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A TRIAL OF WITCHES,
TAKEN BY A PERSON THEN ATTENDING IN COURT.
At the assizes and general gaol delivery) held at Bury St. Edmonds, for the County of Suffolk, the tenth day of March, in the sixteenth year of our Sovereign Lord King Charles II. before Sir Matlhew Hale, knight, Lord Chief Baron of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer. Rose Cullender and Amy Duny, widows, hoth of l.eystoft", in the county aforesaid, were severally indicted for bew itching Elizabeth and Ann Durent, Jane Booking, Susan Chandler, William Durent, and Elizabeth and Deborah Pacey: and the said Cullender and Duny being arraigned upon the said indictments, pleaded not guilty.
I. Three of the parties abovementioned, viz. Ann Durent, Susan Chandler, and Elizabeth Pacey, were brought to Bury to the assizes, and were in a reasonable good condition: but that morning they came into the hall to give instructions for the drawing up of their bills of indictment, (he three persons, children, fell into strong and violent fits, screeking out in a most sad manner, so they could not in any wise give any instructions in the court who were the cause of their distemper. And although they did, after some certain space, recover out of their fits, yet they were every one of them struck dumb, so that none of them could speak, neither at that time, nor during the assizes, until the conviction of the witches. •;
As concerning William Durent, being an infant, his mother, Dorothy Durent, sworn and examined, deposed in open court, "That about the 10th of March, 16G3, she having a special occasion to go from home, and having none in her house to take care of her said child (it then suckP ,
iug) desired Amy Duuy, her neighbour, to look to her child during her absence; for which she promised to give her a penny; but the said Dorothy Dureat desired the same Amy Duny not to suckle her child, and laid a great charge upon her not to do it. Upon which she was asked by the court, why she gave that direction, she being an old woman and not capable of giving suck? And it was answered • by the. same Dorothy Durcnt, that she very well knew that she did not give suck, but that for some years before she had gone under the reputation of being a witch, which was one cause made her give her lhe caution. Nevertheless, after the departure of this deponent, the said Amy did suckle the child; and after the return of the said Dorothy, the said Amy did acquaint her that she had given suck to the child, contrary to her command. Whereupon the deponent was very angry with the said Amy for the same; at which the said .Amy was much discontented, and used many high expressions, and threatening speeches towards her; telling her, that she had as good as to have done otherwise than to have found fault with her, and so departed out of the house. And that very night her son fell into strange fits of swounding, and was held in such terrible manner, that she was much affrighted - therewith, and so continued for divers weeks. And the said examinant farther said, that she being exceedingly troubled at her child's distemper, did go to a certain person named Doctor Jacob, who lived at Yarmouth, who had the reputation in the country to help children who were bewitched; who advised her to hang up the child's blauket in tbe chimney corner all day, and at night when she put the child to bed, to put it into the said blanket, and if she found any thing in it, she should not be afraid, but throw it in the fire. And this deponent did according to his direction, and at night when she took down the blanket, with an intent to put the child therein, there fell out of the same,a great toad, which ran up and down the hearth; and she having a young man only with her in the house, desired bin to catch the toad-, and throw it in the fire; which the youth did accordingly, and held it there with the tongs; and as soon as it was in the fire it made a great and horrible noise, and after a space there was a flashing in the fire, like gunpowder, making a noise like the discharge of a pistol; and thereupon the toad was no more seen or heard. It was asked by the court, if that after the noise and flashing, there was not the substance of the toad to be seen to consume in the fire? And it was answered by the said Dorothy Durant, that after the flashing and noise, there was no more seen than if there had been none there. The next day there came a young woman, a kinswoman of the said Amy, and a neighbour of this deponent, and told this deponent, that beraunt, (meaning the said Amy) was in a most lamentable condition, having her face all scorched with fire, and that she was sitting alone in her house, in her smock, without any fire. And thereupon this said deponent went into the house of the said Amy Duny to see her, and found her in the same condition as was related to her; for her face, her legs