The Most wonderfull and true storie, of a certaine witch named Alse Gooderige of Stapenhill, who was arraigned and convicted at Darbie at the Assises there.
As also a true report of the strange torments of Thomas Darling, a boy of thirteene years of age, that was possessed of the Devil, with his horrible fittes and terrible Apparitions by him uttered at Burton upon Trent in the County of Stafford, and of his marvellous deliverance.

London 1597

 

[Excerpts]

To the Reader

Time hath proved that by experience (Christian Reader) which Saint John by the spirit of prophecy foreshowed:  The Devil (saith he) hath great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time [Revelation 12:12]. For this prophecy is fulfilled, not only in the outrageous fury that Satan useth in raising persecution against God's saints by his mischievous instruments, and corrupting men's minds by his wicked suggestions, but also in tyrannizing - according to his limited power over them - by torments. This first kind of cruelty the former ages have felt when the third part of the sun and the moon and the stars were smitten by the Roman dragon, and stinged by the Turkish scorpions, and other locusts of the like stamp. The other manner of villainy hath showed her fruits too plentifully in this our age in the cooling of charity and quenching of the Spirit, that Our Saviour's prophecy - which cannot be far off - may be fulfilled, When the Son of man commeth, shall he find faith on the earth? [Luke 18:18].

And this last kind of tyranny is too apparent, amongst other instances, in the pitiful vexing of this poor distressed child. And as the Holy Ghost hath left such spiritual conflicts for the spiritual warfare of his children, so hath he not left them without weapons to withstand the fury of their enemies. For in temporal persecutions and afflictions they have patience for their buckler, that they may learn to say of them with Job, Blessed be the name of the Lord; and in all manner of temptations of Satan they have the whole armor of God, yea, and those weapons that are able to overthrow the Devil's strongest holds, as shall well appear in this small treatise.

Concerning the strangeness thereof, it is left to thy consideration (gentle Reader) and for the truth of it, - if it should be called in question as not unlike (for the abundance of false and frivolous devices broached in these days - a thing much to be lamented - do oft times abridge truth of her credit):  Besides that for the particulars a hundred more witnesses might be produced than are here inserted, and diverse of them of good worth and credit, the matter itself is well known to the Right Honourable Sir Edmund Anderson, Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, as being voluntarily confessed to him by the witch who was upon the same arraigned and convicted before his H[ighness] at Derby, and therefore is not lightly to be excepted against.  Besides also that it was compiled by a private Christian and man of trade, who being with the boy in almost all his fits, did both take notes at the present of all that was done and spoken, and conferred also afterward with the witnesses of best judgement and credit, that he might be sure of that which he had set down.

In a word, I think there can scarcely be any instance showed (the Holy Scriptures excepted) whereby both peevish opinion that there are no witches, and the popish assertion that only priests can dispossess, may be better controlled than by this. The first kind of people, I think, are rather to be pitied than confuted, daily experience crying out against their folly. The other may hereby see their too peremptory conclusions overthrown, since he whose advice and help was used in this matter, is very well known to be a faithful preacher of the Gospel and so an enemy to popery.

Wishing thee therefore so to regard it as for the truth and weight thereof it shall deserve, and to reap such fruit by it as being well regarded it may yield, I bid thee farewell in Christ.

I.D.

 

 

A report of the torments and deliverance of Thomas Darling, (a boy of thirteen years of age) that was possessed by Satan a Burton-upon-Trent.

Upon Saturday (being the xxvii. of February) Robert Toone (dwelling in Burton upon Trent in the County of Stafford, uncle to this Thomas Darling) going to Winsell Wood (which is distant from Burton about half a mile) to hunt the hare, took the boy with him. And being earnest in following his game, lost him; who (after he had a whole wandered up and down, and could not find his uncle) returned home to his uncle's house, where he sojourned. Being come home, he waxed heavy and afterward grew to be very sick, vomiting and casting up what he had eaten at dinner, and so was got to bed. The next morning he had sore fits with extreme vomitings, that all which saw him judged it be be some strange ague. In the time of this extremity, in these his fits, he would many times point with his hand, saying:  Look where green angels stand in the window, and not long after would often complain that a green cat troubled him; which thing was judged by hid friend to proceed of lightness in his head. Many other things fell out also in these times worthy the noting, whereof (in respect of the unexpected event) there was no note kept.

