Irish Witchcraft and Demonology

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  • 1. Special Edition Brought To You By; Chuck Thompson of TTC Media Digital Publishing; September, 2013 Http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com Visit us
  • 2. IRISH WITCHCRAFT AND DEMONOLOGY IRISH WITCHCRAFT AND DEMONOLOGY . JOHN D. SEYMOUR, B.D. AUTHOR “THE DIOCESE EMLY ETC. DUBLIN HODGES, FIGGIS & . LTD. 104 GRAFTON STREET LONDON HUMPHREY MILFORD AMEN CORNER, E.C. 1913 [ 1] IRISH WITCHCRAFT AND DEMONOLOGY
  • 3. CHAPTER I SOME REMARKS WITCHCRAFT IRELAND said, though cannot vouch for the accuracy the statement, that a certain book the natural history Ireland there occurs a remarkable and oft-quoted chapter Snakes—the said chapter consisting the words, “There are snakes Ireland the opinion most people the present day a book Witchcraft Ireland would equal length and similarly worded, except for the inclusion the Kyteler case the town Kilkenny the first half the fourteenth century. For, with the exception that classic incident, modern writers seem hold that the witch-cult[ 2] never found a home Ireland did elsewhere. For example, the article “Witchcraft” the latest edition the Encyclopædia Britannica mentions England and Scotland, then passes the Continent, and altogether ignores this country; and this , general, the attitude adopted writers the subject. view this seems very strange that one has attempted show why the Green Isle was especially favoured above the rest the civilised world, how was that alone escaped the contracting a disease that not for years but for centuries had infected Europe the core. happens they may spare themselves the labour seeking for explanation Ireland’s exemption, for hope show that the belief witchcraft reached the country, and took a fairly firm hold there, though means the extent that did Scotland and England. The subject has never been treated fully before, though isolated notices may found here and there; this book, however imperfect may , can fairly claim the first attempt collect the scattered stories and records witchcraft Ireland[ 3] from many out--the-way sources, and present them when collected a concise and palatable form. Although the volume may furnish little nothing new the history psychology witchcraft general, yet may also claim unwritten chapter Irish history, and show that this respect a considerable portion our country fell into line with the rest Europe. the outset the plan and scope this book must made clear. will noticed that the belief fairies and suchlike beings hardly touched upon all, except those instances where fairy lore and witchcraft become inextricably blended. The reason for this method treatment not hard find. From the Anglo-Norman invasion down the country has been divided into two opposing elements, the Celtic and the English. true that many occasions these coalesced peace and war, religion and politics, but a rule they were distinct, and this became even more marked after the spread the Reformation. was therefore the Anglo-Norman (and subsequently the[ 4] Protestant) portion the country that find the development witchcraft along similar lines those England the Continent, and with this that are dealing this book; the Celtic element had its own superstitious beliefs, but these never developed this direction. England and Scotland during the mediæval and later periods its existence witchcraft was offence against the laws God and man; Celtic Ireland dealings with the unseen were not regarded with such abhorrence, and indeed had the sanction custom and antiquity. England after the Reformation seldom find members the Roman
  • 4. Catholic Church taking any prominent part witch cases, and this equally true Ireland from the same date. Witchcraft seems have been confined the Protestant party, far can judge from the material our disposal, while probable that the existence the penal laws (active quiescent) would deter the Roman Catholics from coming into any prominence a matter which would likely attract public attention itself such a marked degree. A certain[ 5] amount capital has been made some partisan writers out this, but imagine that the ordinary Roman Catholic , let say, the seventeenth century, was one whit less credulous superstitious than Protestant peers, bishops, judges, would indeed form a conception directly variance with experience and common sense. Both parties had their beliefs, but they followed different channels, and affected public life different ways. Another point with reference the plan this work indicated the title needs a few words explanation. will seen the reader that the volume does not deal solely with the question witchcraft, though that have endeavoured bring into prominence much possible, but that tales the supernatural, the appearance ghosts, and the Devil, are also included, especially chapters and . have erred inserting these, have least erred the respectable company Sir Walter Scott, C. K. Sharpe, and other writers note. have included them, partly because they afford interesting reading, and are culled from sources with which[ 6] the average reader unacquainted, but principally because they reflect a mirror the temper the age, and show the degree which every class Society was permeated with the belief the grosser forms the supernatural, and the blind readiness with which accepted what would the present day tossed aside unworthy even a cursory examination. This forcibly brought out the instance a lawsuit being undertaken the instigation a ghost—a quaint item legal lore. The judge who adjudicated, the jury and lawyers who took their respective parts such a case, would with equal readiness have tried and found guilty a person the charge witchcraft; and probably did far oftener than are aware . The question will naturally asked the reader—what reason can offered for Ireland’s comparative freedom from the scourge, when the whole Europe was sorely lashed for centuries? difficult fully account for , but the consideration the following points affords a partial explanation. the first place Ireland’s aloofness may[ 7] be alleged a reason. The “Emerald Gem the Western World” lies far away the verge Ocean, remote from those influences which profoundly affected popular thought other countries. a truism say that has been separated from England and the Continent more than geographical features, that many respects, its ecclesiastical organisation, its literature, and , has developed along semi- independent lines. And , account this remoteness, would seem have been prevented from acquiring and assimilating the varying and complex features which went make the witchcraft conception. , put other words, mediæval witchcraft was a byproduct the civilisation the Roman Empire. Ireland’s civilisation developed along other and more barbaric lines, and had opportunity assimilating the particular phases that belief which obtained elsewhere Europe. Consequently, when the Anglo-Normans came over, they found that the native Celts had
  • 5. predisposition towards accepting the view the witch emissary Satan and[ 8] an enemy the Church, though they fully believed supernatural influences both good and evil, and credited their Bards and Druids with the possession powers beyond the ordinary. Had this country never suffered a cross-channel invasion, had she been left work out her destiny unaided and uninfluenced her neighbours, quite conceivable that some period her history she would have imbibed the witchcraft spirit, and, with the genius characteristic her, would have blended with her own older beliefs, and would have ultimately evolved a form that creed which would have differed many points from what was held elsewhere. happens, the English and their successors had the monopoly, and retained their own hands; thus the Anglo-Norman invaders may given the credit having been the principal means preventing the growth and spread witchcraft Celtic Ireland. Another point arises connection with the advance the Reformation Ireland. Unfortunately the persecution witches did not cease the countries where that movement made headway—far from ; [ 9] the contrary was kept with unabated vigour. Infallibility was transferred from the Church the Bible; the Roman Catholic persecuted the witch because Supreme Pontiffs had stigmatised her a heretic and associate Satan, while the Protestant acted similarly because Holy Writ contained the grim command “Thou shalt not suffer a witch live Thus persecution flourished equally Protestant and Roman Catholic kingdoms. But Ireland the conditions were different. find there a Roman Catholic majority, not racially predisposed towards such a belief, debarred their religious and political opinions from taking their full share public affairs, and opposed every way the Protestant minority. The consequent turmoil and clash war gave opportunity for the witchcraft idea come maturity and cast its seeds broadcast; was trampled into the earth the feet the combatants, and, though the minority believed firmly witchcraft and kindred subjects, had not sufficient strength make the belief general throughout the country. [ 10]A third reason that may brought forward account for the comparative immunity Ireland was the total absence literature the subject. The diffusion books and pamphlets throughout a country district one the recognised ways propagating any particular creed; the friends and opponents Christianity have equally recognised the truth this, and have always utilised the fullest extent. Now England from the sixteenth century find enormous literary output relative witchcraft, the majority the works being support that belief. Many these were small pamphlets, which served the “yellow press” the day; they were well calculated arouse the superstitious feelings their readers, they were written from a sensational standpoint—indeed seems very probable that the compilers, their desire produce a startling catch-penny which would sure have a wide circulation, occasionally drew upon their imaginations for their facts. The evil that was wrought such amongst ignorant and superstitious people can well imagined; unbelievers would [ 11]converted, while the credulous would rendered more secure their credulity. a later date, when men had become practical enough question the reality such things, a literary war took place, and this “battle the books” find such well-known names
