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Title: Satan's Invisible World Discovered

or a choice collection of modern relations, proving evidently, against the atheists of this present age, that there are devils, spirits, witches, and apparitions, from authentic records, and attestations of witnesses of undoubted veracity. To which is now added, that marvellous history of Major Weir and his sister, the witches of Bargarran, Pittenweem, Calder, &c.

Author: George Sinclair

Release date: February 16, 2023 [eBook #70055]

Language: English

Original publication: GB:

Credits: Bob Taylor, Susan Skinner and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)









That there are


From authentic Records, and Attestations of Witnesses
of undoubted veracity

To which is now added,







Late Professor of Philosophy in the College of Glasgow.




James Clarke, Printer.


Relation Page
1. Touching the troubles of Sir George Maxwell 1
2. Being a wonderful discovery of murder by an apparition 13
3. The witchcraft of Agnes Simpson 15
4. Proclamation over the market cross of Edinburgh 19
5. A miraculous cure of a Dutch Woman 20
6. Strange pranks played by the devil at Woodstock 22
7. An apparition appears to king James IV. and his courtiers 27
8. A major returns from death 28
9. Remarkable story of discovered witchcraft at Lauder 31
10. True narrative of the drummer of Tedworth 38
11. A very surprising story of the devil of Glenluce 51
12. Old mother Jackson’s witchcraft 65
13. King Duff, the 78 king of Scotland, bewitched 68
14. The apparition of Edward Avon, to his son in law 70
15. Anent Bessie Graham 74
16. The apparition of Sir George Villiers 82
17. Hataraick, an old Warlock 83
18. The apparition of the Ghost of Mrs. Bretton 87
19. The servant returns to his shop, after he had been dead 89
20. Wonderful story of one Robert Churchman, 91
21. Touching Isobel Heriot 97
22. Anent a Magician at Antwerp 104
23. Concerning a Doctor of divinity that rose out of the bier, 105
24. Concerning some Drunkards destroyed by the devil 106
25. Anent William Barton, a Warlock 107
26. Wonderful accident, which happened at Lyons, France 110
27. Marvellous prank played by the devil at Hamelen 111
28. Strange witchcraft discovered in Monra, in Swedeland 112
29. Apparition seen at Gladsmuir, &c. 124
30. Concerning one Spalding in Dalkeith 126
31. Of the devil of Mascon, in France 128
32. Concerning Margaret Wilson 133
33. Information about Janet Douglas 135
34. Of Helen Elliot, burned at Culross 137
35. Prayers and charms, used in the Highlands 141
36. Lizzie Muidy at Haddington 145
37. Concerning Major Weir and his Sister 146
38. Apparition seen in a dwelling house, in Mary King’s Close 158
39. Apparition of a deceased Wife to her Husband 164
40. Concerning some Witches in the shire of Renfrew 168
41. Concerning the witches of Pittenweem 170
42. Concerning the bewitching of a Child, in Ireland 172
43. Concerning the Witch of Calder 173

[Pg 1]

Invisible World Discovered.

Relation 1.Touching the troubles which Sir
George Maxwell of Pollock met with from the
Devil and his Haggs.


Pollock, 24th June, 1684.

I send you herewith the true account, my father caused me write from his own mouth, which is the surest relation I can give, either of his own trouble, or what concerns Janet Douglas, first discoverer of these pictures. There fell out some less material circumstances in the family, during her abode there, whereby it fully appeared, That she knew what was done in distant places, and understood languages. For instance, when a chapter in the Greek New Testament was read, she made us understand by signs what the purposes were, (for at that time she was dumb, whether really or counterfeitly, it is hard to determine,) and did exactly give an account to myself, what we did at two miles distant from the place where she was, without any information given to her which I knew of. I rest your affectionate friend, John Maxwell.

Upon the 14th of October 1676, my father was surprized at Glasgow, in the night time, with a hot and fiery distemper; and coming home the next day, he was fixed to his bed. The physician, fearing a pleurisy and a fever, opened a vein, and the application of medicaments being made, the fiery[Pg 2] heat was abated; he remaining for seven weeks together under a great pain, chiefly in his right side, though not fixed to his bed. There had come to Pollock-town a young dumb girl, but from whence was not known, who had remained there for four weeks before, but seldom frequenting Sir George Maxwell’s house, till at length she came to some more familiarity and converse with his two daughters. And, having observed Sir George sick and weak in his body, she signified unto them, That there was a woman, whose son had broke his fruit-yard, that did prick him in the sides.

And seeing this woman one day in the hall of Pollock amongst a great many other company, she assured his daughter, that this was the woman; and the day following, she told the gentleman, That this woman (whose name was Janet Mathie, relict of John Stewart, under-miller in Shaw mill) had formed a wax picture with pins in the side, which was to be found in her house, in a hole behind the fire, offering to bring it unto them, providing she were accompanied with men to protect her from violence. At first they hardly understood her, till she went to one of the gentlewoman’s closets, and bringing thence a little bee-wax, she plied it before the fire, shewing the dimensions and quantity of the picture. The gentlewoman regarded not the information, because they thought it fabulous; yet his two servants, Laurence Pollock, and Andrew Martin, knowing how much the girl loved their master, and knowing that his life was in hazard, if this picture were not found, resolved at all adventures to try whether the information were true or false; and therefore going along with her to the said Janet Mathie’s house,[Pg 3] one of them planted himself on the one side of the fire, and the other on the other side, while in the mean time, the little girl coming quickly by Laurence Pollock, putteth her hand in the hole behind the fire, and then slips into Andrew Martin beneath his cloak, the waxen effigy, which had two pins in it, one in each side, but that in the right side, so long as to pierce through to the other; that in the left was not so long, nor so deeply thrust in. This picture being brought to Pollock, Sir George’s son, without acquainting his father, apprehended Janet Mathie, procuring the next day the Lord Ross’s order for conveying her to prison. She, being interrogated touching the picture, after several subterfuges, alleged, It was the deed of the “dumb girl.”

It was also enquired, whether Sir George or his Lady had given her at any time provocation to this malice? But it was well known, they had been courteous to her: and, upon her complaints, had rebuked some for spreading bad reports upon her name, as not appearing sufficiently well-founded to a conviction. Only upon the 14th of October, above specified, before Sir George went to Glasgow, he had called before him a servant in Pollock-town, that had broken his orchard in harvest last, who confessed the fact, and that Hugh Stewart, a son of Janet Mathie’s, was his accomplice. But a by-stander declared, That he was not now in Pollock land, but in the Darnly. To whom Sir George replied, I hope my fingers may reach him in Darnly. This was all which could be thought a provocation to Mathie. No harm being done in the meantime to her son, whom Sir George to this hour doth not so much as know by the face, but hath suffered him[Pg 4] all the time of his sickness to live in his mother’s house, even since her imprisonment. In the meantime Mathie remaining obstinate, was searched for insensible marks before the Sheriff-depute of Renfrew, and many famous witnesses, at Paisley, and very many found upon her.

After the finding of the picture of wax foresaid, there was some abatement of Sir George’s sickness, but not to any observable degree, so low was he brought. But upon the 4th of January following, his sickness recurred with that violence, that for four or five days, his friends and relations had no great confidence of his life. But they were more amazed on the 7th of January, being the Sabbath-day, when they had an express from the dumb girl, who was at Pollock-town, but could not get over the water to the house, the river being so swelled at that time, signifying, That John Stewart, Mathie’s eldest son, had four days since formed an effigy of clay, for taking away Sir George’s life. And when she was called for, she declared, it was in his house, beneath the bolster, among the bedstraw.

The next day following, James Dunlop of Househill, and Ludowick Stewart of Achinhood, with some of Sir George’s servants, went to Stewart’s house, taking the little girl with them, resolving to make a very exact trial, that it might not be said, that the dumb girl had brought any thing hither. Wherefore they caused John Stewart himself to light a candle and hold it, while Ludowick Stewart, and another did, in his sight, lift the clay effigy from among the bedstraw, beneath the bolster (the little girl all the while standing at a distance from the place), but the picture having been made only three or four days before, and not sufficiently hard, did[Pg 5] break into two pieces. In it were three pins, one in each side, and one in the breast. Stewart had nothing to say for himself, but that he knew not who had put that thing there. He was instantly apprehended, and so was a little sister of his, lately entered into the fourteenth year of her age, named Annabil Stewart, who was said to have whispered before somewhat of the waxen effigy. This poor creature proved thereafter, through God’s favour, a key to the detection of making both the pictures.

At first she was very obstinate, but the next day she confessed, “That being present in her brother’s house the 4th of January, while the clay picture was formed, the Black Gentleman being present, (which was the name she gave the devil) together with Bessie Weir, Marjory Craig, Margaret Jackson, and her brother John.” But when confronted with her brother, she did not with confidence adhere to her confession. Upon the finding of this picture Sir George did very observably recover in his health, and all the pain, which was in his side did, by degrees, wear away.

John Stewart remained, notwithstanding his sister’s confession, above measure obstinate, until he was searched the next day for insensible marks, whereof he had great plenty. At the finding whereof, he was so confounded, that immediately he confessed his paction with the devil, and almost all the other heads exprest in his judicial confession after-written; and declared, “That his accomplices who formed the effigy with him were the same his sister had named.” She also came to a free and full confession of her paction with the devil, and her accession to the forming both of the waxen pictures in her mother’s house, and of the clay one in her brother’s house.

[Pg 6]

Upon information of the premises, the Earl of Dundonald and the Lord Ross, granted a warrant for apprehending Bessie Weir, Margaret Jackson, and Marjory Craig, who had been fellow sisters in the aforesaid sorcery.

Margaret Jackson, a woman aged about fourscore of years, after a day or two, confessed paction with the devil, and her accession to the making of both the pictures, and condescended upon the complices above named. Many insensible marks were found on her body.

Upon the 17th of January last, a third portrait of clay was found under Janet Mathie’s bolster in the prison house of Paisley, which the dumb girl had given information of. But it seemed to be the picture of some woman, and probably of some of the family of Pollock. For Annabil Stewart did freely declare, “That their malice was against the whole family of Pollock.” For turning to young Pollock and his Lady, she said, “and against you also.” This portrait was found before four famous witnesses.

The Lords of his Majesty’s privy council, being informed of these pictures and effigies, the depositions of three confessing Witches being sent, did grant a commission for their trial, and also for the trial of the other three that were obstinate. And in regard of the singularity of the case, they ordered the process to be very solemn, commissioning for the trial some judicious gentlemen in the country, viz. Sir Patrick Gauston of Gauston, James Brisbond of Bishoptoun, Sir John Shaw younger of Greenock, and John Anderson younger of Dovehill. To whom they added Mr. John Preston advocate, (a gentleman well seen in criminals, and who exercised[Pg 7] the office of justice depute for several years), a sine qua non in the commission. And that the whole process might be the more exact, they appointed George Lord Ross assessor, with power to vote and decide. And further ordered Mr. Robert Martain, clerk to the justice court, to be clerk to the process, which was to be recorded in the public books of adjournal.

The commissioners of justiciary held their first court at Paisley, the 27th of January; before whom Annibal Stewart deponed, “That in harvest last, the devil, in the shape of a Black Man, had come to her mother’s house, and required the deponent to give herself up to him; and that the devil promised she should not want any thing that was good: That being enticed by her mother Janet Mathie, and Bessie Weir, who was officer to their several meetings, she did put her one hand to the crown of her head, and the other to the sole of her foot, and did give up her soul and body (wholesale here is bad sale) to the devil: That her mother promised her a new coat for the doing of it: That the new name the devil gave her was Annipy: That he took her by the hand, and nipped her arm, which continued to be sore for the space of half an hour: That the devil, in the shape of a Black Man, lay with her in the bed, under the clothes: That she found him cold: That thereafter he placed her nearest to himself: That she was present in her mother’s house where the picture of wax was made; and that it was made to represent Sir George Maxwell of Pollock: That the Black Man, Janet Mathie her mother, whose name from the devil, was Land’s Lady, Bessie Weir, whose name was Sopha, Marjory Craig, whose name was[Pg 8] Rigern, Margaret Jackson, whose name was Locas, were all present at the forming and making of the said effigy: That they bound it on a spit, and turned it about before the fire; and that it was turned by Bessie Weir, saying, as she turned it, ‘Sir George Maxwell, Sir George Maxwell,’ which was exprest by all of them: That this picture was made in October last.”—“That upon the 3d day of January following, Bessie Weir came to her mother’s house, and advertised her to come to her brother John Stewart’s house, the following night at 12 o’clock; and that accordingly she came to the place, where she found Bessie Weir, Marjory Craig, Margaret Jackson, her brother John Stewart, and a man with black clothes, a blue band, and white hand-cuffs, with hoggars on his feet, and that his feet were cloven: That she sat down at the fire-side with them, where they made the picture of clay, and placed pins in the breast and in the sides: That they did place pins into the picture of wax, one in every side: That the Black Man did put the pins into the picture of wax, but is not sure who did thrust them into the picture of clay: That the pictures produced are the pictures she saw made: That the Black Man’s name was Ejoal.”

This declaration was made before famous witnesses, subscribed by the two notary public for her, Robert Park younger, Patrick Carswel in Paisley, and subscribed by the commissioners.

John Stewart did judicially depone before the justices, “That upon the 3d of January instant, Bessie Weir in Pollock-town, came to him late at night. He being without doors at his own house, that she did intimate unto him, that there was a meeting to be at his house,[Pg 9] the next night; and that the devil, in the shape of a Black Man, Margaret Jackson, Marjory Craig, and the said Bessie Weir, were to be present; and that Bessie Weir required him to be present, which he promised to do: That the next night, after he had gone to bed, the Black Man came in, and called him quietly by his name, upon which he arose from his bed, and put on his clothes: That Margaret Jackson, Bessie Weir, and Marjory Craig, did enter in at the window, in the gavel of his house; and that the first thing that the Black Man required was, that he should renounce his baptism, and deliver up himself wholly unto him, putting one of his hands on the crown of his head, and the other to the sole of his foot, and that he was tempted hereunto by the devil, promising he should not want any pleasure; and that he should get his heart sythe on all that should do him wrong: That the new name given to him by the devil was Jonas: That thereafter the devil required every one of their consents for the making an effigy of clay, for taking away the life of Sir George Maxwell of Pollock, to revenge the taking of his mother Janet Mathie: That every one of the persons above named, did give their consent to the making of the said effigy; and that they wrought the clay; and that the Black Man did make the figure of the head and face, and the two arms to the said effigy: That the devil set three pins in the same, one in each side, and one in the breast; and that the said John did hold the candle all the while the picture was a-making: That he observed one of the Black Man’s feet to be cloven, and his apparel was black, and he had a blue band about his neck, white hand-cuffs, and hoggars upon his[Pg 10] legs without shoes; and that the Black Man’s voice was hollow and ghostly: That after they had begun to form the picture, his sister Annibal, (a child of 13 or 14 years of age) came knocking to the door; and she being let in by him, stayed with them a considerable time; but that she went away before the rest, he having opened the door unto her: That the rest went out at the window, through which they entered: That the picture was placed by Bessie Weir in his bedstraw.” Further confessed, “That she had envy and malice against the said Sir George, her quarrel being, as she conceived, that Sir George had not entered her husband to his harvest service: That the effigy was made upon the 4th of January last; and the devil’s name amongst them was Ejoal: That the new name given to himself was Jonas, and Bessie Weir’s name, who was officer, was Sopha; that Margaret Jackson’s name from the devil was Locas; and that his sister’s name was Annipy; but doth not remember what Marjory Craig’s name was.” This confession had the same solemnities which the former had.

Margaret Jackson, did the same day judicially confess, “That she was present at the making of the first effigy, which was made in Janet Mathie’s house in October last; and that the devil, in the shape of a Black Man, Janet Mathie, Bessie Weir, Marjory Craig, and Annabil Stewart were present at the making of the said effigy, which was made to represent Sir George Maxwell of Pollock, for taking away his life: That forty years since, or thereby, she was in Pollock Shaw’s croft, with some few sticks on her back: That the Black Man came to her; and that she did give up herself to him[Pg 11] from the top of her head to the sole of her foot, having first renounced her baptism, and the new name she had from the devil was Locas: That about the 3d or 4th of January last, or thereby, in the night time, when she had wakened, she found a man in the bed, whom she supposed had been her husband, who had died twenty years before, or thereby; and that the man did immediately disappear; and that this man was the devil; and that this was the first time she knew him: That upon Thursday the 4th of January last, she was present in the house of John Stewart at night, when and where the effigy of clay was made; and that she saw the Black Man’s clothes were black, and that he had white hand-cuffs; and that Bessie Weir in Pollock-town, and Annibal Stewart in Shaws, and Marjory Craig, were present the foresaid time and place, at the making of the foresaid effigy of clay: That she gave her consent to the making of the same: That the devil’s name was Ejoal.” This confession had the same solemnities which the two former had.

Upon the 15th of February 1677, the justices being convened again in court at Paisley, John Stewart, and Annibal Stewart, with Margaret Jackson, did adhere to their former judicial confession; but Janet Mathie, Bessie Weir, and Marjory Craig did obstinately deny. One remarkable passage there was concerning Janet Mathie. The justice upon the 27th of January commanded the jailor to fix her feet in the stocks, that she might not do violence to her own life. The man declared, “That the next morning he had found her bolster, which the night before was laid at least six yards distant from the stocks, now placed beneath[Pg 12] her; the stocks being so heavy, that two of the strongest men in the country could hardly have carried them six yards: He wondering, did ask her, How she had win to the bolster?” she answered, “That she had crept alongst the floor of the room, drawing the stocks to the same place.” And before the court, she said, “She had gotten one foot free out of the hole, and with the other had drawn the stocks;” a thing altogether impossible, the stocks being so weighty, nor was she able to take her foot out of the hole.

The justices having examined all witnesses in matters of fact, touching the effigies, Sir George’s sickness, and the recovery of his health, upon the finding of the same, considering also the bad fame of those who were obstinate, and having confronted them with the confessing witches, who in their faces avowed their accession, in manner exprest in the confessions above written. Considering, lastly, all other circumstances of their case, committed them to the trial of a judicious inquest; who being found guilty, were condemned to the fire to be burnt, and their effigies with them. Only Annabil, in regard of her nonage, and the evidences she seemed to give of her penitency, was reprieved by order of council, but to remain in prison. In the mean time, both she and her brother John did seriously exhort their mother to confession; and with tears, did Annabil put her in mind of the many meetings she had with the devil in her own house; and that a summer’s day would not be sufficient to relate what she had seen pass between the devil and her; but nothing could prevail with her obdured and hardened heart.

[Pg 13]

It is to be noted, the dumb girl, whose name was Janet Douglas, doth now speak, not very distinctly, yet so as she may be understood; and is a person that most wonderfully discovers things past, and doth also understand the Latin tongue, which she never learned.

II.—Being a Wonderful discovery of Murder by an Apparition.

About the year of our Lord 1632, near unto Chester in the street, there lived one Walker, a yeoman of good estate, and a widower, who had a young woman called Anna Walker to his kinswoman, that kept his house, who was by the neighbours suspected to be with child; and was, towards the dark of the evening, one night sent away with Mark Sharp, who was a collier, or one that digged coals under ground, and who had been born in Blackburn-hundred in Lancashire, and so she was not heard of for a long time, and no noise or little was made about her. In the winter time, one James Graham, being a miller, and living two miles from the place where Walker lived, was one night alone very late in the mill grinding corn; and about twelve or one o’clock at night he came down the stairs, from having been putting corn in the hopper, the mill-doors being shut, there stood a woman upon the midst of the floor, with her hair about her head, hanging down and all bloody, with five large wounds on her head. He being much affrighted and amazed, began to bless himself; and at last asked her who she was, and what she wanted? To whom she answered, “I am the spirit of such a woman, who lived with Walker; and being got with child by him, he promised to send me to a[Pg 14] private place, where I should be well look’d to, until I was brought to bed, and well recovered, and then I should come home again, and keep his house. And accordingly,” said the apparition, “I was one night late, sent away with one Mark Sharp, who upon a muir (naming a plain which the miller knew) slew me with a pick, such as men dig coals withal, and gave me these five wounds, and after threw my body into a coal pit hard by, and hid the pick under a bank; and his shoes and stockings being bloody, he endeavoured to wash them, but seeing the blood would not wash out, he hid them there.” And the apparition further told the miller, “That he must be the man to reveal it, or else that she must still appear and haunt him.” The miller returned home, very sad and heavy, and spoke not one word of what he had seen, but shunned as much as he could to stay in the mill after night without company, thinking thereby to escape the seeing again that frightful apparition. But notwithstanding, one night when it began to be dark, the apparition met him again, and seemed very fierce and cruel; and threatened him, that if he did not reveal the murder, she would continually pursue and haunt him: Yet for all this, he concealed it, until some few nights before Christmas; when being, soon after sunset, walking in his garden, she appeared again, and then so threatened him, and affrighted him, that he faithfully promised to reveal in the next morning.

In the morning he went to a magistrate, and made the whole matter known, with all the circumstances: And diligent search being made, the body was found in a coal pit, with five wounds in[Pg 15] the head, and the pick, and shoes and stockings yet bloody, in every circumstance as the apparition had related to the miller. Whereupon Walker and Sharp were both apprehended, but would confess nothing. At the assize following, viz. at Durham, they were arraigned, found guilty, condemned, and executed; but would never confess the fact. There are many persons yet alive that can remember this strange murder; and the discovery of it; for it was, and sometimes yet is, as much discoursed of in the North of England as any thing that almost hath ever been heard of, and the relation was printed, though now not to be gotten.

III.—Touching the Witchcraft of Agnes Simpson.

Though this be of too old a date to comply with the title of our stories, yet being a true copy of record, as authentic, though not so fresh, it may haply not be amiss briefly to name some effects, kinds, and circumstances of her sorcery; as her skill in diseases; that the sickness of William Black was an elf-shot; her taking the sick parties pains and sicknesses upon herself for a time, and then translating them to a third person; her usage of long scriptural prayers and rhymes, containing the main points of Christianity, so that she may seem to have been not so much a white witch, as an holy woman; her using of such nonsensical rhymes for the instructing of ignorant people, and teaching them to pray, as these two prayers, the Black and White Pater Noster in metre, in set forms, to be used morning and evening, and at other times, when occasion offereth.

[Pg 16]

White Pater Noster.

GOD was my foster,
He fostered me
Under the book of palm-tree.
Saint Michael was my dame,
He was born at Bethlehem.
He was made of flesh and blood,
God send me my right food;
My right food, and dyne too,
That I may to yon kirk go,
To read upon yon sweet book,
Which the mighty God of heaven shook.
Open, open heaven’s yaits.
Steik, steik hell’s yaits.
All saints be the better,
That hear the White Prayer, Pater Noster.

The Black Pater Noster runs thus:

Four neuks in this house for haly angels,
A post in the midst, that Christ Jesus,
Lucas, Marcas, Matthew, Joannes,
God be into this house, and all that belang us.

But when she sought for an answer from the devil upon any occasion, he appeared to her in the shape of a dog. But the way of dismissing and conjuring him to go was thus: I charge thee to depart on the law thou lives on, as she did, when she dismissed him after consulting him about the old Lady Edmiston’s sickness. But the manner how she raised the devil was with these words: Elva, come and speak to me;—who came in the likeness of a dog. Her sailing with her kimmers and fellow witches in a boat to a ship, is very remarkable, where the devil caused her and them to drink good wine and beer without money; she neither seeing the mariners, nor the mariners her; and after all, the devil raised a wind, whereby the ship perished. Her baptizing and using other ceremonies[Pg 17] upon a cat, with other witches, to hinder Queen Anne from coming into Scotland. Her raising of a spirit to conjure a picture of wax for destroying Mr. John Moscrope.

But to be more particular, I shall give you her own confession to King James. Item, Failied and convict of so much, that the devil, in man’s likeness, met her going out to the fields from her own house at Keith, betwixt five and six at even, being alone, and commanded her to be at North Berwick kirk the next night. To which place she came on horseback, conveyed by her good-son, called John Couper, and lighted at the kirk yard, or a little before she came to it, about eleven hours at even. They danced along the kirk yard, Geilie Duncan playing on a trump, and John Fein muzzled led the king; the said Agnes and her daughter followed next. Besides, there were Kate Gray, George Moilis’s wife, Robert Grierson, Katherine Duncan, Bessie Wright, Isobel Gilmour, John Graymail, Duncan Buchanan, Thomas Barnhill, and his wife, Gilbert Mackgill, John Mackgill, Katharine Mackgill, with the rest of their kimmers, above an 100 persons, whereof there were six men, and all the rest women. The women made first their courtesy to their master, and then the men. The men turning nine times widdershines’ about, and the women six times. John Fein blew up the kirk-doors, and blew in the lights, which were like meikle black candles sticking round about the pulpit.

The devil started up himself in the pulpit like a meikle black man; and calling the row, every one answered, Here. Mr. Rob. Grierson being named, they all ran hirdie girdie, and were angry, for it[Pg 18] was promised he should be called Robert the Comptroller, alias Robert the Rower, for expriming of his name.

The first thing he demanded was, If they all kept promise, and had been good servants, and what they had done since the last time they had convened. At his command, they opened up three graves, two within, and one out of the kirk, and cutted off from the dead corpses the joints of their fingers, toes, and nose, and parted them amongst them; and the said Agnes Simpson got, for her part, a winding-sheet and two joints. The devil commanded them to keep the joints upon them till they were dry, and then to make a powder of them, to do evil withal. Then he commanded them to keep his commandments, which were to do all the evil and mischief they could. Before they departed, and were dismist, they behoved to kiss his arse, (with reverence to the reader.) He had on him a gown and a coat, which were both black. And they that were assembled, part stood and part sat. John Fein was ever nearest the devil, at his left elbock. Graymail keeped the door.

That which is observable in John Fein is, that the devil appeared to him, not in the black, but in white raiment; but proposed as hellish a covenant to him as those fiends to appear in black. His skimming in the sea in a boat, is remarkable, with those of his accomplices: and his fortelling the leak in the Queen’s ship by the help of the devil. His raising winds with the rest, when the king sailed into Denmark, by casting a cat into the sea, which the devil delivered to them, and taught them to cry, Hola, when they first cast it in. His raising a mist at the king’s return from Denmark, by[Pg 19] getting Satan to cast a thing like a foot ball (it appearing to John like a wisp) into the sea, which made a reek to arise, whereby the king’s majesty might be cast upon the coast of England. His opening of locks by sorcery, by mere blowing into a woman’s hand, while he sat by the fire. His embarking in a boat with other witches, and all of them sailing over sea, and entering within a ship, and drinking good wine and ale there, and sinking the ship when they had done, with the persons in it. His kissing Satan’s arse (with reverence) again at another conventical. His being swiftly carried above in the air, in chasing of a cat, to catch her to cast into the sea, thereby to raise winds, according to the prescription of Satan. His pretending to tell any man how long he should live, if he told him but the day of his birth.

IV.—A Proclamation over the Market Cross of Edinburgh, at twelve o’clock at night.

After that king James IV. had mustered his army in the Burrow-muir, being at that time a large spacious field, and most pleasant and delightful, by reason of many stately oaks which overshadowed the place; about midnight, in the month of July, there was a proclamation heard at the market-cross of the town, summoning a great many burgesses, gentlemen, barons, and noblemen, to appear before the tribunal of one Plotcock.

The provost of the town, standing in his own fore-stair, or gallery, having heard his own name cited, cried out, “That he declined that judicatory, and appealed to the mercy of God.” This was the army which the king led into England, and were defeat at Flodden, on the fatal day, Tuesday the[Pg 20] 9th of September 1513, where the King, with near about five thousand of the noblest and worthiest families of the kingdom, did fall.

V.—A miraculous Cure of a Dutch Woman, accompanied with an Apparition.

The narrative taken by a Dutch merchant from her own mouth, begins thus:—A miraculous cure upon Jesch Claes, a woman about fifty years of age, for these many years well known to myself and the neighbours. This woman for fourteen years had been lame of both her legs, one of them being dead and without feeling, so that she could not go, but creep upon the ground, or was carried in people’s arms as a child, but now through the power of God Almighty she hath walked again, which came to pass after this manner, as I have written it from her own mouth.