His sickness waxing more vehement, his aunt went to a physician with his brine:  who said he saw no signs of any natural disease in the child, unless it were the worms. His sickness still increasing (notwithstanding anything prescribed or ministered) she went again with his brine to the physician, who judged as before, saying further, he doubted that the child was bewitched. Which she (holding incredible) imparted it to nobody, rather imagining it to be (though some strange, yet) a natural disease. As diverse also judged it to be the falling sickness, by reason that it was no continual distemperature, but came by fits, with sudden staring, striving and struggling very fiercely, and falling down with sore vomits. Also it took away the use of his legs, so that he was fain to be carried up and down, save in his fits, for then he was nimble enough.

How he spent his time between his fits it is worth the observing. His exercises were such as might well have beseemed one of riper years, wherein he showed the fruits of his education, which was religious and godly. With those that were good Christians, he took great pleasure to confer; to whom he would signify his daily expectation of death and his resolute readiness to leave the world and to be with Christ. And all his love to the world, he said, extended thus far, that (if God had so been pleased) he might have lived to be a preacher to thunder out the threatenings of God's word against sin and all abominations wherewith these days do abound.

In these fits and such like speeches, he continued till Mid-Lent Sunday, being the xxi. of March. That day (besides that his wonted fit took him) he began in other and more strange manner to be vexed, for he swayed downs as one in a swound. Forthwith they took him by, and laid him upon a bed, where (having laid some small space) he arose by suddenly, striving and struggling in such sort, that it was enough for two or three to hold him. then fell he suddenly upon his back, and lying in such manner) raised up his legs one after the other so stiffly, that the standers-by could not bow them in the ham. And thus continuing a while with grievous roaring, at last he raised himself up on his feet and his head, his belly standing up much above his head or feet, , continuing so a little space he fell down upon his back groaning very pitifully. The rising up, he ran round on his hand and his feet, keeping a certain compass. After that, striving and struggling with groaning, he fell a-vomiting. And then coming to himself, said, The Lord's name be praised.

This was the first fit that he had; and after this manner was he ordinarily handled during the time of his possession (save that he did seldom run round in that manner that is aforesaid), Which being thus ended, he fell upon his knees suddenly to prayer, and that so pithily that the standers-by wondered thereat, as much as they did at this strange visitation, being no less comforted by one than they were before grieved at the other.

The next day he had many fits, in the which he would often point at a green cat that troubled him, and still entreated his friends that were present to pray for him. Between his fits he requested them to read the Scriptures, which they could not do for weeping to behold his misery. They sent (at the boy's request) for one Jesse Bee that doth dwell in Burton upon Trent, who took the notes of the whole matter. And him the boy after some speeches entreated to read where he would:  who read the xi. chapter according to Saint John, till he came to the fourth verse, at which time the boy was overthrown into a fit like the former. Which fits lasted commonly about the quarter of an hour. Jesse continued reading the xi. xii. and xiii. of John's Gospel, and the first and second of the Revelation. During which time, his fits continued one in the neck of the other.

Which, ending with a vomit, he used to say The Lord's name be praised, and many times Lord Jesus receive my soul. When Jesse either ceased to speak of any comfortable matter or to read the Scriptures, the boy was quieter from his fits, but when he was so religiously occupied, they came thick upon him. Which Jesse Bee considering and observing told the boy's aunt, he suspected that the boy was bewitched. Upon which occasion (though she doubted of the matter) she told him as before, both her going to the physician and the physician's judgement concerning the boy's sickness - which he overhearing yet said nothing.

The next morning he said unto the maid that made him ready;

I heard my aunt tell Jesse Bee that I was bewitched. The same Saturday that my sickness took me, I lost my uncle in the wood. And in the coppice I met a little old woman. She had a gray gown with a black fringe about the cape, a broad thrummed hat, and three warts on her face. I have seen her begging at our door. As for her name I know it not, but by sight I can know her again. As I passed by her in the coppice I chanced (against my will) to let a scape. Which she, taking in anger, said, Gyp with a mischief and fart with a bell: I will go to heaven and thou shalt go to hell. And forthwith she stooped to the ground. I stood still and looked at her, viewing every part of her, marveling what she stooped for. So I came home and she went to Winsell.