  • 6. Richard Baxter, John Locke, Meric Casaubon, Joseph Glanvil, and Francis Hutchinson, ranged one side the other. Thus the ordinary Englishman would have reasonable grounds for being ignorant the power witches, the various opinions held relative them. Ireland, the other hand (with the solitary exception a pamphlet 1699, which may may not have been locally printed there not the slightest trace any witchcraft literature being published the country until reach the opening years the nineteenth century. All our information therefore with respect Ireland comes from incidental notices books and from sources across the water. might with reason expect that the important trial Florence Newton Youghal 1661, concerning the historical reality which there can possible doubt, would [ 12] immortalised Irish writers and publishers, but a matter fact only preserved for two London printed books. There confusion between cause and effect; books witchcraft would, naturally, the result witch-trials, but their turn they would the means spreading the idea and introducing the notice people who otherwise might never have shown the least interest the matter. Thus the absence this form literature Ireland seriously hindered the advance the belief (and consequent practice ) witchcraft. When did witchcraft make its appearance Ireland, and what was its progress therein? seems probable that this belief, together with certain aspects fairy lore hitherto unknown the Irish, and ideas relative milk and butter magic, may the main counted results the Anglo-Norman invasion, though possible that earlier instalment these came with the Scandinavians. With our present knowledge cannot trace its active existence Ireland further back than the Kyteler case 1324; and this, though was almost[ 13] certainly the first occasion which the evil made itself apparent the general public, yet seems have been only the culmination events that had been quietly and unobtrusively happening for some little time previously. The language used the Parliament with reference the case 1447 would lead infer that nothing remarkable worthy note the way witchcraft sorcery had occurred the country during the intervening century and a quarter. For another hundred years nothing recorded, while the second half the sixteenth century furnishes with two cases and a suggestion several others. stated some writers ( the authority, believe, early editor of Hudibras) that during the rule the Commonwealth Parliamentthirty thousand witches were put death England. Others, possessing a little common sense, place the number three thousand, but even this far too high. Yet seems beyond all doubt that more witches were sent the gallows that particular period than any other English history. Ireland seems have escaped scot- free—[ 14] least have not been able find any instances recorded witch trials that time. Probably the terribly disturbed state the country, the tremendous upheaval the Cromwellian confiscations, and the various difficulties and dangers experienced the new settlers would largely account for this immunity. . Notestein[1] shows that the tales apparitions and devils, knockings and strange noises, with which English popular literature the period filled, are indications a very overwrought public mind; similar stories Ireland, also indicative a similar state tension, some examples are given chapter . Though the first half the seventeenth
  • 7. century barren with respect to witchcraft, yet should noticed that during that period come across frequent notices ghosts, apparitions, devils, &c which forces the conclusion that the increase the belief such subjects that time was almost entirely due the advent the Cromwellian settlers and the Scotch colonists Ulster; indeed the beliefs the latter[ 15] made the Northern Province a miniature Scotland this respect. cannot blame them for this; could anything else expected from men who, clergy and laity alike, were saturated with the superstitions that were then prominent the two countries from which their ranks had been recruited? Thus the seventeenth century was the period par excellence of witchcraft, demonology, and the supernatural Ireland. The most remarkable witch case that time, the trial Florence Newton 1661, which allusion has already been made, seems have been largely influenced what occurred England, while the various methods suggested employed a test that old woman’s culpability are quite accordance with the procedure adopted a few years previously the English witch-finder general, the infamous Matthew Hopkins. After 1711 the period decadence reached, while between that date and 1808 nothing has been found, though may safely inferred that that blank was filled incidents similar the case Mary Butters and others, described the final chapter; and possibly too, [ 16] England, savage outbursts the part the ignorant and credulous multitude. Witchcraft never flourished any great extent Ireland, nor did anything ever occur which was worthy the name persecution—except perhaps a sequel the Kyteler case, and the details which fear will never recovered. The first part this statement must taken generally and not pressed too closely, based almost entirely negative evidence,.e. the absence information the subject. England has a lengthy list books and pamphlets, while Scotland’s share the business may learnt from the fine series criminal trials edited Pitcairn the Miscellanies the Abbotsford Club, not speak other works; notwithstanding these, many cases both England and Scotland must have been unrecorded. Ireland can produce nothing like this, for, have already shown, all printed notices Irish witchcraft, with one possible exception, are recorded books published outside the country. Nevertheless, all likely sources, both . and print, could searched, highly probable that a[ 17] much fuller volume than the present one could written the subject. The Elizabethan Act was passed account cases (recorded and unrecorded) that had arisen the country; while, human nature being what , seems likely that the very passing that Statute the Irish Parliament was itself a sufficient incentive the witches practise their art. belief really gains ground until forbidden; then the martyrs play their part, and there a consequent increase the number the followers. The Act 1634 shows the opinion that was entertained the highest circles relative the baneful influence witches and the menace their presence was the safety the community large; this doubt the effect the “evil eye the satirical verses Bards, would equally classed with witchcraft proper. From various hints and incidental notices, such the account the bewitching Sir George Pollock, Law’s statement relative the case . Moor, well from a consideration the prevalence the belief amongst all classes society, may[ 18] be inferred that far more
  • 8. cases witchcraft occurred Ireland during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries than one imagines, though comparison with other countries their numbers would but small. Future students old documents may able bear out this statement, and supply information present unavailable. deal with the subject witchcraft general, with its psychology with the many strange items which included, would out place a work exclusively devoted one particular country, nor indeed could adequately dealt with the space our disposal; necessary, however, say a few words the matter order show comparison how much pain and unhappiness the people Ireland escaped through the non-prevalence this terrible cult amongst them. the first place, judge from the few witch-trials recorded, may claimed that torture a means extracting evidence was never used upon witches Ireland (excepting the treatment Petronilla Meath Bishop Ledrede, which seems have been carried out[ 19] in what may termed a purely unofficial manner would interesting indeed work through the extant Records for the purpose seeing how often torture was judicially used criminals Ireland, and probably the student who undertakes the investigation will find that this terrible and illogical method extracting the truth (!) was very seldom utilised. Nor all clear that torture was employed England similar trials. . Notestein[2] thinks that there are some traces , which cannot however certainly proved, except one particular instance towards the end the reign James I, though this was for the exceptional crime practising sorcery (and therefore high treason) against that too credulous king. Was its use ever legalised Act Parliament either country? Scotland, the other hand, was employed with terrible frequency; there was hardly a trial for witchcraft sorcery but some the unfortunates incriminated were subjected this terrible ordeal. Even late 1690 torture was judicially applied [ 20] extract evidence, for that year a Jacobite gentleman was questioned the boots. But Scotland, even its worst, fades into insignificance before certain parts the Continent, where torture was used extent and degree that can only termed hellish; the appalling ingenuity displayed the various methods applying the “question extraordinary” seems the work demons rather than Christians, and makes one blush for humanity. The repetition of torture was forbidden, indeed, but the infamous Inquisitor, James Sprenger, imagined a subtle distinction which each fresh application was a continuation and not a repetition the first; one sorceress Germany suffered this continuation less than fifty-sixtimes. Nor was the punishment death fire for witchcraft sorcery employed any extent Ireland. have one undoubted instance, and a general hint some others a sequel this. How the two witches were put death 1578 are not told, but probably was hanging. Subsequent the passing the Act 1586 the method execution would[ 21] have been that for felony. the Continent the stake was continual request. 1514 three hundred persons were burnt alive for this crime Como. Between 1615 and 1635 more than six thousand sorcerers were burnt the diocese Strasburg, while, can credit the figures Bartholomew Spina, Lombardy a thousand sorcerers a year were put death for the space twenty-five years3] The total number persons executed various ways for this crime has, according
  • 9. the Encyclopædia Britannica, been variously estimated from one hundred thousand several millions; the latter figure too high undoubtedly the former far too low. the persecution those who practised magical arts rank class society was spared; the noble equally with the peasant was liable torture and death. This was especially true the earlier stages the movement when sorcery rather than witchcraft was the crime committed. For there a general distinction between the two 22] though many instances they are confounded. Sorcery was, speak, more aristocratic pursuit; the sorcerer was the master the Devil (until his allotted time expired and compelled him his bidding: the witch generally belonged the lower classes, embodied her art many practices which lay the borderland between good and evil, and was rather the slave Satan, who almost invariably proved a most faithless and unreliable employer. For illustration from this country the broad distinction between the two the reader may compare Dame Alice Kyteler with Florence Newton. Anybody might become a victim the witch epidemic; noblemen, scholars, monks, nuns, titled ladies, bishops, clergy—none were immune from accusation and condemnation. Nay, even a saint once fell under suspicion; 1595 S. Francis Sales was accused having been present a sorcerers’ sabbath, and narrowly escaped being burnt the populace4] Much more might written the same strain, but[ 23] sufficient illustrations have been brought forward show the reader that its comparative immunity from witchcraft and its terrible consequences Ireland, generally deemed unhappy, may counted the most fortunate country Europe. conclusion, have not considered necessary append a bibliography. The books that have been consulted and which have contained information relative Ireland are, unfortunately, all too numerous, while those that have proved use are fully referred the text footnotes the present volume. should like however acknowledge our indebtedness such general works the subject Sir Walter Scott’s Demonology and Witchcraft, C. K. Sharpe’s History Witchcraft Scotland, John Ashton’s The Devil Britain and America, and Professor Wallace Notestein’s History Witchcraft England, 1558- 1718 (Washington, 1911 the last three contain most useful bibliographical notices. Much valuable information with respect the traditional versions certain incidents which occurred Ulster has been gleaned from Classon Porter’s[ 24] pamphlet, Witches, Warlocks, and Ghosts (reprinted from The Northern Whig of 1885 For a good bird’s-eye view witchcraft the Continent from the earliest times can recommend J. Français’ L’église Sorcellerie (Paris: Nourry, 1910 [ 25] CHAPTER A.D. 1324
