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Mary Glover Notes

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

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Witchcraft and hysteria in Elizabethan London: Edward Jorden and the Mary Glover case pp. 3-32 "Mary Glovers late woeful case, together with her joyfull deliverance"
Michael MacDonald (Ed.)
Routledge (1991)

Conformity and Orthodoxy in the English Church, C. 1560-1660
Eds. Peter Lake and Michael Questier
Boydell Press (2000)

In Glover's case, Puritan ministers, such as Lewis Hughes and Mr Bridger, were imprisoned in 1602 for using fasting to attempt to exorcise Mary without a bishop's consent, on orders from
Richard Bancroft
Those present at Glover's exorcism realised the potential consequences for what they were doing, promising 'that if any of them [those involved in the exorcism] should fall into the hands of any to be examined, they would then be as careful as might be to keep the poor ministers out of danger' (pg. 57)
Bancroft also commissioned a book from the sceptic physician Dr Jorden, who was present at
Glover's trial, which argued possession was a consequence of 'hysteria' - A briefe discourse of a disease called the Suffocation of the Mother (pg. 58)
Bancroft and Harsnett thus used the case to support their more moderate, sceptical approach to exorcism which did contrast with the views of the King, who passionately railed against witchcraft and demonism in Daemonologie
However, James was eventually won over to the more moderate view of possession thanks to
Bancroft's resolutely anti-Catholic message as well as being anti-Puritan, and James passed new canon law in 1604 including Canon 72 which prevented fasting (often used by exorcists) and other methods to cast out demons without express permission of the bishop of the diocese
- 'with this canon, the authorities could now suppress exorcists without question or controversy'
(pg. 60)
It was similarly concluded that Anne Gunter was a fraud: 'The possessions of two teenage girls,
Mary Glover and Anne Gunter, were decisive victories in the struggle to suppress puritan popular exorcisms' (pg. 61)
'From now on, the authority of the Church of England would be unhesitatingly deployed against
Protestant, as well as Catholic, exorcists.'

Pg. 3

Pg. 4

Mary Glover - 14 year old girl from London
Went to run errands for her mother and ran into an old woman in the neighbourhood, Elizabeth
Jackson, who invited her into her house and locked the door, accusing her of having wronged her daughter
She 'then rayled at her, with many threats and cursings, wishing an evill death to light upon her'

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