In the year 1676, about the 13th or 14th of this month of October, in the night, between one and two o’clock, Jesch Claes being in bed with her husband, who was a boatman, she was three times pulled by the arm, with which she awaked, and cried out, O Lord! what may this be? Hereupon she heard an answer in plain words, “Be not afraid, I am come in the name of God, to tell you, that your malady, which hath been for many years upon you, shall depart, and it shall be given you from God Almighty to walk again. But keep this to yourself till further answer.” Whereupon she cried aloud, O Lord! that I had a light that I might know what this is. Then had she this answer, “There needs no light. Light shall be given you from God.” Then came a light over all the room; and she saw a beautiful youth about ten years of age,[Pg 21] with curled yellow hair, in white raiment to the feet, who went from the bed-head to the chimney with a light, which a little after evanished. Hereupon did something gush from her hip, or diffuse itself through her leg as a water, to her great toe, where she found life rising up; and feeling it with her hand, she cries out, “Lord give me now again my feeling, which I have not had for so many years.” And she continued crying and praying to the Lord according to her weak measure. Yet she continued that day being Wednesday, and the next day Thursday, as before, till evening at six o’clock; at which time she sat at the fire, dressing the food. Then there came, as a rushing noise in both her ears, with which it was said to her, “Stand, your walking is given you again.” Then did she immediately stand up, that had for so many years crept, and went to the door: her husband meeting her, was exceedingly afraid, and drew back. In the mean while she cried out, “My dear husband, I can walk again.” The man, thinking it was a spirit, drew back, saying, “You are not my wife;” but his wife taking hold of him, said, “My dear husband, I am the self-same that hath been married these thirty years to you. The Almighty God hath made me to walk again.” But her husband being amazed, drew back to the side of the room, till at last she claspt her arms about his neck; and yet he doubted, and said to his daughter, “Is this your mother?” She answered, “Yes, father, this is my mother indeed, I have seen her walk also, before you came in.” This person dwells upon Prince’s Island in Amsterdam. This relation is attested by many famous witnesses.

[Pg 22]

VI.—Strange pranks played by the Devil at Woodstock in England, anno 1649.

The commissioners, October 13, 1649, with their servants, being come to the manor-house, they took up their lodging in the king’s own rooms, the bed-chamber, and withdrawing room: the former whereof they also made their kitchen; the council-hall their brew-house; the chamber of presence, their place of sitting to dispatch business; and a wood-house of the dining-room, where they laid the wood of that ancient standard in the High Park, known of all by the name of the King’s Oak, which (that nothing might remain that had the name of King affixed to it) they digged up by the roots. October 14th and 15th, they had little disturbance; but on the 16th there came, as they thought, somewhat into the bed-chamber, where two of the commissioners and their servants lay, in the shape of a dog, which going under their beds, did, as it were, gnaw their bed cords; but on the morrow finding them whole, and a quarter of beef, which lay on the ground untouched, they began to entertain other thoughts.

October 17. Something, to their thinking, removed all the wood of the King’s Oak, out of the dining-room to the presence-chamber, and hurled the chairs and stools up and down that room: From whence it came into the two chambers where the commissioners and their servants lay, and hoisted up the feet of their beds so much higher than their heads, that they thought they should have been turned over and over, and then let them fall down with such force, that their bodies rebounded from the bed a good distance, and then shook the bedsteads[Pg 23] so violently, that themselves confest their bodies were sore with it.

October 18. Something came into the bed-chamber, and walked up and down, and fetching the warming-pan out of the withdrawing-room, made so much noise, that they thought five bells could not have made more. And October 19th, Trenchers were thrown up and down the dining-room, and at them who lodged there; one of them being wakened, put forth his head to see what was the matter, but had trenchers thrown at it.

October 20th. The curtains of the bed in the withdrawing-room were drawn to and fro, and the bed-stead much shaken, and eight great pewter dishes, and three dozen of trenchers, thrown about the bed-chamber again. This night they also thought a whole armful of the wood of the King’s Oak were thrown down in their chambers, but of that in the morning they found nothing had been moved.

October 21st. The keeper of their ordinary, and his bitch lay in one of the rooms with them, which night they were not disturbed at all. But Oct. 22d, Though the bitch kennelled there again, to whom they ascribed their former night’s rest, both they and the bitch were in a pitiful taking, the bitch opening but once, and that with a whining fearful yelp.

October 23. They had all their clothes pluck’d off them in the withdrawing room, and the bricks fell out of the chimney into the room.

On the 24th, They thought in the dining-room, that all the wood of the King’s Oak had been brought thither, and thrown down close by their bed-side; which being heard by those of the withdrawing-room, one of them rose to see what was[Pg 24] done, fearing indeed that his fellow commissioners had been killed, but found no such matter. Whereupon returning to his bed again, he found two or three dozen of trenchers thrown into it, and handsomely covered with the bed clothes.

October 25. The curtains of the bed in the withdrawing-room were drawn to and fro, and the bed-stead shaken as before; and in the bed-chamber, glass flew about so thick (and yet not one lozen of the chamber windows broken) that they thought it had rained money, whereupon they lighted candles; but, to their grief, they found nothing but glass.

October 29. Something going to the window opened and shut it; then going into the bed-chamber, it threw great stones, for half an hour’s time, some whereof lighted on the high-bed, others on the truckle-bed, to the number in all of above fourscore. This night there was also a very great noise, as if forty pieces of ordnance had been shot off together. At two several knocks, it astonished all the neighbouring dwellers, which is thought might have been heard a great way off. During these noises, which were heard in both rooms together, both commissioners and their servants were struck with so great horror, that they cried out one to another for help: whereon one of them recovering himself out of a strange agony he had been in, snatched a sword, and had like to have killed one of his brethren coming out of his bed in his shirt, whom he took for the spirit that did the mischief. However, at length they got all together, yet the noise continued so great and terrible, and shook the walls so much, that they thought the whole manor would have fallen on their heads. At its departure, it took all the glass of the windows away with it.

[Pg 25]

November 1. Something, as they thought, walked up and down the withdrawing-room, and then made a noise in the dining-room. The stones which were left before, and laid up in the withdrawing, room were all fetched away this night, and a great deal of glass (not like the former) thrown about again.

November 2. There came something into the withdrawing-room, treading as they conceived, much like a bear, which first only walked about a quarter of an hour; at length it made a noise about the table, and threw the warming pan so violently, that it quite spoiled it. It threw also a glass and great stones at them again, and the bones of horses; and all so violently, that the bed-stead and the walls were bruised by them. That night they planted candles all about the rooms, and made fires up to the rantletrees of the chimneys, but were all put out, no body knew how, the fire and burn-wood, which made it, being thrown up and down the rooms; the curtains torn with the rods from their beds, and the bed-posts pulled away, that the tester fell down upon them, and the feet of the bed-stead cloven into two. And upon the servants in the truckle-bed, who lay all the time sweating for fear, there was first a little, which made them begin to stir, but before they could get out, there came a whole tub-full, as it were, of stinking ditch water down upon them, so green, that it made their shirts and sheets of that colour too.

The same night the windows were all broken by throwing of stones, and there was most terrible noises in three several places together, to the extraordinary wonder of all that lodged near them. Nay, the very rabbit-stealers, who were abroad that[Pg 26] night, were so affrighted with the dismal thundering, that for haste they left their ferrets in the holes behind them, beyond Rosamond’s well. Notwithstanding of all this, one of them had the boldness to ask, “In the name of God what it was that it would have, and what they had done, that they should be so disturbed after this manner?” To which no answer was given, but it ceased for a while. At length it came again, and, as all of them said, brought seven devils worse than itself. Whereupon one of them lighted a candle again, and set it between the two chambers in the door-way, on which another fixing his eyes, saw the similitude of a hoof striking the candle and candlestick into the middle of the bed-chamber, and afterwards making three scrapes on the snuff to put it out. Upon this, the same person was so bold as to draw his sword, but he had scarce got it out, when there was another invisible hand had hold of it too, and tugged with him for it; and, prevailing, struck him so violently, that he was stunned with the blow.

Then began violent noises again, insomuch that they called to one another, got together, and went into the presence-chamber, where they said prayers, and sung psalms: notwithstanding all which, the thundering noise still continued in other rooms. After this, November 3d, they removed their lodging over the gate; and next day, being Sunday, went to Ewelm, where how they escaped, the authors of the relation knew not. But returning on Monday, the devil (for that was the name they gave their nightly guest) left them not unvisited, nor on the Tuesday following, which was the last day they stayed.

[Pg 27]

VII.—An Apparition to King James the IV. and his Courtiers, in the kirk of Linlithgow.

While the king stayed at Linlithgow, attending the gathering of his army, which was defeat at Floudon, being full of care and perplexity, he went into the church of St. Michael, to hear evening song, as then it was called. While he was at his devotion, an ancient man came in, his amber coloured hair hanging down about his shoulders, his forehead high, and inclining to baldness, his garments of azure colour, somewhat long, girded about with a towel, or table napkin, of a comely and very reverent aspect. Having enquired for the king, he intruded himself into the press, passing through till he came to him, with a clownish simplicity, leaning over the canon’s seat, where the king sat, “Sir (said he) I am sent hither to entreat you to delay your expedition for this time, and proceed no farther in your intended journey; for if you do, you shall not prosper in your enterprise, nor any of your followers. I am further charged to warn you, not to use the acquaintance, company, or counsel of woman, as you tender your honour, life, and estate.” After this warning, he withdrew himself back again into the press. When service was ended, the King enquired earnestly for him, but he could be no where found, neither could any of the bystanders (of whom divers did narrowly observe him, resolving afterwards to have discoursed with him) feel or perceive how, when, or where he passed from them, having in a manner vanished in their hands.

[Pg 28]

VIII.—Anent the Major who returned from death to tell the Captain whether there was a GOD or not.

Concerning the apparition of the Ghost of Major Geo. Sydenham (late of Dulverton, in the county of Somerset) to Captain William Dyke, (late of Skilgate in this county also, and now likewise deceased) be pleased to take the relation of it from a worthy and learned gentleman, Dr. Thomas Dyke, a near kinsman of the captain’s, thus: Shortly after the major’s death, the doctor was desired to come to the house to take care of a child that was sick there; and in his way thither he called on the captain, who was very willing to wait on him to the place, because he must, as he said, have gone thither that night, though he had not met with so encouraging, an opportunity. After their arrival there at the house, and the civility of the people shewn them in that entertainment, they were seasonably conducted to their lodging, which they desired might be together in the same bed; where, after they had lain a while, the captain knock’d, and bid the servants bring him two of the largest and highest candles lighted he could get; whereupon the doctor enquires what he meant by this? The captain answers, “You know, cousin, what disputes my major and I have had touching the being of God, and the immortality of the soul; in which points, we could never yet be resolved, though we so much sought for and desired it. And therefore it was at length fully agreed between us, that he who of us died first, should, the third night after his funeral, between the hours of twelve and one, come to the little house which is here in the garden, and there[Pg 29] give a full account to the survivor, touching these matters, who should be sure to be present there at the set time, and to receive a full satisfaction. And this (says the captain) is the very night, and I am come on purpose to fulfil my promise.” The doctor dissuaded him, minding of the danger of following strange counsels, for which he could have no warrant; and that the devil might, by some cunning device, take such an advantage of this rash attempt, as might work his utter ruin. The captain replies, “That he had solemnly engaged, and that nothing should discourage him;” and adds, “That if the doctor would wake a while with him, he would thank him, if not, he might compose himself to rest; but for his own part, he was resolved to watch, that he might be sure to be present at the hour appointed.” To that purpose he sets his watch by him, and as soon as he perceived by it that it was half past eleven, he rises, and, taking a candle in each hand, goes out by a back door, of which he had before gotten the key, and walks into the garden-house, where he continued two hours and a half, and at his return, declared that he neither saw nor heard any thing more than what was usual. But I know, said he, that my major would surely have come had he been able.

About six weeks after, the captain rides to Eaton, to place his son a scholar there, when the doctor went thither with him. They lodged there at an inn, the sign whereof was Christopher, and tarried two or three nights, not lying together now as before at Dulverton, but in two several chambers. The morning before they went thence, the captain stayed in his chamber longer than he was wont to do, before he called upon the doctor. At length he comes into the doctor’s chamber, but in a visage[Pg 30] and form much differing from himself, with his hair and eyes staring, and his whole body shaking and trembling. Whereat the doctor wondering, presently demanded, “What is the matter, cousin captain?” The captain replies, “I have seen my major.” At which the doctor seeming to smile, the captain confirms it, saying, “If ever I saw him in my life, I saw him but now.” And then related to the doctor what had passed thus: “This morning after it was light, some one comes to my bed side, and suddenly drawing back the curtains, calls, Captain, captain, (which was the term of familiarity that the major used to call the captain by;) to whom I replied, What, my major?” To which he returns, “I could not come at the time appointed, but I am now come to tell you, That there is a God, and a very just and terrible one; and if you do not turn o’er a new leaf (the very expression, as the doctor punctually remembered,) you shall find it so.” The captain proceeded: “On the table by there lay a sword, which the major had formerly given me. Now, after the apparition had walked a turn or two about the chamber, he took up the sword, drew it, and finding it not so clean and bright as it ought, “Captain, captain,” (says he) this sword did not use to be kept after this manner when it was mine.” After which words he presently disappeared.

The captain was not only thoroughly persuaded of what he had thus seen and heard, but was from the time observed to be very much affected with it. And the humour, which before in him was brisk and jovial, was then strangely altered; in so much as very little meat would pass down with him at dinner, though at the taking leave of friends, there was a very handsome treat provided. Yea, it was[Pg 31] observed, that what the captain had thus seen and heard, had a more lasting influence upon him; and it was judged by those who were well acquainted with his conversation, that the remembrance of this passage stuck close to him; and that those words of his dead friend were frequently sounding fresh in his ears, during the remainder of his life, which was about two years.

IX.—A remarkable story of discovered witchcraft at Lauder, anno 1649. And of the wiles which the devil used in deceiving poor creatures.

In the beginning of the year 1649, a common report passing up and down in all men and women’s mouths, of an eminent warlock, whose name was Robert Grieve, alias Hob Grieve, trafficking in these parts of the country, and deceiving many simple people. He was at last discovered, apprehended, and imprisoned at the town of Lauder: and after long shifting and denial, wherein he had learned of his hellish master to be most subtile, by the great goodness of God he was at length brought to a serious acknowledgement of his guilt, and confession of his being the devil’s officer in that country, for warning all Satan’s vassals to come to the meetings where, and whensoever, the devil required, for the space of eighteen years and more. He acknowledged also, That his wife (who twenty years, or thereabout, before, was burnt at Lauder,) was the occasion of his coming into that snare; for they being poor, and having little or nothing to live upon, he began to grudge under that condition, and to complain of his lot; which his wife perceiving, desired him not to be troubled, but shewed him, that if he would follow her counsel, she should acquaint him[Pg 32] with a gentleman who would teach him a way how to become rich. To which motion he hearkened, and at her desire went down with her to a haugh on Galawater, near to the Stow, where she trysted the gentleman; and when they had come to that place, and tarried a considerable space, seeing nobody, he began to weary, and told her, that he would be gone; but she pressing him to stay, and assuring him that the gentleman would not fail her. At length their came a great mastiff bigger than any butcher’s dog, and very black, running upon him, which put him into such a confusion, and astonishment of spirit, as that he knew not where he was; but his wife laboured to comfort him under that consternation, assuring him, that the gentleman would come presently and perform what she had promised him.

And accordingly, in a short space, the devil appeared in the shape of a Black Man, and fitting his discourse to the man’s temptation, made many promises to him, That if he would become his servant and obey him, he would teach him ways how to be made much of in all the country; unto which demand of the devil he acknowledged, that he consented, not so much for any hopes for future riches, as for fear lest he should instantly be devoured by him, (for he suspected in the very mean time it was the devil) and then he gave him that charge to be his officer to warn all to the meetings, (as was said before) in which charge he continued for the space of eighteen years and more, until he was apprehended. He was most ingenuous in his confession. An evidence whereof was this, “That there was neither man nor woman delated by him, but were all confessors when apprehended, and[Pg 33] confronted with him, and died confessing. One instance whereof is remarkable, and worthy of observation, which is this—After he had delated many, and as many of those were apprehended as the prison could conveniently contain, and the keepers attend, he gave up another woman in the town of Lauder, whose name the magistrates resolved to conceal for a time, till the prison should be emptied of some of those who were already apprehended, and had confessed; and accordingly secrecy was engaged unto. But the devil came that same night unto her, and told her, “That Hob Grieve had blamed her for a witch; but assured her, that if she would rise up and go and challenge him for it, and never come away till he and she were confronted, that then he would deny it. Whereupon she arose and came to the prison window, and railed upon Hob Grieve, calling him warlock, and slave to the devil, and all evils which her mouth could utter; and when desired to get home by the centinels, and also by the magistrates, she sat down upon the tolbooth stair, and said, “She could never go to her house till she and that slave of the devil were confronted. Whereupon the bailie came to the preacher, desiring him to come and speak to her, to desire her to go home, for there was none accusing her, who accordingly came, and entreated her to go home; but she obstinately refusing to go, till she should be confronted with that rascal, who had declared her, an honest woman, for a witch. The bailie was constrained to grant her desire. Whereupon many being present as witnesses, she was conveyed up to prison, to the room where Hob Grieve was. And as soon as she was come in sight, she fell down upon her knees, and[Pg 34] began to scold the man, and accuse him of a lie, in speaking of her name. Says she, “Thou common thief, how dare thou for thy soul say, that ever before this time, thou saw me or I saw thee, or ever was in thy company, either alone, or with others.” All which language he heard very patiently, till he was desired by the bailie to speak. Whereupon he asked her, How she came to know, that he had delated her for a witch? For (says he) surely none but the devil, thy old master, and mine, has told thee so much. She replied, “The devil and thou perish together, for he is not my master, though he be thine; I defy the devil and all his works.” Whereupon he says to her, “What needs all this din? Dost thou not know, these many years I have come to thy house, and warned thee to meetings, and thou and I have gone along together?” And thereafter he condescended to her upon several places, and actions done in these places by her and others; “to all which, I am, (said he) a witness.” By this she was so confounded, that immediately, in the presence of the bailie, the preacher, the schoolmaster, and many witnesses, she cried out, “Oh now (says she) I perceive that the devil is a liar, a murderer from the beginning; for this night he came to me, and bid me come and abuse thee; and he assured me, thou would deny all, and say, thou false tongue thou lied. And she with many tears confessed, that it was all truth which he had said, and prayed the minister, that he would entreat God for her poor soul, that she might be delivered out of the hands of the devil. Under this confession she continued even unto the day of her death.

[Pg 35]

Another evidence of ingenuity in him was this: That after five or six men and women whom he had delated, were also convinced and had confessed their witchcraft, he earnestly desired, “That he and they might be taken to the church on the Lord’s day, to hear the word of God;” which being granted, and they conveyed with a guard to the church, all of them sat down before the pulpit. The preacher lectured on these words, Mark ix. 21. “And oft-time it hath cast him into the fire, and into the water to destroy him,” &c. The father of the lunatic child complained to Christ of the devil’s cruelty towards his son. And the preacher briefly noted this observation from the words, “That whatever the devil did to such as he had gotten any power over, his aim and end was always to destroy the poor creature both soul and body.” This truth being seriously applied, and spoken home by the preacher to the said Hob Grieve, and the rest of the confessing Witches and Warlocks, they were all immediately so confounded, that all of them cried out with a lamentable noise, “Alas I that is a most sure truth; Oh, what will become of us, poor wretches! Oh, pray for us.” But Hob Grieve especially bare witness to that sad truth, by a general declaration, in the face of the congregation, he had experience of the truth, thereof. “For (said he) there is no trusting to his promises; for in Musselburgh-water, when I had a heavy creel upon my back, he thought to have drowned me there; and since I came into prison, he did cast me into the fire to destroy me, as is well known to the preacher and magistrates of the place and many others; and concluded with an exhortation to all to beware of the devil. “For[Pg 36] whatever he saith or doth, his purpose is to destroy you, and that you will find to be the end of his work, as we know to our doleful experience this day.” Another evidence of the devil’s art in studying the destruction of the poor creature, was manifest, in that same place, and year 1649. A certain woman in the town of Lauder was blamed, not by Hob Grieve, but by some other, and for a long time denied. The magistrates of the place, for this cause, were loth to meddle with her, but adjudged to death all the rest, who had confessed; and ordained them to be burnt upon the Monday after; she hearing of this, and she alone was to remain in prison, without hopes of escape, was prompted by the devil to make up a confession in her own bosom, as she supposed might take away her life; and thereupon sent for the minister, and made that confession of witchcraft which she herself had patched up, before witnesses; and in the close, she earnestly entreated the magistrates and ministers, “That she might be burnt with the rest upon Monday next.” Her confession was, “That she had covenanted with the devil, and had become his servant about twenty years before, when she was but a young lass: and that he kissed her, and gave her a name, but since he had never owned her; and that she knew no more of the works of the devil, as she should answer to God, but what she had said was true.” But intelligent persons began to be jealous of the truth of that confession, and began to suspect, That out of the pride of her heart, in a desperate way, she had made up that confession to destroy her life, because she still pressed to be cut off with the rest on Monday. Therefore much pains was taken on her by ministers and others[Pg 37] on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning, that she might resile from that confession, which was suspected to be but a temptation of the devil to destroy both her soul and body; yea it was charged home upon her by the ministers, that there was just ground of jealousy, that her confession was not sincere, and she was charged before the Lord to declare the truth, and not take her blood upon her own head. Yet stiffly she adhered to what she had said, and cried always to be put away with the rest. Whereupon, on Monday morning, being called before the judges, and confessing before them what she said, she was found guilty, and condemned to die with the rest that same day. Being carried forth to the place of execution, she remained silent, during the first, second, and third prayer, and then perceiving that there remained no more, but to rise and go to the stake, she lifted up her body, and with a loud voice, cried out, “Now all you that see me this day, know that I am now to die a witch by my own confession, and I free all men, especially the ministers and magistrates, of the guilt of my blood. I take it wholly upon myself, my blood be upon my own head. And as I must make answer to the God of heaven presently, I declare, I am as free of witchcraft as any child; but being delated by a malicious woman, and put in prison under the name of a witch, disowned by my husband and friends, and seeing no ground of hope of my coming out of prison, or ever coming in credit again, through the temptation of the devil I made up that confession, on purpose to destroy my own life, being weary of it, and chusing rather to die than live; and so died.” Which lamentable story, as it did then astonish all the spectators, none of[Pg 38] which could restrain themselves from tears, so it may be to all a demonstration of Satan’s subtilty, whose design is still to destroy all, partly by tempting many to presumption, and some others to dispair. These things are attested to be true by an eye and ear-witness, who is yet alive, a faithful minister of the gospel.

X.—A true narrative of the Drummer of Tedworth.

In the year 1661, about the middle of March, a gentleman named Mr. Mompesson, in the county of Wilts, being at a neighbouring town, called Ludgarshal, and hearing a drum beat there, he enquired of the bailie of the town, at whose house he then was, what it meant. The bailie told him, That they had been for some days troubled with an idle drummer, who demanded money of the constable, by virtue of a pretended pass, which he thought was counterfeit. Upon this Mr. Mompesson sent for the fellow, and asked him by what authority he went up and down the country with his drum? The drummer answered, He had good authority, and produced his pass, with a warrant under the hands of Sir William Cowley, and Col. Ayliff of Creetenham. Mr. Mompesson knowing these gentlemen’s hands, discovered that the pass and warrant were counterfeit, and thereupon commanded the vagrant to put off his drum, and charged the constable to carry him before the next justice of the peace to be further examined, and punished. The fellow confessed the cheat, and begged only to have his drum. Mr. Mompesson told him, That if he understood from Colonel Ayliff, whose drummer he said he was, that he had been an honest man, he should have it again; but in the mean time he would secure it. So he left the drum with the bailie, and the drummer[Pg 39] in the constable’s hands, who, it seems, was prevailed on by the fellow’s intreaties to let him go.——About the midst of April following, when Mr. Mompesson was preparing for a journey to London, the bailie sent the drum to his house. When he returned from that journey, his wife told him that they had been much affrighted in the night by thieves, and that the house had been like to have been broken up; and he had not been at home above three nights, when the same noise was heard, that had disturbed his family in his absence. It was a very great din and knocking at his doors, and the outside of his house. Hereupon he got up, and went about the house with a brace of pistols in his hands. He opened the door where the great knocking was, and then he heard the noise at another door. He opened that also, and went out round his house, but could discover nothing, only he heard a strange noise, as a thumping and drumming on the top of his house, which continued a great space, and then by degrees went off into the air. After this the noise of thumping and drumming was very frequent, usually five nights together, and then it would intermit three. It was on the out sides of the house, which is most of it of board. It came constantly as they were going to sleep, whether early or late. After a month’s disturbance without, it came into the room where the drum lay, four or five nights in seven, within half an hour after they were in bed, continuing almost two hours. The sign of it just before it came was, they still heard an hurling in the air over the house; and at its going off the beating of a drum, like that at the breaking up of a guard. It continued in the room for the space of two months, which time Mr. Mompesson lay there[Pg 40] to observe it. In the fore-part of the night, it used to be very troublesome, but after two hours all would be quiet.——Mrs. Mompesson being brought to bed, there was but little noise that night she was in travel, nor any for three weeks after, till she had recovered strength. But after this civil cessation it returned in a ruder manner than before, and followed and vext the youngest children, beating their bedsteads with that violence, that all present expected when they would fall in pieces. In laying hands on them, one should feel no blows, but might perceive them to shake exceedingly. For an hour together it would beat on the drum, roundheads and cuckolds, and tat-too, and several other points of war, as well as any drummer could. After this they would hear a scraping under the children’s bed, as by something that had iron talons. It would lift the children up in their beds, follow them from one room to another, and for a while haunt none particularly but them. There was a cock-loft in the house, which had not been observed to have been troubled, thither they removed the children, putting them to bed, while it was fair day, where they were no sooner laid, but their troubler was with them as before.—On the 1st of November 1662, it kept a mighty noise; and a servant observing two boards in the children’s room seeming to move, he bid it give him one of them; upon which the board came (nothing moving it that he saw) within a yard of him. The man added, “Nay, let me have it in my hand;” upon which it was shut quite home to him; he thrust it back, and it was driven to him again, and so up and down, to and fro, at least twenty times together, till Mr. Mompesson forbad his servant’s such familiarities.[Pg 41] This was in the day time, and seen by a whole roomful of people: that morning it left a sulphureous smell behind it, which was very offensive. At night the minister, one Mr. Craig and divers of the neighbours, came to the house on a visit. The minister went to prayer with them, kneeling at the children’s bed-side; during prayer-time, it withdrew into the cock-loft, but returned as soon as prayer was ended; and then, in sight of the company, the chairs walked about the room of themselves; the children’s shoes were hurled over their head, and every loose thing moved about the chamber. At the same time a bed-staff was thrown at the minister, which hit him on the leg, but so favourably, that some wool could not have fallen more softly; and it was observed, that it stopt just where it lighted, without rolling or stirring from that place. Mr. Mompesson perceiving that it so much persecuted the young children, he lodged them out at a neighbour’s house, taking his eldest daughter, who was about ten years of age, into his own chamber, where it had not been a month before. As soon as she was in bed, the disturbance began there again, continuing drumming and making noises; and it was observed, that it would exactly answer in drumming any thing that was beaten or called for. After this, the house where the children were lodging in, happening to be full of strangers, they were taken home, and no disturbance having been known in the parlour, they were lodged there, where also their persecutor found them; but then only plucked them by the hair and night clothes, without any other disturbance.

It was noted, that when the noise was loudest, no dog about the house would move, though the[Pg 42] knocking was oft so boisterous and rude, that it had been heard a considerable distance in the fields, and awakened the neighbours in the village, none of which live very near the house. The servants sometimes were lift up with their beds, and then let gently down again without hurt; at other times it would lie like a great weight upon their feet.