  • 10. DAME ALICE KYTELER, THE SORCERESS KILKENNY The history the proceedings against Dame Alice Kyteler and her confederates account their dealings unhallowed arts found a . the British Museum, and has been edited amongst the publications the Camden Society Thomas Wright, who considers a contemporary narrative. Good modern accounts are given the same learned antiquary’s “Narratives Witchcraft and Sorcery” inTransactions the Ossory Archæological Society, vol. i and the Rev. . Carrigan’s History the Diocese Ossory, vol. i. Dame Alice Kyteler (such apparently being her maiden name the facile princeps of Irish witches, was a member a good Anglo-Norman family that had been settled[ 26] in the city Kilkenny for many years. The coffin-shaped tombstone one her ancestors, Jose Keteller, who died 128 preserved S. Mary’s church; the inscription Norman-French and the lettering Lombardic. The lady question must have been far removed from the popular conception a witch old woman striking ugliness, else her powers attraction were very remarkable, for she had succeeded leading four husbands the altar. She had been married, first, William Outlawe Kilkenny, banker; secondly, Adam Blund Callan; thirdly, Richard Valle—all whom she was supposed have got rid poison; and fourthly, Sir John Poer, whom was said she deprived his natural senses philtres and incantations. The Bishop Ossory this period was Richard Ledrede, a Franciscan friar, and Englishman birth. soon learnt that things were not they should , for when making a visitation his diocese early 1324 found Inquisition, which were five knights and numerous[ 27] nobles, that there was the city a band heretical sorcerers, the head whom was Dame Alice. The following charges were laid against them. 1. They had denied the faith Christ absolutely for a year a month, according the object they desired gain through sorcery was greater less importance. During all that period they believed none the doctrines the Church; they did not adore the Body Christ, nor enter a sacred building hear mass, nor make use consecrated bread holy water. 2. They offered sacrifice demons living animals, which they dismembered, and then distributed cross-roads a certain evil spirit low rank, named the Son Art. 3. They sought their sorcery advice and responses from demons. 4. their nightly meetings they blasphemously imitated the power the Church fulminating sentence excommunication, with lighted candles, even against their own husbands, from the sole their foot the crown their head, naming each part expressly, and then concluded [ 28] extinguishing the candles and crying Fi! ! ! Amen. 5. order arouse feelings love hatred, inflict death disease the bodies the faithful, they made use powders, unguents, ointments, and candles fat, which were compounded follows. They took the entrails cocks sacrificed demons, certain horrible worms, various unspecified herbs, dead men’s nails, the hair, brains, and shreds the cerements boys who were buried unbaptized, with other abominations, all which they cooked, with
  • 11. various incantations, over a fire oak-logs a vessel made out the skull a decapitated thief. 6. The children Dame Alice’s four husbands accused her before the Bishop having killed their fathers sorcery, and having brought them such stolidity their senses that they bequeathed all their wealth her and her favourite son, William Outlawe, the impoverishment the other children. They also stated that her present husband, Sir John Poer, had been reduced such a condition sorcery and the use powders that had[ 29] become terribly emaciated, his nails had dropped off, and there was hair left his body. doubt would have died had not been warned a maid-servant what was happening, consequence which had forcibly possessed himself his wife’s keys, and had opened some chests which found a sackful horrible and detestable things which transmitted the bishop the hands two priests. 7. The said dame had a certain demon, incubus, named Son Art, Robin son Art, who had carnal knowledge her, and from whom she admitted that she had received all her wealth. This incubus made its appearance under various forms, sometimes a cat, a hairy black dog, the likeness a negro (Æthiops accompanied two others who were larger and taller than , and whom one carried iron rod. According another source the sacrifice the evil spirit said have consisted nine red cocks, and nine peacocks’ eyes. Dame Alice was also accused having “swept the streets Kilkenny betweene compleine and twilight, raking all the filth[ 30] towards the doores hir sonne William Outlawe, murmuring secretly with hir selfe these words: “ the house William sonne Hie all the wealth Kilkennie towne ascertaining the above the Bishop wrote the Chancellor Ireland, Roger Outlawe, who was also Prior the Preceptory Kilmainham, for the arrest these persons. Upon this William Outlawe formed a strong party oppose the Bishop’s demands, amongst which were the Chancellor, his near relative, and Sir Arnold Poer, the Seneschal Kilkenny, who was probably akin Dame Alice’s fourth husband. The Chancellor reply wrote the Bishop stating that a warrant for arrest could not obtained until a public process excommunication had been force for forty days, while Sir Arnold also wrote requesting him withdraw the case, else ignore . Finding such obstacles placed his way the Bishop took the matter into his own hands, and cited the Dame, who was then her son’s house Kilkenny, appear before him. might [ 31] expected, she ignored the citation, and fled immediately. Foiled this, cited her son William for heresy. Upon this Sir Arnold came with William the Priory Kells, where Ledrede was holding a visitation, and besought him not proceed further the matter. Finding entreaty useless had recourse threats, which speedily put into execution. the Bishop was going forth the following day continue his visitation was met the confines the town Kells Stephen Poer, bailiff the cantred Overk, and a posse armed men, whom was arrested under orders from Sir Arnold, and lodged the same day Kilkenny jail. This naturally caused tremendous excitement the
  • 12. city. The place became ipso factosubject interdict; the Bishop desired the Sacrament, and was brought him solemn procession the Dean and Chapter. All the clergy, both secular and religious, flocked from every side the prison offer their consolation the captive, and their feelings were roused the highest pitch the preaching a Dominican 32] who took his text, Blessed are they which are persecuted, &c. Seeing this, William Outlawe nervously informed Sir Arnold , who thereupon decided keep the Bishop closer restraint, but subsequently changed his mind, and allowed him have companions with him day and night, and also granted free admission all his friends and servants. After Ledrede had been detained prison for seventeen days, and Sir Arnold having thereby attained his end, viz. that the day which William Outlawe was cited appear should the meantime pass , sent the hands his uncle the Bishop Leighlin (Miler Poer and the sheriff Kilkenny a mandate the constable the prison liberate the Bishop. The latter refused sneak out like a released felon, but assumed his pontificals, and, accompanied all the clergy and a throng people, made his way solemnly S. Canice’s Cathedral, where gave thanks God. With a pertinacity cannot but admire again cited William Outlawe public proclamation appear before him, but before the day arrived the Bishop[ 33] was himself cited answer Dublin for having placed interdict his diocese. excused himself from attending the plea that the road thither passed through the lands Sir Arnold, and that consequence his life would danger. Ledrede had been arrested Poer’s orders Lent, the year 1324. Monday following the octave Easter the Seneschal held his court Kilkenny, which entrance was denied the Bishop; but the latter, fully robed, and carrying the Sacrament a golden vase, made his way into the court-room, and “ascending the tribunal, and reverently elevating the Body Christ, sought from the Seneschal, Justiciary, and Bailiffs that a hearing should granted him The scene between the two was extraordinary; too lengthy insert, and does not bear condensed—suffice say that the Seneschal alluded the Bishop “that vile, rustic, interloping monk (trutannus with his dirt (hordys) which carrying his hands and refused hear his arguments, afford him any assistance. Though have lost sight for a while[ 34] of Dame Alice, yet she seems have been eagerly watching the trend events, for now find her having the Bishop summoned Dublin answer for having excommunicated her, uncited, unadmonished, and unconvicted the crime sorcery. attended accordingly, and found the King’s and the Archbishop’s courts against him a man, but the upshot the matter was that the Bishop won the day; Sir Arnold was humbled, and sought his pardon for the wrongs had done him. This was granted, and the presence the council and the assembled prelates they mutually gave each other the kiss peace. Affairs having come such a satisfactory conclusion the Bishop had leisure turn his attention the business that had unavoidably been laid aside for some little time. directed letters patent, praying the Chancellor seize the said Alice Kyteler, and also directed the Vicar-General the Archbishop Dublin cite her respond a certain day Kilkenny before the Bishop. But the bird escaped again out the hand the fowler. Dame Alice fled a second time, this occasion[ 35] from Dublin, where she had been living, and ( said)
  • 13. made her way England, where she spent the remainder her days unmolested. Several her confederates were subsequently arrested, some them being apparently a very humble condition life, and were committed prison. Their names were: Robert Bristol, a clerk, John Galrussyn, Ellen Galrussyn, Syssok Galrussyn, William Payn Boly, Petronilla Meath, her daughter Sarah5] Alice the wife Henry Faber, Annota Lange, and Eva Brownestown. When the Bishop arrived Kilkenny from Dublin went direct the prison, and interviewed the unfortunates mentioned above. They all immediately confessed the charges laid against them, and even went the length admitting other crimes which mention had been made; but, according them, Dame Alice was the mother and mistress them all. Upon this the Bishop wrote letters the 6 June the Chancellor, and the Treasurer, Walter Islep, requesting them order the Sheriff attach the bodies these people and put[ 36] them safe keeping. But a warrant was refused, owing the fact that William Outlawe was a relation the one and a close friend the other; length the Bishop obtained through the Justiciary, who also consented deal with the case when came Kilkenny. Before his arrival the Bishop summoned William Outlawe answer S. Mary’s Church. The latter appeared before him, accompanied a band men armed the teeth; but way overawed this show force, Ledrede formally accused him heresy, favouring, receiving, and defending heretics, well usury, perjury, adultery, clericide, and excommunications— all thirty-four items were brought forward against him, and was permitted respond the arrival the Justiciary. When the latter reached Kilkenny, accompanied the Chancellor, the Treasurer, and the King’s Council, the Bishop their presence recited the charges against Dame Alice, and with the common consent the lawyers present declared her a sorceress, magician, and heretic, and demanded that she should handed over[ 37] the secular arm and have her goods and chattels confiscated well. Judging from Friar Clyn’s note this took place the 2 July. the same day the Bishop caused a great fire lit the middle the town which burnt the sackful magical stock--trade, consisting powders, ointments, human nails, hair, herbs, worms, and other abominations, which the reader will remember had received from Sir John Poer early stage the proceedings. Further trouble arose with William Outlawe, who was backed the Chancellor and Treasurer, but the Bishop finally succeeded beating him, and compelled him submit his bended knees. way penance was ordered hear least three masses every day for the space a year, feed a certain number poor people, and cover with lead the chancel S. Canice’s Cathedral from the belfry eastward, well the Chapel the Blessed Virgin. thankfully agreed this, but subsequently refused fulfil his obligations, and was thereupon cast into prison. [ 38]What was the fate Dame Alice’s accomplices, whose names have given above, not specifically recorded, except one particular instance. One them, Petronilla Meath, was made the scapegoat for her mistress. The Bishop had her flogged six times, and under the repeated application this form torture she made the required confession magical practices. She admitted the denial her faith and the sacrificing Robert, son Art, and