Hereupon a more vehement suspicion arising, some judged it to be the witch of Stapenhill. Others because she was old and went little abroad, rather though it to be Alse Gooderidge, her daughter, who was had in great suspicion of many to be a doer in these devilish practices, as afterward it proved.

…

The Thursday before Easter (being 8. of April) there came to see the boy Mistress Walkeden of Clitton, his grandmother and Mistress Saunders, his aunt. To whom when it was told what the boy said concerning the meeting of a woman in the wood, Mistress Walkeden (upon the witch's cursing, the boy's sudden sickness, his strange handling, and the physician's judgement) thought it more than probable that the boy was bewitched. And by the marks that he had taken, perceived it was Alice Gooderidge which had thus bewitched him. Yet making conscience to accuse her till it appeared upon sure proof, sent for her into the town to talk with her privately. When (with much ado) she was come, they brought her into the chamber where the boy was, at which time the boy fell into a marvellous sore fit. Which being ended, Mistress Walkeden asked her if she knew that boy. She answered, she knew him not. Many other questions were asked, but in vain, for she would not confess anything.

Some of the standers-by persuaded the boy to scratch her: which he did upon the face and the back of the hands, so that the blood came out apace. She stroked the back of her hand upon the child, saying, take blood enough child, God help thee. To whom the boy answered, pray for thyself, thy prayer can do me no good. Here by the way, touching this use of scratching the witch: though it be commonly received as an approved means to descry the witch, and procure ease to the bewitched; yet seeing that neither by any natural cause, or supernatural warrant of God’s word it hath any such virtue given unto it; it is to be received among the witchcrafts, whereof there be great store used in our land, to the great dishonour of God. But to our matter.

When Robert Toone, the boy's uncle, and his schoolmaster saw that Mistress Walkeden could nothing prevail with this bad woman, they took her aside. To whom, after many questions, she granted that she was in the wood that Saturday which the boy spake of, and that she saw no boy but Sherrat's boy.  Further they demanded of her when she received the communion. She said, a twelve month ago. And asking what she she received, she answered, her damnation. They asked her whether she knew what she said. She answered again, What should I receive but my damnation? They caused her to say the Lord's Prayer and Creed, which she huddled up with much ado. But when she came to these words in the Lord's Prayer, And lead us not into temptation; and in the Creed, either to Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, or the catholic church, she would not say any of those words. After these examinations, she departed to her own house.

…

{Toone] … seeing these fits to increase, thought it good that the witch were brought before a Justice. And so went with Jesse Bee (the 10. of April) before Master Thomas Graysley Esquire and Justice of the Peace, craving his precept to that purpose, which he granted. And directed it to the constable at Stapenhill, to bring both this Alice Gooderidge (which was almost 60., years of age) and old Elizabeth Wright also, mother to this Alice, who had been 4. or 5. times before him on suspicion of many such crimes. The precept thus granted forth, they were brought before Master Graysley, to whom she would confess nothing, save that she met a boy, (which she thought to be Sherrat's boy who had broken her a basket full of eggs) in Abel's Close, and (said she) if my words did him any harm, I am sorry. But that word bell, she did not remember that she used.

…

Presently after which, the old woman Elizabeth Wright came into Robert Toone's house. Which so soon as Master Graysley understood, he caused her to be brought into the parlor where the child was. But she was very unwilling to come in, crying, Alas that ever I was born. What shall I do? Master Graysley spake loudly to her, asking if she could do the boy any good. She answered that her daughter had that at home that she should do good with. He caused her (with much ado) to look upon the boy; which as soon as ever she did, he fell into a strange and cruel fit - lying upon his back, his eyes standing staring open in fearful manner, his teeth set in his head, his arms clapped close to his sides, and all the parts of his body quaking very fearfully. Master Graysley had her kneel down and pray for him:  which she did, but so as nobody could understand what she said. Whilst she prayed, the fit continued, and therefore they thrust her out of doors; which being done, the fit ended presently.