About the latter end of December 1662, the drummings were less frequent; and then they heard a noise like the gingling of money, occasioned, as it was thought, by somewhat Mr. Mompesson’s mother had spoke the day before to a neighbour, who talked of fairies leaving money, viz. That she would like it well, if it would leave some money to make amends for their trouble. The night after the speaking of which, there was a great gingling of money over all the house. After this, it desisted from ruder noises, and employed itself in little apish, and less troublesome tricks. On Christmas even, a little before day, one of the boys arising out of his bed, was hit on a sore place on his heel, with the latch of the door; the pin that it was fastened with, was so small that it was a difficult matter to pick it out. The night after Christmas day, it threw the old gentlewoman’s clothes about the room, and hid her bible among the ashes. In such silly tricks it was frequent. After this it was very troublesome to a servant of Mr. Mompesson’s, who was a stout fellow, and of a sober conversation. This man lay within during the greatest disturbance; and for several nights, something would endeavour to pluck his clothes off the bed, so that he was lain to tug hard to keep them on, and sometimes were plucked from him by force, and his shoes thrown at his head. And now and then he should[Pg 43] find himself forcibly held, as if he were bound hand and foot; but whenever he could make use of his sword, and struck with it, the spirit quitted its hold. A little after these contests, a son of Sir Thomas Bennet, whose workman the drummer had sometimes been, came to the house, and told Mr. Mompesson some words that he had spoken, which it seems were not well taken. For when they were in bed, the drum was beat up very violently and loudly; the gentleman arose, and called his man to him, who lay with Mr. Mompesson’s servant, just now spoken of, whose name was John.——When Mr. Bennet’s man was gone, John heard a ruffing noise in his chamber, and something came to his bed side, as if it had been one in silk. The man presently reached after his sword, which he found held from him; and it was with difficulty and much tugging that he got it in his power: which as soon as he had done the spirit left him; and it was always observed that it still avoided a sword. About the beginning of Jan. 1663, they were wont to hear a singing in the chimney, before it came down.——One night about this time, lights were seen in the house. One of them came into Mr. Mompesson’s chamber, which seemed blue and glimmering, and caused stiffness in the eyes of those who saw it. After this something was heard coming up the stair as it had been one without shoes. The light was seen four or five times in the children’s chamber; and the maids confidently affirm, the doors were at least ten times opened and shut in their sight; and when they were opened they heard a noise as if half a dozen had entered together. After which, some were heard to walk about the room, and one ruffled as if it had been in silk. The like[Pg 44] Mr. Mompesson himself once heard.—During the time of the knocking, when many were present, a gentleman of the company said, “Satan, if the drummer set thee to work, give three knocks and no more;” which it did very distinctly, and stopt. Then the gentleman knocked, to see if it would answer him, as it was wont, but it did not. For further trial, he bid it, for confirmation, “If it were the drummer, to give five knocks and no more that night;” which it did, and left the house quiet all that night. This was done in the presence of Sir Thomas, Chamberlain of Oxfordshire, and divers others.——On Saturday morning an hour before day, January 10, a drum was heard beat upon the out sides of Mr. Mompesson’s chamber, from whence it went to the other end of the house, where some gentlemen strangers lay, playing at their door, and without, four or five several tunes, and so went off into the air.——The next night, a smith in the village lying with John the man, they heard a noise in the room as if one had been shoeing of an horse; and somewhat came, as it were with a pair of pinchers, snipping at the smith’s nose most part of the night.—One morning, Mr. Mompesson rising early to go a journey, heard a great noise below, where the children lay; and, running down with a pistol in his hand, he heard a voice crying, A witch, a witch, as they had also heard it once before; at his entrance all was quiet.—Having one night played some little tricks at Mr. Mompesson’s bed-foot, it went into another bed where one of his daughters lay; there it passed from side to side, lifting her up as it passed under. At that time, there were three kinds of noises in the bed. They endeavoured to thrust at it with a sword, but[Pg 45] it still shifted, and carefully avoided the thrust, still getting under the child when they offered at it. The night after, it came panting like a dog out of breath; upon which one took a bed-staff to knock, which was caught out of her hand and thrown away: and company coming up, the room was presently filled with a bloomy noisome smell, and was very hot, though without fire, in a very sharp severe winter night. It continued in the bed panting and scratching an hour and a half, and then went into the next chamber, where it knocked a little, and seemed to rattle a chain. This it did for two or three nights together.

After all this, the old gentlewoman’s bible was found in the ashes, the paper side being downwards. Mr. Mompesson took it up, and observed that it lay open at the third chapter of Mark, where there is mention of unclean spirits falling down before our Saviour, and of his giving power to the twelve to cast out devils, and of the scribes opinion that he cast them out through Beelzebub. The next night they strewed ashes over the chamber to see what impressions it would leave. In the morning they found in one place the resemblance of a great claw, in another of a lesser, some letters in another, which they could make nothing of, besides many circles in the ashes.—About this time (says my author,) I went to the house, on purpose to inquire the truth of those passages of which there was so loud a report. It had ceased from its drumming and ruder noises before I came hither: but most of the more remarkable circumstances before related were confirmed to me by several of the neighbours together, who had been present at them. At this time it used to haunt the children as soon as they were laid. They went[Pg 46] to bed that night I was there about eight o’clock, when a maid servant coming down, told us it was come. The neighbours that were there, and two ministers, who had seen and heard it divers times, went away: but Mr. Mompesson and I, and a gentleman that came with me, went up; I heard a scratching, which was very strange, as I went up the stairs; and when we came into the room, I perceived it was just behind the bolster of the childrens’ bed, and seemed to be against the tyking. It was as loud a scratching as one with long nails could make upon a bolster. There were two little modest girls in the bed, between seven and eleven years of age, as I guessed; I saw their hands without the clothes, so that they could not contribute to the noise that was behind their heads; they had been used to it, and had always somebody or other in the chamber with them; and therefore seemed not to be much affrighted; I, standing at the bed’s head, thrust my hand behind the bolster, directing it to the place whence the noise seemed to come; whereupon the noise ceased there, and was heard in another part of the bed; but when I had taken out my hand, it returned and was heard in the same place as before. I had been told that it would imitate noises, and made trial, by scratching several times upon the sheets, as five, seven, and ten, which it followed, and still stopt at any number. I searched under and behind the bed, turned up the clothes to the bed cords, grasped the bolster, sounded the wall behind, and made all search that I possibly could, to find if there were any trick, contrivance, or common cause of it; the like did my friend, but we could discover nothing. So that I was then verily persuaded, and am so still, that the noise was made by[Pg 47] some dæmon or spirit. After we had searched about half an hour or more, it went into the midst of the bed, under the children, and there seemed to pant like a dog out of breath very loudly: I put my hand upon the place, and felt the bed bearing up against it, as if something within had thrust it up; I grasped the feathers to feel if any living thing were in them; I looked under, and every where about, to see if there were any dog or cat, or any other creature in the room, and so we all did, but found nothing. The motion it caused by this panting was so strong, that it shook the room and windows very sensibly; it continued this more than half an hour, while my friend and I staid in the room, and as long after, as we were told. During the panting, I chanced to see, as it were something (which I thought was a rat or a mouse) moving in a linen bag that hung up against another bed that was in the room; I stept and caught it up by the upper end with one hand, with which I held it, and drew it quite through the other, but found nothing at all in it. There was nobody near to shake the bag, or if there had, no one could have made such motion, which seemed to be from within, as if some living creature had moved in it. My friend and I lay in the chamber where the first and chief disturbance had been; we all slept well all night, but early before day in the morning I was awakened (and I awakened my bedfellow) by a great knocking just without our chamber door; I asked who was there several times, but the knocking still continued without answer. At last I said, “In the name of God, who is it, and what would you have?” to which a voice answered, “Nothing with you.” We thinking it had been some servant of the house, went to sleep again; but[Pg 48] speaking of it to Mr. Mompesson, when we came down, he assured us, “That no one of the house lay that way, or had business thereabout, and that his servants were not up till he called them, which was after it was day.” Which they confirmed and protested, that the noise was not made by them. Mr. Mompesson had told us before, “That it would be gone in the middle of the night, and come again divers times early in the morning about four o’clock;” and this I suppose was about that same time. There came one morning a light into the children’s chamber, and a voice crying “A witch, a witch,” for at least an hundred times together. Mr. Mompesson at another time (being in the day) seeing some wood move there, as of itself, discharged a pistol into it, after which they found several drops of blood on the hearth, and in divers places of the stair: for two or three nights after the discharge of the pistol, there was a calm in the house; but then it came again, applying itself to a little child, newly taken from the nurse, which it so persecuted, that it would not let the poor infant rest for two nights together, nor suffer a candle in the room, but carry them away lighted up through the chimney, or cast them under the bed. It so scared this child by leaping upon it, that for some hours it could not be recovered out of the fright; so that they were forced again to put the children out of the house. The next night after, something about midnight came up the stairs, and knocked at Mr. Mompesson’s door, but he lying still, it went up another pair of stairs to his man’s chamber, to whom it appeared standing at his bed foot. The exact shape and proportion he could not discover; but he saith “He saw a great body, with two red glowring or glaring[Pg 49] eyes, which for some time were fixed steadily upon him, and at length disappeared.” Another night, strangers being present, it purred in the children’s bed like a cat; at which time the clothes and children were lifted up from the bed, and six men could not keep them down. Hereupon they removed the children, intending to have ripped the bed; they were no sooner laid in another, but the second bed was more troubled than the first; it continued thus four hours, and beat the children’s legs against the bed-posts, that they were forced to rise and sit up all night; after this it would empty chamber-pots into their beds, and strew them with ashes from the hearth, though they were never so carefully watched. It put a long picked iron in Mr. Mompesson’s bed, and into his mother’s a naked knife upright. It would fill porrengers with ashes, throw every thing about the room, and make a noise all day.

About the beginning of April 1663, a gentleman that lay in the house, had all his money turned black in his pocket. And Mr. Mompesson coming one morning into his stable, found his horse he was wont to ride on, lying on the ground, having one of his hinder legs in his mouth, and so fastened, that it was difficult for several men to get it out with a lever. After this there were some other remarkable things, but my account goes no farther; only Mr. Mompesson wrote me word, “That afterwards the house was several nights beset with seven or eight, in the shape of men, who, as soon as a gun was discharged, would shuffle away together into an arbour.”

The drummer was tried at the assize at Salisbury upon this occasion; he was committed first to Gloucester gaol for stealing; and a Wiltshire man coming to see him, he asked, What news in Wiltshire?[Pg 50] The man answered, “He knew of none.” “No,” saith the drummer, “did you not hear of the drumming at a gentleman’s house at Tedworth?” “That I do enough,” said the other. “Ay,” quoth the drummer, “I have plagued him, and he shall never be quiet till he hath made me satisfaction for taking away my drum.” Upon information of this, the fellow was tried for a warlock at Sarum, and all the main circumstances which I have related were sworn at the assizes by the minister of the parish, and divers others of the most intelligent and substantial inhabitants, who had been eye and ear witnesses of them, time after time, for divers years together.—The fellow was condemned for transportation, and accordingly sent away; but I know not how (it is said by raising storms, and affrighting the seamen) he made a shift to come back again. And it is observable, That during all the time of his restraint and absence, the house was quiet; but as soon as ever he came back at liberty, the disturbance returned.—He had been a soldier under Cromwell, and used to talk much of gallant books, which he had of an odd fellow who was counted a wizzard. Upon this occasion I shall here add a passage, which I had (saith my author) from Mr. Mompesson, but yet relates to the main purpose.

The gentleman who was with me at the house, Mr. Hill, being in company with one Compton of Somersetshire, practised physic, and pretends to strange matters, related to him this story of Mr. Mompesson’s disturbance. The physician told him, “He was sure it was nothing but a rendezvous of witches, and that for an hundred pounds, he would undertake to rid the house of all disturbance.” In pursuit of this discourse he talked of many things; and[Pg 51] having drawn my friend into another room apart from the company, said, “He could make him sensible he could do something more than ordinary,” and asked him whom he desired to see? Mr. Hill had no great confidence in his talk, whose wife was then many miles distant from them at her home. Upon this Compton took up a looking-glass that was in the room, and setting it down again, bid my friend look into it, which he did, and there, as he most solemnly and seriously protested, he saw the exact image of his wife, in that habit which she then wore, and working at her needle in such a part of the room (there represented also) in which, or about which time she really was, as he found upon enquiry when he came to his own house.—The gentleman averred this to me, and he is a very sober, intelligent, and creditable person. Compton had no knowledge of him before, and was an utter stranger to the person of his wife. Thus I have written the sum of Mr. Mompesson’s disturbances, which (saith my author) I had partly from his own mouth related before divers, who had been witnesses of all, and confirmed his relation, and partly from his own letters, from which the order and series of things is taken. The same particulars he wrote also to Dr. Creed, then Doctor of the chair in Oxford.

XI.—The Devil of Glenluce, enlarged with several remarkable additions from an eye and ear witness, a person of undoubted honesty.

This is that famous and notable story of the devil of Glenluce, which I published in my Hydrostatics, anno 1672, and which since have been transcribed word for word, by a learned pen, and published in a late book intitled, Saducismus Triumphatus, whom[Pg 52] nothing but the truth thereof, and usefulness for refuting Atheism, could have persuaded me to transcribe. The subject-matter, then, of this story, is a true and short account of the troubles wherewith the family of one Gilbert Campbell, by profession a weaver, in the old parish of Glenluce in Galloway, was exercised. I have adventured to publish it de novo, in this book, first, because it was huddled up among purposes of another nature: but now I have reduced it to its own proper place. Next, because this story is more full, being enlarged with new additions, which were not in the former, and ends not so abruptly as the other did.—It happened, says my informer, Gilbert Campbell’s son, who was then a student of philosophy in the college of Glasgow, that after one Alexander Agnew, a bold and sturdy beggar, who afterwards was hanged at Dumfries for blasphemy, had threatened hurt to the family, because he had not gotten such an alms as he required. The said Gilbert Campbell was often hindered in the exercise of his calling, and yet could not know by what means that was done. This Agnew, amongst many blasphemous expressions, had this one when he was interrogate by the judges, Whether or not he thought there was a God? He answered “He knew no God but salt, meal, and water.” When the stirs began, there was a whistling heard both within and without the house. And Janet Campbell going one day to the well, to bring home some water, was convoyed with a shrill whistling about her ears, which made her say, “I would fain hear thee speak as well as whistle.” Hereupon he said, after a threatening manner, “I’ll cast thee, Janet, into the well.” The voice was most exactly like the damsel’s voice, and did resemble it to the life. The gentlewoman that heard[Pg 53] this, and was a witness, thought the voice was very near to her own ears, and said, “The whistling was such as children used to make with their small slender glass whistles.”——About the middle of November, the foul fiend came on with new and extraordinary assaults, by throwing of stones in at the doors and windows, and down the chimney-head, which were of great quantity, and thrown with force; yet, by God’s providence, there was not one person in the family that was hurt. This did necessitate Gilbert Campbell to reveal that to the minister of the parish, and to other neighbours and friends, which hitherto he had suffered secretly. Notwithstanding of this his trouble was enlarged; for not long after, he found oftentimes his warp and threads cut, as with a pair of scissars; and not only so, but their apparel were cut after the same manner, even while they were wearing them, their coats, bonnets, hose, shoes, but could not discern how, or by what means. Only it pleased God to preserve their persons, that the least harm was not done. Yet in the night-time, they had not liberty to sleep, something coming and pulling their bed-clothes, and linens off them, and leaving their bodies naked. Next, their chests and trunks were opened, and all things in them strawed here and there. Likewise the parts of their working instruments which had escaped, were carried away, and hid in holes and bores of the house, where hardly any could be found, again. Nay, whatever piece of cloth or household stuff was in any part of the house, it was carried away; and so cut and abused, that the good man was necessitate, in all haste and speed, to remove, and transport the rest to a neighbour’s house, and he himself compelled to quit the exercise of his calling, whereby he only maintained[Pg 54] his family. Yet he resolved to remain in his house for a season; during which time, some persons about, not very judicious, counselled him to send his children out of the family, here and there, to try whom the trouble did most follow, assuring him that his trouble was not against the whole family, but against some person or other in it, whom he too willingly obeyed. Yet, for the space of four or five days, there were no remarkable assaults as before. The minister hearing thereof, shewed him the evil of such a course; and assured him, that if he repented not, and called back his children, he might not expect that his trouble would end in a right way. The children that were nigh by, being brought home, no trouble followed, till one of his sons called Thomas, that was farest off, came home. Then did the devil begin afresh; for upon the Lord’s day following, in the afternoon, the house was set on fire, but by the help of some neighbours going home from sermon, the fire was put out, and the house saved, not much loss being done.——Monday after being spent in private prayer and fasting, the house was again set on fire upon the Tuesday, about nine o’clock in the morning; yet, by the speedy help of the neighbours, it was saved, little skaith being done.—The weaver being thus vexed and wearied both day and night, went to the minister of the parish, an honest and godly man, desiring him to let his son Thomas abide with him for a time, who condescended, but withal assuring him, that he would find himself deceived; and so it came to pass, for notwithstanding that the lad was without the family, yet were they that remained in it sore troubled, both in the day-time and night-season, so that they were forced to wake till midnight, and sometimes all the[Pg 55] night over, during which time the persons within the family suffered many losses, as the cutting off their clothes, throwing of peats, the pulling down of turf and feal from the roof and walls of the house, stealing of their clothes, and the pricking of their flesh and skin with pins.—Some ministers about having convened at the place for a solemn humiliation, persuaded Gilbert Campbell to call back his son Thomas, notwithstanding of whatever hazard might follow: The boy returning home, affirmed, that he heard a voice speak to him, forbidding him to enter within the house, or in any other place where his father’s calling was exercised; yet he entered, but was sore abused, till he was forced to return to the minister’s house again. Upon Monday the 12th of February, the rest of the family began to hear a voice speak to them, but could not well know from whence it came; yet from evening till midnight, too much vain discourse was kept up with Satan: and many idle and impertinent questions proposed, without that due fear of God that should have been upon their spirits under so rare and extraordinary a trial; they came at length in familiar discourse with the foul thief, that they were no more afraid to keep up the clash with him, than to speak to one another. In this they pleased him well, for he desired no better than to have sacrifices offered to him. The minister hearing of this, went to the house upon the Tuesday, being accompanied with some gentlemen, one James Bailie of Carphin, Alexander Bailie of Dunragged, Mr. Robert Hay, and a gentlewoman called Mrs. Douglas, whom the minister’s wife did accompany. At their first coming in, the devil says “Quam Literarum is good Latin;” these are the first words of the Latin Rudiments, which scholars[Pg 56] are taught when they go to the grammar-school; he cries again, “a dog.” The minister thinking he had spoken it to him, said, he took it not ill to be reviled by Satan, since his master had trodden that path before him. Answered Satan, “It was not you, Sir, I spoke to, I meant the dog there;” for there was a dog standing behind backs. This passing, they all went to prayer; which being ended, they heard a voice speaking out of the ground from under the bed, in the proper country dialect, which he did counterfeit exactly, saying, “Would you know the witches of Glenluce? I will tell you them;” and so related four or five persons’ names that went under a bad report; the weaver informed the company, that one of them was dead long ago. The devil answered and said, “It is true she is dead long ago, but her spirit is living with us in the world.” The minister replied, saying, (though it was not convenient to speak to such an excommunicate and inter-communed person,) “The Lord rebuke thee, Satan, and put thee to silence; we are not to receive information from thee, whatsoever fame any person goes under; thou art seeking but to seduce this family, for Satan’s kingdom is not divided against itself.” After which all went to prayer again, which being ended, for during the time of prayer no noise or trouble was made, except once that a loud fearful yell was heard at a distance; the devil threatening and terrifying the lad Tom, who had come back that day with the minister, “That if he did not depart out of the house, he would set all on fire.” Says the minister, “The Lord will preserve the house and the lad too, seeing he is one of the family, and had God’s warrant to tarry in it.” The fiend answered, “He shall not get liberty to tarry; he was[Pg 57] once put out already, and shall not abide here, though I should pursue him to the end of the world.” The minister replied, “The Lord will stop thy malice against him.” And then they all went to prayer again; which being ended, the devil said, “Give me a spade and a shovel, and depart from the house for seven days, and I will make a grave, and lie down in it, and shall trouble you no more.” The goodman answered, “Not so much as a straw shall be given thee, through God’s assistance, even though that would do it.” The minister also added, “God shall remove thee in due time.” The spirit answered, “I will not remove for you; I have my commission from Christ to tarry and vex this family.” The minister answered. “A permission thou hast indeed, but God will stop it in due time.” The devil replied, “I have, Sir, a commission which perhaps will last longer than your own.” The minister died in the year 1655, in December. The devil had told them, “That he had given his commission to Tom to keep.” The company inquired at the lad, who said, “There was something put into his pocket, but it did not tarry.”

After this, the minister and the gentlemen arose and went to the place whence the voice seemed to come, to try if they could see or find any thing. After diligent search, nothing being found, the gentlemen began to say, “We think this voice speaks out of the children, for some of them were in their beds.” The spirit answered, “You lie, God shall judge you for your lying, and I and my father will come and fetch you to hell with warlock thieves;” and so the devil discharged the gentlemen to speak any thing, saying, “Let him speak that hath a commission, (meaning the minister) for he is the[Pg 58] servant of God.” The gentlemen returning back with the minister, sat down near the place where the voice seemed to come; and he opening his mouth, spake to them after this manner, “The Lord will rebuke this spirit in his own time, and cast him out.” The devil answering, said, “It is written in Mark, chap. ix. that the disciples could not cast him out.” The minister replied, “What the disciples could not do, yet the Lord having heightened the parent’s faith, for his own glory, did cast him out, and so shall he thee.” The devil replied, “It is written in Luke, chap. iv. that he departed and left him for a season.” The minister said, “The Lord in the days of his humiliation, not only got the victory over Satan in that assault in the wilderness, but when he came again, his success was no better: for it is written, John xiv. Behold, the prince of this world cometh and hath nothing in me, and being now in glory, he will fulfill his promise,—and God shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly,” Rom. xvi. The devil answered, “It is written, Math. xxv. There were ten virgins, five wise and five foolish, and when the bridegroom came, the foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps, and went to the wise to seek oil; and the wise said, go and buy for yourselves; and while they went the bridegroom came, and entered in, and the door was shut, and the foolish virgins were sent to hell’s fire.” The minister answered, “The Lord knows the sincerity of his servants, and though there be sin and folly in us here, yet there is a fountain opened to the house of David for sin and uncleanness; when he hath washen us from our sins for his name’s sake, he will cast the unclean spirit out of the land.” The devil answered and said, “Sir,[Pg 59] you should have cited for that place of scripture, Zech. xiii. and he began at the first verse, and repeated several verses, and concluded with these words: “In that day I will cause the prophet and unclean spirit pass out of the land;” but afterwards it is written, “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.” The minister answered and said, “We know that our blessed shepherd was smitten, and thereby hath bruised thy head. And albeit in the hour of his sufferings, his disciples forsook him, Matth. xxvi. Yet now having ascended on high, he sits in glory, and is preserving, gathering in, and turning his hand upon his little ones, and will save his poor ones in this family from thy malice.” The minister returning back a little, and standing upon the floor, the devil said, “I knew not these scriptures till my father taught me them.” Then the minister conjured him to tell whence he was. The foul fiend replied, “That he was an evil spirit come from the bottomless pit of hell to vex this house, and that Satan was his father.” And presently there appeared a naked hand, and an arm from the elbow down, beating upon the floor till the house did shake again, and also he uttered a most fearful and loud cry, saying, “Come up, my father, come up; I will send my father among you; see there he is behind your backs.” Then the minister said, “I saw indeed a hand, and an arm, when the stroke was given and heard.” The devil said to him, “Saw you that? it was not my hand, it was my father’s; my hand is more black in the loof.” “O (said Gilbert Campbell) that I may see thee as well as I hear thee!” “Would you see me (says the foul thief) put out the candle, and I shall come butt the house among you like fireballs.[Pg 60] I shall let you see me indeed.” Alexander Bailie of Dunragged says to the minister, Let us go then, and see if there be any hand to be seen. The devil answered, “No, let him come then alone; he is a good honest man, his single word may be believed.” About this time the devil abused Mr. Robert Hay, a very honest gentleman, very ill with his tongue, calling him witch and warlock. A little after, the devil cries (it seems out of purpose and in of purpose) “A witch, a witch, there is a witch sitting upon the ruist, take her away;” he meant a hen sitting upon the balk of the house.—These things being past, all went to prayer, during which time he was silent; prayer being ended, the devil answered and said, “If the goodman’s son’s prayers at the College of Glasgow did not prevail with God, my father and I had wrought a mischief here ere now.” To which Alexander Bailie of Dunragged replied, “Well, well, I see you confess there is a God, and that prayer prevails with him; and therefore we must pray to God, and commit the event to him.” To whom the devil replied, “Yea, Sir, you speak of prayer with your broad lipped hat, (for the gentleman had lately gotten a hat in the fashion with broad lips) I’ll bring a pair of sheers from my father which will clip the lips of it a little.” Whereupon he presently imagined that he heard and felt a pair of sheers going round about his hat, which caused him lift it to see if the foul thief had meddled with it.

During this time, several things, but of less moment, passed; as that he would have Tom a merchant, Rob a smith, John a minister, and Hugh a lawyer, all which in some measure came to pass. As to Janet the goodman’s daughter, he cries to[Pg 61] her, “Janet Campbell, Janet Campbell, wilt thou cast me thy belt?” Quoth she, “What a widdy wilt thou do with my belt?” “I would fain (says he) fasten my loose bones close together with it.” A younger daughter sitting busking her poppies, as young girls use to do, being threatened by the fiend, that he would ding out her harns, that is brain her, She answered, without being concerned, “No, if God be to the fore;” and so fell to the work again. The goodwife of the house having brought out some bread, was breaking it to give every one of the company a piece. He cries, “Grisel Wyllie, Grisel Wyllie, give me a piece of that hard bread, (for so they call their oat-cakes) I have gotten nothing this day, but a bit from Marrit;” that is, as they spake in that country, Margaret. The minister said, “Beware of that; for it is a sacrificing to the devil.” The girl was called for, and asked, if she gave him any hard bread? “No,” says she; “but when I was eating my due-piece this morning, something came and clicked it out of my hand.”

The evening being now far spent, it was thought fit, that every one should withdraw to his own home. Then did the devil cry out fearfully, “Let not the minister go home, I shall burn the house if he go;” and many other ways did he threaten. After the minister had gone forth, Gilbert Campbell was very instant with him to tarry, whereupon he returned, all the rest going home. When he came into the house, the devil gave a great gaff of laughter. “You have now, Sir, done my bidding.” “Not thine,” answered the other, “but in obedience to God have I returned, to bear this man company, whom thou dost afflict.” Then did the minister call upon God. And when the prayer was ended, he discharged the[Pg 62] weaver, and all the persons of the family, to speak a word to the devil; and when he spake, that they should only kneel down and pray to God. The devil then roared out mightily, and cried out, “What, will ye not speak to me? I shall strike the bairns, and do all manner of mischief.” But after that time no answer was made to him, and so for a long time no speech was heard. Several times he hath beat the children in their beds, and the claps of his loof upon their buttocks would have been heard, but without any trouble to them. While the minister and gentlemen were standing at the door, ready to go home, the minister’s wife and the goodwife were within; then cried Satan, “Grisel, put out the candle.” Says she to the minister’s wife, “Shall I do it?” “No; (says the other,) for then you shall obey the devil.” Upon this he cries again with a louder shout, “Put out the candle.” The candle still burns. The third time he cries, “Put out the candle;” and no obedience being given to him, he did so often reiterate these words, and magnify his voice, that it was astonishing to hear him, which made them stop their ears: they thinking the sound was just at their ears; at last the candle was put out. “Now, (says he) I’ll trouble you no more this night.” I must here insert what I heard from one of the ministers of the presbytery, who, with the rest, were appointed to meet at the weaver’s house for prayer and other exercises of that kind. When the day came, five only met; but before they went in, they stood a while in the croft which lies round about the house, considering what to do. They resolved upon two things, First, There should be no words of conjuration used, as commanding him in the name of God to tell whence[Pg 63] he was, or to depart from the family; for which they thought they had no call from God. Secondly, That when the devil spoke, none should answer him, but hold on in their worshipping of God, and the duties they were called to. When all of them had prayed by turns, and three of them had spoken a word or two from the Scripture, they prayed again, and then ended without any disturbance. When that brother who informed me had gone out, one Hugh Nisbet, one of the company, came running after him, desiring him to come back, for he had begun to whistle. “No, (says the other) I tarried as long as God called me; but go in again, I will not.” After this the said Gilbert suffered much loss, and had many sad nights, not two nights in one week free, and thus it continued till April. From April to July he had some respite and ease; but after he was molested with new assaults; even their victuals were so abused, that the family was in hazard of starving; and that which they ate gave them not the ordinary satisfaction they were wont to find.

In this sore and sad affliction, Gilbert Campbell resolved to make his address to the synod of Presbyters, for advice and counsel what to do, which was appointed to convene in Oct. 1655, namely Whether to forsake the house or not? The synod, by their committee, appointed to meet to Glenluce in Feb. 1656, thought it fit that a solemn humiliation should be kept through all the bounds of the synod; and, amongst other causes, to request God on behalf of that afflicted family; which being done carefully, the event was, that his trouble grew less till April, and from April to August he was altogether free. About which time the devil began[Pg 64] with new assaults; and taking the ready meat which was in the house, did sometimes hide it in holes by the door-posts, and at other times hid it under the beds, and sometimes among the bed-clothes, and under the lines, and at last did carry it quite away, till nothing was left there save bread and water.—This minds me of a small pasage as a proof of what is said.—The goodwife one morning making pottage for the children’s breakfast, had the tree-plate, wherein the meal lay, snatched from her quickly. “Well (says she) let me have my plate again.” Whereupon it came flying at her, without any skaith done. It is like, if she had sought the meal too, she might have got it: Such is his civility when he is entreated, a small homage will please him ere he want all. After this he exercised his malice and cruelty against all persons in the family, in wearying them in the night-time, by stirring and moving through the house; so that they had no rest for noise, which continued all the month of August after this manner. After which time the devil grew yet worse, by roaring and terrifying them, by casting of stones, by striking them with staves on their bed in the night-time. And (September 18,) about midnight, he cried out with a loud voice, “I will burn the house.” And about three or four nights after, he set one of the beds on fire, which was soon put out, without any prejudice, except the bed itself.——Thus I have written a short and true account of all the material passages which occurred. To write every particular, especially of lesser moment, would fill a large volume. The goodman lived several years after this in the same house; and it seems, by some conjuration or other, the devil suffered himself to be put away, and gave the weaver[Pg 65] a peaceable habitation. This weaver has been a very old man, that endured so long these marvellous disturbances.

