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Contemporary Pamphlets Early Modern Witches Notes

History Notes > Witch-craft and witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe (OS8) Notes

This is an extract of our Contemporary Pamphlets Early Modern Witches document, which we sell as part of our Witch-craft and witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe (OS8) Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford University students.

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Early Modern Witches: Witchcraft Cases in Contemporary Writing
Marion Gibson
Routledge (2000)

The Examination and Confession of Certaine Wytches (1566)
(pp. 10-25)
Pg. 10

The first witchcraft pamphlet to be published
Details the story of 3 accused witches in Hatfield Peverel: Agnes Waterhouse, Jone Waterhouse and Elizabeth Francis
Also speaks of their familiar, 'Sathan', which turns from cat, to toad, to dog
The women were tried at Chelmsford assizes on 26 July 1566
- Agnes was hanged, Elizabeth imprisoned and Jone found not guilty
Probably varied authors, but one of them was the poet John Phillips

Pg. 11- the text begins

Godly introduction:
- the soul 'is the chief and most excellent treasure that any man can be indued withall'
Advocates 'cleanesse of lyfe', warns against sin

Pg. 13

Preface - 'The feminine dames attached were, whom Sathan had infect.
- stressing gender]

Pg. 17
Elizabeth Francis

Francis learnt witchcraft at 6 years old 'of hyr grand-mother'
- familial connection adds legitimacy
'she [her grandmother] counseiled her to renounce GOD and his worde, and to geve of her bloudde to Sathan'
Devil appeared 'in the lykenesse of a whyte spotted Catte'
Asking for 'shepe' - worldy wealth

Pg. 18

Elizabeth asked for a husband, Andrew Byles, but when he refused to marry her 'she wild him
[Sathan] to touch his body, whych he forthewith dyd whereof he died'
Sathan 'required a drop of bloude, whiche she gave him by prycking herselfe... where she pricked herselfe there remayned a red spot, which was styl to be sene'
- Devil's mark

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