  • 14. well that she had caused certain women her acquaintance appear they had goats’ horns. She also confessed that the suggestion Dame Alice she had frequently consulted demons and received responses from them, and that she had acted a “medium” (mediatrix) between her and the said Robert. She declared that although she herself was mistress the Black Art, yet she was nothing comparison with the Dame from whom she had learnt all her knowledge, and that there was one the world more skilful than she. She also stated that William Outlawe deserved death much she, for was privy their sorceries, and for a year and[ 39] day had worn the devil’s girdle[6] round his body. When rifling Dame Alice’s house there was found “a wafer sacramental bread, having the devil’s name stamped thereon instead Jesus Christ, and a pipe ointment wherewith she greased a staffe, upon which she ambled and galloped through thicke and thin, when and what manner she listed Petronilla was accordingly condemned burnt alive, and the execution this sentence took place with all due solemnity Kilkenny 3 November 1324, which according Clyn fell a Sunday. This was the first instance the punishment death fire being inflicted Ireland for heresy. Whether not Petronilla’s fellow-prisoners were punished not clear, but the words the anonymous narrator show that the burning that unfortunate wretch was rather the beginning than the end persecution—that fact numerous other suspected persons were followed , some whom shared her terrible fate, while others milder[ 40] forms punishment were meted out, doubt proportion their guilt. says: “With regard the other heretics and sorcerers who belonged the pestilential society Robin, son Art, the order law being preserved, some them were publicly burnt death; others, confessing their crimes the presence all the people, upper garment, are marked back and front with a cross after they had abjured their heresy, the custom; others were solemnly whipped through the town and the market-place; others were banished from the city and diocese; others who evaded the jurisdiction the Church were excommunicated; while others again fled fear and were never heard after. And thus, the authority Holy Mother Church, and the special grace God, that most foul brood was scattered and destroyed Sir Arnold Poer, who had taken such a prominent part the affair, was next attacked. The Bishop accused him heresy, had him excommunicated, and committed prisoner Dublin Castle. His innocency was believed most people 41] and Roger Outlawe, Prior Kilmainham, who also figures our story, and who was appointed Justiciary Ireland 1328, showed him some kindness, and treated him with humanity. This enraged the Bishop that actually accused the Justiciary heresy. A select committee clerics vindicated the orthodoxy the latter, upon which prepared a sumptuous banquet for his defenders. Poer died prison the same year, 1331, before the matter was finally settled, and was under ban excommunication his body lay unburied for a long period. But ultimately the tables were turned with a vengeance. Ledrede was himself accused heresy his Metropolitan, Alexander Bicknor, upon which appealed the Holy See, and set out person for Avignon. endured a long exile from his diocese, suffered much hardship, and had his temporalities seized the Crown well. 1339 recovered the royal favour, but ten years later further accusations were brought the king against him,
  • 15. consequence which the temporalities were a second time taken , and other[ 42] severe measures were threatened. However, 1356 the storm had blown over; terminated a lengthy and disturbed episcopate 1360, and was buried the chancel S. Canice’s the north side the high altar. A recumbent effigy under ogee-headed canopy supposed mark the last resting-place this turbulent prelate. the foregoing pages have only given the barest outline the story, except that the portions relative the practice sorcery have been fully dealt with pertinent the purpose this book, well account the importance the case the annals Irish witchcraft. The story Dame Alice Kyteler and Bishop Ledrede occupies forty pages the Camden Society’s publications, while additional illustrative matter can obtained from external sources; indeed, all the scattered material were gathered together and carefully sifted would sufficient make a short but interesting biography that prelate, and would throw considerable light the relations between Church and State Ireland the fourteenth century. With regard the tale difficult know[ 43] what view should taken . Possibly Dame Alice and her associates actually tried practise magical arts, and , considering the period which occurred, certainly cannot blame the Bishop for taking the steps did. the other hand, judge from the analogy Continental witchcraft, feared that Ledrede was some extent swayed such baser motives greed gain and desire for revenge. also seems have been tyrannical, overbearing, and dictatorial; according him the attitude adopted the Church should never questioned the State, but this view was not shared his opponents. Though our sympathies not lie altogether with him, yet give him his due must said that was ready persecuted persecute; did not hesitate face opposition which consisted some the highest the land, nor did fear attack imprisonment (which actually suffered) avail turn him aside from following the course had mapped out for himself. should noticed that the appointment Ledrede the See Ossory[ 44] almost synchronised with the elevation John XXII the Papacy. The attitude that Pope towards magical arts was uncertain one. believed himself surrounded enemies who were ever making attempts his life modelling images him wax, subsequently thrust through with pins and melted, doubt; sending him a devil enclosed a ring, various other ways. Consequently several Bulls anathematised sorcerers, denounced their ill-deeds, excited the inquisitors against them, and gave ecclesiastical authorisation the reality the belief magical forces. Indeed, the general expressions used the Bull Super illius specula might applied the actions Dame Alice and her party. says certain persons that “they sacrifice demons and adore them, making causing made images, rings, &c with which they draw the evil spirits their magical art, obtain responses from them, and demand their help performing their evil designs7] Heresy and sorcery were now identified, and the punishment for the former was the[ 45] same that for the latter, viz. burning the stake and confiscation property. The attitude this Pontiff evidently found a sympathiser Bishop Ledrede, who deemed necessary follow the example set the Head the Church, with what results have already shown: thus find Ireland a ripple the wave that swept over Europe this period.
  • 16. very probable, too, that there were many underlying local causes which can know little nothing; the discontent and anger the disinherited children the loss the wealth which Dame Alice had bereft them her exercise “undue influence” over her husbands, family quarrels, private hatreds, and possibly national jealousy helped bring about one the strangest series events the chequered history Ireland. [ 46] CHAPTER III A.D. 1223-1583 THE KYTELER CASE AND ITS SURROUNDINGS SORCERY AND HERESY—MICHAEL SCOT— THE FOURTH EARL DESMOND —JAMES I AND THE IRISH PROPHETESS—A SORCERY ACCUSATION 1447— WITCHCRAFT TRIALS THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY— STATUTES DEALING WITH THE SUBJECT—EYE-BITERS—THE ENCHANTED EARL DESMOND one respect the case Dame Alice Kyteler stands alone the history magical dealings Ireland prior the seventeenth century. have the entire proceedings invaluable and contemporary account, latest one compiled within a very few years after the death Petronilla Meath; while the excitement produced the affair shown the more less lengthy allusions early writings, such asThe Book Howth (Carew MSS.), the Annals Friar Clyn, the Chartularies S. Mary’s Abbey (vol. .), &c. also rendered more valuable the fact that those who[ 47] are best qualified give their opinion the matter have assured the writer that the best their belief entries with respect trials for sorcery witchcraft can found the various old Rolls preserved the Dublin Record Office. But when the story considered with reference the following facts takes a different signification. the 29 September 1317 (Wright says 1320 Bishop Ledrede held his first Synod, which several canons were passed, one which seems some degree introductory the events detailed the preceding chapter. speaks “a certain new and pestilential sect our parts, differing from all the faithful the world, filled with a devilish spirit, more inhuman than heathens Jews, who pursue the priests and bishops the Most High God equally life and death, spoiling and rending the patrimony Christ the diocese Ossory,
  • 17. and who utter grievous threats against the bishops and their ministers exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and ( various means) attempt hinder the correction sins and the salvation souls, contempt God[ 48] and the Church8] From this would seem that heresy and unorthodoxy had already made its appearance the diocese. 1324 the Kyteler case occurred, one the participants being burnt the stake, while other incriminated persons were subsequently followed , some whom shared the fate Petronilla. 