XII.—Anent Mother Jackson her Witchcraft.

This story hath as much certainty with it as any human story can have. The author that writes it is a famous minister of the gospel, and it is attested by famous witnesses. This woman was arraigned and condemned at Newgate, for bewitching one Mary Glover, a merchant’s daughter in Thames Street. One Dr. Boncraft did inform Judge Anderson, then lord chief justice, That the said Mother Jackson was wronged; and that the maid did counterfeit; whereupon the lord chief justice gave orders to Sir John Crook, then recorder of London, to make trial of them in his chamber at the Temple. The maid being sent for, came with her mother and divers of the neighbours; and about an hour after the witch was sent for, and was brought in disguised like a country-market woman, with a mufflet hiding her face, and an old hat, and a short cloak spattered with mire. When she entered the chamber, the maid suddenly fell down backward upon the floor, with her eyes drawn into her head, her tongue towards her throat, her mouth drawn up to her ear, her body be came stiff and senseless. Her lips being shut close, a plain and audible voice came out of her nostrils, saying, “Hang her, hang her.” Then did the recorder cry for a candle, and a sheet of paper, and held the paper flaming to her hand, till her hand did blister; the blister did break, and water came out which dropt down upon the floor, the maid lying still and senseless as a dead body, with the voice coming out of her nostrils, saying,[Pg 66] “Hang her, hang her.” Then the recorder called for a long pin, which he held in the flame of the candle till it was very hot, and thrust the head of it into her nostrils, to see if that would make her sneeze, wink, or bend her brows, or stir her head, which she did not, but lay still as one dead and senseless. Then I told the recorder (said my author), that I had often prayed with the maid, and that when I did conclude with the Lord’s prayer, the maid, as soon as I said, “but deliver us from evil,” was tost up and shaken, as if a mastiff dog should take a little cur into his mouth and shake him. Then the recorder bade the witch say the Lord’s prayer, which she did, till she came to these words, “but deliver us from evil,” which she skipt over, and would by no means be brought to say them. Then they bade her rehearse the articles of the Christian faith, which she did till she came to these words, “our Lord,” that Jesus Christ was our Lord. I told the recorder also, that when the maid was in her senseless and dead fits, if the witch did but lay her hand upon her, she was tost and thrown towards her. Thereupon the recorder caused the maid to be taken up and laid upon a bed, and clothes to be laid upon her, especially her head, because she should not see nor hear. Then he made signs to the women to stand round about the bed, and that the witch should stand among them, and that every one should lay hands upon her softly, which they did; and the maid did not stir till the witch laid her hand upon her, then all the clothes were thrown off and the maid tost towards her. Whereupon the recorder, looking upon the witch, said, “Lord have mercy upon thee, woman!” and sent her to Newgate. Then as soon as she[Pg 67] was gone, the voice that came out of the maid’s nostrils ceased, and she came to herself; and went home with her mother. About three weeks or a month after the witch was condemned, the maid continued every second day in most strange and fearful fits and torments. The recorder hearing of it, did blame me and all the ministers of London; and told me, That we might all be ashamed to see a child of God in the claws of the devil, without any hope of deliverance, but by such means as God hath appointed, viz. fasting and prayer. Within few days after, it pleased God to make me an instrument to draw five ministers, and other good Christians together, to set apart, and to join with me in that holy exercise, wherein we continued from morning till after candle lighting. Then on a sudden, after a fearful conflict, which did much amaze some, and caused them to cry with a confused noise, “Jesus save, Jesus help,” the maid did start out of a wand chair, where she sat, and with her strength did lift me up with her. I kneeling behind her, and holding her in my arms, she did throw white froth out of her throat and mouth round about the chamber, and on a sudden fell down into the chair as one truly dead, with her head hanging down into the chair, her neck and arms limber and souple, which before were stiff as a frozen thing; then suddenly life came into her whole body, and her eyes, which were drawn into her head, and her tongue, which was pulled into her throat, came into their right place. Then she looked up with a cheerful countenance round about the chamber, and with a loud voice spake, saying, “O he is come, he is come, the Comforter is come, the Comforter is come, I am delivered.” Her father hearing these words,[Pg 68] wept for joy, and with a faultering voice, said, “O these were her grandfather’s words when he was at the stake, the fire crackling about him.” It seems he died a martyr in Queen Mary’s time. Then she kneeled down, and offered a sweet evening sacrifice of thanks and praise to God for her deliverance, till her voice grew weak. Then did the minister speak to her to forbear, and let one of them end the day with thanksgiving. And in regard that I (said the minister) had begun the day with prayer, the company desired me to make it end with thanksgiving. This being done, care was had of her to put her to some minister for a year, least Satan should assault her again; and, by common consent, she was put to me; and I took her home to my own house for being my servant for that time, and her mother and sister, and lodged them at my house in great Saint Helen’s, which then was my living. This relation was published in the year 1642, by the minister, whose name is Lewis Hughes, and is yet to be seen in print.

XIII.—King Duff, the 78th King of Scotland, bewitched.

Though this be well known to all who read our Scots Histories, yet it will not be amiss to insert it here, as in its own place, for their sakes especially who have not heard of it. While the king was about the settling of the country, and punishing the troublers of the peace, he began to be sore afflicted in his body with a new and unheard of disease, no causes of his sickness appearing in the least. At length, after several remedies and cures were made use of to no purpose, a report was spread, the authors thereof being uncertain, that the king was[Pg 69] brought to that sickness and trouble by witches. The suspicion arose from an unusual sweating he was under, his body pining and withering away by little and little, and his strength failing day by day; and since all his physicians had done their utmost, and yet no appearance of recovery, it was supposed his case was extraordinary. Therefore all men being vehemently intent upon the event, news came to the court, that night-meetings were kept at Forres, a town in Murray, for taking away the life of the king. This was presently received and believed for truth, because no other thing did occur for the present more probable. Whereupon trusty and faithful men are presently sent away to one Donald, governor of the castle there, in whom the king had the greatest trust and confidence. This man having gotten some knowledge of the business from a certain young wench, whose mother was under a bad report of being skilful in this black art, found out and discovered the whole matter. The young harlot is taken, because she had spoken some words rashly anent the king’s sickness, and that within a few days his life would be at an end. Some of the guard being sent, found the lass’s mother, with some haggs such as herself, roasting before a small moderate fire, the king’s picture made of wax. The design of this horrid act was, that as the wax by little and little did melt away, so the king’s body, by a continual sweating, might at last totally decay. The waxen image being found and broken, and those old haggs punished with death, the king did in that same moment recover. Compare this with the first relation, and you will find them jump and agree exactly.

[Pg 70]

XIV.—The Apparition of Edward Avon to his Son-in-law, Thomas Goddard.

Thomas Goddard of Marleburgh, in the county of Wilts, weaver, on the 9th of November 1674, going to Ogburn, at a stile on the high-way, about nine in the morning, met the apparition of his father-in-law, one Edward Avon of this town, glover, having upon him, to appearance, the same clothes, hat, stockings, and shoes he did usually wear when he was living, standing by, and leaning over that stile; which when he came near, the apparition spake to him, with an audible voice, these words, “Are you afraid?” To which he answered, “I am thinking on one who is dead and buried, whom you are like.” To which the apparition replied with the like voice, “I am he you were thinking on; I am Edward Avon your father-in-law: come near to me, I will do you no harm.” To which Goddard answered, “I trust in him that bought my soul with his precious blood, you shall do me no harm.” Then the apparition said, “How stands cases at home?” Goddard asked, “What cases?” Then it asked him, “How do William and Mary?” Meaning, as he conceived, his son William Avon, a shoemaker here, and Mary his daughter, the said Goddard’s wife. Then it said, “What? Taylor is dead; meaning, as he thought, one Taylor of London, who married his daughter Sarah; which Taylor died at Michaelmas last. Then the apparition held out his hand, and in it, as Goddard conceived, 20s. or 30s. in silver, and then spake with a loud voice, “Take this money, and send it to Sarah; for I shut up my bowels of compassion toward her[Pg 71] in my lifetime, and now there is somewhat for her.” And then said, “Mary (meaning the said Goddard’s wife, as he conceived,) is troubled for me: but tell her, God hath shewed mercy contrary to my deserts.” But the said Goddard answered, “In the name of Jesus I refuse all such money.” Then the apparition said, “I perceive you are afraid, I will meet you some other time.” And immediately it went up the lane to his appearance; so he went over the same stile, but saw it no more that day. He saith, the next night, about seven of the clock, it came and opened his shop windows, and stood in the like clothes, looking him in the face, but said nothing to him. And the next night after, as Goddard went forth into his back-shop, with a candle in his hand, it appeared to him again in the same shape; but he being in fear ran into his house, and saw it no more then. But he saith, that on Thursday the 12th instant, as he came from Chilton, riding down the hill between the manor-house and Axford-farm-field, he saw somewhat like a hare crossing his way, at which his horse was frighted, threw him into the dirt, and as soon as he could recover on his feet, the same apparition met him there again in the same habit: and there, standing about eight foot before him in the way, spake again to him with a loud voice, “Source (a word he commonly used when living) you have stayed long,” and said to him, “Thomas, bid William Avon take the sword he had of me, which is now in his house, and carry it into the wood, as we go to Aiton, to the upper end of the wood, by the way-side, for with that sword I did wrong thirty years ago, and he never prospered since he had that sword. And bid William Avon give his sister Sarah 20s. which he[Pg 72] received of me; and do you talk with Edward Laurence, for I borrowed 20s. of him several years ago, and did say I had paid him, but I did not pay it him; and I would desire you to pay him 20s. out of the money which you had from James Elliot at two payments.” Which money the said Goddard now saith was £.5. which James Elliot, a baker here, owed the said Avon on bond; and which he, the said Goddard, had received from the said Elliot since Michaelmas, at two payments, viz. 35s. at one, and 3l. 5s. at another payment. And it further said to him, “Tell Margaret (meaning his own wife, as he conceived) that I would desire her to deliver up the little money which I gave to little Sarah Taylor the child, or any one she will trust for it; but if she will not speak to Edward Laurence, persuade her; but if she still will not, then tell her that I will see her very suddenly; and see that this be done within a twelvemonth and a day after my decease, and peace be with you” And so it went away over the rails into the wood there, in the like manner as any man would go over a stile, to his apprehension; and so he saw it no-more at that time. And he saith, that he paid the 20s. to Edward Laurence of this town; who being present now, doth remember he lent the said Avon 20s. about twenty years ago, which none knew but himself and his wife, and Avon and his wife, and was never paid it again before now by this Goddard. And this Goddard further says, that this very day, by Mr. Major’s order, he, with his brother-in-law, William, went with this sword, and about nine o’clock this morning, they laid down the sword in the copse, near the place the apparition had appointed Goddard to carry it; and then coming away[Pg 73] thence, Goddard looking back, saw the same apparition again in the like habit as before; whereupon he called to his brother-in-law, and said, “Here is the apparition of our father;” who said, “I see nothing:” then Goddard fell on his knees, and said, “Lord open his eyes that he may see it, if it be thy blessed will.” And the apparition, to Goddard’s appearance, beckoned with his hand to come to it, and then Goddard said, “In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, what would you have me to do?” To which it answered, “Thomas, take up the sword and follow me;” and so he took up the sword and followed the apparition about ten poles in length further into the copse, and then turning back, he stood still about a pole and a half from it, his brother-in-law staying behind at the place where they first laid down the sword; then Goddard laying down the sword upon the ground, saw something stand by the apparition like a mastiff dog of a brown colour. Then the apparition coming towards Goddard, he stept back about two steps; and the apparition said to him, “I have a permission to you, and a commission not to touch you;” and then it took up the sword, and went back to the place at which before it stood, with a mastiff-dog by it as before, and pointed the top of the sword into the ground, and said, “In this place lies buried the body of him whom I murdered in the year 1635, which is now rotten and turned to dust.” Whereupon Goddard said, “I do adjure you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, when did you commit this murder?” And it said, “I took money from the man, and he contended with me, and so I murdered him.” Then Goddard asked him, who was confederate with him in the said murder?[Pg 74] and he said, “None but myself was accessory thereto.” Then Goddard said, “What would you have me to do in this thing?” and the apparition said, “That is, that the world may know that I murdered a man, and buried him in this place, in the year 1635.” Then the apparition laid down the sword on the bare ground there, whereon grew nothing, but seemed to Goddard as a grave sunk in; and the apparition running further into the copse, vanished, and he saw it no more; whereupon Goddard and his brother-in-law, Avon, went away together, leaving the sword there. Avon told Goddard he heard his voice, and understood what he said, and heard other words distinct from his, but could not understand a word of it, nor saw he any apparition at all, which he now, being present, affirmeth; and all which the said Goddard then attested under his hand; and affirmed he will depone to the same when he shall be thereto required.

XV.—Some Passages of God’s Providence to a godly Minister, in giving him full clearness concerning Bessie Graham, suspected of witchcraft.

She was apprehended about the end of August 1649, upon some threatening words she had spoken in her drunkenness to John Ranken’s wife in Kilwinning, whereupon the poor woman, ten days after, took sickness and died. She was imprisoned in the steeple for thirteen weeks, all which time I, the minister, repaired to her, but found her still more and more obdured; in all her discourses she was so subtle, that not only I could get no advantage by her words, but sometimes she made me think that she was an innocent woman; so that I was grieved for her hard usage, if it could have been helped, and[Pg 75] had my own secret wishes she had never been meddled with. Yea, if she could have made an escape, I being innocent of it, I could have been glad; for I feared much, that all that we could get proven on her, would not have been a sufficient ground for the civil magistrate to give a warrant for putting her to an assize. Or, if they had given a warrant, I feared the assize would not condemn her, unless I had advised them thereto, wherein I was not clear, so that she would have been set at liberty, and I blamed for it by reason of my not advising the assize to condemn her. At this nick of time, one Alexander Bogs, skilled in searching the mark, came, being often sent for, and finds the mark on the middle of her back, wherein he thrust a great brass pin, of which she was not sensible, neither did any blood follow when the pin was drawn out. I looked upon this but as a small evidence in respect of what I found afterwards; yet this somewhat inclined the judges to send the process to Edinburgh, though there were small hopes of obtaining a commission for putting her to an assize. My fears deceived me; for I was informed that a commission was granted, though with difficulty: But here my strait was augmented; for the chiefest man in the parish refused to meet, professing he thought all that was proven on her were but clatters; and I was informed that others of the judges did say little less; however, I myself could not think her guilty: Yet if the assize had put her to it, I was not so clear to advise them, by reason that the things were proven but by one witness. This put me to many thoughts and prayers, wherein I did engage myself to God, that if he would find me out a way for giving me and the assize full clearness, either by her own confession[Pg 76] or otherwise, I should remark it as a singular favour, and a special mercy. This resolution I did often reiterate, “Lord make me mindful of it.” After a short time providence brought to light an unexpected presumption of her guiltiness, which did convince me more than any of the rest. Upon Wednesday the 28th of November, in the evening, I went to exhort her to a confession, with Alexander Simpson the kirk-officer, and my own servant with me. After labouring with her in vain, we left her; but when I came to the stair-head, I resolved to halt a little, to hear what she would say. Within a very short space, she begins to discourse as if it had been to somebody with her. Her voice was so low, that I could not understand what she said, except one sentence, whereby I perceived she was speaking of somewhat I had been challenging her of, and she had denied. After she had spoken this, after a little while, I heard another voice speaking and whispering, as it were conferring with her, which presently I apprehended to be the foul fiend’s voice: but being uncertain, if those that were with me had heard it, so as they could give testimony concerning it, and not daring to ask them, least she hearing our whispering, should have spoken no more, I resolved to stand a little longer, she having kept silence a time, upon occasion as I thought of some little din amongst us, at our hearing of an uncouth voice; she began to speak again, and before she had well ended, the other voice speaketh as it were a long sentence, which though I understood not what it was, yet it was so low and ghostly, that I was certainly persuaded that it was another voice than her’s. Besides, her accent and manner of speaking was as if she had been speaking to some other; and that[Pg 77] other voice, to my best remembrance, did begin before she had ended, so that two voices were to be heard at once.—By this time fear took hold on Alexander Simpson, being hindmost in the stair, and thereby he cries out. I did exhort him with a loud voice not to fear; and we came all of us down the stair, blessing God that had given me such a clearness in the business. They both who were with me declared, they had heard the uncouth voice both the times. Within a quarter of an hour I went up again, with two or three able men with me, and brought her down to the school, having placed six men to watch, where she remains at the time of my writing hereof, November 30, obstinate and obdured, and I fear she shall be so to her death.

Some special Providence I observed in all these.

First, That however we knew nothing at our first apprehending of her, but only that she was of a bad report, and had some boasting words to John Rankin’s wife, after which she died shortly; yet partly more and more light brake up, until so many presumptions were proven on her, as the civil magistrate did judge it equitable to put her to an assize. Secondly, That Alexander Bogs came and found the mark upon her, at the very nick of time when there was an inclination to let her go free, which, though it did not say much, yet it was a mean to keep her still in prison. Thirdly, That a commission was granted upon more slender grounds than any which had been granted before; and that the Lord keeped up the greatest evidence of her guilt, until the commission was obtained, and the day for the assize appointed. Fourthly, That the commission being granted, I was in a great strait what to do,[Pg 78] no less being presented to me than her blood-guiltiness, if I should advise to condemn her, and the sparing of an enemy to God, if I should not advise; this made the mercy in giving me so full clearing the more acceptable. Fifthly, That God did make all other means misgive which I did use, until he should clear me by these whereby more of himself was seen. Sixthly, That before he gave me clearing, I was made to engage myself to a special observation of his most remarkable providences towards me. Seventhly, That I had often thoughts to use the means of trying her, by going to watch in the night, if I could hear the devil and her conferring together, but was always hindered until this time having no such resolution when I was coming out from her, but only a present purpose to stand a little, not thinking to hear any thing of this kind; and if she had not presently begun to speak, I would have gone away. Eighthly, That I myself was present at the hearing of their conference; if it had been in any other, I would neither have been so fully satisfied myself, nor yet others who should hear of it. Ninthly, That not only I, but two with me, did hear also, which will make a legal proof. Tenthly, That I was borne up with courage all the time, acting faith in God, that the foul spirit should not do us harm, though he was so near unto us. Eleventhly, That I heard as much as did give full clearing that it was another voice, though I could not get any of the words understood. The Lord thinking it sufficient to loose me out of the strait, though he would not satisfy my curiosity. Twelthly, though I could not get the words understood, yet there was as much evidence, as made it clearly appear it was another voice than hers.

[Pg 79]

As, 1st, That we heard twice. And, 2dly, Three of us did so think. 3dly, That I was in courage, and so my judgment not jumbled by any fearful apprehensions. 4thly, That the accent and way of her discourse, and in what we did understand of it, was not after the manner how one regrets a thing to himself, but of one conferring with another. 5thly, That the other voice was to my certain hearing of a different accent from her’s, so hollow and ghostly, that it was as easy for me to put a difference between them in the mean time, as between the voice of a man and the voice of a child. 6thly, That to my best remembrance the uncouth voice began before she ended, so that two voices were to be heard at once. Lastly, A. Simpson understood their language, and afterward did depone the words judicially.——It is good (1) For folk to hold on in doing of duty, though they forsee unsuperable difficulties before they come to the end of it. Let a man go on till he come to the difficulty, and ere he come that far on, God will remove it. (2) ’Tis good in asking mercies to engage the heart to some duties of thankfulness, upon the granting them. (3) How zealous is the devil to get souls damned, that though he be of an excellent substance, of great natural parts, long experience, deep understanding, yet he will so far enslave himself to poor miscreant bodies as to be ready at their call, to discourse and keep company with them, that at the last he may get them. How serviceable and trusty soever the devil seems to be unto witches, yet he cares not to ensnare them at the last; for he could not but know that we were waiting on to hear him and her; so that he had on purpose entered into discourse with her, that she might be taken in the grin.

[Pg 80]

I come to some other remarkable passages concerning Elizabeth Graham before her death, giving evidence that she was most guilty of witchcraft, though she died obstinate, and would not confess. Upon Saturday night, November 13, she seemed to incline to a confession, and promised to William Watt, to tell me to-morrow after sermon all that was in her heart. At which time, I had none with me but William Watt. When I spoke with her, she regretted her mispent time, but especially her malice towards myself, which she affirmed the devil tempted her to. All which time she spake with a very low voice, that although I desired her to speak out, we could scarce hear her. Whereupon I inquired the reason why she was not able to speak louder? She replied, “That when she set herself to speak any thing that was for her soul’s good, she dought not get spoken.” These were her words. “But if she would scold and flyte as she used to do, the devil would give her strength enough to speak as loud as ever she did.” Within a little I posed her if she was guilty of witchcraft: She stared with her eyes by me, first to the one side, and then to the other; at which time, I certainly think that she saw the devil; for immediately after, she began to rail upon me, although she had confessed her malice at me was partly the cause of her greatest grief, and still as she went on in railing, her voice became stronger and stronger, till at last she spoke as loud as ever she did.

Upon Monday before noon, she was most bitter in her language. I posed her what grounds of confidence she had, if it would be well with her soul? She answered, “She had no grounds yet; for she had lived a wicked woman, and had not yet repented; but she hoped she would get heaven, and get[Pg 81] repentance, and a change would be wrought in her; and though she was to live but a short while, she was sure of it, and that I would soon see it.” I thought in the mean time, she had spoken that in her rage. But after I perceived the devil and she had a further design in it, as appears by what follows. That same day afternoon, they came and told me, that she had fallen to pray, and had many gracious words, expressing her own vileness, and the sense she had of God’s mercy, and with tears: In which strain she continued till after supper. I came then to see her, at which time she was continuing still as before, aggravating her sin and guilt, and shewing her hopes of salvation, and desire to die. And all along, she had such pithy expressions, and Scripture so often, and plentifully cited, that I was put to wonder, considering that I ever had found her altogether ignorant of the grounds of religion, both before, and after she was put into prison.

After I had wondered at it a while, without speaking to her, considering what she had foretold so confidently before noon, I concluded in my mind, that it was a draught between the devil and her, to feign repentance in such an odd way, that we might be deceived; being made to think that she was not a witch, else she would confess it, seeing God had given her repentance.—Whereupon, seriously considering the matter, I posed her of guiltiness; she confessed all the particulars of the process, which did not certainly conclude her to be a witch; but the rest of the particulars she denied, as also the crime of witchcraft itself. However, she said, “She knew she would die, and desired not to live; and she thought we would be free before God of her blood, because that, however she was free, yet there were[Pg 82] so many things deponed against her, that though it was hard for us to think otherwise of her than we did, yet she knew well enough her own innocence.” Thus I have written all those particulars, as I found them in the authentic record, written by the minister’s own hand. She was soon after executed, and died without any acknowledgment of witchcraft.

XVI.—Anent the Apparition of Sir George Villiers.

Some few days before the Duke of Buckingham went to Portsmouth, where he was stabbed by Felton, the ghost of his father Sir George Villiers appeared to one Parker, a religious and sober man, who had been a servant to the said Sir George, but now to the Duke his son. He appeared to him, I say, in his morning chamber-gown, and charged him to tell his son, that he should decline that employment and design he was going upon, or else he would certainly be murdered. Parker promised to the apparition to do it. The Duke making preparation for his expedition, the apparition came again to Parker, taxing him very severely for his breach of promise, and required him not to delay the acquainting his son of the danger he was in. Then Parker the next day tells the Duke, “That his father’s ghost had twice appeared to him, and had commanded him, without any farther delay, to give him that warning.” The Duke slighted it, and told him, “That he was an old doting fool.” That night the apparition came to Parker a third time saying, “Parker thou hast done well in warning my son of his danger, but though he will not believe thee, go to him once more, however, and tell him from me by such a token, (naming a private token) which nobody knows[Pg 83] but only he and I, that if he will not decline this voyage, such a knife as this is, (pulling a long knife out from under his gown) will be his death.” This message Parker also delivered the next day to the Duke, who, when he heard the private token, believed he had it from his father’s ghost. Yet, said he, that his honour was now at stake, and he could not go come back from what he had undertaken, come life come death. This message Parker, after the Duke’s murder, communicated to his fellow-servant Henry Celey, who told it to a reverend divine a neighbour of mine, (says my author) from whose mouth I have it. This Henry Celey has not been dead above twenty years; and his habitation for several years before his death, was at North Currie, but three miles from this place. My friend, the divine aforesaid, was an intimate acquaintance of this Henry Celey’s, and assures me he was a person of known truth and integrity.

XVII.—Anent Hattaraick, an old Warlock.

This man’s name was Sandie Hunter, who called himself Sandie Hamilton; and it seems was called Hattaraick by the devil, and so by others, as a nick-name. He was first a nolt-herd in East Lothian to a gentleman there. He was much given to charming and curing of men and beasts by words and spells. His charms sometimes succeeded, sometimes not. On a day herding his kine upon a hill-side in the summer-time, the devil came to him in the form of a mediciner, and said, “Sandie, you have too long followed my trade, and never acknowledged me for your master; you must now take on with me, and be my servant, and I will make you[Pg 84] more perfect in your calling.” Whereupon the man gave up himself to the devil, and received his mark, with this new name. After this he grew very famous through the country, for his charming and curing of diseases in men and beasts, and turned a vagrant fellow, like a jockie, gaining meal and flesh, and money by his charms; such was the ignorance of many at that time. Whatever house he came to, none durst refuse Hattaraick an alms, rather for his ill than his good. One day he came to the yait of Samuelston, when some friends after dinner were going to horse. A young gentleman, brother to the lady, seeing him, switched him about the ears, saying, “You warlock carle, what have you to do here?” Whereupon the fellow goes away grumbling, and was overheard say, “You shall dear buy this ere it be long.” This was damnum minatum. The young gentleman conveyed his friends a far way off, and came home that way again, where he supped. After supper, taking his horse, and crossing Tyne water to go home, he rides through a shadow piece of a haugh, commonly called Allers, and the evening being somewhat dark, he met with some persons there that begat a dreadful consternation in him, which, for the most part, he would never reveal. This was malum secutum. When he came home, the servants observed terror and fear in his countenance. The next day he became distracted, and was bound for several days. His sister the Lady Samuelston hearing of it, was heard say, “Surely that knave Hattaraick is the cause of this trouble, call for him in all haste.” When he had come to her, “Sandie,” says she, “what is this you have done to my brother William?” “I told him,” says he, “I should make him repent his striking of me at the[Pg 85] yait lately.” She giving the rogue fair words, and promising him his pock full of meal, with beef and cheese, persuaded the fellow to cure him again. He understood the business, “But I must first,” says he, “have one of his sarks.” Which was soon gotten. What pranks he played with it cannot be known. But within a short while the gentleman recovered his health. When Hattaraick came to receive his wages, he told the Lady, “Your brother William shall quickly go off the country, but shall never return.” She knowing the fellow’s prophecies to hold true, caused her brother to make a disposition to her of all his patrimony, to the defrauding of his young brother George. After that this warlock had abused the country for a long time, he was at last apprehended at Dunbar, and brought into Edinburgh, and burnt upon the Castle hill.——I have inserted this story, which I had from the gentleman’s own brother, a thing well known at that time through the country, not so much for any matter in it, as that it may be an occasion to me to speak a little of charms. The word charm or incantation comes from the Latin word carmen, signifying a verse, because the Roman soothsayers gave their charms in verse. It is only a strange composure of words to blind the understanding of people, pretending, by virtue of words, great matters may be brought to pass. But words of themselves, either spoken or written, (as these charms) have no force to bring any thing to pass. It is only the power of the almighty God. Charming is much practised by the Pope and the Romish church. Their whole forms of religion, both in private and in public, consisting of charms of all sorts. Pope Leo had a charm, which he said he had from an angel, who taught him, that[Pg 86] whosoever carried that charm in write about him, and said every day three Pater Nosters, three Aves, and one Creed, shall not that day be conquered of his enemies, nor be in other danger, ghostly or bodily, but shall be protected by these holy names of Jesus Christ, written with the four Evangelists, and crosses between them, as † Jesus, † Christus, † Messias, † Sotar, † Emmanuel, &c. It is still a common practice among the Papists to carry charms about them to make them shot-free when they go to war; as also hath been found by experience in the late Irish wars, many of the idolatrous Irish being found with charms in their pockets, composed by the Popish clergy. They make their holy water by a charm or conjuration, thus: “I conjure thee, thou creator of water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that thou drive the devil out of every corner of this church and altar, so that he remain not within our precincts, which are just and holy.” This is used in the dedication of their churches. Thus, by holy water, they not only conjure the devil from their churches, but from dwelling houses, from meat and drink, from salt upon the table. They dedicate their bells in steeples, which have power to clear the air from devils. It is likewise a sort of charm which many witches have, namely, to cut the rowan tree between the two Beltan days. If any man or woman, horse, or cow, shall have a piece thereof upon them, no devils or fairy shall have power to meddle with them. An old woman whom I read of, used this charm when she went to bed,

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
The bed be blest that I lie on.

