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A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 17

A Defense of the Proceedings against Jane Wenham


Defense of the Proceedings against Jane Wenham, wherein the Possibility and Reality of Witchcraft are Demonstrated from Scripture.... In Answer to Two Pamphlets, Entituled: (I) The Impossibility of Witchcraft, etc. (II) A Full Confutation of Witchcraft_, By Francis Bragge, A. B., ... London, 1712.

_The Impossibility of Witchcraft Further Demonstrated, Both from Scripture and Reason ... with some Cursory Remarks on two trifling Pamphlets in Defence of the existence of Witches_. By the Author of _The Impossibility of Witchcraft_, 1712. In the Bodleian.

_Jane Wenham_. Broadside. The writer of this leaflet claims to have transcribed his account from an account in "Judge Chancy's own hand". Chauncy was the justice of the peace who with Bragge stood behind the prosecution.

It is very hard to straighten out the authorship of these various pamphlets. The Rev. Mr. Bragge wrote several. The Rev. Mr. Gardiner and the Rev. Mr. Strutt, who were active in the case, may have written two of them. The topographer Gough, writing about 1780, declared that the late Dr. Stebbing had as a young man participated in the controversy. Francis Hutchinson was an interested spectator, but probably did not contribute to the literature of the subject.

A short secondary account is that of W. B. Gerish, _A Hertfordshire Witch; or the Story of Jane Wenham, the "Wise Woman

of Walkern_."

In the Brit. Mus., Sloane MSS., 3,943, there is a continuation of the pamphlet discussion, based chiefly, however, upon Glanvill and other writers.

Sec. 10.--Criticism of the Northampton and Huntingdon Pamphlets of 1705 and 1716 (see ch. XIII, note 10).

_An Account of The Tryals, Examination and Condemnation of Elinor Shaw and Mary Phillips (Two notorious Witches) on Wednesday the 7th of March 1705, for Bewitching a Woman, and two children.... With an Account of their strange Confessions._ This is signed, at the end, "Ralph Davis, March 8, 1705." It was followed very shortly by a completer account, written after the execution, and entitled:

_The Northamptonshire Witches, Being a true and faithful account of the Births, Educations, Lives, and Conversations of Elinor Shaw and Mary Phillips (The two notorious Witches) That were Executed at Northampton on Saturday, March the 17th, 1705 ... with their full Confession to the Minister, and last Dying Speeches at the place of Execution, the like never before heard of.... Communicated in a Letter last Post, from Mr. Ralph Davis of Northampton, to Mr. William Simons, Merchantt in London_, London, 1705.

With these two pamphlets we wish to compare another, which was apparently published in 1716 and was entitled: _The Whole Trial and Examination of Mrs. Mary Hicks and her Daughter Elizabeth, But of Nine Years of Age, who were Condemn'd the last Assizes held at Huntingdon for Witchcraft, and there Executed on Saturday, the 28th of July 1716 ... the like never heard before; their Behaviour with several Divines who came to converse with 'em whilst under their sentence of Death; and last Dying Speeches and Confession at the place of execution_, London, 1716. There is a copy in the Bodleian Library.

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