Sir Humphrey and Master Graysley agreed that certain women should search the mother and the daughter severally, to see if they could find any such marks on them as are usually found on witches. the old woman they stripped, and found behind her right shoulder a thing much like the udder of an ewe that giveth suck ,with two teats like unto two great warts, the one behind under her armhole, the other a handful off towards the top of her shoulder. Which when they had found, they put on her clothes again, leaving the place bare that it might be seen both of Master Humphrey, Master Graysley and diverse others of good worth; as indeed it was. They had her say the Lord's Prayer, which she huddled up after her manner, leaving out these words still unsaid, And lead us not into temptation. Being then demanded how long she had those teats, she answered she was born so.

Then did they search Alice Gooderige, and found upon her belly a hole of the bigness of two pence, fresh and bloody as though some great wart had been cut off the place. The Justices examined her concerning the bewitching of the boy, but she would confess nothing. Then Sir Humphrey took her to the boy, and asked him whether this were she that thus bewitched him. He answered that it was surely she. Then did Sir Humphrey bid him scratch her. Which when the boy offered to do, his hand was presently be-numbed and plucked to his side, and he tormented in every part. Four several times he assayed to do this, but still with like success. He was bidden to lay his hand on the standers-by, which he did without difficulty. Then proceeded they in examining her concerning her hurt. She said she went to fetch a little meal on Easter even forth of the chamber, and coming down a ladder, her foot slipped and she having a knife in her hand, thrust herself into the belly. They asked the judgement of a surgeon, whose answer was, that it was like to have been so for a long time, for it was not festered and seemed to be sucken.

Sir Humphrey charged her with witchcraft about one Michael's cow. Which cow, when she brake all things they tied her in, ran to this Alice Gooderige her house, scraping at the walls and windows to have come in. Her old mother, Elizabeth Wright took upon her to help, upon condition that she might have a penny to bestow upon her god. And so she came to the man's house, kneeled down before the cow, crossed her with a stick in the forehead, and prayed to her god. Since which time the cow continued well. With this she was urged by the Justices, and with the hurt upon her belly - how it could be so and her clothes not cut; whereto she made shifting answers, to no purpose. Then put they her aside and examined Oliver Gooderidge her husband, and her daughter also; who were found to disagree in their tales concerning that matter. Whereupon Sir Humphrey committed her to Derby Gaol, but dismissed her mother.

…

{Darling has more fits]

While these things happened, it was reported that Elizabeth Wright was in the town - a thing somewhat rare; for it is is thought that (except at the time of her former examination) she was not so far in half a year before. Presently they sent for her. In the mean season came in Master Bagot the younger of Blithfield, wishing to be an eyewitness of these strange reports. Requesting the boy to take the Bible and read, he being unwilling to read himself wished Jesse Bee to do so much, which he did. And when he came to the 4. verse of the 1. chapter of Saint John's Gospel in these words, In it was life, and the life was the light of the world, the boy was overthrown into a fit. About the end of which it was said that the witch had come, whom before they had sent for. So that she was presently brought in stripped by certain women, that they might see her suspected place. Whilst they stripped her, she cursed the day of her birth, making great outcries and and using bitter speeches against all that offered to accuse her. And being asked who brought her to Burton, she said, the devil. Being asked diverse questions she liked not, she would answer she did not hear.

Much ado they had to get her to come near the boy or to look on him. And it had been good for him, if she had never come at him. For so soon as she kneeled down by him and cast her eyes upon him, he was suddenly taken with such a vehement fit as before he had upon the like occasion. This was more grievous than many other. He lay upon his back, altogether deprived of the use both of his members and his senses - except his eyes, for they stood wide open very fearful to the beholders; and all the parts of his body did quake and shake like aspen leaves. Whilst she was upon her knees at her devilish prayers, the child was grievously tormented, therefore they thrust her out of the doors. Which being done, he recovered himself, and his fit ended, he said:  The Lord be praised. Mistress Dethicke also of New-hall came in to behold with others these strange sights, at whose request, when Jesse Bee read the first chapter of the Gospel after Saint John and came to the 4. verse, the boy was cast into a fit like to those which before he had upon the like occasion.