[Pg 87]

And another old woman taught her neighbour this charm, when the butter would not churn,

Come butter, come,
Come butter, come:
Peter stands at the gate
Waiting for a butter’d cake,
Come butter, come.

XVIII.—The Ghost of Mrs. Breton.

Dr. Breton, late rector of Ludgate, at Deptford, lived formerly in Herefordshire, and married the daughter of Dr. Santer. This gentlewoman was a person of extraordinary piety, which she expressed, as in her life, so at her death. She had a maid that she had a great kindness for; who was married to a near neighbour, whose name, as I remember, was Alice. Not long after her death, as Alice was rocking her child in the evening, she was called from the craddle by one knocking at the door, which being opened, she was surprised at the sight of a gentlewoman, not to be distinguished from her late mistress, neither in person or in habit. She was in a morning gown, the same in appearance with that she had often seen her mistress wear. At first sight she expressed very great amazement, and said, “Were not my mistress dead, I should not question but you are she.” She replied, “I am the same that was your mistress;” and took her by the hand, which Alice affirmed was cold as stone.

She added, “That she had business of great importance to employ her in, and that she must go immediately a little way with her.” Alice trembled and beseeched her to excuse her, and entreated her very importunately to go to her master, who must needs be more fit to be employed. She answered,[Pg 88] “That he who was her husband, was not at all concerned; but yet she had a desire rather to make use of him, and in order thereunto had several times been in his chamber, but he was still asleep; nor had she power to do more than once uncover his feet towards the awakening of him.” And the doctor said, “That he did hear a walking in his chamber in the night, which till now, he could give no account of.” Alice next objected, “That her husband was gone a journey, and she had no one to look to her child; that it was very apt to cry vehemently, and she feared if it awakened before her return, it would cry itself to death, or do itself mischief.” The apparition replied, “The child shall sleep till you return.”

Alice seeing there was no avoiding it, sorely against her will, followed her over a stile into a large field, who then said to her, “Observe how much of this field I measure with my feet.” And when she had taken a good large and leisurely compass, she said, “All this belongs to the poor, it being gotten from them by wrongful means,” and charged her to go and tell her brother, whose it was at that time, that he should give it up to the poor again, forthwith, as he loved her and his deceased mother. This brother was not the person who did this unjust act, but his father. She added, “That she was the more concerned, because her name was made use of at some writing that related to this land.” Alice asked her, how she should satisfy her brother that this was no cheat or delusion of her fancy. She replied, “Tell him this secret which he knows, that only himself and I are privy to, and he will believe you.” Alice having promised to her to go on this errand, she proceeded to give her good advice, and entertained her all the rest of the night with heavenly and divine[Pg 89] discourse. When the twilight appeared, they heard the noise of horse-bells, whereupon the apparition said, “Alice, I must be seen by none but yourself;” and so she disappeared.—Immediately Alice in all haste runs home, being thoughtful for her child, but found it, as the apparition had said, asleep as she left it. When she had dressed it, and committed it to the care of a neighbour, away she went to her master the doctor, who amused at the account she gave him, sent her to his brother-in-law. He at first hearing her story and message, laughed at it heartily. But she had no sooner told him the secret, but he changed his countenance, and told her, he would give the poor their own, and accordingly he did it, and they now enjoy it.—This with more circumstances, many times has been related by Dr. Breton himself, who was well known to be a person of great goodness and sincerity. He gave a large narrative of this apparition of his wife to two of my friends, saith my author. First, to one Mrs. Nedham, and afterwards, a little before his death, to Dr. Witchcot.

XIX.—Touching an Apothecary’s Servant that returned to the Shop after he had been dead.

This is a known passage, which happened in the year 1669, at Crossen in Silesia; that is a part in Germany, which long since was under the Polonians, but is now subject to the crown of Bohemia; the chief magistrate of that town at the time, was the princess Elizabeth Chalotta, a person famous in her generation. In the spring of the aforesaid year, one Christopher Monig, a native of Serbell, a town belonging to the princess of Anhalt, servant to an apothecary, died and was buried with the usual[Pg 90] ceremonies of the Lutheran Church. A few days after his decease, a shape exactly like him in face, clothes, stature, mien, &c. appeared in the apothecary’s shop, where he would set himself down, and walk sometimes, and take boxes, pots, and glasses from the shelves, and set them again in other places, and sometimes try and examine the goodness of the medicines, weigh them in a pair of scales, pound the drugs with a mighty noise in the mortar: nay, serve the people that came with their bills to the shop, take their money, and lay it safe up in the counter; in a word, do all things that a journey-man in such cases used to do. He looked very ghostly upon these that had been his fellow servants, who were afraid to say any thing to him; and his master being sick at that time of the gout, he was often very troublesome to him, would take the bills that were brought to him out of his hand, snatch away the candle sometimes, and put it behind the stove. At last, he took a cloak that hung in the shop, put it on, and walked abroad, but minding no body on the streets; he entered into some of the citizens houses, and thrust himself into their company, especially of such as he had formerly known, yet saluted no body, nor spoke to any one, but to a maid servant whom he met with hard by the church-yard, and desired her to go home to his master’s house and dig in a ground chamber, where she would find inestimable treasure; but the maid, amazed at the sight of him, swooned; whereupon he lift her up, but left such a mark upon her flesh with lifting her, that it was to be seen for some time after; the maid having recovered herself, went home, but fell desperately sick upon it, and in her sickness, discovered what Monig had said to her,[Pg 91] and accordingly they digged in the place she had named, but found nothing but one old decayed pot with an Hemarites, or blood-stone, in it. The princess hereupon caused the young man’s body to be digged up, which they found putrified, with purulent matter flowing from it: and the master being advised to remove the young man’s goods, linens, clothes, and things he left behind him when he died, out of the house, the spirit thereupon left the house, and was seen no more. And this some people now living will give their oath upon, who very well remember they saw him after his decease; and the thing being so notorious, there was instituted a public disputation about it in the academy of Leipsic, by Henry Couradus, who disputed for his doctor’s degree in the university. And this puts me in mind of an apothecary at Reichenback in Silesia, about fifteen years ago, who after his death, appeared to divers of his acquaintance, and cried out, That in his life time he had poisoned several men with his drugs; whereupon the magistrates of the town took up his body and burnt it; which being done, the spirit disappeared, and was seen no more.

XX.—A wonderful Story of one Robert Churchman, inveigled in Quakerism, written by Dr. John Templar.

Sir, your desiring to be acquainted with some passages concerning the Quakers in this town of Balsham, obligeth me to give you the following account: At my first settlement here in the ministry, I found them very busy in enticing my people to a compliance with their persuasions in religion; this design they did attempt to accomplish by dispersing their papers among them. Two of my parishioners[Pg 92] I had a particular eye upon, namely, Robert Churchman and his wife, they being persons of a very good life, and a pleasant estate, I was under a fear, that their departure from the church might be a means to induce others to the same practice. The first in my discourses I had with him, did manifest a very strong inclination to the principles of the Quakers. The second was so far engaged, (meaning the said Robert’s wife) that the Quakers did commonly report, that a principle was begun in her.

As I was one day in conference with the said Robert Churchman, I desired him, that when any of their books came to hand, he would do me the kindness to bring them to me, that we might read them over together, assuring him of no unwillingness in me to hearken to whatsoever should appear reasonable. What I desired, he performed not long after; when I had received the paper into my hand, before I began to read, I suggested to him, that it would be convenient, that the person who had been, the cause of his seduction should be sent for, and hear what was replied to the contents, which he willingly consented to. When the Quaker was come, one branch of our discourse, was, Whether the scripture is to be owned as a rule, which the Quaker denied, asserting, That the rule was within them. After the expence of two or three hours discourse about this and other matters, I desired Robert Churchman to take notice, that the Quakers did not own the Scriptures for their rule, which before this conference I had intimated to him, but found him unwilling to believe it.——It pleased God so far to bless what was spoken, that the next time he met his brother Thomas Churchman, he told him of what had passed at my house, and that now he was assured, that the[Pg 93] Quakers did not acknowledge the Scripture for their rule; and, for his part, he would not be of that religion, which doth disown the Scripture in that particular.——Not long after, the wife of the forementioned Quaker coming to his house to visit his wife, he met her at the door, and told her she should not come in, intimating that her visit would make division between them. After some parley, the Quaker’s wife spake to him in these words: “Thou wilt not believe except thou see a sign, and thou mayest see some such.” Within a few nights after, Robert Churchman had a violent storm upon the room where he lay, when it was very calm in all other parts of the town, and a voice within him, as he was in bed, spake to him, and bid him sing praises, telling him, That he should see the New Jerusalem, about which time a glimmering light appeared all about the room. Towards the morning, the voice commanded him to go out of his bed naked, with his wife and children. They all standing upon the floor, the spirit making use of his tongue, bid them to be down, and put their mouths in the dust; which they did accordingly. It likewise commanded him to go and call his brother and sister, that they might see the New Jerusalem, to whom he went naked about half a mile. When he delivered his message, that which spake within him charged him to denounce wrath against them, and declare that fire and brimstone would fall upon them, as it did upon Sodom and Gomorrah, if they did not obey, and so he returned into his own house, where upon the floor of a low room, he stood naked three or four hours. All that while he was acted in a very unusual manner. Sometimes the spirit within forced him to sing, sometimes to bark like a dog. When his brother and sister followed him,[Pg 94] and were very importunate with him to resist it, it bid him kill them, making use of these words, “These mine enemies which would not that I should reign over them, bring and slay before my face.” It made him to utter with great readiness many places of Scripture which he had no knowledge of before. The drift of what was spoken, was to persuade him to comply with the Quakers, and it named some who lived in the neighbouring towns. About three or four hours being thus spent, he came to himself, and was able to give a perfect account of what had befallen him.——Several nights after, the same trouble returned upon him. His wife was tortured with extraordinary pains. The children which lay in the room complained, that their mouths were stopped with wool as they were in bed. The disturbance was so great, that they had thoughts of leaving his house for a time, and made it his desire to be at me, in mine. I prevailed with him, not to be so sudden in his removal, but to make some further trial. It pleased God, upon a continuance with him in prayer every day in the house, that he was at last perfectly free from all molestation. The Quakers hearing of his condition, gave it out, that the power of God would come upon him again, and that the wound was but skinned over by the priest, which made me the more importunate with him to keep close to the public service of God, and have nothing to do with them or their writings.——Which direction he observed till November 1661, and perusing one of their books, a little after, on the 10th of that month his trouble returned. A voice within him began to speak after the former manner. The first sentence it uttered was, “Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted?”[Pg 95] The design which he discerned that it did aim at, was this, To take him off from coming to the church (where he had been that day) and from hearing the word of God. It suggested several other Scriptures, in order to the persuading him to a compliance with the Quakers, and told him, “That it would strive with him as the angel did with Jacob.” Upon Wednesday at night, he was peremptory in his resisting of it. When it began to solicit him, he replied, “That he saw it was a spirit of delusion, which he would not obey.” Upon which the spirit pronounced these words, “Go ye cursed into everlasting fire;” and so left him with a very great heat in his body.

After this he was, in his own apprehension, in a very comfortable condition; and while he was considering what had happened, a voice within him spake to him, saying, That the spirit that was before upon him, was a spirit of delusion, but now the true Spirit of God was come unto him. Now Satan is turned into an angel of light. It acquainted him that the doctrine of the Trinity was true; and that God had an elect people; and that those whom the Father had elected, the Son had redeemed; and whom Christ redeemed, the Holy Ghost sanctifieth. And told him, “That the minister of the town would further instruct him about the truth of these things. Upon Thursday morning, about break of day, it set him upon his knees, as he was in bed, and bid him farewell.——The same day it came upon him in the fields, as he was going to and coming from the market, and pressed upon him to believe that it was the good spirit which he was acted with, which he still doubted of. One night that week, among many arguments, which it used to that purpose, it told him, “If he would not believe without a sign,[Pg 96] he might have what he would.” Upon that Robert Churchman desired, “If it was a good spirit, that a wire candlestick which stood upon the cupboard, might be turned into brass,” which the spirit said he would do. Presently there was a very unsavoury smell in the room, like that of the snuff of a candle newly put out; but nothing else was done towards the fulfilling of the promise.——Upon the Lord’s day following, he being at church, it came upon him. When the chapters were named, he turned to them in his Bible, but was not able to read. When the psalms were sung, he could not pronounce a syllable. Upon Monday morning, his speech was wholly taken from him. When I came to him, and asked him how it was with him? He moved his head towards me, but was not able to speak. I waited an hour or two in the room, hoping that his speech might have returned unto him, and that I might have gained from him some account of his condition. But finding no alteration, I desired those who were present to join with me in prayer. As we were praying, his body with much violence was thrown out of the bed, and then with great vehemency he called me to hold my tongue. When prayer was done his tongue was bound as before, till at last he brake forth into these words, “Thine is the kingdom, thine is the kingdom,” which he repeated above a hundred times. Sometimes he was forced into extreme laughter, sometimes into singing. His hands were usually employed in beating his breast. All of us (there present) who stood by, could discern unusual heaving in his body. The distemper did continue towards the morning of the next day; and the voice within him signifying to him, it would leave him, bidding him to get upon his knees, in order to[Pg 97] that end, which he did, and presently he had a perfect command of himself.—When I came to him, he gave me a sober account of all the passages of the day before, having a distinct remembrance of what the spirit forced him to do, and what was spoken to him by those who stood by. In particular, he told me he was compelled to give me that disturbance in prayer, which before I mentioned, the spirit using his limbs and tongue as it pleased, contrary to the inclination of his own thought and mind.—Upon the Thursday following the spirit began to rage after its former manner, as I was praying with him. It was very discernable how it wrought upon his body, forced him to grate his teeth, and draw his mouth awry. He told me, after I had done, that it bid him denounce woe against me. It pleased God, upon continuance in prayer with me, to release him out of his trouble, and so far make it advantageous to him and his wife, and some others who were so much biassed with the principles of the Quakers, that now they have a perfect dislike of that way, and do diligently attend upon the public service of God, in the parish church.—Sir, you may be confident of the truth of what is here related by your friend.

Basham, Jan. 1, 1682.

John Templar.

XXI.—Touching Isabel Heriot.

This woman was born at Peaston, in the parish of Ormiston, and was for several years a very useful servant to the minister there, for all manner of out-house work. She was of a low stature, small and slender of body, of a black complexion, her head stood somewhat awry upon her neck; she was of a drolling and jeering humour, and would have spoken to persons of honour with great confidence.

[Pg 98]

After several years service, the minister began to dislike her, especially upon account of her not profiting in the knowledge of God, she having so much opportunity and occasion to know and learn; therefore she was put away, and went to other service for a long time; after which she returned to Ormiston town, and was sometimes haunting the minister’s house, but without his knowledge. She took sickness about the beginning of winter 1680; and about the time of her death, her face became extremely black. Within three or four nights after she was buried, one Isabel Murray, relict of William Craig the kirk officer, saw her apparition about twelve o’clock at night, and her white robes upon her, such as she was put into her coffin with, walking from the chapel toward the minister’s louping-on stone, where, according to her custom when she was alive, she halted a little while with her elbow leaning upon it. After this, she observed her to walk in at the minister’s back-yard towards the stable. We have only the bare testimony of this one woman for it. Within some few nights after, there was a throwing of stones over the minister’s house, and some thrown at the hall-door and windows. The stones were found in the close next morning, when they lighted; they fell softly for the most part. The minister coming in one night (against whom the devil’s malice chiefly was) at the back-door, and shutting it after him, had a great stone cast after him, which hit the door very smartly, and left a mark and impression behind it; this she did, or rather the devil, in imitation of a prank she had played while alive, for the minister having caused the other servants thrust her out at the same door, she threw a great stone at it with violence out of wrath and anger. The foresaid[Pg 99] Isabel Murray coming out of the minister’s house one night, or going into it, was hit very sharply with a stone upon her back. The servant-man that keeped the horses, after he had been at his devotion, and was going into his bed in the stable, was by somewhat gripped by the heel, to his great amazement; he giving a great and loud cry, the mistress of the family and others came into the stable, and found the lad under a great affrightment: this night several clods and stones were thrown, but no person touched. One thing was remarkable, that an old horse comb, which had been wanting for several years, was thrown at the lad’s bed-stead with great violence, yet wronged nobody. The horses would have been found the next morning standing and lying disorderly, and sometimes all in a great sweat.——While the servant-man had been dressing the garden, he hath found several stones thrown at him, but was never touched, save by one, which hit him very favourably; the house was sometimes troubled within with some small noise and din.—One time there was a burning coal thrown under one of the beds. One of the family upon a night, had his night-cap taken of his head in the bed, and found the next morning full of cinders and ashes, lying under the chimney. If the devil could have done more, surely he would have done it. This is the most part of the trouble which the family met with, which continued for eight or nine weeks, not every night, but now and then; during which time, frequent and fervent prayers were sent up to God by those of the family, and others out of it, which wanted not success. There was much talking of this ghost, and things spoken rashly, and some out of malice did invent lies and untruths. One jeering, said, “Now let the minister[Pg 100] and his brethren, with all their prayers, drive away the devil.” It is very remarkable, after that time, that there was no more trouble found about the family.—For what follows, we have only the simple word of the foresaid Isabel Murray, who, coming home from the church between the sermons, to the town of Ormiston, to visit her house and kail-yard, for fear of vagrant cows coming over the dyke, and going down her yard, she saw in the minister’s yard, being next adjacent, the apparition of Isabel Heriot, in that very habit she was laid in the coffin with. Never was an egg liker to another, than this apparition was like her face, her stature, her motion, her tongue, and behaviour. As like was the devil to her, as Apollo was to old Butes, whom Virgil excellently describes in the ninth book of his Eneids, bringing him down from heaven to wait upon Ascanius.

Ascantiumque petit, forma tum vertiture oris
Antiquum in Butten—Ibut Apollo
Omnia longacvo similes, vocemque coloremque
Etrorines albos et saeva sonantibus arma.

Apollo went, and from the heaven descends,
And in old Butes’ form, to Ascanius bends.
In all points, like the old man still he went,
Whom then to wait on’s son, Æneas, sent;
Such his white hair, complexion, and his voice,
And dreadful arms, rattling with mighty noise.

Her face, said the woman, was black like the mouting foot, (one of her own expressions) the very colour which her face had when she died. She saw her walking under the fruit-trees, and over the beds where the seeds had been sown, bowing her body downward, as if she had been seeking somewhat off the ground, saying to herself, “A stane, a stane;” for so she pronounced the words; for she had gathered[Pg 101] a considerable number of small stones in her lap, which the woman saw her throw down at a bush root, near to the foot of the yard. Some may apprehend that these were the stones which she frequently cast in the night-time. This woman seeing her, says, with very great confidence, “Wow! what’s thou doing here, Isabel Heriot? I charge thee, by the law thou lives on, to tell me.” See the like expression, page 16. She replies, or rather the foul fiend in her likeness, “I am even come again, because I wronged my master while I was his servant; for it was I that stealed his shekel.” This was a Jewish shekel of gold, (which, with some other things, had been stolen from him several years before,) “which I hid under the hearth stone in the kitchen, and then when I flitted, took it to the Canongate, and did offer to sell it to a French woman, who lodged where I served. She asked where I got it? I told her I found it between Leith and Edinburgh. One night,” says she, “I was riding home late from the town, and near the head of Fauside-brae, the horse stumbled, and I said, The devil raise thee; where upon the foul thief appeared presently to him, and threatened me if I would not grant to destroy my master the minister, he would throw me into a deep hole there, which I suppose is still yet remaining: or if I could not get power over my master, I should strive to destroy the schoolmaster.” It was very remarkable, that one of the minister’s servant women, had given to the schoolmaster’s servant woman some linens to make clean, among which there was a cross-cloth of strong linen, which could never be found, though diligent search was made for it, till one morning the master awakening, found it bound about his night-cap; which[Pg 102] bred admiration both to himself and his wife; no more skaith was the devil or the witches able to do him. What way this was done, or for what end, it cannot be well known; but it is probable, that they designed to strangle and destroy him in the night-time, which is their usual time of working and doing mischief. This happened about the time, I suppose, that the devil had charged Isabel Heriot to destroy this honest man; yet within two days, a young child of his, of a year old, fell sick, which was quickly pulled away by death, none knowing the cause or nature of the disease.—But I proceed. She confessed likewise, how the devil met with her a second time, at Elphinston-mill, within a quarter of a mile of Ormiston, and told what the devil did to her.—And says she, “I was coming one night from Haddington-market with horse-corn, and met with the devil at Knockhills, who bid me destroy Thomas Anderson, who was riding with me; and because I refused; he threw the horse-corn off the horse.” This Thomas Anderson was a christian man. It is well remembered yet, that she went the next morning timeously, and brought home her oats, which had lain there all night. “And moreover,” says she, “I cheated my master when I went to the market to buy oats; for I made him believe I gave more money for the boll than I did. And do not you remember, Isabel Murray, that one night, you coming out of the minister’s house, got a sore knock on the back with a stone? It was I, but it was not for your own sake, but for your goodman’s sake, William Craig, who threw me one day into the Jawhole, and abused me.” She told this woman likewise, that she would fain have spoken with her master. After this conference, the woman began to be afraid, and[Pg 103] came running home in haste.—During all this time, there was no person in the family that met with any hurt or skaith, or saw any thing, such, was the Lord’s kindness to them all. One Isabel Elliot a witch, confessed to the minister, that many nights his house and yard would have been beset with witches. The same woman asked the devil one time, Why they could not get amends of him? He told her, he was locked up.—This woman, Isabel Heriot, was never reputed a witch, nor delated by any for witchcraft; some jeeringly would have called her so. She was indeed ignorant of religion, notwithstanding of the many excellent opportunities she had for gaining knowledge. Next her riding and travelling from far places in the country, in the night as well as in the day time, and coming home late without fear, and her stunkard ill nature bred suspicion. If she had confessed a compact with the devil, before her death, it might have been a good ground; but this trouble happening to the family immediately after her death, and her apparition being seen, gave all occasion to say she was a witch. But these things do not infallible conclude. But what could her apparition be? It behoved to be either her real body, informed and acted by the devil, (for her soul could not be brought back) or only the devil taking upon him her shape and form, acting and imitating her to the life; which is more probable.

I have adventured to publish this without his knowledge, presuming so much upon his goodness, love of truth, and useful instruction to the world, though I should displease his own humour, whilst haply I may, upon this mature consideration, gratify some more noble principle in him. For I know nothing in the thing that can turn to his dishonour;[Pg 104] for the best of men and families have suffered from the devil in extraordinary ways, and it has been their glory, that by their faith and courage, and confidence in the arm of God, they have overcome him. If I have erred in some circumstances, or in any other thing, I am to be excused, since I was not an eye-witness. And what I have written anent the apparition, was most part from the woman’s own mouth.

XXII.—Anent a Magician at Antwerp.

Mr. Tindal, the first translator of the Bible into English after the Reformation, being at Antwerp, whilst the persecution was hot in England against the truth, he was told by some English merchant there, of a notable magician in that place, whose use was at feasts, or when they used to meet at supper, to bring to the table whatever wines or delicious fruit the company would desire, and set presently before them, with other amazing proofs of the power of the devil. Mr. Tindal perceiving what a snare this might be to some, desired that when they met together with him, he might be present without being known what he was. After they were met and at table, this wretched magician, after this manner, began to try his black art, but it would not do with him; for whilst he had wearied himself in observing his spells, charms, and incantations, and what the farthest that hellish skill and power could do to satisfy the company, he was at last enforced to this confession before them all, which he spake with great wrath and anger, “That there was one in the company that hindered his work, by reason of whom he could get nothing done at that time.”—I may add to this a strange providence of God.—Mr. John[Pg 105] Craig, that was a minister to King James here in Scotland, being, when he was a young man, apprehended at Rome, for venting heresy, as they called it, was shut up in prison. In the mean time Paul the IV. dies. The banditti that night broke up all the prison doors, and set at liberty all the prisoners. Mr. John Craig escapes with an intention to go to Bononia. But fearing hurt there, he set his mind toward Milan. When he had travelled some days, declining the highways out of fear, he came into a forest, a wild and desert place, and being sore wearied, lay down among some bushes, at the side of a little river, to refresh himself. He lay there pensive and full of thought; for neither knew he in what place he was, nor had he means to carry him out of the way. In the mean time there came a dog fawning upon him, with a purse in his teeth with money, and lays it down before him; he, strucken with fear, rises up; but construing the same to proceed from God’s favourable providence, he accepted of it, and held on his way till he came to Vienna in Austria.

XXIII.—Anent a great Doctor of Divinity that rose out of the Bier, and spake to all that were present.

It is written in the life of one Bruno, that a doctor of great note for learning and godliness, being dead, was brought to the church to be buried; and while they were in their popish devotions, and came to these words, Responde de mihi, the corps arose in the bier, and with an extremely terrible voice cried out, Justo Die judicio accusatus sum, “I am accused at the just judgement of God.” At which voice the people ran all out affrighted. On the morrow, when they came again to perform the obsequies,[Pg 106] to the like words as before, the corpse arose again, and cried with a hideous voice, Justo Die condemnatus sum. “I am judged at the righteous judgement of God.” Whereupon the people ran away amazed. The third day almost all the city came together; and when they came to the same words as before, the corps rose again, and cried with a more doleful noise than before, Justo Dei judicio condemnatus sum. “I am condemned at the righteous judgment of God.” The consideration whereof, that a man reputed so upright, should yet by his own confession, be damned, caused Bruno and the rest of his companions to enter into the strict order of Carthusians. The author and relator makes this use of it: “If the voice of the dead man could affright them unto superstition, should not the warning of God affright unto true doctrine?”

XXIV.—Some drunkards destroyed by the devil.

This hath been published in a sermon by a godly minister; but I must insert it here in its own proper place. On the 8th of February, saith my author, in the year 1578, a company of drunkards, whose names are recorded as followeth, Adam Gibbons, George Keepel, John Keysel, Peter Horsdroff, John Warner, Simon Heamkers, Jacob Hermons, and Hermon Frow. These eight drunkards, in contempt of the blessed sabbath, agreed to go to the tavern on the Lord’s day to be merry; and coming to the house of Anthony Hodge, an honest godly man, they called for burnt wine, sack, claret, and what not. The good man refusing to give them any, advised them to go to the church to hear the word of God; but they all, save Adam Gibbons, refused, saying they loathed that exercise. Whereupon[Pg 107] the host departed; who being gone to church, they began to curse and ban, wishing he might break his neck ere he returned; and wishing the devil might break their own necks, if they went from hence till they had some wine.

Whereupon the devil, in the likeness of a youngman, appeared unto them, bringing in his hand a flagon of wine, and so drank unto them, saying, “Good fellows be merry, you shall have wine enough; you seem to be lusty lads, and I hope you will pay me well; who answering said, “They would either pay him or engage their neck for it. Yea, rather than fail, their bodies and souls.” Thus these men continued drinking and swilling so long, till they could hardly see one another. At last the devil, their host, told them, that now they must pay for all, at which their hearts waxed cold. But the devil bid them be of good cheer, for now they must drink fire and brimstone with him in the pit of hell for ever. At which the devil brake their necks asunder and destroyed them. Thus ended these drunkards their days; and this, by the way, may serve for a document to all drunkards for ever; and to persuade folk that the Lord has the devil for his executioner, when he pleases to execute his vengeance upon great sinners.

XXV.—Touching one William Barton, a Warlock.