1327 Adam Dubh, the Leinster tribe O’Toole, was burnt alive College Green for denying the doctrines the Incarnation and the Holy Trinity, well for rejecting the authority the Holy See9] In 1335 Pope Benedict XII wrote a letter King Edward III, which occurs the following passage: “ has come our knowledge that while our venerable brother, Richard, Bishop Ossory, was visiting his diocese, there appeared the midst his catholic people men who were heretics together with their abettors, some whom asserted that Jesus Christ was a mere man and a sinner, and was justly crucified for His own sins; others after having done homage and offered sacrifice demons, thought otherwise [ 49] the sacrament the Body Christ than the Catholic Church teaches, saying that the same venerable sacrament means worshipped; and also asserting that they are not bound obey believe the decrees, decretals, and apostolic mandates; the meantime, consulting demons according the rites those sects among the Gentiles and Pagans, they despise the sacraments the Catholic Church, and draw the faithful Christ after them their superstitions Inquisitors heresy have been appointed Ireland, begs the King give prompt assistance the Bishop and other Prelates their efforts punish the aforesaid heretics10] If the above refer the Kyteler case came rather late the day; but quite possible, view the closing words the anonymous narrator, that has reference rather the following the dame’s associates, a process that must have involved a good deal time and trouble, and which doubt many unhappy creatures were implicated. Again, 1353, two men were tried Bunratty . Clare Roger Cradok, Bishop [ 50] Waterford, for holding heretical opinions ( for offering contumely the Blessed Virgin and were sentenced burnt11] The above are almost the only ( not the only) instances known the punishment death fire being inflicted Ireland for heresy. From a consideration the facts here enumerated would seem a considerable portion Ireland had been invaded a wave heresy the first half the fourteenth century, and that this manifested itself under a twofold form—first, a denial the cardinal doctrines the Church and a consequent revolt against her jurisdiction; and secondly, the use magical arts, incantations, charms, familiar spirits, et hoc genus omne. this movement the Kyteler case was only episode, though obviously the most prominent one; while its importance was considerably enhanced, not exaggerated out all due proportion, the aggressive attitude adopted Bishop Ledrede against the lady and her companions, well his[ 51] struggles with Outlawe and Poer, and their powerful backers, the Chancellor and Treasurer Ireland. The anonymous writer, who was plainly a cleric, and a partisan the Bishop’s, seems have compiled his narration not much account the incident sorcery show the courage and perseverance Ledrede, and well make manifest the fact that the Church should dictate the State, not the State the Church. appears quite possible, too, that other separate cases sorcery occurred Ireland this period, though
  • 18. they had historian immortalise them, and doubt any event would have faded into insignificance comparison with the doings Dame Kyteler and her “infernal crew From this shall endeavour deal with the subject far possible chronological order. perhaps not generally known that one time Irish See narrowly escaped ( its misfortune, said) having a magician its Chief Shepherd. 1223 the Archbishopric Cashel became vacant, upon which the Capitular Body elected their Archbishop the then[ 52] Bishop Cork, whom the temporalities were restored the following year. But some little time prior this the Pope had set aside the election and “provided” a nominee his own, one Master M. Scot, fill the vacancy: however declined the proffered dignity the ground that was ignorant the Irish language. This papal candidate was none other than the famous Michael Scot, reputed a wizard such potency that— “When Salamanca’s cave Him listed his magic wand wave The bells would ring Notre Dame Scot had studied successively Oxford and Paris (where acquired the title “mathematicus”); then passed Bologna, thence Palermo, and subsequently continued his studies Toledo. His refusal the See Cashel was intellectual loss the Irish Church, for was widely renowned for his varied and extensive learning that was credited with supernatural powers; a number legends grew around his name which hid his real merit, and transformed the man[ 53] of science into a magician. the Border country traditions his magical power are common. Boccaccio alludes “a great master necromancy, called Michael Scot while Dante places him the eighth circle Hell. “The next, who slender the flanks, Was Michael Scot, who a verity magical illusions knew the game12] Another man whom magical powers were attributed solely account his learning was Gerald, the fourth Earl Desmond13] styled the Poet, who died rather mysteriously 1398. The Four Masters their Annals describe him “a nobleman wonderful bounty, mirth, cheerfulness conversation, charitable his deeds, easy access, a witty and ingenious composer Irish poetry, a learned and profound chronicler legends are extant his magical deeds. King James I Scotland, whose severities against his nobles had aroused their bitter resentment, was barbarously assassinated [ 54] Perth 1437 some their supporters, who were aided and abetted the aged Duke Atholl. From a contemporary account this learn that the monarch’s fate was predicted him Irish prophetess witch; had given ear her message might have escaped with his life. modernise the somewhat difficult spelling, but retain the quaint language the original. “The king, suddenly advised, made a solemn feast the Christmas Perth, which clept Saint John’s Town, which from Edinburgh the other side the Scottish sea, the which vulgarly clept the water Lethe. the midst the way there arose a woman Ireland, that clept herself a soothsayer. The which anon she saw the king she cried with loud voice, saying thus: ‘ lord king, and you pass this water
  • 19. you shall never turn again alive The king hearing this was astonied her words; for but a little before had read a prophecy that the self same year the king Scots should slain: and therewithal the king, rode, cleped him one his knights, and gave him commandment turn[ 55] again speak with that woman, and ask her what she would, and what thing she meant with her loud crying. And she began, and told him have heard the King Scots passed that water. now the king asked her, how she knew that. And she said, that Huthart told her . ‘Sire quoth , ‘men may “calant” take heed yon woman’s words, for she but a drunken fool, and wot not what she saith and with his folk passed the water clept the Scottish sea, towards Saint John’s town The narrator states some dreams ominous James’s murder, and afterwards proceeds thus: “Both afore supper, and long after into quarter the night, the which the Earl Atholl (Athetelles) and Robert Steward were about the king, where they were occupied the playing the chess, the tables, reading romances, singing and piping, harping, and other honest solaces great pleasance and disport. Therewith came the said woman Ireland, that clept herself a divineress, and entered the king’s court, till that she came straight the king’s chamber- door, where she stood, and[ 56] abode because that was shut. And fast she knocked, till the last the usher opened the door, marvelling that woman’s being there that time night, and asking her what she would. ‘Let , sir quoth she, ‘for I have somewhat say, and tell unto the king; for I the same woman that not long ago desired have spoken with him the Leith, when should pass the Scottish sea The usher went and told him this woman. ‘Yea quoth the king, ‘let her come tomorrow because that was occupied with such disports that time him let not hear her then. The usher came again the chamber-door the said woman, and there told her that the king was busy playing, and bid her come soon again upon the morrow. ‘Well said the woman, ‘ shall repent you all that will not let speak now with the king Thereat the usher laughed, and held her but a fool, charging her her way, and therewithal she went thence Her informant “Huthart” was evidently a familiar spirit who was attendance her14] [ 57]Considering the barrenness Irish records the subject sorcery and witchcraft affords small satisfaction find the following statement the Statute Rolls the Parliament[15] for the year 1447. consists a most indignantly-worded remonstrance from the Lords and Commons, which was drawn forth the fact that some highly-placed personage had been accused practising sorcery with the intent grievous harm his enemy. When making the remonstrants appear have forgotten, perhaps, like Members Parliament other ages, found convenient forget for the nonce the Kyteler incident the previous century. the particular case here alluded unfortunately details are given, nor any clue for obtaining them afforded . The remonstrance runs follows: “Also the prayer John, Archbishop Armagh (and others That whereas the subtle malice and malicious suits certain persons slandering a man rank this land was entirely slandered, and still such slanderous matters never were known this land before, ruining[ 58] or destroying any man sorcery necromancy, the which they think and believe impossible performed art— ordained and agreed authority this present parliament, with the entire assent the lords spiritual and temporal and commons said parliament, that our lord the king certified the truth this matter, avoidance the slander this land common, asserting that
  • 20. such art was attempted any time this land, known rumoured among the people, nor any opinion had entertained the same the lay men this land until now seems likely that the accusation was prompted personal enmity, and was groundless fact; but the annals witchcraft show that such indictment could prove a most terrible weapon the hands unscrupulous persons. With respect the above learn that Ireland was coming into line with England, for the latter country during the fifteenth century charges sorcery were frequently raised against persons eminence their political adversaries. One the most celebrated cases the kind occurred only six years prior the[ 59] above, 1441, that the Duchess Gloucester the reign Henry . Nothing further the subject recorded until the year 1544, under which date find the following entry the table the red council book Ireland: “A letter Charles FitzArthur for sendinge a witch the Lord Deputie examined This note a most tantalising one. The red council book has been lost, but a succinct “table” its contents, from which the above has been extracted, and which was apparently compiled Sir William Usher, has been preserved Add. MSS. 1792, and published Hist. MSS. Comm. 15 Report, appendix, part 3, but examination the original . reveals nothing addition the above passage; , until the lost book discovered, must remain ignorance with respect the doings this particular witch. The next notice witchcraft Ireland occurs the year 1578, when a witch-trial took place Kilkenny, though here again, unfortunately, details have been preserved 60] In the November that year sessions were held there the Lord Justice Drury and Sir Henry Fitton, who, their letter the Privy Council the 20 the same month, inform that Body that upon arriving the town “the jail being full caused sessions immediately held. Thirty-six persons were executed, amongst whom were some good ones, blackamoor and two witches by natural law, for that find law try them this realm16] It easy see why the witches were put death, but the reason for the negro’s execution not obvious. can hardly have been for the colour his skin, although doubt a black man was much a rara avis in the town Kilkenny a black swan. Had the words been written the time the unfortunate negro might well have exclaimed, though vain, his judges: “Mislike not for complexion— The shadowed livery the burning sun could have been that was the unhappy victim a false etymology! For[ 61] in old writers the word “necromancy” spelt “nigromancy divination was practised through the medium of negroes instead of dead persons; indeed old vocabulary 1475 “Nigromantia” defined “divinatio facta per nigros may therefore have been suspected complicity with the two witches. yet the “natural law” held sway Ireland, but very soon this country was fully equipped with a Statute all itself. Two Statutes against witchcraft had already been passed England, one 1541, which was repealed six years later, and a second 1562. Partly doubt account the Kilkenny case 1578, and partly place Ireland the same footing
