comming towards the place of the execution where they all suffered to see her end, saying art thou come to cast mée a∣way? and speak to the People then standing by, mark the end of him before this time tweluemoonth, and waxing ougly to the terror of the Beholders shée impatiently ended her life.