About thirty years ago, more or less, there was one William Barton apprehended for witchcraft. His confession was, first, that if he had twenty sons, he would advise them to shun the lust of uncleanness. “For,” said he, “I never saw a beautiful woman, maid, or wife, but I coveted them, which was the only cause that brought me to be the devil’s vassal. One[Pg 108] day, going from my own house in Kirkliston to the Queen’s Ferry, I overtook, in Denny Muir, a young gentlewoman, as to appearance, beautiful and comely. I drew near to her, but she shunned my company; and when I insisted, she became angry and very nice. Said I, since we are both going one way, be pleased to accept of a convoy: at last, after much entreaty, she grew better natured; and at length we came to that familiarity, that she suffered me to embrace her, and to do that which Christian ears ought not to hear of. At this time I parted with her very joyfully. The next night she appeared to him in that very same place; and after that which should not be named, he became sensible that it was the devil. Here he renounced his baptism, and gave up himself to her service, and she called him her beloved, and gave him the new name of John Baptist, and received the mark. She likewise bestowed £15 Scots in name of tocher, and so parted.—When he had gone a little way off, she calls him back, and gave him a mark piece in good and sufficient money, which she had him spend at the Ferry, and desired him to keep entire and whole the £15, which he declared was real and true money. He confessed, that they never met together but they played their pranks. After this confession, he begged liberty to sleep a little, which the judges granted to him. When he had sleeped a short time, he awakened with a great laughter. The judges enquired the reason; he replied, being seriously urged, That the devil had come to him, and rebuked him with anger, and threatened him most furiously that he confessed, and bade him deny all, for he should be his warrant.——After this he turned obdured, and would never, to his dying hour, acknowledge[Pg 109] any thing, for the devil had persuaded him, even from his first engaging, That no man should take his life; which promise he firmly believed to the very last. When they told him in the prison-house, that the fire was built, and the stake was up, and the executioner coming to bring him forth, he answered, he cared not for that; for, said he, “I shall not die this day.” But the executioner got presently orders to lead him forth; and he stepping in at the prison door, was in an instant shot to death, as they say, and never stirred again. In this strait, they appointed the executioner’s wife to strangle him, which she did willingly, a reward being promised to her. When the warlock heard this, that a woman was to put him to death, “O,” says he, “how hath the devil deceived me? Let none ever trust his promises.” All this was done at Kirkliston, before famous witnesses. The executioner’s name was Andrew Martin, and his wife’s name Margaret Hamilton, who, when her husband died, clapped her hands, and cried often, “Dool, for his parting, my dear Andrew Martin.” This Barton’s wife had been likewise taken with him, who declared, that she never knew him to be a warlock before; and he likewise declared, that he never knew her to have been a witch before. She confessed that malice against one of her neighbours moved her to engage in the devil’s service. She renounced her baptism, and did prostrate her body to the foul spirit, and received his mark, and got a new name from him; and was called Margaratus. She was asked, if ever she had any pleasure in his company? “Never much,” says she, “but one night going a dancing upon Pentlandhills, he went before us in the likeness of a rough tanny dog, playing on a pair of pipes; the spring[Pg 110] he played, says she, was, “The silly bit kitchen gar cast it a pickle, and it will grow meikle. And coming down the hill, when we had done, which was the best sport, he carried the candle in his bottom, under his tail, which played ay wig wag, wig-wag.” She was burned with her husband.

There is one thing remarkable in the story, that he bestowed so much money upon the warlock, which proved good and sufficient coin. ’Tis seldom he is so liberal. But surely he would be more liberal, if the Lord would suffer him to steal, or make use of treasures lying hid in the ground, or in the bottom of the sea. If this liberty were granted, he might deceive the most part of men and women in the world with his gifts. The next relation shall be in confirmation of this.

XXVI.—A wonderful and strange accident which fell out at Lyons in France.

A Lieutenant of a guard, called Jaquette, having supped one night in a rich merchant’s house, was passing home, and by the way, said, “I wonder what I have eaten and drunken at the merchant’s house: for I find myself so hot, that if I met with the devil’s dame this night, I could not forbear using of her.” Hereupon, a little after, he overtook a gentlewoman masked, whom he would needs usher home to her lodging, but discharged all his company except two. She brought him, to his apprehension, to a low house hard by the city wall, where there were only two rooms. After he had enjoyed her, he desired her, that, according to the custom of French Gentlemen, his two comrades might partake of the same pleasure; so she admitted them one after another. And when all was[Pg 111] done, as they sat together, she told them, “If they knew well who she was, none of them would have ventured upon her.” Thereupon she whistled three times, and all evanished. The next morning the two comrades that had gone with Lieutenant Jaquette were found dead under the city wall, among the ordure and excrements, and Jaquette himself a little way off half dead; who was taken up, and coming to himself again, confessed all this, and presently died. This may verify the preceding relation.

XXVII.—A Marvellous Prank played by the Devil at Hamelen, a Town in Germany.

This city was annoyed with rats and mice. It happened that a pied-coated piper came thither, who covenanted with the chief burghers for such a reward, if he could free them from the said vermin; nor would he demand it for a twelvemonth and a day after. The agreement being made, he began to play on the pipes, and all the rats and mice followed him to a great loch hard by, where they all perished; so that the town was infested no more. At the end of the year, the piper returned for his reward, the burghers put him off with slighting and neglect, offering him some small matter, which he refused. And staying some days in town, on a Sunday morning, at high mass, when most people were at church, he fell to play his pipes, and their children up and down followed him out of the town, to a great hill not far off, which rent in two, and let him and the children in, and so closed up again. This happened about two hundred and fifty years since. And in that town, they date their bills and bonds, and other instruments in law to this day, from the year of the going out of their children; besides, there is a great[Pg 112] pillar of stone, erected at the foot of the said hill, where this story is engraven.

XXVIII.—A relation of the strange Witchcraft discovered in the village of Monra in Swedeland.

The news of this witchcraft coming to the king’s ear, his Majesty was pleased to appoint commissioners, some of the clergy, and some of the laity, to make a journey to the town aforesaid, and to examine the whole business; and accordingly the examination was ordered to be on the 13th of August; and the commissioners met on the 12th instant, in the said village, at the parson’s house, to whom both the minister and several people of fashion, complained with tears in their eyes, of the miserable condition they were in; and therefore begged of them to think of some way, whereby they might be delivered from that calamity. They gave the commissioners very strange instances of the devil’s tyranny among them; how by the help of witches, he had drawn some hundreds of children to him, and made them subject to his power; how he hath been seen to go in a visible shape through the country, and appeared daily to the people; how he had wrought upon the poorer sort, by presenting them with meat and drink, and this way allured them to himself, with other circumstances to be mentioned hereafter. The inhabitants of the village added, with great lamentations, That though their children had told all, and themselves had sought God very earnestly by prayer, yet they were carried away by him. And therefore begged of the lords commissioners to root out this hellish crew, that they might regain their former rest and quietness; and the rather because the children, which used to be[Pg 113] carried away in the country or district of Elsdale, since some witches had been burnt there, remained unmolested.—That day, i. e. the 13th of August, being the last humiliation day instituted by authority for the removing of this judgment, the commissioners went to church, where there appeared a considerable assembly both of young and old. The children could read most of them, and sing psalms, and so could the women, though not with any great zeal and fervour. There were preached two sermons that day, in which the miserable case of those people that suffered themselves to be deluded by the devil, was laid open; and these sermons were at last concluded with very fervent prayers.—The public worship being over, all the people of the town were called together in the parson’s house, near three thousand of them. Silence being commanded, the king’s commission was read publicly in the hearing of them all, and they were charged, under very great penalties, to conceal nothing of what they knew, and to say nothing but truth; those especially who were guilty, that the children might be delivered from the clutches of the devil. They all promised obedience; the guilty feignedly, but the guiltless weeping and crying bitterly.

On the 14th of August, the commissioners met again, consulting how they might withstand this dangerous flood. After long deliberation, an order also coming from his Majesty, they resolved to execute such as the matter of fact could be proven upon. Examination being made, there were no less than threescore and ten in the village aforesaid, three-and-twenty of which confessing their crimes, were condemned to die; one pretending she was with child, and the rest denying and pleading not guilty,[Pg 114] were sent to Fahluna, where most of them were afterwards executed.—Fifteen children, who likewise confessed that they were engaged in this witchery, died as the rest; thirty-six of them between 9 and 16 years of age, who had been less guilty, were forced to run the gantlop. Twenty more, who had no great inclination, yet had been seduced to those hellish enterprizes, because they were very young, were condemned to be lashed with rods upon their hands for three Sundays together at the church door; and the aforesaid thirty-six were also doomed to be lashed this way once a-week for a whole year together. The number of the seduced children were about three hundred.—On the 25th of August, execution was done upon the notoriously guilty; the day being bright and glorious, and the sun shining, and some thousands of people being present at the spectacle. The order and method observed in the examination was thus:—First, The commissioners and neighbouring justices went to prayer; this done, the witches, who had most of them children with them, which they had either seduced, or attempted to seduce, some 7 years of age, nay, from 4 to 16 years, were set before them. Some of the children complained lamentably of the misery and mischief they were forced sometimes to suffer off the devil and the witches.—The children being asked, Whether they were sure that they were at any time carried away by the devil? They all declared they were, begging of the commissioners, that they might be freed from that intolerable slavery.—Hereupon the witches themselves were asked, Whether the confessions of these children were true? and admonished to confess the truth, that they might turn away from the devil unto the[Pg 115] living God. At first, most of them did very stiffly, and without shedding the least tear, deny it, though much against their will and inclination. After this the children were examined every one by themselves, to see whether their confession did agree or not; and the commissioners found that all of them, except some very little ones, who could not tell all the circumstances, did punctually agree in their confession of particulars.—In the mean while, the commissioners that were of the clergy, examined the witches, but could not bring them to any confession, all continuing stedfast in their denials, till at last some of them burst out into tears, and their confession agreed with what the children said; and they expressed their abhorrence of the fact, and begged pardon. Adding, that the devil, whom they called Locyta, had stopped the mouths of some of them, so loath was he to part with his prey, and had stopped the ears of others. And being now gone from them, they could no longer conceal it; for they had now perceived his treachery.—The confession which the witches made in Elsdale to the judges there, agreed with the confession they made at Monra; and the chief things they confessed consisted in these three points; First, Whither they used to go. Secondly, What kind of place it was they went to, called by them Blockula, where there the witches and the devil used to meet. Thirdly, What evil and mischief they had either done, or designed there.—First, Of their journey to Blockula. The contents of their confession.——We of the province of Elsdale, do confess, that we used to go to a gravel-pit, which lies hard by a cross-way, and there we put on a vest over our heads, and then danced round, and after this ran[Pg 116] to the cross-way, and called the devil thrice, first with a still voice, the second time somewhat louder, and the third time very loud with these words, “Antecessor, come and carry us to Blockula.” Whereupon immediately he used to appear, but in different habits; but for the most part, we saw him in a grey coat and red and blue stockings. He had a red beard, a high crowned hat, with linen of divers colours wrapt about it, and long garters upon his stockings. It is very remarkable, that the devil never appears to the witches with a sword at his side. Then he asked us, Whether we would serve him with soul and body? If we were content to do so, he set us on a beast which he hath there ready, and carried us over churches and high walls; and after all, we came to a green meadow where Blockula lies. We must procure some scrapings of altars, and filings of church clocks, and then he gave us a horn, with salve in it, wherewith we do anoint ourselves, and a saddle, with a hammer, and a wooden nail, thereby to fix the saddle; whereupon we call upon the devil, and away we go.—Those that were of the town of Monra made in a manner the same declaration. Being asked, Whether they were sure of a real personal transportation, and whether they were awake when it was done? They all answered in the affirmative; and that the devil sometimes laid something down in the place that was very like them. But one of them confessed, that he did only take away her strength, and her body lay still upon the ground; yet sometimes he took away her body with him.—Being asked how they could go with their bodies through chimnies, and broken panes of glass? They said, That the devil did first remove all that might hinder them in their[Pg 117] flight, and so they had room enough to go.—Others were asked, How they were able to carry so many children with them? They answered, That when the children were asleep, they came into the chamber and laid hold of the children, which straightway did awake, and asked them, Whether they would go to a feast with them? To which some answered, Yes; others, No; yet they were all forced to go. They only gave the children a shirt, a coat, and doublet, which was either red or blue; and so they set them upon a beast of the devil’s providing, and then they rode away.—The children confessed the same thing; and some added, that because they had very fine clothes put upon them, they were very willing to go.—Some of the children concealed it from their parents, but others discovered it to them presently. The witches declared moreover, that till of late they had never power to carry away children, but only this year and the last; and the devil did at that time force them to it: That heretofore it was sufficient to carry but one of their children, or a stranger’s child with them, which happened seldom; but now he did plague them and whip them, if they did not procure him many children, insomuch that they had no peace nor quiet for him: And whereas that formerly one journey a week would serve their turn from their own town to the place aforesaid, now they were forced to run to other towns and places for children; and that they brought with them, some 15, some 16 children every night.—For the journey, they said, they made use of all sorts of instruments, of beasts, and of men, of spits and posts, according as they had opportunity. If they ride upon goats, and have many children with them, that all may have room, they stick a spit[Pg 118] into the backside of the goat, and then are anointed with the aforesaid ointment. What the manner of their journey is, God alone knows. This much was made out, that if the children did at any time name the names of those, either men or women, that had been with them, or had carried them away, they were again carried by force, either to Blockula or the cross-way, and there beaten, insomuch that some of them died of it; and this some of the witches confessed; and added, that now they were exceedingly troubled and tortured in their minds for it. The children thus used looked mighty black, wan and beaten. The marks of the whips the judges could not perceive on them, except on one boy, who had some wounds and holes in his back, that were given him with thorns; but the witches said, they would quickly vanish.

After this usage, the children are exceeding weak; and if any be carried over night, they cannot recover themselves the next day, and they often fall into fits; the coming of which, they know by an extraordinary paleness that seizes on the children: and when a fit comes upon them, they lean upon their mother’s arms, who sits up with them, sometimes all night, and when they observe the paleness, shake the children, but to no purpose.—They observe further, that their children’s breasts grow cold at such times, and they take sometimes a burning candle, and stick it in their hair, which yet is not burned by it. They swoon upon this paleness; which swoon lasteth sometimes half an hour, sometimes an hour, sometimes two hours; and when the children come to themselves again, they mourn and lament, and groan most miserably, and beg to be eased. This the old men declared upon oath before the judges,[Pg 119] and called the inhabitants of the town to witness as persons that had most of them experience of the strange symptoms of their children.—A little girl of Elsdale confessed, that naming the name of Jesus, as she was carried away, she fell suddenly upon the ground, and got a great hole in her side, which the devil presently healed up again, and away he carried her. And to this day, the girl confessed, she had exceeding great pain in her side. Another boy confessed, too, that one day he was carried away with his mistress; and to perform the journey, he took his father’s horse out of the meadow, where it was feeding, and upon his return, she let the horse go in her own. The next morning the boy’s father sought for the horse, and not finding it, gave it over for lost; but the boy told him the whole story, and so the father fetcht the horse back again, and this one of the witches confessed.

We come next to the place where they used to assemble, called Blockula, and what they did there. They unanimously confessed, that Blockula is situated in a large meadow, like a plain sea, wherein you can see no end. The place or house they met at, had before it a great gate, painted with many divers colours on it. Through this gate they went into a little meadow distant from the other, where the beasts went which they used to ride on: But the men whom they made use of in their journey, stood in the house by the gate, in a slumbering posture, sleeping over against the wall.—In a huge large room of this house, they said, there stood a very large long table, at which the witches did sit down; and that hard by this room was another chamber, where there ere some lovely and delicate beds.—The first thing they said they must do at Blockula was, that they[Pg 120] must deny all, and devote themselves body and soul to the devil, and promise to serve him faithfully, and confirm it with an oath. Hereupon they cut their fingers, and write their name in his book. They added, That he caused them to be baptized, too, by such priests as he had there, and made them to confirm their baptism with dreadful oaths and imprecations. Hereupon the devil gave them a purse, wherein there were filings of clocks, with a big stone tied to it, which they threw into the water, and then were forced to speak these words. “As these filings of the clock do never return to the clock from which they were taken, so may my soul never return to heaven.” To which they added blasphemy, and other oaths and curses.—The mark of their cut finger is not found in all of them. But a girl who had been slashed over her finger, declared, That because she would not stretch out her finger, the devil in anger had so cruelly wounded it.—After this, they sat down to table, and those that the devil esteemed most, were placed nearest to him; but the children must stand at the door, where he himself gives them meat and drink.—The diet they used to have there, was, they said, broth with colworts and bacon in them, oat meal bread spread with butter, milk and cheese. And they added, that sometimes it tasted very well, and sometimes very ill. After meals they went to dancing; and in the mean time, swore and cursed most dreadfully; and afterwards went to fighting one with another. Those of Elsdale confessed, That the devil used to play upon a harp before them; and afterwards to go with them he loved best into a chamber, where he committed venerous acts with them. And this indeed all confessed, that he had carnal knowledge of them; and that the devil had[Pg 121] sons and daughters by them, which he did marry together, and they did couple, and brought forth toads and serpents.—One day the devil seemed to be dead, whereupon there were great lamentation at Blockula; but he soon awakened again. If he hath a mind to be merry with them, he lets them all ride upon spits before them, and he takes afterwards the spits, and beats them black and blue, and then laughs at them. And he bids them believe that the day of judgment will come speedily, and therefore sets them at work to build a great house of stone, promising, that in that house he will preserve them from God’s fury, and cause them to enjoy the greatest delights and pleasures; but while they work exceeding hard at it, there falls a greater part of the wall down again, whereby some of the witches are commonly hurt, which makes him laugh; but presently he cures them again.—They said, they had seen sometimes a very great devil like a dragon, with fire round about him, and bound with an iron chain; and the devil that converses with them tells, that if any confess any thing, he will set that great devil loose upon them, whereby all Swedeland shall come to a great danger. They added, that the devil had a church there, such another as in the town of Monra. When the commissioners were coming, he told the witches they should not fear them, for he would certainly kill them all. And they confessed, that some of them had attempted to murder the commissioners, but had not been able to effect it.—Some of the children talked much of a white angel, which used to forbid them what the devil had bid them to do; and told them, that those things should not last long; what had been done, had been but permitted, because of the sin and wickedness of the people and their parents;[Pg 122] and that the carrying away of the children should be made manifest. And they added, that this white angel would place himself sometimes at the door, betwixt the witches and the children; and that when they came to Blockula, he pulled the children back, but the witches went in.—We come, in the next place, to shew the mischief and evil which the witches promised to do to men and beasts. They confessed, that they were to promise the devil, that they would do all that’s ill; and that the devil taught them to milk, which was after this manner: They used to stick a knife in the wall, and hang a kind of label on it, which they drew and stroaked; and as long as this lasted, the persons they had power over were miserably plagued, and the beasts were milked that way, till sometimes they died.—A woman confessed, that the devil gave her a wooden knife; wherewith, going into houses, she had power to kill any thing she touched with it; yet there were few that would confess, that they had hurt any man or woman. Being asked, whether they had murdered any children? that they confessed, they had indeed tormented many, but did not know whether any of them died of these plagues.—And added, that the devil had shewed them several places where he had power to do mischief.—The minister of Elsdale declared that one night these witches were, to his thinking, on the crown of his head; and that from thence he had a long continued pain of the head.—One of the witches confessed, that the devil had sent her to torment that minister; and that she was ordered to use a nail, and strike it into his head, but it would not enter deep, and hence became that head-ach. The minister said also, that one night he felt a pain, as it were torn with an instrument that they clean flax with, or[Pg 123] a flax-comb; and when he awakened, he heard some body scratching and scraping at the window, but could see nobody; and one of the witches confessed, that she was the person that did it, being sent by the devil.—The minister of Monra declared also, that one night one of these witches came into his house, and did so violently take him by the throat, that he thought he should have been choaked; and awakening, he saw the person that did it, but could not know her; and that for some weeks he was not able to speak, or perform divine service.—An old woman of Elsdale confessed, that the devil had helped her to make a nail, which she struck into a boy’s knee, of which stroke the boy remained lame a long time. And she added, that before she was burned or executed by the hand of justice, the boy would recover.—They confessed also, that the devil gives them a beast, about the shape and bigness of a cat, which they call a carrier; and he gives them a bird, too, as big as a raven, but white: And these creatures they can send any where; and wherever they come, they take away all sorts of victuals they can get, as butter, cheese, milk, bacon, and all sorts of seeds, whatever they can find, and carry it to the witches. What the bird brings, they may keep for themselves: but what the carrier brings, they must reserve for the devil, and that is brought to Blockula, where he gives them of it as much as he thinks fit.—They added, that the carriers filled themselves so full oftentimes, that they are forced to spew by the way, which spewing is found in several gardens, where colworts grow, and not far from the houses of the witches. It is of a yellow colour like gold, and is called the butter of the witches.—The lords commissioners were indeed very earnest, and took great[Pg 124] pains to persuade them to shew some of their tricks, but to no purpose; for they did all unanimously confess, that since they had confessed all, they found that all their witchcraft was gone and the devil at this time appeared very terrible, with claws on his hands and feet, with horns on his head, and a long tail behind, and shewed them a pit burning with a hand out; but the devil did thrust the person down again with an iron fork; and suggested to the witches, that if they continued in their confession, he should deal with them in the same manner.

The above relation is taken from the public register, where all this is related with more circumstances. At this time, through all the country, there are prayers weekly in all the churches, to the end that ALMIGHTY GOD would pull down the devil’s power, and deliver those poor creatures which have hitherto groaned under it.—The lord Lyonbergh, envoy extraordinary for the king of Sweden, confirmed this at London, March 8, 1682, and gave it under his hand, that the matter of fact mentioned here is true.

XXIX.—Touching an Apparition seen at Gladsmuir, with some other Gleanings.

I find among some of my notes, written in the year 1666, that Richard Chaplain and his father George, both of them merchants in Haddington, coming home late from Edinburgh upon a Saturday night, being the 4th of November 1666, and riding off the muir at a place called the Two-mile-cross, within two miles of their own home, saw four men in grey clothes, and blue bonnets, standing round about a dead corpse, lying swaddled in a winding sheet. Their dog was so feared, that he durst not go forward, but came running back among their horses feet. The[Pg 125] one brother is yet living, a sober and christian man, who can attest this. If I have varied, it is only in some small circumstance, which doth not alter the thing itself. It is the more remarkable, because it was about twenty days before Rullian Green.

There was one Alice Duke, an English woman, that was taken anno 1664, and confessed before the judges, that after their meetings, all the witches make very low obeisance to the devil, who appeared in black clothes, and a little band. He bids them welcome at their coming, and brings them wine, beer, cakes, and meal, or the like. He sits at the higher end, and usually Anne Bishop sits next him; they eat, drink, dance, and have music. At their parting they used to say, “Merry met, merry part.” And that before they are carried to their meetings, their foreheads are anointed with greenish oil, that they have from the devil: They for the most part, are carried in the air. As they pass, they say, “Thout, tout, a tout, tout, throughout and about.” Passing back they say, “Rentum, tormentum,” and another word which she does not remember.

I read of an old gentleman, an excellent justice of the peace in England, who did always dispute against the immortality of the soul, and its distinction from the body, and of the existence of the spirits. No reason could convince him but palpable experience. He being a bold man, did venture very far, and fearing nothing, used all magical ceremonies he could to raise the devil, or a spirit, and had a most earnest desire to meet with one, but never could do it. But while his servant was one night drawing off his boots in the hall, some invisible hand gave him such a clap upon the back, that it made the hall ring again. He immediately went to the field, to try if[Pg 126] any spirit had called him to converse with him; but found none. When neither rhyme nor reason could persuade him that there were spirits, says the gentleman that debated with him, “Well, well, do you remember the clap you received upon your back one night?” “Yes,” said he. “Assure yourself,” said the other, “that goblin will be the first that will welcome you into the other world.” Upon this his countenance changed most sensibly, and was more confounded with this than with all the philosophical or rational arguments that could have been brought against him.

There was one Julian Cox, an English woman, apprehended for witchcraft. The first that deponed against her was a huntsman, who swore, That he was going out with a pack of hounds to hunt a hare. Did start one not far from Julian Cox her house. The dogs hunted her very close, and the third ring haunted her in vie, till at last the huntsman perceiving the hare almost spent, and making towards a great bush, he ran on the other side of the bush to take her up, and preserve her from the dogs. But as soon as he laid hands on her, it proved to be Julian Cox, who had her hands grovelling on the ground, and her globs (as he exprest it) upward. He knowing her, was so frighted, that his hair in his head stood on end. She was out of breath, so that she could not speak. The dogs came up and smelt her, but did no more. The narrative, saith my author, hath the most authentic confirmation that human affairs are capable of, sense, and the sacredness of an oath.

XXX.—Anent one Spalding in Dalkeith.

About the time that the Earl of Traquair was his late Majesty’s commissioner in Scotland, it happened[Pg 127] at Dalkeith, where he resided, that one Spalding, a town’s man, killed his neighbour, one Sadler. The murderer fled, and absented himself for a year and more; yet sometimes came home in the night-time, finding that no man pursued him. After he had been wearied of this way of living, he resolved to cast himself on the commissioner’s mercy. He coming one day near to the town of Dalkeith in a coach, Spalding came in a most humble manner, and prostrate himself before him, and begged mercy. The commissioner inquired what the business was? The servants told him, he was such a man that had killed his neighbour a town’s man. Thereupon he appointed him to be conveyed to prison, where he lay for a year and more. At last an assize found him guilty, and appointed him to be hanged. When he heard his sentence, he cried out, “Oh! must I die like a dog! why was I not sentenced to lose my head?” After he came to the scaffold, and prayer was ended, he goes up the ladder, and the rope being put about his neck, he cries with a loud voice in the audience of all, “Lord (says he) let never this soul of mine depart from this body, till it be reconciled with thee.” And having said this, the executioner threw him off the ladder. When he had hung the ordinary time, sufficient to take away a man’s life, he was cut down, and his body put into a bier, and carried to the tolbooth to be woon. When they had opened the lid of the bier, the man bangs up upon his bottom, and his eyes staring in his head, and foaming at the mouth, he made a noise, and roared like a bull, striking about him with his fists, to the great consternation of all. The magistrates hearing of it, gave orders that he should be strangled better. The executioner fell to work, and putting[Pg 128] the rope about his neck, stood upon his breast and strained his neck so hard, that it was no bigger about than his wrist. And he continuing after this manner for a sufficient time, was carried to the grave, and covered with earth. Notwithstanding of all this, he made such a rumbling and tumbling in it, that the very earth was raised, and the mules were so heaved up, that they could hardly keep them down. After this, his house at the east end of the town (as I am informed) was frequented with a ghost, which made it stand empty for a long time. Whether any have dwelt in it since, I know not. This I have from a very creditable person, who, being a scholar there at that time, was an eye and ear witness, who is yet alive.

XXXI.—Of the Devil of Mascon in France.

Anno 1612, one Monsieur Perreaud, a Protestant minister there, being from his own house one night, and his wife being in bed, she was much troubled with noise and din in the house: the next night she felt somewhat that pulled the blankets from the bed, and the same night all the pewter vessels and brass candlesticks were thrown about the room. The minister coming home, was told this, who carefully searched every corner of the house before he went to bed, and secured all the doors and windows, to prevent suspicion of imposture. He was scarce well in bed, when he heard a strange noise in the kitchen, like the rolling of a great iron bullet, beating against a partition of wainscot; upon this the minister went to the room, but found nothing. The next morning he made it known to the elders of the church, and a public notary, one Francis Torneus, who sat up every night till midnight, but they heard[Pg 129] nothing till September 20; at which time, about nine o’clock at night, in the presence of all who were there, the devil began to whistle three or four times with a loud and shrill voice, (though somewhat hoarse) which seemed to be about three or four steps from them, singing a little tune of five notes, which birds are taught to whistle; and after he often repeated this word, “Minister, minister;” to which Mr. Perreaud said, “Yes, indeed I am a minister, and a servant of the living God, before whose Majesty thou tremblest.” Said the other, “I know nothing to the contrary.” “I have no need of thy testimony,” says he. This being done, he says over with a loud voice, the Lord’s prayer, the creed, the ten commandments, and the morning and evening prayers, and sings the eightieth and first Psalm. He told the minister, that his father had been poisoned, and named the man that did it. He told him, that as he came by his elder brother’s house that night, he saluted him, and asked, If he had any service to command him with to Mascon to his brother? and told, they were very kind to him, and remembered their love to the minister. It was told him afterwards by those who were present, that a fellow of strange shape came riding on a very lean horse, hanging down his head, spake to that purpose. At another time the devil began to mock God, and all religion, and said over the doxology, but skipped over the second person, and made a foul, horrible, and detestable equivocation upon the third person. He also earnestly desired them to send for Mr. Du Chaffin, the Popish priest of St. Steven’s parish, to whom he would confess himself; and withal he desired him to bring some holy water along with him; for that, said he, he will presently[Pg 130] send me a packing. That great mastiff, said he, dare not bark at me, (this was a great house-dog) because I have made the sign of the cross upon his head.—Then he fell a scoffing and jeering, and told how he did fall off the ladder into the ditch among the frogs, while the Savoys were scaling the walls of Geneva, and did most exactly imitate their croaking. At another time, he told them, with a lamentable voice, That he had a mind to make his latter will and testament, and bid the maid call for Mr. Tornus the public notary, and declared to him what legacies he would leave; and to one person he said, he would bequeath 500l.; but he answered, “I will have none of thy money, thy money perish with thee.”—At another time, while he was speaking, a man who was present rushed into the place whence the voice seemed to come, and searched it strictly, but found nothing except a small bottle, which he brought forth; at which the devil fell a laughing, and said to him, “I was told long since thou wast a fool; and I see now thou art one, indeed, to believe that I am in the bottle; I should be a greater fool myself to go into it, for so I might be catched by stopping the mouth of the bottle with one’s finger.”—At another time, the minister said to him, “Go thou cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” To whom he replied, “Thou liest, I am not cursed; I hope yet for salvation through the death and passion of Jesus Christ.”