  • 21. England, a Statute was passed the Irish Parliament 1586. Shorn much legal verbiage the principal points may gathered from the following extracts: “Where this present there ordinarie condigne punishment provided against the practices the wicked offences[ 62] of conjurations, and invocations evill spirites, and sorceries, enchauntments, charms, and witchcrafts, whereby manie fantasticall and devilish persons have devised and practised invocations and conjurations evill and wicked spirites, and have used and practised witchcrafts, enchauntments, charms, and sorceries, the destruction the persons and goods their neighbours, and other subjects this realm, and for other lewde and evill intents and purposes, contrary the laws Almighty God, the peril their owne soules, and the great infamie and disquietnesse this realm. For reformation thereof, enacted the Queen’s Majestie, with the assent the lords spirituall and temporall and the commons this present Parliament assembled. “1. That any person persons after the end three months next, and immediately after the end the last session this present parliament, shall use, practise, exercise any witchcraft, enchauntment, charme, sorcery, whereby any person shall happen killed destroied 63] that then well any such offender offenders invocations and conjurations, aforesaid, their aydors councelors ... being the said offences lawfully convicted and attainted, shall suffer paines death a felon felons, and shall lose the privilege and benefit clergie and sanctuarie; saving the widow such person her title dower, and also the heires and successors such a person all rights, titles, &c though such attaynder had been made. “2. any persons (after the above period) shall use, practise, exercise any witchcraft, enchauntment, charme, sorcery, whereby any person persons shall happen wasted, consumed, lamed, his their bodie member, whereby any goods cattels any such person shall destroyed, wasted, impaired, then every such offender shall for the first offence suffer imprisonment the space one yeare without bayle maineprise, and once every quarter the said yeare, shall some market towne, upon the market day, such time any faire[ 64] shall kept there, stand openlie the pillorie for the space sixe houres, and shall there openly confesse his theire errour and offence, and for the second offence shall suffer death a felon, saving, &c. ( clause 1 “3. Provided always, that the offender any the cases aforesaid, for which the paines death shall ensue, shall happen a peer this
  • 22. realm: then his triall therein had his peers, used cases felony and treason, and not otherwise. “4. And further, the intent that all manner practice, use, exercise witchcraft, enchauntment, charme, sorcery, should from henceforth utterly avoide, abolished, and taken away; enacted the authority this present Parliament that any person persons ... shall take upon them witchcraft, &c tell declare what place any treasure gold silver shall might found had the earth other secret places, where goods things lost stollen should found become, shall use practice any sorcery, &c the intent provoke[ 65] any person unlawful love (for the first offence punished clause 2 but convicted a second time shall forfeit unto the Queen’s Majesty all his goods and chattels, and suffer imprisonment during life the whole, considering the temper the time, this Statute was exceedingly mild. made provision whatsoever for the use torture extract evidence, nor indeed did offer any particular encouragement the witch hunter, while the manner inflicting the death penalty was precisely that for felony, viz. hanging, drawing, and quartering for men, and burning (preceded strangulation) for women—sufficiently unpleasant, doubt, but far more merciful than burning alive the stake. some way Ireland was fortunate enough escape the notice that keen witch hunter, King James I and ; had been otherwise have little doubt but that this country would have contributed its share the list victims that monarch’s reign. The above was therefore the only[ 66] Statute against witchcraft passed the Irish Parliament; said that was never repealed, and doubt force the present day. Another Act the Parliament Ireland, passed 1634, and designed facilitate the administration justice, makes mention witchcraft, and there held one the recognised methods which one man could take the life another. “Forasmuch the most necessary office and duty law preserve and save the life man, and condignly punish such persons that unlawfully wilfully murder, slay, destroy men ... and where often happeneth that a man feloniously strucken one county, and dieth another county, which case hath not been found the laws this realm that any sufficient indictment thereof can taken any the said two counties.... For redress and punishment such offences ... enacted ... that where any person shall traiterously feloniously stricken, poysoned, or bewitched in one county (and die another, out [ 67] the kingdom, &c.), that indictment thereof found jurors the county where the death shall happen, shall good and effectual the law , &c. &c Before passing from the subject may note a curious allusion a mythical Act Parliament
  • 23. which was intended put a stop a certain lucrative form witchcraft. gravely stated the writer a little book entitled Beware the Cat[17] (and Giraldus Cambrensis before him that Irish witches could turn wisps hay, straw, &c. into red-coloured pigs, which they dishonestly sold the market, but which resumed their proper shape when crossing running water. prevent this stated that the Irish Parliament passed Act forbidding the purchase red swine. regret say, however, that such interesting Act found the Statute books. The belief the power witches [ 68] inflict harm the cattle those whom they hated, which have given some modern illustrations the concluding chapter, was found Elizabethan times this country. Indeed are put credence the following passage from Reginald Scot, quoted Thomas Ady his Perfect Discovery Witches (London, 1661 a certain amount witch persecution arose with reference this point, possibly a natural outcome the Statute 1586. “Master Scot his Discovery telleth , that our English people Ireland, whose posterity were lately barbarously cut off, were much given this Idolatry [belief witches] the Queen’s time [Elizabeth insomuch that there being a Disease amongst their Cattel that grew blinde, being a common Disease that Country, they did commonly execute people for , calling them eye-biting Witches From incidental notices writers the latter half the sixteenth century would seem first sight witchcraft, are treating this work, was very prevalent Ireland this period. Barnabe[ 69] Rich says his description Ireland: “The Irish are wonderfully addicted give credence the prognostications Soothsayers and Witches Stanihurst writes that his time (1547-1618) there were many sorcerers amongst the Irish. A note . Hanmer’s Collection speaks “Tyrone his witch the which hanged18] But these statements seem rather have reference the point view from which the English writers regarded the native bards, well the “wise women” who foretold the future; probably “Tyrone” put his “witch” death, not through abhorrence her unhallowed doings, but a fit passion because her interpretation coming events, which may have allowed himself guided, turned out wrongly. have already alluded Gerald, the fourth Earl Desmond. His namesake, the sixteenth holder the title, commonly known the “Great Earl who was betrayed and killed 1583, has passed from the region history that mythology 70] as credited with being the husband ( son) a goddess. Not many miles from the city Limerick a lonely, picturesque lake, Lough Gur, which was included his extensive possessions, and the bottom which supposed lie enchanted. According the legend[19] he was a very potent magician, and usually resided a castle which was built a small island that lake. this brought his bride, a young and beautiful girl, whom loved with a too fond love, for she succeeded prevailing upon him gratify her selfish desires, with fatal results. One day she presented herself the chamber which her husband exercised his forbidden art, and begged him show her the wonders his evil science. With the greatest reluctance consented, but warned her that she must prepare herself witness a series most frightful phenomena, which, once commenced, could neither abridged nor mitigated, while she spoke a single word during the proceedings the castle and all contained[ 71] would sink the
  • 24. bottom the lake. Urged curiosity she gave the required promise, and commenced. Muttering a spell stood before her, feathers sprouted thickly over him, his face became contracted and hooked, a corpse-like smell filled the air, and winnowing the air with beats its heavy wings a gigantic vulture rose his stead, and swept round and round the room the point pouncing upon her. The lady controlled herself through this trial, and another began. The bird alighted near the door, and less than a minute changed, she saw not how, into a horribly deformed and dwarfish hag, who, with yellow skin hanging about her face, and cavernous eyes, swung herself crutches towards the lady, her mouth foaming with fury, and her grimaces and contortions becoming more and more hideous every moment, till she rolled with a fearful yell the floor a horrible convulsion the lady’s feet, and then changed into a huge serpent, which came sweeping and arching towards her with crest erect and quivering tongue 72] Suddenly, seemed the point darting her, she saw her husband its stead, standing pale before her, and with his finger his lips enforcing the continued necessity silence. then placed himself full length the floor and began stretch himself out, longer and longer, until his head nearly reached one end the vast room and his feet the other. This utterly unnerved her. She gave a wild scream horror, whereupon the castle and all sank the bottom the lake. Once seven years the great Earl rises, and rides night his white horse round Lough Gur. The steed shod with silver shoes, and when these are worn out the spell that holds the Earl will broken, and will regain possession his vast estates and semi-regal power. the opening years the nineteenth century there was living a man named Teigue O’Neill, who claimed have seen him the occasion one his septennial appearances under the following curious conditions. O’Neill was a blacksmith, and his forge stood the brow a hill[ 73]overlooking the lake, a lonely part the road Cahirconlish. One night, when there was a bright moon, was working very late and quite alone. one the pauses his work heard the ring many hoofs ascending the steep road that passed his forge, and, standing his doorway, saw a gentleman a white horse, who was dressed a fashion the like which had never seen before. This man was accompanied a mounted retinue, similar dress. They seemed riding the hill a gallop, but the pace slackened they drew near, and the rider the white horse, who seemed from his haughty air a man rank, drew bridle, and came a halt before the smith’s door. did not speak, and all his train were silent, but beckoned the smith, and pointed down one the horse’s hoofs. Teigue stooped and raised , and held just long enough see that was shod with a silver shoe, which one place was worn thin a shilling. Instantly his situation was made apparent him this sign, and recoiled with a terrified prayer. The[ 74] lordly rider, with a look pain and fury, struck him suddenly with something that whistled the air like a whip; icy streak seemed traverse his body, and the same time saw the whole cavalcade break into a gallop, and disappear down the hill. generally supposed that for the purpose putting end his period enchantment the Earl endeavours lead someone first break the silence and speak him; but what, the event his succeeding, would the result, would befall the person thus ensnared, one knows.
