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A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 17

Extracts from it are given by Harsnett


It

remains to mention certain exorcist pamphlets of which we possess only the titles:

_A history of the case of Catherine Wright._ No date; written presumably by Darrel and given by him to Mrs. Foljambe, afterwards Lady Bowes. See C. H. and T. Cooper, _Athenae Cantabrigienses_ (Cambridge, 1858-1861), II, 381.

Darrel says that there was a book printed about "Margaret Harrison of Burnham-Ulpe in Norfolk and her vexation by Sathan." See _Detection of that sinnfull ... discours of Samuel Harshnet_, 36, and _Survey of Certaine Dialogical Discourses_, 54.

_The strange Newes out of Sommersetshire, Anno 1584, tearmed, a dreadfull discourse of the dispossessing of one Margaret Cooper at Ditchet, from a devill in the likenes of a headlesse beare._ Referred to by Harsnett, _Discovery of the Fraudulent Practises of John Darrel_, 17.

A ballad seems to have been written about the Somers case. Extracts from it are given by Harsnett, _ibid._, 34, 120.

Sec. 3.--James I and Witchcraft and Notable Jacobean Cases (see chs. V, VI).

_The Most Cruell and Bloody Murther committed by an Innkeepers Wife called Annis Dell, and her Sonne George Dell, Foure Yeares since.... With the severall Witch-crafts and most damnable practices of one Iohane Harrison and her Daughter, upon several persons men and

women at Royston, who were all executed at Hartford the 4 of August last past 1606._ So far as the writer knows, there is no contemporary reference to confirm the executions mentioned in this pamphlet. The story itself is a rather curious one with a certain literary flavor. This, however, need not weigh against it. It seems possible rather than probable that the narrative is a fabrication.

_The severall notorious and lewd Cosenages of Iohn West and Alice West, falsely called the King and Queene of Fayries ... convicted ... 1613_, London, 1613. This might pass in catalogues as a witch pamphlet. It is an account of two clever swindlers and of their punishment.

_The Witches of Northamptonshire._

_Agnes Browne_ } _Arthur Bill_ } _Joane Vaughan_} _Hellen Jenkenson_} _Witches._ _Mary Barber_ }

_Who were all executed at Northampton the 22. of July last. 1612._

Concerning this same affair there is an account in MS., "A briefe abstract of the arraignment of nine witches at Northampton, July 21, 1621" (Brit. Mus., Sloane, 972). This narrative has, in common with the printed narrative, the story of Mistress Belcher's and Master Avery's sufferings from witchcraft. It mentions also Agnes Brown and Joan Brown (or Vaughan) who, according to the other account, were hanged. All the other names are different. But it is nevertheless not hard to reconcile the two accounts. The "briefe abstract" deals with the testimony taken before the justices of the peace on two charges; the _Witches of Northamptonshire_ with the final outcome at the assizes. Three of those finally hanged were not concerned in the first accusations and were brought in from outlying districts. On the other hand, most of those who were first accused by Belcher and Avery seem not to have been indicted.


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