The devil threatened the minister, that he would pull him out of his bed by his feet, and pull the blankets off him. He answered, “I will lay me down and sleep, for the Lord only maketh me to dwell in safety; thou canst have no power over me, but what is given thee from above. Whereupon he[Pg 131] said, “It is well for thee, it is good for thee.” And at last he confessed, that he could not prevail against the family, because they did too much call on the name of God. And indeed it was observed, that as often as they kneeled down to prayer, the devil left talking, and often said, “While you are at your prayers, I’ll go and take a turn in the street. But no sooner was prayer ended, but he began as before, which course he continued till the 25th of November; at which time he spake these last words, “Alas, alas, I shall speak no more.”—The minister told Mr. Du Moulin, that a grave divine once coming to his house, and hearing the devil speak profanely, rebuked him sharply for it. Whereupon the devil answered, “Minister, you are holy and zealous in this company, but you were not so when you were singing such a bawdy song in such a tavern.” And having said this; he sung the same bawdy song over before them all. The divine said, “It is true, Satan, I have been licentious in my younger years, yet God of his mercy hath given me repentance and pardon for it; but for thy part, thou art hardened in sin, and shall never get repentance nor pardon.” On this the devil said, “O poor Hugonets, (those of the reformed religion) you shall suffer much within a few years. O what mischief is intended against you!”

A popish officer that belonged to a court of justice, being a lawyer, came out of curiosity to the minister’s house, to ask some questions concerning many matters. The minister forbade him, but he would not forbear. And after the devil had resolved him many things, anent absent friends, private business, news, and state affairs, and questions in law, he says to him, “Now, Sir, I have told you[Pg 132] all you demanded; I must tell you next what you demanded not, that at this very same time such a man (whom he named) is taking a word of your wife at home.” And then he discovered many secrets and foul practices of the lawyer. And at last says, “Now, Sir, let me correct you for being so bold as to question with the devil: you should have taken the minister’s counsel.” Then upon a sudden the whole company saw the lawyer drawn by the arm into the midst of the room, where the devil whirled him about, and gave him many turns with great swiftness, touching the ground only with his toe, and then threw him down upon the floor with great violence; and being taken up, and carried to his house, he lay sick, and was a long time distracted.—The last ten or twelve days the devil threw stones about the minister’s house continually, from morning to evening, and of so large a size, some of them being of two or three pound weight. One of those days the public notary Mr. Tornus, had a great stone thrown at him, which falling at his feet, he took it up and marked it with a coal, and threw it into the backside of the house, but presently the devil threw it at him again; when he took it up, he found it very hot, thinking it had been in hell since he handled it last. The next day, upon the 22d of December, the devil went quiet away; and to-morrow after, was seen a great viper going out of the minister’s house, which the neighbours about seized with a pair of pinchers, and carried it all over the town crying, “Here is the devil that’s come out of the minister’s house.” It was found by an apothecary to be a true natural viper, a serpent rarely seen in those countries. Compare this with the twentieth and first relation, and you will find a[Pg 133] notable proof of the wonderful kindness and mercy of God to those religious ministers and their families.

XXXII.—Anent Margaret Wilson.

This is a true narrative of what happened to her one night, while some persons were attending her: for what passed other nights I cannot relate, since I want information. They say the gentleman, her uncle, in the parish of Gallashiels, came on Sunday after sermon to the minister there, Mr. Wilkie, and told him, that the devil was at his house; “for,” said he, “there is an odd knocking about the bed where my niece lies.” Whereupon the minister went along with him, and found it so; she rising from her bed, sat down to supper, and from below there was such a knocking up, as bred fear to all present. This knocking was just under her chair, where it was not possible for any mortal to knock up. Supper being ended, they went all to prayer; and rising from her place, went and kneeled down in another place, and there also a knocking was heard below her, even during the time of prayer. When she was put to bed, many persons attending, she fell into a deep sleep; then her body was so lifted up, that many strong men were not able to keep it down. Sometimes her body would have made such a motion in the bed, as if something had been gripping her by the feet, and pulling her up and down. In the mean while, they heard a loud noise scratching upon the feather-bed, as with long nails. And likewise the minister affirms, that he heard a loud risping at her heart, such as risping irons make upon wood and timber. When she awaked, she told them of many things the devil had spoken to her, offering her gifts[Pg 134] and presents: she was hardly persuaded to pray; nay could not, even when the words were put in her mouth. The minister desired her to enter into a personal covenant with God, which he drew up; but finding one composed already to his hand, in that little treatise called the Christian’s Great Interest, he made her subscribe it. When she had done this, the devil persuaded her with many arguments to break it. This was the method the devil observed ordinarily every night, during her long trouble. That same night about twelve o’clock, the minister took her uncle out to his own garden, to take a turn or two, and began to bear upon him, the sense of this sore affliction which was upon the family; and exhorted him to reflect upon his ways, and consider if he had done any thing that had provoked the Lord against him; and particularly he charged him with one thing, whereof there was a loud report. He solemnly protested, and that with dreadful imprecations, that he was innocent of that particular which was said of him, and absolutely denied it. She confessed that she had seen the devil as in a man’s likeness; but especially once going to church, when he forbade her to go and hear sermon. After much trouble of this kind, and much noise and talking, the young woman, being but 12 years of age, came to Edinburgh, and tarried with a friend there; and from thence she went to Leith, where she served a mistress. At last she went to Easter Duddingston, it seems, and married there a husband, with whom she lived some years at Magdalen Pans, where she died. I do not hear that ever she was molested after. If all the particulars of this business were truly collected, they would amount to a far longer relation than I have set down.

[Pg 135]

XXXIII.—A short information anent Janet Douglas.

When I was at Glasgow in summer 1675, I was desirous to see the dumb girl, whom you mention in your first relation. At my first incoming, she declined to entertain discourse, but by friendly expressions, and giving her some money, I gained her. I first enquired anent her parentage. “I do not remember,” says she, “of my parents, but only that I was called by the name of Janet Douglas by all people who knew me. I was keeped when I was very young, by a poor woman that proved cruel to me, by beating and abusing me; whereupon I deserted the woman’s house, and went a begging.” I inquired next how she became dumb. She told me, by reason of a sore swelling she took in her throat and tongue; but afterwards by the application of Album Græcum, “which I thought,” said she, “was revealed to me, I recovered my speech.” “I asked her, how she came to the knowledge of witches and their practices. She answered, That she had it only by a vision, and knew all things as well as if she had been personally present with them; but had no revelation or information from the voice of any spirit; nor had she any communication with the devil, or any spirit of that kind; only,” says she, “the devil was represented to me, when he was in company with any of the witches, in that same shape and habit he was seen by them.”—She told me, she was altogether ignorant of the principles of religion, but had some smattering knowledge of the Lord’s prayer, which she had heard the witches repeat, it seems, by her vision, in presence of the devil; and at his desire, which she observed, they added to the word art, the letter w, which made it run, “Our Father which wart in heaven;” and made the third[Pg 136] petition thus, “As on earth so it may in heaven;” by which means the devil made the application of the prayer to himself.——I remember, that one day there was a woman in the town who had the curiosity to give her a visit, who asked her, How she came to the knowledge of so many things? But the young wench shifted her, by asking the woman’s name. She told her name. Says the other, “Are there any other in Glasgow of that name?” No, says the woman. Then, said the girl, “You are a witch.” Says the other, “Then you are a devil.” The girl answers, “The devil doth not reveal witches; but I know you to be one, and I know your practices too.” Hereupon the woman run away in great confusion, being indeed a person suspected of witchcraft, and had been sometimes imprisoned on that account.—Another woman, whose name was Campbell, had the curiosity likewise to come and see her, and began to ask some questions at her. The wench shifting to give her an answer, says, “I pray you tell me where you were yesternight, and what you were doing? And withall,” says she, “let me see your arm.” She refusing, the landlord laid hold upon the woman, with some others in the house, and forced her to make bare her arm, where Janet Douglas shewed them an invisible mark, which she had gotten from the devil. The poor woman, much ashamed, ran home. A little time after, she came out and told her neighbours, that what Janet Douglas said of her was true; and earnestly entreated them that they would shew so much to the magistrates, that she might be apprehended, “otherwise the devil,” says she, “will make me kill myself.” But the neighbours judging her to be under a fit of distraction, carried her home to her house; but early[Pg 137] next morning the woman was found drowned in Clyde.—The girl likewise told me at Glasgow, being then under no restraint, that it was revealed to her she would be carried before the great council at Edinburgh, imprisoned there, and scourged through the town. All which came to pass.—For about a year after, she was apprehended and imprisoned in the tolbooth of the Canongate, and was brought before the council, but nothing being found against her, she was dismissed; but thereafter, for several crimes committed within the town of Edinburgh, she was taken again, and imprisoned, scourged, and sent away to some foreign plantation; since which time I have not heard of her.——There are several other remarkable passages concerning her, which I cannot inform you of, which others perhaps may do; therefore I shall abruptly break off, and say no more, but that I am your affectionate friend. This information I have from a discreet understanding gentleman, who was one of my scholars at Glasgow several years ago.

XXXIV.—Touching Helen Elliot, burnt at Culross.

For Mr. Sinclair.

Edin. Oct. 8. 1684.

Sir, I cannot but much approve of your design in publishing “Satan’s invisible world discovered,” especially at this time, when there are so many that deny the existence of devils, spirits, and witches, and will credit nothing but what they see with their eyes. I shall inform you of three remarkable stories, which may be attested by famous witnesses, many of which are yet living.——I had the curiosity, when I was a scholar, to pass over from Borrowstounness to Culross, to see a notable witch burnt. She was carried to the place of execution in a chair by four men, by reason[Pg 138] her legs and her belly were broken, by one of the devil’s cunning tricks which he played her. This woman was watched one night in the steeple of Culross by two men, John Shank, a flesher, and one John Drummond; who being weary, went to another room, where there was a fire, to take a pipe. But to secure her, they put her feet in the stocks, and locked them as well as might be. But no sooner were they gone out of the room, but the devil came into the prison, and told her he was obliged to deliver her from the shame she was like to suffer for his sake; and accordingly took her out of the stocks, and embracing her, carried her out of the prison; at which she being terrified, made this exclamation by the way, “O God, whither art thou taking me?” At which words he let her fall, at the distance from the steeple, about the breadth of the street of Edinburgh, where she broke her legs and belly. I saw the impression and dimple of her heels, as many thousands did, which continued for six or seven years; upon which place no grass would ever grow. At last there was a stone-dike built upon the place.—My second relation shall be of some witches at Borrowstounness, which were the occasion of much inquiry after them there. Anno 1644, a certain woman in the town came about eight o’clock in the morning into her neighbour’s house, after a most furious manner, and assaulted her, by scratching her face, and pulling the hair out of her head, saying, “Thou traitor thief, thou thought to have destroyed my son this morning, but it was not in thy power.” The ship wherein the young man was a sailor, had been under a dreadful tempest off and on St. Abb’s Head, that morning; with the violence of a sea, which came in upon the deck, he was cast over board on[Pg 139] one side of the ship, and, to the admiration of all, he was cast upon deck again, upon the other side, without harm. This marvellous business being reported about eight o’clock by the mariners, when they came a-shore, and being compared with what the one woman said to the other that morning, both of them were apprehended, and, after their confession, were both burnt, many hundreds being spectators, whereof I was one.—The last, which is more remarkable, shall be anent the wife of one Goodall, a cooper in the parish of Carron. This woman was about thirty-two or thirty-three years of age, a most beautiful and comely person as was in the country about. She was often filed and delated by many who had been burnt. They told, that amongst them all, she was the person whom the devil at their meetings did most court and embrace, calling her constantly, “My dear mistress,” setting her always at his right hand, to the great discontent of his old hags, whom, as they conceived, he now slighted. She was apprehended, and committed to prison. At this time there was one James Fleming, a master of a ship there, a person of great courage, strength, and resolution, who had it insinuate to him by her, when he was exhorting her to confess, that in respect she understood he was to be upon her watch the next night, if she got no deliverance as she expected before one o’clock in the morning, she would lay her heart open to him before others. At which he being apprehensive of what might fall out, as indeed he had reason, went to his uncle, a grave and experienced person, who advised him to take all his ships company, to the number of fourteen able men, and keep watch, not forgetting the reading of scripture, and earnest prayer to God. The night was still and[Pg 140] calm, like a summer’s night, without the least appearance of change, when upon a sudden at midnight, as James Fleming himself was discoursing to her, and again, as the custom was, holding her by the hand, I say, upon a sudden, a terrible tempest, like a hurricane, came on, which took the roof from the house, to their great consternation; and a voice was heard three times, calling her by a strange name to come away; at which time she made three several leaps upward, increasing gradually, till her feet were as high as his breast. But he held her by both the arms, and (as he used to say, when he spoke of it), he be-teached himself strongly and earnestly to God, though with great amazement, his hair standing widdershins in his head. And after the third call, he prevailed against the greatest effort which ever he felt, and threw her on the ground, she grovelling and foaming like one having the falling sickness, where she fell into a profound sleep, for the space of two or three hours. When she awakened, she declaimed most bitterly against the devil’s treachery and perfidiousness, who had promised to carry her to Ireland before four o’clock in the morning, and to touch at Paisley, where she might see her sister in passing. She made a free and full confession, and delated many women, some of them of good repute, who afterwards confessed and died also. The author of this letter is a person of great honesty and sincerity. From the first relation of his, we have an evident instance, that the devil can transport the bodies of men and women through the air. ’Tis true, he did not carry her far off, but not for want of skill and power. Neither was he afraid to hear the name of God spoken; but proposing to destroy both the soul and body of the poor creature, he has pretended so much to excuse[Pg 141] himself at her hand.——The first story brings me in mind of one Creek, a witch put in prison in the steeple of Culross, to whom several years ago Mr. Alexander Colvil, justice-depute, came, a gentleman of great sagacity and knowledge as to witches. He asked if she was a witch? She denied. “Dare you hold up your hand and swear that you are not a witch!” “Yes, Sir,” said she. But behold what a remarkable judgment of God came upon her! While she was swearing, with her arm lifted up, it become as stiff as a tree, that she could not pull it in again, to the amazement of all that were present. One person yet living there was a witness, and can attest this. The gentleman, seeing the vengeance of God upon her for her wickedness, falls down presently upon his knees, and entreated the Lord on her behalf, who was graciously pleased to hear him.—Some are of opinion, that the devil cannot raise winds and storms upon the sea and land. This is evident from the last relation in the letter, which puts me in mind of a terrible tempest in the Firth, that day when Bessie Fowler was burnt at Musselburgh, in May 16. The devil promised to her, that she should not die at that time; whereupon she looking out at the prison window, spake very confidently to the folk below, “You think to see me burnt the day, but you will be deceived.” The hurricane did so prevail, that in effect every body suspected that she should not have died that day. The morning and the forenoon were very calm.

XXXV.—Anent some Prayers, Charms, and Aves, used in the Highlands.

In the time of ignorance and superstition, when the darkness of Paganism was not dispelled by the[Pg 142] gospel-light, spirits kept a more familiar converse with families; and even in the time of Popery, what was more frequent in houses than brownies, whom they employed in many services. It were unreasonable and ridiculous to rehearse all the stories which have been told of Brownies and Fairies, commonly called our good neighbours: how there was a king and queen of fairies, of such a court and train as they had; and how they had the tein and duty, as it were, of all corns, flesh and meal; how they rode, and went along the sides of hills, all in green apparel. I verily believe many have seen such spectres. But what were they? nothing but the delusion of the senses of sundry people, whom the devil made believe they did see and hear such things. Brownie was a spirit that haunted divers houses familiarly, without doing any evil, but doing necessary turns up and down the house, and frequently was found working in the barn, threshing the corn in the night-time, who appeared like a rough hairy man. Such then, was the ignorance of many, that they believed their house was all the sonsier that Brownie was about it, as King James says in his Demonology.—I will not speak of ridiculous friets, such as our meeting with a lucky or unlucky foot, when we are going about important business; these unquestionably are the devil’s lessons for the most part, and denying of God’s providence. The practice of the Heathen was to attribute good or evil luck to the slaying of birds, as Virgil says, “Sæpe sinister cava prædixit ab illice cornix.”—Whether there be any magic in the practice of some young women too curious, who, upon Hallowe’n, go to bed without speaking to any, having first eaten a cake made of soot, and dreaming they see in their sleep the man that shall be their husband,[Pg 143] I shall not determine; but it looks like a very bad practice. I heard of a woman who dipped her smock in south-running water, on that night, and hanged it up before the fire to dry. One comes in the likeness of the man who was to be her husband, and turns it, and went immediately to the bed, where she was attending the event, and kissed her. It seems she did not believe it was the devil. To speak of the second sight I cannot, till fuller information be given. I am undoubtedly informed, that men and women in the Highlands can discern fatality approaching others, by seeing them in waters, or with winding sheets about them; and that others can lecture in a sheep’s shoulder-bone a death within the parish seven or eight days before it come. It is not improbable, but that such preternatural knowledge comes first by a compact with the devil, and is derived downward by succession to their posterity; many of which I suppose are innocent, and have this sight against their will and inclination.

Charms and spells have been first taught to men and women in confederacy with the devil, many of which are received by tradition, and used by witches, and ignorant persons too. The virtue of curing must be from the devil’s active invisible application of them to such or such a disease, as the curing of an universal gout by this unintelligible charm.

“Etter sheen etter sack, et ta leur etta pachk, wiper sicaan casemitter in shi, so leish en shi corne, orn heip twa till one eurcht mach a mainshore.”

There is in some part of Galloway a charm for curing a disease called the Ling, in these words, “Catheri, Dumi, Chini, Brini.” Another there is which some use for effectuating that which others[Pg 144] do by casting three knots, “far si far, fa sar fay u, far four na forty kay u, mack straik it a pain four hung creig weil mack smeoran bun bagie.” This language cannot be interpreted.—Besides this, there are prayers and aves among the Highlanders, wherein they think there lies great virtue, as in repeating the Lord’s prayer in Latin thus:

“Paidder nuhter kish in sheali sanctishetter noman du, ta renada, ta langa tu, quidi bonum aicht in dearrich, an dingers, an dangis, a nipis a nopis, induraramis indaramis, indittimis indatamis, shechli sheclorum.    Amen.

Their AVE MARY runs thus:

“Ave Mari crashi plena du na takamis pendicata tus onte willie yeramis, penedicata rucara shendri Esum Christum.    Amen.

At night, in the time of Popery, when folks went to bed, they believed the repetition of the following prayer was effectual to preserve them from danger, and the house too.

“Who sains the house the night?
They that sains it ilka night:
Saint Bryde and her brate,
Saint Colme and his hat,
Saint Michael and his spear,
Keep this house from the weir;
From running thief;
And burning thief;
And from a’ ill Rea,
That be the gate can gae;
And from an ill wight,
That be the gate can light.
Nine reeds about the house;
Keep it all the night.
[Pg 145]
What is that, what I see
So red, so bright, beyond the sea?
’Tis he was pierc’d through the hands,
Through the feet, through the throat,
Through the tongue;
Through the liver and the lung.
Well is them that well may
Fast on Good-Friday.”

Another prayer, used by the thieves and robbers on the Borders after meat, in order to stealing from their neighbours.

“He that ordain’d us to be born,
Send us more meat for the morn,
Part of’t right and part of’t wrang:
God let us never fast owre lang.
God be thanked, and our Lady,
All is done that we have ready.”

A country-man in East Lothian used this grace always before and after meat.

“Lord be bless’d for all his gifts,
Defy the devil and all his shifts;
God sent me mair silver.    Amen.

As the devil is originally the author of charms and spells, so is he the author of several bawdy songs which are sung. A reverend minister told me, that one who was the devil’s piper, a wizzard, confessed to him, that at a ball of dancing, the foul spirit taught him a bawdy song, to sing and play, as it were this night, and ere two days passed, all the lads and lasses of the town were lilting it through the street. It were an abomination to rehearse it.

XXXVI.—Anent one Lizzie Muidy at Haddington.

This woman was a servant to Margaret Kirkwood there, a woman of good repute once, who before her[Pg 146] death, took some trouble of mind, upon what account I shall not determine. She made some insinuation, it seems, to some of her friends, that she inclined to put hand on herself; whereupon she was attended and waited upon; but had her own liberty to retire herself to private prayer; in which exercise she was very frequent. Upon a Sabbath forenoon, when all were at church and she at home, none with her save only a servant-maid, she went into some high room or other, as she was wont to do, to her devotion, and there, before the maid could know, she hanged herself. In this very moment of time, this Elizabeth Muidy, her old servant, being in church, was observed to number upon her fingers fifty, or fifty-one, which number being ended, she cries out, with a loud voice, in presence of all, “Now the turn is done.” She was presently taken away as a distracted person; and news coming to the church, that such a woman had hanged herself, her old mistress, she was taken away to prison; but what her confession was, it is not well known. There are many other things reported, whereof I cannot give an account. This tragedy was acted within these few years at Haddington.

XXXVII.—Anent Major Weir and his Sister.

This man, Thomas Weir, was born at Clydesdale, near to Lanark, who had been a lieutenant in Ireland long since. What way he came to get some public command in the city of Edinburgh, in the years 1649 and 50, I know not: but it seems he has always been called Major Weir since that time. Many things might be narrated of him, which for brevity’s sake, I cannot meddle with, since I intend only to speak of his sorceries, and[Pg 147] other things relating thereunto. It seems he had, before he was burnt, some charge over the waiters at the ports of the city, being, as it were, a check to them. Coming one day, as his custom was, he found some of them in a cellar, taking a cup of ale, neglecting their charge. After a gentle reproof, one of them replied, That some of their number being upon duty, the rest had retired to drink with their old friend Mr. Burn. At which he started back, and casting an eye upon him, repeated the word Burn four or five times: and going home, he never came abroad afterwards, till a few weeks after he had discovered his impieties. It was observed by some, that going to Liberton sometimes, he shunned to step over that water brook, which is ordinarily called Liberton-burn, but went about to shun it. Some have conjectured that he had advice to beware of a burn, or some other thing which this equivocal word might signify, as burn in a fire. If so, he has foreseen his day approaching. A year before he discovered himself, he took a sore sickness; during which time he spake to all who visited him like an angel, and came frequently abroad again.——This man taking some dreadful tortures of conscience, and the terrors of the Almighty being upon his spirit, confessed to several neighbours in his own house, and that most willingly, particular sins which he was guilty of, which bred amazement to all persons, they coming from a man of so high repute for religion and piety. He ended with this remarkable expression, “Before God, (says he) I have not told you the hundred part of what I can say more, and am guilty of.” These very same abominations he confessed before the judges likewise. But after this, he would never, till his dying[Pg 148] hour confess any more, which might have been for the glorifying of God, and the edification of others, but remained stupid, having no confidence to look any man in the face, or to open his eyes.—When two of the magistrates came to his house in the night-time to carry him to prison, they asked, If he had any money to secure? He answered none. His sister said there was. Whereupon, to the value of five dollars, in parcels here and there, were found in several clouts. His sister advised the two magistrates to secure his staff especially; for she also went to prison. After he was secured in the tolbooth, the bailies returned, and went into a tavern near to Weir’s house in the West-bow, a street so called there. The money was put into a bag, and the clouts thrown into the fire, by the master of the house and his wife; which, after an unusual manner made a circling and dancing in the fire. There was another clout found with some hard thing it, which they threw into the fire likewise; it being a certain root, which circled and sparkled like gun-powder, and passing from the tunnel of the chimney, it gave a crack like a little cannon, to the amazement of all that were present.—The money aforesaid was taken by one of the bailies to his own house, and laid by in his closet. After family-prayer was ended, he retired into the same closet, (where I have been) during which time his wife, who is yet living, and the rest of the family, were affrighted with a terrible noise within the study, like the falling of a house, about three times together. His wife knocking, gave a fearful cry, “My dear, are you alive?” The bailie came out unafraid, having (as he said) heard nothing; whether he concealed this upon the account his[Pg 149] wife was with child, or otherwise, it cannot be well known. The money was presently sent away to another bailie’s house, a great distance from Weir’s; where, as was reported, there was some disturbance, but in broken expressions.

During the time of his imprisonment, he was never willing to be spoken to; and when the ministers of the city offered to pray for him, he would cry out in fury, “Torment me no more, for I am tormented already.” One minister (now asleep) asking him, If he should pray for him? was answered, Not at all. The other replied, in a kind of holy anger, “Sir, I will pray for you in spite of your teeth, and the devil your master too,” who did pray, making him at least to hear him; but the other staring wildly, was senseless as a brute. Another, who is likewise at rest, demanded, if he thought there was a God; said the man, I know not. That other replied smartly, “O man, the argument that moveth me to think there is a God, is thyself; for what else moveth thee to inform the world of thy wicked life?” But Weir answered, Let me alone. When he peremptorily forbade one of his own parish ministers, (yet alive) to pray, one demanded, if he would have any of the presbyterian persuasion to pray, he answered, “Sir, you are all alike to me.” Then said the minister to him, “I will pray with you.” “Do it not,” said the other, “upon your peril;” looking up to the beams of the house. But prayer was offered up so much the more heartily, because the company about expected some vision. It is observable, that in things common he was pertinent enough; but when any thing about Almighty God, and his soul’s condition, came about, he would shrug, and rub his coat and[Pg 150] breast, saying to them, “Torment me not before the time.” When he was at the stake to be burnt, the city ministers called to a churchman there looking on, being one of that persuasion whereof Weir was formerly deemed to be, to speak to him; but no sooner had he opened his mouth, than he made a sign with his head to be silent. When the rope was about his neck to prepare him for the fire, he was bid say, Lord be merciful to me; but he answered, “Let me alone, I will not; I have lived as a beast, and I must die as a beast.” The fire being kindled, both he and his staff, a little after, fell into the flames. Whatever incantation was in his staff, is not for me to discuss. He could not officiate in any holy duty, without his rod in his hand, and leaning upon it, which made those who heard him pray, admire his fluency in prayer. Its falling into the fire with him, (let others search out the disparity) minds me of this passage. In Zetland a few years ago, a judge having condemned an old woman and her daughter, called Helen Stewart, for witchcraft, sent them to be burned. The main was so stupid, that she was thought to be possessed. When she had hung some little time on the gibbet, a black pitchy-like ball foamed out of her mouth; and after the fire was kindled, it grew to the bigness of a walnut, and then flew up like squibs into the air, which the judge, yet living, attests. It was taken to be a visible sign, that the devil was gone out of her. I shall not make application of this as to Mr. Weir’s staff.——I know from good hands, that if this man repented of any thing in prison, it was for causing a poor maid to be scourged, who affirmed, she had seen him commit bestiality going to Newmills to a solemn[Pg 151] meeting. This poor woman lived about two years after his death, and heard of his fatal end. His incest with his own sister, was first when she was a young maid. The place where this abomination was committed, was cursed; for, contrary to nature, it remained always bare without grass. A reverend minister told me, (I mention this as from myself, not from the author of the letter) that Major Weir confessed so much to him, and told him, that the place lies off the road-way between Kirkcaldy and Kinghorn, upon a little hill-side; which he had the curiosity to go and see, and found it so. This was done the matter of fifty years ago. Many other things he confessed, which Christian ears should not be defiled with.—Before I come to his sister, take this notable remark from two persons yet alive, dwelling at the foot of the West-Bow, at the head whereof dwelt Major Weir. This gentlewoman, a substantial merchant’s wife, was very desirous to hear him pray, much being spoken of his utterance; and for that end spoke to some of her neighbours, that when he came to their house, she might be sent for. This was done, but he could never be persuaded to open his mouth before her; no, not to bless a cup of ale; he either remained mute, or up with his staff and away. It troubled her then; but I suppose both her husband and she smiles at it now.