…

This day there came one to them having been (of her own accord) with Widow Worthington, the good witch of Hopper's (as they call her), and told them, she said the boy was bewitched, yet help him she could not except his mother or some of his nearest friends came unto her. The same answer was given by a witch about Coventry to another looking for some help in the boy's behalf. But the mother of the child (detesting the devil's help) thanked those two for their kindness towards her, but sharply reproved them for attempting a thing so unlawful.

…

The boy's torments continuing, Robert Toone being altogether without hope of his recovery, both because the witch confessed nothing and the man that promised help failed, whereat he grieved exceedingly. Many persuaded him to send to diverse witches, which he refused, but his wife purposed to attempt it and sent for a messenger who had before been employed by others in the like business. he found the boy in a fit when he came, and thereupon uttered these words, Who would suffer him to lie thus and not seek any help he could get? Whereunto, an honest man (not acquainted with their purpose)  answered, To seek help at a witch is wicked and dangerous. The messenger was pricked in conscience with his speech and would not go. Robert Toone was not a little glad they were stopped in so unlawful an enterprise. This day also another had been with Widow Worthington, the witch of Hoppers (unknown to the boy's friends) and brought this answer:  that unless the boy and his friends believed her, she could do him no good. Which thing they detested.

…

The next day he came that promised to cure the boy, and to prove her plainly (which was had in suspicion) to be a witch. He wished Robert Toone only to procure him a warrant to fetch her from the gaol, promising - as he hated all conjuration and enchantment - so it should be manifest what course he took for effecting these matters.  This day and both the next, he had many sore fits. Upon the last of April, between 9. and 3. in the afternoon, he had 14 fits. At this time, the witch's liberty being procured, she came to town and was brought to the boy, to whom she said, God help thee, my child. Whereupon he was presently cast into most strange torments, differing both in manner and cruelty from the former. Three strong men could hardly hold him he was so strong. He shrieked pitifully, blearing out the tongue, and having his neck so writhen that his face seemed to stand backward. This pitiful spectacle did wring many tears from the beholders. So from 3. till 9. at night he had 27 of these torments, and then they left him, quaking and marvelously dismayed. These fits being laid to the witch's charge, she answered, that she indeed did vex the child, but if they would forgive her, it should cease. Two or three went to Stapenhill to see what the old woman did this while, suspecting she had a hand herein. When they came thither, they found her on her knees; praying (no doubt) to the devil.

Upon the first of May, about 7. in the morning, he was cast into a fit. This was the day wherein the cunning man would make the witch confess, and a sennight after cure the boy. So he sent for her from the Town Hall to Robert Toone, where many worshipful personages were ready to see proof of his skill. Being brought, they laboured to make her confess voluntarily; to whom she answered. this was the first that ever she committed, and if they would procure her liberty, she offered to confess all the truth freely. Presently her speech was interrupted, so that she could not speak, but she prayed them to forgive her. Then the man, seeing this would not prevail, fell to trial of his conclusion. He put a pair of new shoes on her feet, setting her close to the fire till the shoes - being extreme hot - might constrain her through increase of the pain to confess. This was his ridiculous practice, she being thoroughly heated desired a release and she would disclose all; which granted, she confessed nothing. Being therefore threatened more sharply, she offered to reveal all privately to Mistress Dethicke, and going with her into a parlor, when she began to speak, her wind was stopped, so as she could not say anything, but, I pray you forgive me.

By this time it was xi. of the clock, and the boy had had 8. fits, and was brought into the parlour where she was, who said, Thomas, I pray you forgive me and be good to me. At which words he fell into a marvellous sore fit. After which the company continued threatening and persuading her, but all she should say was, she was sorry for him for she mistook him, thinking him to be Sherrat's boy, thinking to have been revenged on him for breaking her eggs. When they saw they could prevail no more, they sent her again to the Hall, and the company departed. After which the boy had 8. fits.

