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A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 17

Account of the Northampton witches

[30] See _The Most Cruell and Bloody Murther committed by ... Annis Dell.... With the Severall Witch-crafts ... of one Johane Harrison and her Daughter_ (London, 1606).

[31] MS. account of the Northampton witches.

[32] See Potts, Z 2.

[33] The dramatist Dekker made use of this; see his _Witch of Edmonton_, act IV, scene I (Mermaid edition, London, 1904):

1st Countreyman.--This thatch is as good as a jury to prove she is a witch.

* * * * *

Justice.-- Come, come: firing her thatch? ridiculous! Take heed, sirs, what you do; unless your proofs Come better aimed, instead of turning her Into a witch, you'll prove yourselves stark fools.

[34] See Potts, P 2.

[35] See _ibid._, Q verso. This, however, was the second time that the judge had tried this ruse; see _ibid._, P 2.

[36] See above, note 21.

[37] North Riding Record Soc., _Quarter Sessions Records_ (London, 1883, etc.), III, 181.

[38] Two of them, however, were issued to the same woman, one in 1604 and one in 1610.

[39] _Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports_, XIII, 4 (Rye), pp. 136-137, 139-140, 144, 147-148.

[40] The term "spinster" was sometimes used of a married woman.

[41] _Cal. St. P., Dom., 1619-1623_, 125, Chamberlain to Carleton, February 26, 1620: "Peacock, a schoolmaster, committed to the Tower and tortured for practising sorcery upon the King, to infatuate him in Sir Thos. Lake's business." This is one of those rare cases in which we know certainly that torture was used.

[42] Sir Thomas Lake to Viscount Cranbourne, January 20, 1604, Brit. Mus., Add. MSS., 6177, fol. 403.

[43] _Cal. St. P., Dom., 1623-1625_, 474, 485, 497.

[44] T. B. and T. J. Howell, _State Trials_ (London, 1809-1818), II.

[45] See Potts, O 3 verso.

[46] See _Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports_, XIII, 4 (Rye), pp. 136-137, 139-140, 144, 147-148.

[47] See Alexander Roberts, _A Treatise of Witchcraft ..._ (London, 1616), dedicated to the "Maior and Aldermen."

[48] M. A. Richardson, _Table Book_ (London, 1841-1846), I, 245.

[49] North Riding Record Soc., _Quarter Sessions Records_, I, 58.

[50] "... neither had they authoritie to compell her to goe without a Constable."

[51] Brit. Mus., Add. MSS., 36,674, fol. 148. This is a brief description of "how to discover a witch." It recommends the water ordeal and cites the case of Mr. Enger and Mary Sutton.

[52] In the case of three of these four we know only that they were sentenced.

[53] Before the Flower case at Lincoln came the Willimot-Baker cases at Leicester. The Bedford trial resembled much the Northampton trial of the previous year.



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