Some few days before he discovered himself, this gentlewoman coming from the Castle-hill, where her husband’s niece was lying-in of a child, about midnight, perceived, about the Bow-head, three women in windows, shouting, laughing, and clapping their hands. The gentlewoman went forward, till,[Pg 152] just at Major Weir’s door, there arose, as from the street, a woman about the length of two ordinary females, and stepped forward. The gentlewoman, not as yet excessively feared, bid her maid step on, if, by the lanthorn, they could see what she was; but haste what they could, this long-legged spectre was still before them, moving her body with a vehement cachinnation, and great unmeasurable laughter. At this rate the two strove for place, till the giantess came to a narrow lane in the Bow, commonly called the stinking-close, into which she turning, and the gentlewoman looking after her, perceived the close full of flaming torches, (she could give them no other name,) and as it had been a great multitude of people, stentoriously laughing and gaping with tehees of laughter. This sight, at so dead a time of the night, no people being in the windows belonging to the close, made her and her servant haste home, declaring all what they saw to the rest of the family; but more passionately to her husband. And though sick with fear, yet she went the next morning with her maid, to view the noted places of her former night’s walk, and at the close inquired who lived there? It was answered, Major Weir. The honest couple now rejoiced, that to Weir’s devotion they never said, Amen. I know there are some, who strenuously assert the unreasonableness of believing such visions and apparitions; but you have made them sufficiently evident from your relation foregoing. These, in all probability, have been a presage of his approaching death, and of the manner of it, links and torches signifying an honourable interment, which perhaps had been promised to him. There was one minister in the city, that could never be persuaded to speak with him in prison; but no[Pg 153] sooner was he dead, than he went to the tolbooth, and called for his sister, who had some remorse; of whom I shall now speak. He told her, that her brother was burnt, and how he died, (though he saw him not executed) as I heard from himself. She believed nothing of it; but after many attestations, he asked, where his staff was? for, it seems, she knew that his strength and life lay therein. He told her, it was burnt with him. Whereupon, notwithstanding of her age, she nimbly, and in a furious rage, fell on her knees, uttering words horrible to be remembered. And in rising up, as she was desired, her raging agony closed with these words, “O Sir, I know he is with the devils; for with them he lived.” She entreated that minister to assist her, and attend her to her death, which, at her violent importunity, he yielded unto, though it was not his course to wait upon condemned persons. What she said in private to himself, he says, must die with him. She avouched, that from her being sixteen years of age, to her fiftieth, her brother had the incestuous use of her, and then loathed her for her age. She was pretty old at this time; and he, when he died, was about seventy. He asked her, If ever she was with child to him? She declared, with great confidence, he hindered that by means abominable: which, she beginning to relate, the minister stopped her. Some bystanders were desirous to hear the rest; but says he, “Gentlemen, the speculation of this iniquity is in itself to be punished.”—In often and returned visits, she was interrogated, If she had any hand in her brother’s devilry? She declared but in a passive way; and gave this for an instance: A fiery chariot or coach, as she called it, coming to his door, at broad day, a stranger invied[Pg 154] him and her to go and visit a friend in Dalkeith, a small town about six miles from Edinburgh. They both entered, and went forward in their visit; at which time (says she) one came and whispered something in his ear, which affected him. They both returned after the same manner that they had gone out. And Weir going after to make some visits, told them he had strong apprehensions, that that day the King’s forces were routed at Worcester; which, within a few days, was confirmed by post. She affirmed, that none saw the coach but themselves. The devil hath wrought far greater farlies in his time than this.—She knew much of the enchanted staff; for by it he was enabled to pray; to commit filthiness, not to be named; yea even to reconcile neighbours, man and wife, when at variance. She oft hid it from him; and because without it he could do nothing, he would threaten and vow to discover her incest; fearing which, she would deliver it again. Being asked the cause of her much spinning, which she was famous for, she denied any assistance from the devil, but found she had an extraordinary faculty therein, far above ordinary spinsters; yet owned, that when she came home, after her being abroad, she found there was more yarn on her wheel than she left: and that her weaver could not make cloth thereof, the yarn breaking, or falling from the loom.——Once there came a stranger to her, while she was at her wheel, and proposed a way to her to make her rick; for they both lived almost upon alms. The way was this, “Stand up and say, all crosses and cares go out of this house.” She answered, “God forbid, I say that, but let them be welcome when God sends them.” After two or three visits more, she asked this stranger,[Pg 155] where she dwelt? She replied, “In the Potterrow,” a street in the suburbs of that city; but finding neither such a house, nor such a woman, I judged, said she, it was the devil, one of my brother’s acquaintance; for I know he had familiarity with the devil.

His poverty minds me of a wizzard accused and execute in Zetland, before named, for witchcraft, several years ago, called Luggy to a nick-name; who being a fisher, had a trick, at any time when hungry at sea, to cast out his line, and would out of Neptune’s lowest kitchen, bring cleverly up fish well boiled and roasted; and his comrades, by a natural courage, would make a merry meal thereof, not questioning who was cook. He had another piece of art, at any time of the year, or in great storms, to go up to a hill near his own house, whereupon there was a deep pit, out of which, with his lines, he drew up codlings or keiling for his provision, which never man could but himself. This history is true, being yet to be seen in the criminal books of that country.—She was asked anent her parents? She was persuaded her mother was a witch; “for the secretest thing that either I myself, or any of the family could do, when once a mark appeared on her brow, she could tell it them, though done at a great distance. Being demanded what sort of a mark it was? She answered, “I have some such like mark myself, when I please, on my forehead.” Whereupon she offered to uncover her head for visible satisfaction; the minister refusing to behold it, and forbidding any discovery, was earnestly requested by some spectators, to allow the freedom. He yielded: She put back her head dress, and seeming to frown, there was seen an exact horse shoe shaped for[Pg 156] nails in her wrinkles, terrible enough, I assure you, to the stoutest beholder. In the morning before her execution, she told the minister, she resolved to die with all the shame she could, to expiate, under mercy, her shameful life; this he understood to be an ingenuous confession of her sins in opposition to her brother’s despair and desperate silence, to which he did encourage her. At her parting with him, she gave him hearty thanks for his pains; and shaking his hands, offering to kiss them; she repeated the same words which he bade her perform. Ascending up the ladder, she spoke somewhat confusedly of her sins, of her brother and his enchanting staff; and with a ghastly countenance, beholding a multitude of spectators, all wondering, and some weeping, she spake aloud, “There are many here this day, wondering and greeting for me, but alas! few mourn for a broken——;” at which words, many seemed angry: some called to her to mind higher concerns; and I have heard it said, that the preacher declared, he had much ado to keep a composed countenance. The executioner falling about his duty, she prepares to die stark-naked; then, and not before, were her words relating to shame understood; the hangman struggled with her to keep on her clothes, and she struggled with him to have them off. At last he was forced to throw her over open-faced, which afterwards he covered with a cloth.——So much from the gentleman that gave me this information; to which I shall add, that this is not published with a design to reflect upon men of this or that persuasion, far be it. The devil can counterfeit what religion he pleases, and ordinarily a good one. True religion can never suffer any prejudice from a hypocrite’s wearing a cloak of it, more than[Pg 157] the good angels can suffer a stain by Satan’s transforming himself into an angel of light. The devil hath his lackies and pages with Christ’s livery upon them. Was not Judas, who was but one of the twelve, a vile hypocrite? It is a wonder, where there are a thousand professing Christ in a congregation, that a hundred of them are not as bad. His glistering cloak of religion dazzled all men’s eyes; this was needful. Foul faults must have a cloak to cover them. The apostle Jude speaks of some that go after Sarko’s heteras, which may be understood, not only of that sin mentioned, Rom., i. 27. but of another sort of flesh, not to be named. Here was a demonstration, proving evidently that there is a God, viz. by the terrors of his conscience. It is evident also, there is a devil that hurries men on into sin. He had this expression to two ministers that came to see him in prison; there was no temptation which the devil could propose to him, but he was capable to accept of it. It is evident also, there is either an explicit compact between some men and the devil; horrible sins covered with religion bring utter despair at last. Desperation in hell in “fieri.” Some men as well as devils are tormented before the time. Let us not count the less of religion, that it is made a cloak for covering sin; let us beware that such a man’s fall prove not a neck-break to us; let us idolize no man for his profession, or that he is of this or that persuasion, or of such a party: let no man rest in a bare profession of religion. Men in compact with the devil, may be assisted both to preach and pray. The devil’s servants are well rewarded at the last. Profession and practice must go together; a clinking profession, with an unbridled tongue, is a vain religion. “Pure religion, and undefiled[Pg 158] before God and the Father, is, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction; and for a man to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Major Weir was burnt between Edinburgh and Leith, at a place called the Gallowlee, on Thursday the 14th of April 1676.

XXXVIII.—An Apparition seen in a dwelling-house, in Mary King’s Close, in Edinburgh.

Sir, within these few years, there was one T. C. by profession an agent about the session-house; who about flitting time, was removing his furniture from a lower part of the city to an higher. One in the aforesaid close, seeing his maid on the Saturday carrying some light furniture to such a house, asked her, if she was to dwell in that house? “Yes,” said she; “for I am hired for this half-year.” Her friend told her, “If you live there, I assure you, you will have more company than yourselves.” And after twice or thrice more going up and down, getting several informations anent the business, she was persuaded to tell her mistress, she would not tarry a servant in that house, it being haunted with a spirit or ghost, and gave her the ground of her intelligence.

The mistress informed her husband, desiring him to forbear that house, lest she should be affrighted even with apprehensions; but he, out of a natural courage, and fortitude of mind, smiled at the relation, and resolved to tarry, lodging there that very same night.——To-morrow being the Sabbath-day, they went both to church in the forenoon; but in the afternoon, he being indisposed, fitted himself for a sleep; his wife took the Bible; and at the head of the table near the bed, resolved to spend the time in reading of the Holy Scripture, appointing the servant[Pg 159] to go to church, which she did, but came no more to the family.—As the mistress was reading to herself, she chanced to cast her eyes to a little chamber-door just over against her, where she spied the head and face of an old man, grey headed, with a grey beard, looking straight upon her, the distance being very short; at which sight, she endeavouring to awaken her husband, fell in a swoon and fainted, and lay in that posture till she heard some of her neighbours open their doors after sermon was ended; then she told her husband what was done, and what she had seen, the apparition being evanished; he pleaded it was some fancy, or delusion of her senses, and bade her be of good courage.—After supper, both being alone, the goodwife’s fear still continuing, she built on a large fire, and went to bed. After a little time, the goodman cast his eyes towards the chimney, and spied that same old man’s head in the former place. He told his wife, who was like to fall into her former passion. He rising, lighteth a candle, sets it on the table, and went to his bed again, encouraging themselves in the Lord; and recommended themselves to God’s care and protection. After an hour and more was spent thus; they clearly perceived a young child, with a coat upon it, hanging near to the old man’s head. At which sight, the goodman, Tom, flew out of his bed, and his wife after him. He taking her in his arms, kneeled down before the bed, and with fervent devotion, they entreated the Lord to be freed from that temptation. He lighted a second candle, the first being spent, and knocked upon his neighbours; but getting no answer, they both returned to their bed, where they both kneeled down and prayed; an excessive fear and sweat being upon them.—By[Pg 160] and by a naked arm appears in the air, from the elbow downward, and the hand stretched out, as when one man is about to salute another. He then skipped out of his bed, and kneeling down, begged help from heaven. The arm had now come within its own length to him, as it were to shake hands with him. Whereupon, he immediately goes to bed again, and at the opening of the curtain, it offered another salutation to him. The man and the wife embracing one another through fear, and still eyeing the naked arm, they prayed the more earnestly. But the cubit offering to touch him, he was in such a consternation and amazement, that he was as one distracted; but taking some courage from God, he boldly spake to it after this manner: “In the name of the living God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, tell me why thou troublest my family? To my knowledge, I never wronged any man, by killing or cheating; but hath lived honestly in the world. If thou hast received any wrong, if I can right thee, I will do my utmost for thee; but trouble me no more.” Notwithstanding of this, the arm and hand, came nearer than before, still after a courteous manner, with an offer of acquaintance. They fell to prayer again, both of them being drowned with sweat; and in the mean time, they saw a little dog come out of that little room afore-named; which, after a little time looking about towards the bed and the naked arm, composed itself upon a chair, as it were with its nose in its tail to sleep. This somewhat increased their fear. But quickly after, a cat comes leaping out from the same room, and in the midst of the hall, began to play some little tricks. Then was the hall full of small little creatures dancing prettily; unto which none of them could[Pg 161] give a name, as having never in nature seen the like.

It is not possible to narrate the height of passion and fear these two were under, having all the apparitions at once in their eye, which continued a long time. The honest couple went to their knees again within the bed; there being no standing in the floor of the room. In the time of prayer, their ears were started with a deep, dreadful, and loud groan, as of a strong man dying; at which, all the apparitions and visions at once evanished; and, as the honest couple thought, they retired to the little room from whence they came, and the house was quiet.—After this, they both went hand in hand to the little room where the drink stood, and refreshed themselves therewith. After they had taken a second draught, the husband said, “My dear, God hath made me this night to bear that which would have frighted to death the stoutest of them all.” The day approaching, they dressed themselves, and made no secret of it. But looking back upon what happened, they wondered, that none of them had wit to open the door, and to flee from the house, which had been easier done than to light the first candle. But they behoved to undergo this trial, having no power to escape it. And by this means, the goodman had the courage to dwell in the house after till he died; yet would never want some good fellows or others with him, concluding the worst was over; as indeed it was.—A few weeks after, he, on a Sabbath day, went with his wife to Corstorphine, a village two miles from Edinburgh, to hear sermon. In the evening, he took some refreshment there at a public inn; and stepping to the door to ease nature, he was instantly surprized with a vehement[Pg 162] shivering and trembling in all his joints. Coming from the end of the aforesaid village, with a purpose to come home, he was accompanied with some crows flying above him, almost keeping pace with him, till he came to Portsburgh, a part of the suburbs of the city, where they left him, and returned to their own lodging. “These crows, my dear (says he) do prognosticate, that I must die shortly.” He fell sick of a pain in his head, with an excessive aking. But before I go further on this narration, I must make a visit to the country.—A gentleman near Tranent, or in it, a town about seven miles from Edinburgh, whose agent this man was, in managing his law-affairs, and keeped his papers for that effect, had a singular kindness for Thomas, as he had for him. This gentleman being in bed one morning with his wife, his nurse and a child lying in a truckle-bed near them, the nurse was affrighted with something like a cloud moving up and down the room; but not shaped as such. She called to her master and his wife, and awakened them. He seeing the cloud figured like a man, nimbly skipped over the bed, and drew his sword; and going to bed again, laid it by his side, and recommended the family to God. For a time it continued in the forementioned dark form; but, anon, they all saw perfectly the body of a man walking up and down. The gentleman behaved himself more like a Christian than a combatant. At last, this apparition looked him fully and perfectly in the face, and stood by him with a ghostly and pale countenance; at which the gentleman with great courage, said to the spectre, “What art thou? Art thou my dear friend Thomas Coltheart?” (For so was the agent called.) “Art thou dead, my friend? Tell me if[Pg 163] thou hast any commission to me from Almighty God, tell it me, and it shall be welcome.” The ghost held up its hand three times, waving and shaking it towards him, and immediately disappeared. This was done about the very hour (as was guessed) of the agent’s death.

The Sunday after his death, among many accompanying his corpse to the common burial place, some of the town ministers were there, and by chance a friend of his thanked one of them for his attendance; and said, “Sir, it was a pity that some of you saw him not before he died.” The minister asked him, “If any remarkable thing was the cause of his sickness” So much was told, as gave the minister ground to make a visit to his widow; who made him very welcome with tears in her eyes. After she had composed herself, he prayed. Prayer being ended, she began the before related story, and told it from the beginning. But when she came to the dog’s part, she telling him, that he was just now sitting upon the chair where the dog lay sleeping, the minister rises up, and taking the mistress by the hand, “Come, (said he) I have seen his chair; in the name of Almighty God, I will see his chamber too;” and so went in to see the little room from which the apparition came, and to which they returned; in which room she gave the minister an account of what followed the dog. In the mean time a gentleman came in, whom she knew by his voice, and running to him with great fervour, they embraced one another affectionately with tears. To make an end, this stranger was the gentleman to whom the ghost of the deceased husband appeared about Tranent, the very hour when he was expiring at Edinburgh. He told[Pg 164] likewise, that that morning the ghost appeared to him, he was resolved to attend the Duke of Lauderdale from Lithingtown to Edinburgh; but this apparition discomposing his wife, he could not. But With his first conveniency (he told her) he had come in to see her, and get an account of his being touched with what he saw at his house.

These things coming to the Duke of Lauderdale’s ears, as remarkable stories, he called for that minister, and had the same account of the particulars, before many of the nobility, narrated to him.

XXXIX.—An Apparition of a deceased Wife to her Husband, at Edinburgh.

Sir, that which I narrated to you the other day, I have now sent it under my hand, as a thing very certain and sure. I knew a servant-maid, that served a gentlewoman in the old Provost’s Close, as they call it, who was married to a butcher called John Ritchie, about twelve years ago. She lived about five years with him, and had four children to him, and then died. Within a few days after her burial, he went in suit of a young woman, courting her for marriage. He had a comrade of the same trade, to whom he revealed his intention, and desired him to meet him at such a house, near to the court of guard, down some close or other, that he might see his new mistress. The appointment was keeped. The two lovers sat down together on a bed-side, and the comrade sat opposite to them, there being a table between them, and a window or shot at the head of the room, that gave them light; the close or wynd was narrow to which they had a sight. And while they two are dallying together in the[Pg 165] bed, the other smiling at them; behold, while this man is casting his eye about the room, he perceived distinctly the body and face of the dead wife, in her clothes, looking towards them from an opposite window; at which this man, his comrade, rose up affrighted, saying to the other, “John, what’s that?” Whereupon all stood up looking, and saw perfectly the buried woman lifting up her hands (as appeared) to take the dead-dress from her head, but could not reach it. The man threw the woman out of his arms, with a purpose to be gone quickly; but his comrade vowed he would not stir till he got something to comfort his heart: they got a little brandy, and then went away; not without wondering and fear. Upon this, the man took sickness for three or four days; and his comrade coming to give him a visit, counselled him to delay, or wholly to desist from that purpose of marriage; but affection would not suffer him to forbear; and, though not fully recovered of his frenzy, he made a new address to his mistress; but, while he is putting on his shoes, his dead wife appears again in her ordinary habit; and crossing the room in his sight, says, “John, will you not come to me?” and with that evanished. Up on this, he took sickness again, and called for his comrade, and told him of this second apparition, who most freely entreated him to desist, or at least to delay. His sickness increasing, he died. About which time, he spoke of a third visit his wife gave him, blaming him as if he had too soon forgotten her, but did not tell it distinctly; and therefore his comrade could not be positive in it. He was buried within a month of his wife’s decease.—One of the ministers of Edinburgh, who had been acquaint in the house where she served, hearing some whisper[Pg 166] of the apparition, sent a servant secretly to call for the man’s comrade, who gave him a just and true narration of all that I have written; adding, that having seen the vision first, some told him he would quickly die, but he is yet living in the town, a flesher; the minister having married him to two wives since. The deceased wife’s name was Helen Brown. I intended to have published another relation anent the devil’s coming in the night-time, and knocking three several times at such a man’s door; but I was desired to forbear.

Having no kindness for the Cartesian philosophy, I must fall upon it in the close, as I did in the beginning. I will not name nor cite the author that maintains the following blasphemous opinions, though I may; 1st, That there is an infinite intelligible extension, which is God, in which we see all bodies. 2dly, This author makes Christ the eternal World, speak in the quality of a Cartesian philosopher. 3dly, He destroys altogether the providence of God. 4thly, He says, that God hath not made all things for his own glory. 5thly, That it was necessary that all men should be sinners, that there might be a diversity of glory. 6thly, Works done without grace are good works. 7thly, God is not the author of every good thing that is in us. 8thly, He destroys the authority of the Scripture, and exposes it to be despised by the prophane. 9thly, The thoughts of Jesus Christ are the occasional causes of the distribution of grace. 10thly, God could have created spirits from all eternity. 11thly, All creatures are full of Jesus Christ. 12thly, He ruins the nature of sin by the idea which he gives of liberty. l3thly, That liberty is not essential to spirit. 14thly, A man transported[Pg 167] by his passion doth not sin. 15thly, Every habit or passion, or temperament, which he cannot overcome, doth make the most ugly and enormous actions to be no sins. And thence, sodomy, incest, murder, adultery, rebellion, witchcraft, are no sins if they be habitual. These are but a few of his blasphemous and atheistical opinions. This philosophy would please some now-a-days very well, that habituate themselves in murder; murdering some in their lodgings, and others on the King’s highway, as is most unchristianly done by some. “O dementia! hucine rerum venimus?”

[Pg 168]





XL.—Concerning some Witches in the Shire of Renfrew.

It was about the end of August 1696, Christian Shaw, daughter to Shaw of Bargarran, in the shire of Renfrew, about eleven years of age, perceiving one of the maids of the house, named Katharine Campbell, to steal and drink some milk; she told her mother of it: Whereupon the maid Campbell (being of a proud and revengeful humour, and a great curser and swearer) did, in a great rage, thrice imprecate the curse of God upon the child, and uttered these words, “The devil harle your soul through hell.”——On Friday following, one Agnes Nasmith came to Bargarran’s house, where she asked the same Christian, how the lady and young child was? and how old the young child was? To which Christian replied, “What do I know?”[Pg 169] Then Agnes asked, How herself did, and how old she was? To which she answered that she was well, and in the eleventh year of her age.—On Saturday night thereafter, the child went to bed in good health; but so soon as she was asleep, began to cry, “Help, help;” and did fly over the resting-bed where she was lying, with such violence, that her brains had been dashed out, if a woman had not broke the force of the child’s motion, and remained as if she had been dead, for the space of half an hour. After this she was troubled with sore pains, except in some short intervals. And when any of the people present touched any part of her body, she did cry and screech with such vehemence, as if they had been killing her, but could not speak.—Some days thereafter she fell a crying, that Catharine Campbell and Agnes Nasmith were cutting her side and other parts of her body. In this condition she continued a month, with some variation, both as to the fits and intervals.—She did thrust out of her mouth parcels of hair, some curled, some plaited, some knotted, of different colours, and in large quantities; and likewise coal-cinders, about the bigness of a chesnut; some whereof were so hot, that they could scarcely be handled. One of which, Dr. Brisbane being by her when she took it out of her mouth, felt to be hotter than any one’s body could make it.—The girl continued a long time in this condition, till the government began to take notice of it, and gave commission to some honourable gentleman for the trial of these two, and several others concerned in these hellish practices; (which I shall, for brevity’s sake, omit to mention) and being brought before the judges, two of their[Pg 170] accomplices confessed the crime; whereupon they were condemned and executed.

XLI.—Concerning the Witches of Pittenweem.

Peter Morton, smith at Pittenweem, being desired by one Beattie Laing to do some work for her, which he refused, excusing himself in respect he had been pre-engaged to serve a ship with nails, within a certain time, so that till he had finished that work, he could not engage in any other; that notwithstanding, the said Beattie Laing declared herself dissatisfied, and vowed revenge. The said Peter Morton, afterward being indisposed, coming by the door, saw a small vessel full of water, and a coal of fire slockened in the water; so perceiving an alteration in his health, and remembering Beattie Laing’s threatenings, he presently suspects devilry in the matter, and quarrels the thing. Thereafter, finding his indispositions growing worse and worse, being tormented and pricked as if with bodkins and pins, he openly lays the blame upon witchcraft, and accuses Beattie Laing. He continued to be tormented, and she was by warrant apprehended, with others in Pittenweem. No natural reason could be given for his distemper, his face and neck being dreadfully distorted, his back prodigiously rising and falling, his belly swelling and falling on a sudden; his joints pliable, and instantly so stiff, as no human power could bow them. Beattie Laing and her hellish companions being in custody, were brought to the room where he was; and his face covered, he told his tormentors were in the room,[Pg 171] naming them. And though formerly no confession had been made, Beattie Laing confessed her crime, and accused several others as accessory.—The said Beattie having confessed her compact with the devil, and using of spells; and particularly her slockening the coal in water; she named her associates in revenge, against Peter Morton, viz. Janet Corset, Lillie Wallace, and —— Lawson, had framed a picture of wax, and every one of the forenamed persons having put their pin in the picture for torture. They could not tell what had become of the image, but thought the devil had stolen it, whom they had seen in the prison.—Beattie Laing likewise said, that one Isobel Adams, a young lass, was also in compact with the devil. This woman was desired to fee with Beattie, which she refused: and Beattie let her see a man at the other end of the table, who appeared as a gentleman, and promised her all prosperity in the world: she promised her service to him; and he committed uncleanness with her, (which she said no other had done before) and he put his mark in her flesh, which was very painful. She was shortly after ordered to attend the company to go to one M’Grigor’s house to murder him. He awakening when they were there, and recommending himself to God, they were forced to withdraw. This Isobel Adams appeared ingenuous and very penitent in her confession; she said, he who forgave Manasseh’s witchcrafts, might forgive her’s also; and died very penitent, and to the satisfaction of many.

This Beattie Laing was suspected by her husband, long before she was laid in prison by warrant of the magistrates. The occasion was this; she said, that she had packs of wool coming from Leith[Pg 172] to her, which she was to sell at Auchtermuchty fair; and they being longsome in coming to the market, he said, “It would not be in time to the fair.” She desired him to go to the market, for she was sure her merchant would not fail her. He went off long before her; and when he came to the town, he found her before him, and two packs of very good wool, which she instantly sold; and coming home with a black horse which she had with her, they drinking till it was late in the night ere they came home, the man said, “What shall I do with the horse?” She replied, “Cast the bridle on his neck, and you will be quit of him.” And, as her husband thought, the horse flew with a great noise away in the air.——They were, by a complaint to the Privy Council, prosecute by her Majesty’s Advocate 1704, but all set at liberty, save one, who died in prison, in Pittenweem. Beatie Laing died undesired, in her bed, in St. Andrew’s; all the rest died miserable and violent deaths.

XLII.—Concerning the bewitching of a Child in Ireland.

At Antrim, in Ireland, a girl of ninteen years of age, inferior to none in the place for beauty, education, and birth, innocently eat a leaf of sorrel, which she got from a witch, after she had given the begging witch bread and beer at the door: it was scarcely swallowed by her, but she began to be tortured in her bowels, to tremble all over, and even was convulsive; and, in fine to swoon away, as dead. The doctors used remedies on the 9th of May 1698,[Pg 173] at which time it happened, but to no purpose. The child continued in a most terrible paroxysm: Whereupon they sent for a minister, who scarce had laid his hand on her, when she was turned by the demon, in the most dreadful shapes. She began first to roll herself about, then to vomit horse-dung, needles, pins, hairs, feathers, bottoms of thread, pieces of glass, window-nails, nails drawn out of a cart or coach wheel, an iron-knife, above a span long, eggs, and fish shells. And when the wretch (I should have said the witch) came near the place, or looked to the house, though at the distance of 200 paces from the house where the child was, she was in worse torment, insomuch, that no life was expected for the child, till the witch was removed to some greater distance.——This Witch was apprehended, condemned, strangled, and burnt; and was desired to undo the incantation, immediately before strangling; but said she could not, by reason others had done against her likewise: But the wretch confessed the same, with many more. The child was about the middle of September thereafter, carried to a gentleman’s house, where there were many other things happened scarce credible, but that several ministers, and the gentleman, have attested the same. The relation is to be seen in a pamphlet printed 1699, entitled, “The bewitching of a child in Ireland.”

XLIII.—Concerning the Witch of Calder.

This famous witch of Calder, is not to be altogether passed by. This horrible slave of Satan was[Pg 174] first suspected by her neighbours, and then her horrible witchcrafts were found to the conviction of many, and direful experience of my Lord Torphichen’s family.—She had a child died, which she gave to the devil, not only the soul, but the corpse, without a burying.——She put an incantation upon the aforesaid honourable Lord’s son, so that he was the terror, as well as the grief of the family. This child was in a room with his sisters; he told them, he knew what was doing by others absent; the daughters told their Lady-mother. I forbear to tell all I had from an eye and ear witness; but this one I cannot pass. The son was tormented extremely, and at length, his pedagogue sitting up with him one night, and being sleepy, he saw a flash of fire at the window; but thinking the child was asleep, continued to watch more carefully; and, as he thought, in a little time, the same fire appeared at the window; the child was awake in bed, and told him, he had been at Torryburn in the time. This child was several times taken away. He told the family when he was to be taken away at other times; and sometimes, even then, though they waited on him, he appeared to be lifted up in the air, to be taken from them. This witch being taken into custody, she then discovered others, who are all dead.

She was examined by the minister of the parish, and several others; but was brutishly ignorant, and scarce knew any thing, but her witchcraft. There was one day, that this child was waited on, when he was to be taken away, they kept the door and window close; but a certain person going to the door, he made shift and got to the door, and was lifted in the air, but was catched by the heels and coat-tails,[Pg 175] and brought back.—There were many and dreadful things happened to this child, which I forbear to mention, on account of the honourable family, and that it is too late, and in every body’s head.—When the witch was examined about the corpse of her child, she said, the corpse were buried; but the wright that made the coffin, declared, That she put nothing in the coffin but clouts. Then she said, “The child being long pined, and all flesh taken off by the sickness, it appeared but clouts; yet, at length she confessed, that she gave the corpse as well as the soul to the devil, which he said he was to make a roast of. She, with all her hellish accomplices, died in custody, after they had confessed many amazing incantations, and horrible unheard of witchcrafts.


Transcriber’s Notes