  • 25. a letter[20] written the year 1640, the Earl assumes a different appearance. learn from that a countryman was his way the ancient and celebrated fair Knockaney, situated a few miles from Lough Gur, met “a gentleman standing the waye, demanding would sell his horse. answered, yea, for £5. The gentleman would give him but £4, 10s saying would not get much the ffaire. The fellow[ 75] went the ffaire, could not get much money, and found the gentleman his return the same place, who proffered the same money. The fellow accepting , the other bid him come and receive his money. carried him into a fine spacious castle, payed him his money every penny, and showed him the fairest black horse that ever was seene, and told him that that horse was the Earl Desmond, and that had three shoes alreadye, when hath the fourthe shoe, which should very shortlie, then should the Earl was before, thus guarded with many armed men conveying him out the gates. The fellow came home, but never was any castle that place either before since The local variant the legend states that the seller the horse was a Clare man, and that went home after having been paid gold the full amount a satisfactory bargain, but the following morning found his great mortification, that instead the gold coins had only a pocketful ivy leaves. Readers Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame will recall the incident the écu that (apparently 76] was transformed magic into a withered leaf. Similar tales horse-dealing with mysterious strangers are told Scotland connection with the celebrated Thomas the Rhymer, Erceldoune. [ 77] CHAPTER A.D. 1606-1656 A CLERICAL WIZARD— WITCHCRAFT CURED A RELIC —RAISING THE DEVIL IRELAND—HOW WAS CHEATED A DOCTOR DIVINITY— STEWART AND THE FAIRIES— REV. ROBERT BLAIR AND THE MAN POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL —STRANGE OCCURRENCES NEAR LIMERICK—APPARITIONS MURDERED PEOPLE PORTADOWN—CHARMED LIVES —VISIONS AND PORTENTS— PETITION A BEWITCHED ANTRIM MAN ENGLAND—
  • 26. ARCHBISHOP USHER’S PROPHECIES—. BROWNE AND THE LOCKED CHEST interesting trial a clergyman for the practice unhallowed arts took place early 1606— interesting and valuable, for other reason than that the first instance such a case being discovered the Rolls the Record Office (not counting those the Parliament 1447 though hope that will not prove a unique entry, but rather the earnest others. Shorn legal redundancies runs follows: “Inquiry taken before our lord the King the King’s Court the Saturday[ 78] next after the three weeks Easter the 6 year James I the oath upright and lawful men the County Louth. Who say, that John Aston, late Mellifont, . Louth, clerk, not having the fear God before his eyes, but being wholly seduced the devil, December 1 Mellifont aforesaid, and divers other days and places, wickedly and feloniously used, practised, and exercised divers invocations and conjurings wicked and lying spirits with the intent and purpose that might find and recover a certain silver cup formerly taken away Mellifont aforesaid, and also that might understand where and what region the most wicked traitor Hugh, Earl Tyrone, then was, and what was contriving against the said lord the King and the State this kingdom Ireland, and also that might find out and obtain divers treasures gold and silver concealed the earth Mellifont aforesaid and Cashel the county the Cross Tipperary, feloniously and against the peace the said lord the King. known that the aforesaid John was taken, and being a prisoner the[ 79] Castle the City Dublin warrant the lord King was sent into England, therefore further proceedings shall cease21] His ultimate fate not known; nor easy see why punishment was not meted out him Ireland, had directly contravened section 4 the Elizabethan Act. Possibly the case was unique, and King James may have been anxious examine person such interesting specimen. , heaven help the poor parson the grip such a witch hunter. the year 1609 there comes from the County Tipperary a strange story magical spells being counteracted the application a holy relic; this preserved for that valuable monastic record, the Triumphalia S. Crucis. Holy Cross Abbey, near Thurles, there was preserved for many years with the greatest veneration a supposed fragment the True Cross, which attracted vast numbers people, and which was said many wonderful miracles were worked. Amongst those that came thither that year was “Anastasia Sobechan, inhabitant the district [ 80] Callan (. Kilkenny tortured magical spells (veneficis incantationibus collisa who the Abbey, presence the Rev. Lord Abbot Bernard [Foulow placed a girdle round her body that had touched the holy relic. Suddenly she vomited small pieces cloth and wood, and for a whole month she spat out from her body such things. The said woman told this miracle the Rev. Lord Abbot while she was healed the virtue the holy Cross. This took care set down writing That most diligent gleaner things strange and uncommon, . Robert Law, whom are deeply indebted for much the matter this volume, informs his Memorialls that the first half the seventeenth century there was found Ireland a celebrated Doctor Divinity, Holy Orders the Episcopal Church, who possessed extreme adroitness raising
  • 27. the Devil—a process that some would have believe commonly practised Ireland the present day persons who have pretensions a knowledge the Black Art! . Law also gives the modus operandi at full length. A[ 81] servant-girl the employment Major- General Montgomerie Irvine Scotland was accused having stolen some silverwork. “The lass being innocent takes ill, and tells them, she should raise the Devil she should know who took these things Thereupon, order summon that Personage she went into a cellar, “takes the Bible with her, and draws a circle about her, and turns a riddle end from south north, from the right the left hand [i.e. contrary the path the sun the heavens having her right hand nine feathers which she pulled out the tail a black cock, and having read the 51 [Psalm forwards, she reads backwards chapter verse 19, the Book Revelation Upon this the Devil appeared her, and told her who was the guilty person. She then cast three the feathers him, and bade him return the place from whence came. This process she repeated three times, until she had gained all the information she desired; she then went upstairs and told her mistress, with the result that the goods were ultimately recovered. But escaping Scylla she fell[ 82] into Charybdis; her uncanny practices came the ears the authorities, and she was apprehended. When prison she confessed that she had learnt this particular branch the Black Art the house . Colville Ireland, who habitually practised . That instructor youth such -christian practices, the Rev. Alexander Colville, D.D was ordained 1622 and subsequently held the vicarage Carnmoney, the prebend Carncastle, and the Precentorship Connor. was possessed considerable wealth, with which purchased the Galgorm estate, which resided; this subsequently passed into the Mountcashel family through the marriage his great granddaughter with Stephen Moore, first Baron Kilworth and Viscount Mountcashel. Where . Colville got the money purchase large estate one could imagine, and Classon Porter his useful pamphlet relates for the manner which popular rumour solved the problem. was said that had sold himself the Devil, and that had purchased the estate with the money his body[ 83] and soul had realised. Scandal even went further still, and gave the exact terms which . Colville had made with the Evil One. These were, that the Devil was once give the Doctor his hat full gold, and that the latter was return, a distant but specified day, deliver himself body and soul the Devil. The appointed place meeting was a lime- kiln; the Devil may have thought that this was a delicate compliment him account the peculiarly homelike atmosphere the spot, but the Doctor had different ideas. The Devil produced the gold, whereupon . Colville produced a hat with a wide slit the crown, which boldly held over the empty kiln-pit, with the result that the time the terms the bargain were literally complied with, a very considerable amount gold lay the Doctor’s disposal, which prudently used advance his worldly welfare. far, good. But there are two sides every question. Years rolled , bringing ever nearer and nearer the time which the account had settled, and length the fatal day dawned. The Devil arrived[ 84] to claim his victim, and found him sitting his house reading his Bible the light a candle, whereupon directed him come along with him. The Doctor begged that might not taken away until the candle, which was reading, was burned
  • 28. out. this the Devil assented, whereupon . Colville promptly extinguished the candle, and putting between the leaves the Bible locked the chest where kept his gold. The candle was thus deposited a place safety where there was danger any person coming across , and thus being the innocent cause the Doctor’s destruction. even said that gave orders that the candle should put into his coffin and buried with him. , may presume, . Colville evaded the payment his debt. Our readers may perchance wonder why such stories the above should have become connected with the reverend gentleman, and explanation not hard found. . Colville was a well-known divine, possessed great wealth (inherited lawfully, may presume and enjoyed considerable influence the country-side. this time[ 85] Ulster was overrun triumphant Presbyterianism, which the Doctor, a firm upholder Episcopacy, opposed with all his might, and thereupon was spoken with great acerbity his opponents. not too uncharitable, therefore, assume that these stories originated with some member that body, who may well have believed that such had actually happened. For the next instance witchcraft and the supernatural connection with Ireland are compelled beyond the confines our country. Though this the connection with the Green Isle slight, yet interest affording example that blending fairy lore with sorcery which not uncommon feature Scottish witchcraft-trials. the year 1613 a woman named Margaret Barclay, Irvine Scotland, was accused having caused her brother--law’s ship cast away magical spells. A certain strolling vagabond and juggler, John Stewart, was apprehended her accomplice; admitted (probably under torture) that Margaret had applied him teach her some magic arts order that “she might get gear 86] kye’s milk, love man, her heart’s desire such persons had done her wrong Though does not appear have granted her request, yet gave detailed information the manner which had gained the supernatural power and knowledge with which was credited. “ being demanded him what means professed himself have knowledge things come, the said John confessed that the space twenty-six years ago, being travelling All- Hallow Even night between the towns Monygoif and Clary, Galway, met with the King the Fairies and his company, and that the King gave him a stroke with a white rod over the forehead, which took from him the power speech and the use one eye, which wanted for the space three years. declared that the use speech and eyesight was restored him the King Fairies and his company a Hallowe’en night the town Dublin his subsequent meetings with the fairy band was taught all his knowledge. The spot which was struck remained impervious pain although a pin was thrust into . The[ 87] unfortunate wretch was cast into prison, and there committed suicide hanging himself from the “cruik” the door with his garter bonnet-string, and “ended his life miserably with the help the devil his master22] A tale slightly resembling portion the above comes from the north Ireland a few years later. “It’s storied, and the story true says Robert Law his Memorialls23] “ a godly man Ireland, who lying one day the fields sleeping, was struck with dumbness and deafness. The same man, during this condition was , could tell things, and had the knowledge things a strange way, which had not before; and did, indeed, signs make things known others which they knew not. Afterwards length, prayer being made for him others,