and thighs, which this deponent saw, seemed very much scorched and burnt with fire; at which this deponent seemed much to wonder, and asked the same Amy how she came into that sad condition? And the same Amy replied, she might thank her for it, for that she, this deponent, was the cause thereof; but that she would live to see some of her children dead, and her upon crutches. And this deponent saith, that after the burning of the said toad, her child recovered and was well again, and was living at the time of the assizes. And this deponent further saith, that about the 6th of March, 2d Car. II. her daughter, Elizabeth Durent, being about the age of ten years, was taken in a like manner as her first child was, and in her fits complained much of Amy Duny, and said that she did appear to her and afflict her in such a manner as the former. And she, this deponent going to the apothecaries for something for her said child, when she did return to her own house,
she found the said Amy Duny there, and asked her what she did do there? and her answer was, thatshe came to see her child, and to give it some water. But this deponent was very angry with her, and thrust her forth of her doors; and when she was out of doors she said "You need not be so angry, for your child will not live long;" and this was on Saturday, and the child died on the Monday following. The cause of whose death this deponent verily believeth was occasioned by the witchcraft of the same Amy Duny; for that she, the said Amy, bath been long reputed to be a witch, and a person of very evil behaviour, whose kindred and relations have been many of them accused of witch* craft, and some of them have been condemned. The said deponent farther saith, that not long after the death of her daughter, Elizabeth Durent, she, this deponent, was taken with a lameness in both her legs from the knees downwards, and that she had no other use of them, but only to bear a little upon them, till she did remove her crutches, and so continued till the time of the assizes, that the witch came to be tried, and was there upon her crutches. There was one thing very remarkable, that after she had gone upon crutches for upwards of three years, and went upon them at the time of the assizes, in the court when she gave her evidence, and upon the juries' bringing in their verdict, by which the said Amy Duny was found guilty, to the great admiration of all persons, the said Dorothy Durent was restored to the use of her limbs, and went home without making use of her crutches. . i
II. As concerning Elizabeth and Deborah Pacey, the first of the age of eleven years, the other of the age of nine years, or thereabouts: as to the elder, she was brought into the Court at the time of the instructions given to draw up the indictments, aud afterwards at the time of trial of the said prisoners, but could not speak one word all the time, and fur the most part she remained as one wholly senseless, as one in a deep sleep, and could move no part of ber body, and all the motion of life that appeared in her, was, that as' she lay upon cushions in the Court upon lier back, her stomach and belly, by the drawing of her breath, would arise to a great height: and after the said Elizabeth had lain a long time on the table in the court, she came a little to herself and sate up, but could neither see nor speak; but wa» sensible of what was said to her: and after a while, she laid ber head on the bar of the court, with a cushion under it, and her hand and ber apron upon that, and there she lay a good space of time; and by the direction of the Judge, Amy Duny was privately brought to Elizabeth Pacey, and she touched her hand ; whereupon the child, without so much as seeing her, for her eyes were closed all the while, suddenly leaped up, and catched Amy Duny by the hand, and afterwards by the face, and with lier nails. scratched her till blood came, and would by no means leave her till she was taken from ber, and afterwards the child would still be pressing towards her, and making signs of anger conceived against her.
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Deborah, the younger daughter, was held in such extreme manner, that her parents wholly dispaired of her life, aad therefore could not bring her to the assizes.
Samuel Pacey, a merchant'of LeystofF aforesaid (a man who carried himself with much soberness during the trial, from whom proceeded no words eitherof passion or malice, though his children were so greatly afflicted) sworn, and examined, deposeth, That his younger daughter, Deborah,. upon Thursday, the tenth of October last, was suddenly' taken with a lameness in her legs, so that she could not stand, neither had she any strength in her limbs to support her, and so she continued until the seventeenth day of the same month, which day being fair and sunshiny, the-child desired to be carried oil the east part of the frcu9e, to bC