The next morning went Jerome Horabin, Edward Weightman, Mistress Caldwell with other to hear what confession she would make. At whose coming she spake thus:  I met the boy in the wood the first Saturday in Lent, and passing by me, he called me the witch of Stapenhill. Unto whom I said, Every boy doth call me witch, but did I ever make thy arse to itch? Further she said, I pray you get help for the boy, for God's sake get help for the boy. Again she said, God give me grace to confess the truth. And when she would have spoken on, she said, I cannot, my wind is stopped. Mistress Caldwell asked her if she would be prayed for? Yes (quoth she) I pray you desire M. Eccarsall to pray for me, that the Lord would open my heart that I may speak the truth.

The 3. of May in the morning, Robert Toone, Edward Weightman, Richard Teate and others went again to examine the witch, who confessed to them, saying:  The first Saturday in Lent toward evening I met the boy in the wood, and he called me witch of Stapenhill. And I said again, every boy doth call me witch, but did I ever make thy arse to itch? Forthwith I stooped to the ground, and the devil appeared to me in likeness of a little parti-colored dog red and white, and I called him Minny, seeing that every boy calleth me witch, therefore go thy ways and torment this boy in every part of his body at thine own pleasure. Forthwith I strained every part of my body, enforcing myself to vomit, saying, after this sort vex every part of him. Further (said she) the dog followed the boy to Burton, and as I returned from Winsell (whither I went to buy a groat's worth of eggs) he met me again, telling me he had fulfilled my request, and at my yard's end he departed from me. Since when he hath been diverse times with me at Derby Gaol and these two nights at Burton Hall, and continually he scratcheth my head and scrapeth in the straw. Again she said, the boy will not mend except you seek for help; you may have help enough. She would have spoken further, but something stopped her throat, and she said, come out thou foul serpent.

From 8. till 2. the boy had 12 sore fits with pitiful groaning. At 3. came Master Hildersham of Ashby de la Zouch with diverse other godly ministers. Doctor Hildersham after that by certain question he had made trial of the boy's faith, said openly, that howsoever the papists boasted much of the power their priests had to cast out devils, and the simple everywhere noted it as a great discredit to the Ministers of the Gospel that they do want this power, yet did he profess there was no such gift in them. That though the Lord oft in these days by the prayers of the faithful casts out devils, yet could he not assure them to cure him. To hold this faith of miracles to remain still in the church, is an opinion dangerous. That seeing to be possessed is but a temporal correction, and such as whereby the glory of  God and the salvation of the party may be furthered, it cannot without sin be absolutely prayed against. All which notwithstanding, that there is a good use of prayer in such a case and of fasting also, to procure that the judgement may be sanctified to the beholders and the possessed himself; yea, to obtain that he may be delivered from it, if the Lord see it best for his own glory. In which persuasion, he being the mouth of the rest, they all prayed, during which time the child was not interrupted.

…

The next day there came one John Dorell (a faithful Preacher of the Word) to him; who seeing him in diverse of his fits, assured his friends and him he was possessed with an unclean spirit. Telling him (out of Saint James 4. chapter verse 7.) that the only way for his deliverance was to resist Satan; in which if he failed, he should sin against God, because it was a breach of thecommandment, Resist the Devil, &c. That for his further encouragement he had a promise of victory, in that it said, he will or shall flee. That by the devil is not to be understood only the temptations of the devil, but even Satan's very person. And proceeding to confirm the child's faith in this resistance, he afterwards exhorted his parents and the whole family to prepare themselves against the next day to that holy exercise of prayer and fasting; alleging (to put by all doubts) This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting [Matthew 17:21]. Whereto they being very willing importuned John Dorell for his presence and assistance. To which he answered, his assistance in prayer and fasting they should have but not his presence, as well to avoid note of vainglory as also for he saw no such necessity by reason of the child's firm faith. Nevertheless, giving them order for the exercise, and appointing them the help of a book called The Enemy of Security, and putting them in good comfort, he foretold them what interruptions were likely to follow by the Enemy's rage. And (saith he) when you shall see these things come to pass (which indeed fell out accordingly) then know ye for certainty as he is possessed (which his friends at Cawdwall stood in doubt of) so look that deliverance is at the door, and therefore faint not in the mid-way. Thus he departed.

The next day the family with some others in the fear of God being together, the holy exercise of prayer and fasting was taken in hand. And (after some prayer used for the assistance of God's Spirit and praying for the remission of sins) he was very grievously and often tormented; and (by means of his fits and torments) much interrupted therein, spending much time about the same. A prayer against the temptations of Satan was used, and in the beginning thereof he was presently taken with a dumb fit, and coming to himself he began to pray again; and his fits came again and again so oft as he came to any substantial point.

After a while he fell into a trance, and at length a small voice came from him, saying:  Brother Glassap, we cannot prevail, his faith is so strong, and they fast and pray, and a Preacher prayeth as fast as they. After these words he fell into a fit and so into a trance, a voice being heard from him (big and hollow) saying:  Brother Radulphus, I will go unto my master Beelzebub and he shall double their tongues. Then beginning again to pray, he fell into a fit and after into a trance. Afterward coming to himself, he pointed to the chimney, saying, Lo where Beelzebub standeth and the witch by him. I charge thee in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost to tell me whether this be she that did bewitch me or no? Dost thou say it was she? Now the Lord (I beseech him) forgiver her. I forgive her. Further he said:  I charge thee in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost to get thee from me and come no more at me. For it is written, Resist the devil and he will fly from thee. And presently he said, He is gone, he is gone. Then prayed he again and (at the third word) was thrown into a fit and a trance:  wherein a voice was heard from him (his mouth being wide open, as still it was when these voices were uttered) saying:  Radulphus, Beelzebub can do no good, his head is stroken off with a word, but I will go fetch the flying eagle and his flock. … In which time he had one fit and trance, wherein a voice said:  We cannot prevail for they will not be helpen with witches. Brother Radulphus, we cannot prevail. Let us go to our mistress and torment her, I have had a draught of her blood today.

…

… Being thus fully recovered, he went presently into the town, that it might appear what Jesus had done for him, to the praise of his glory and imitation of those that had been acquainted with his marvelous visitation.

The next morning Robert Toone went to the Gaol, and demanded of the witch how she did. O Master, quoth she, never worse for I have had an ague this night that I thought my joints had been torn in sunder. They that dwelt by the prison could not sleep for the noise that was there that night; so that it is like that the devil was as good as his word when he said he would torment her.

…

[Darling gradually recovered]
 …and so (thanks be to God) he hath remained ever since, which the Lord continue to his own glory, the joy of the godly and the child's comfort, Amen. Now the witch is dead; had she lived, she should have been executed.

 

FINIS

Shortly you shall have the true story come forth of those seven in Lancashire that were possessed with unclean spirits, and all seven delivered at one time by this man.

 


[Spelling and punctuation modernized]

Revelation 12:12  "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time"

Job 1:21  "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord".

I.D. = Possibly John Darrell (Dorell) himself. John Darrell was educated at Cambridge and became an itinerant preacher. He had tried to organize the dispossession of a Derbyshire girl, but she suddenly confessed it was all a fraud. After his part in the dispossession of Thomas Darling, he went to Lancashire to exercise seven people at Clayworth Hall, and then on Nottingham, where he tried to dispossess William Somers. The publicity all this attracted led the Church of England's authorities to imprison Darrell for a year. Darrell wrote a number of pamphlets defending his actions and attacking the official stance against dispossession.

brine= urine

falling sickness = epilepsy

swound = swoon, fainting fit

bow them in the ham = bend his legs at the knees (the ham is the part of the leg at the back of the knee)

John 11:4 "When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby".

one in the neck of the other = in rapid succession (as in "neck and neck").

coppice = a small wood or thicket

thrummed = fringed or shaggy

to let a scape = to break wind, to fart.

huddled = gabbled quickly and confusedly.

sennight = seven night, a week.

gaol = jail

Hildersham = Arthur Hildersham (1563-1632) A graduate of Cambrdge University, this puritan minister ran an unofficial "seminary" for godly clergy to encourage preaching and reformation.

James 4:7  "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you".