  • 29. came the use his tongue and ears; but when that knowledge things had his deaf and dumb condition ceased, and when was asked how had the knowledge these things made signs , answered had that[ 88] knowledge when dumb, but how and after what manner knew not, only had the impression thereof his spirit. This story was related a godly minister, . Robert Blair, . John Baird, who knew the truth The Rev. Robert Blair, M.A was a celebrated man, for other reason than account his disputes with . Echlin, Bishop Down, for his description Oliver Cromwell a greeting (i.e. weeping) devil. the invitation Lord Claneboy arrived Ireland 1623, and the same year was settled (Presbyterian) parish minister Bangor . Down, with the consent patron and people; remained there until 1631, when was suspended . Echlin, and was deposed and excommunicated November, 1634. has left a few writings behind him, and was grandfather the poet Robert Blair, author of The Grave24] During the years his ministry Bangor the following incident occurred him, which course attributes demonic possession, though homicidal mania[ 89] resulting from intemperate habits would nearer the truth. One day a rich man, the constable the parish, called upon him company with one his tenants concerning the baptizing the latter’s child. “When I had spoken what I thought necessary, and was ready turn into house, the constable dismissing the other told had something say private. I looking upon him saw his eyes like the eyes a cat the night, did presently conceive that had a mischief his heart, yet I resolved not refuse what desired, but I keeped a watchful eye upon him, and stayed some distance; and being near the door the church I went , and invited him follow . soon entered within the doors fell atrembling, and I, awondering. His trembling continuing and growing without any speech, I approached him, and invited him a seat, wherein could hardly sit. The great trembling was like throw him out the seat. I laid arm about him, and asked him what ailed him? But for a time could speak none. last his[ 90] shaking ceased, and began speak, telling , that for a long time the Devil had appeared him; first Glasgow bought a horse from him, receiving a sixpence earnest, and that the end offered him a great purse full sylver his, making mention the horse; said that blessed himself, and the buyer with the sylver and gold that was poured out upon the table vanished. But some days thereafter appeared him his own house, naming him his name, and said him, are mine, for I arled you with a sixpence, which yet have. Then said , I asked his name, and answered, they call me Nickel Downus (I suppose that repeated evil, that should have said Nihil Damus Being thus molested with these and many other apparitions the Devil, left Scotland; but being come Ireland did often likewise appear him, and now late still commands kill and slay; and oftentimes, says , whinger hath been drawn and kept under cloak obey his commands, but still something holds hand that I cannot strike. But then I asked him[ 91] whom was bidden kill? answered, any that comes way; but ‘The better they The better service , else I shall kill thee When uttered these words fell again atrembling, and was stopped his speaking,
  • 30. looking lamentably , designing the person aimed ; then fell a crying and lamenting. I showed him the horribleness his ignorance and drunkenness; made many promises reformation, which were not well keep’d; for within a fortnight went alehouse crave the price his malt, and sitting there long drink, was going homeward the Devil appeared him, and challenged him for opening what had passed betwixt them secretly, and followed him the house, pulling his cap off his head and his band from about his neck, saying him, ‘ Hallow-night I shall have thee, soul and body, despite the minister and all that will for thee.’” his choice a date his Satanic Majesty[ 92] showed his respect for popular superstitions. This attack delirium tremens (though . Blair would not have explained ) had a most salutary effect; the constable was such abject state terror lest the Devil should carry him off that begged . Blair sit with him all Hallow-night, which did, spending the time very profitably prayer and exhortation, which encouraged the man defy Satan and all his works. The upshot the matter was, that became very charitable the poor, and seems have entirely renounced his intemperate habits25] Rejecting the supernatural element the above being merely the fruits a diseased mind, there reason doubt the truth the story. . Blair also met with some strange cases religious hysteria, which became manifest outbursts weeping and bodily convulsions, but which attributed the Devil’s “playing the ape, and counterfeiting the works the Lord states that one Sunday, the midst public worship 93] “one charge, being a dull and ignorant person, made a noise and stretching her body. Incontinent I was assisted rebuke that lying spirit that disturbed the worship God, charging the same not disturb the congregation; and through God’s mercy met with more that work Thus modestly our writer sets down what happened his Autobiography; but the account the incident spread far and wide, and length came the ears Archbishop Usher, who, his next meeting with . Blair, warmly congratulated him the successful exorcism had practised26] the period treated this chapter, viz. from the commencement the seventeenth century the Restoration Charles , barren witchcraft proper, must least admitted that prodigal regard the marvellous under various shapes and forms, from which the hysterical state the public mind can fairly accurately gauged. The rebellion 1641, and the Cromwellian confiscations, that troubled period when the[ 94] country was torn dissention, and ravaged fire, sword, and pestilence, was aptly ushered a series supernatural events which occurred the county Limerick. A letter dated the 13 August 1640, states that “for news have the strangest that ever was heard , there inchantments the Lord Castleconnell’s Castle four miles from Lymerick, several sorts noyse, sometymes drums and trumpets, sometimes other curious musique with heavenly voyces, then fearful screeches, and such outcries that the neighbours near cannot sleepe. Priests have adventured there, but have been cruelly beaten for their paynes, and carryed away they knew not how, some two miles and some four miles. Moreover were seen the like manner, after they appear the view the neighbours, infinite number armed men foote well horseback.... One thing more [i.e. something supernatural] Mrs. Mary Burke with
  • 31. twelve servants lyes the house, and never one hurt, onley they must dance with them every night; they say, Mrs. Mary come away 95] telling her she must wyfe the inchanted Earl Desmond.... Uppon a Mannour Lord Bishoppe Lymerick, Loughill, hath been seen upon the hill most the inhabitants aboundance armed men marching, and these seene many tymes—and when they come them they not appeare. These things are very strange, the cleargie and gentrie say true27] During the rebellion appalling massacre Protestants took place Portadown, when about a hundred persons, men, women, and children, were forced over the bridge into the river, and drowned; the few that could swim, and managed reach the shore, were either knocked the head the insurgents when they landed, else were shot. not a matter surprise that this terrible incident gave rise legends and stories which anything strange out the common was magnified out all proportion. According one deponent there appeared one evening the river “a vision spirit assuming the shape a woman, waist[ 96] high, upright the water, naked with [illegible] her hand, her hair dishevelled, her eyes seeming twinkle her head, and her skin white snow; which spirit seeming stand upright the water often repeated the word Revenge! Revenge! Revenge Also Robert Maxwell, Archdeacon Down, swore that the rebels declared him, (and some deponents made similar statements) “that most those that were thrown from that bridge were daily and nightly seen walk upon the River, sometimes singing Psalms, sometimes brandishing Swords, sometimes screeching a most hideous and fearful manner Both these occurrences are capable a rational explanation. The supposed spectre was probably a poor, bereaved woman, demented grief and terror, who stole out her hiding- place night bewail the murder her friends, while the weird cries arose from the half- starved dogs the country-side, together with the wolves which abounded Ireland that period, quarrelling and fighting over the corpses. Granting the above, and bearing mind the credulity[ 97] of all classes Society, not difficult see how the tales originated; but say that, because such obviously impossible statements occur certain depositions, the latter are therefore worthless a whole, wilfully misunderstand the popular mind the seventeenth century. have the following the testimony the Rev. George Creighton, minister Virginia, . Cavan. tells that “divers women brought his House a young woman, almost naked, whom a Rogue came upon the way, these women being present, and required her give him her mony, else would kill her, and drew his sword; her answer was, You cannot kill unless God give you leave, and His will done. Thereupon the Rogue thrust three times her naked body with his drawn sword, and never pierced her skin; whereat being, seems, much confounded, went away and left her A like story comes from the other side: “ the taking the Newry a rebel being appointed shot upon the bridge, and stripped stark-naked, notwithstanding the musketeer stood within[ 98] two yards him, and shot him the middle the back, yet the bullet entered not, nor did him any more hurt than leave a little black spot behind . This many hundreds were eye-witnesses . Divers the like have I confidently been assured , who have been provided diabolical charms28] Similar tales persons bearing charmed lives could doubt culled from the records every war that has been fought this planet ours since History began.
  • 32. The ease with which the accidental unusual was transformed into the miraculous this period shown the following. A . Tate and his wife and children were flying Dublin from the insurgents. their way they were wandering over commons covered with snow, without any food. The wife was carrying a sucking child, John, and having milk give she was about lay down despair, when suddenly “ the Brow a Bank she found a Suck- bottle with sweet milk , Footsteps appearing the snow[ 99] of any that should bring thither, and far from any Habitation; which preserved the child’s life, who after became a Blessing the Church The . Tate mentioned above was evidently the Rev. Faithful Tate, D.D father Nahum Tate “Tate and Brady” fame29] the night Sunday, the 8 May 1642, a terrific storm hail and rain came upon the English soldiers, which course they attributed other than the correct source. “All the tents were a thrice blown over. was not possible for any match keep fire, any sojor handle his musket yet stand. Yea, severalls them dyed that night meere cold. Our sojors, and some our officers too (who suppose that thing which more than ordinarie can the product nature attributed this hurrikan to the divilish skill some Irish witches30] Apparently the English were not wise their generation the inhabitants Constance Switzerland were the occasion[ 100] a similar ebullition the elements. The latter went out, found a witch, persuaded her confess herself the guilty author the storm, and then burnt her— which time, doubt, the wind had subsided! Much the same strain might added, but, lest should weary our readers, shall content ourselves with giving two more marvellous relations from this particular period full the marvellous. O’Daly his History the Geraldines relates that during the siege Limerick three portents appeared. The first was a luminous globe, brighter than the moon and little inferior the sun, which for two leagues and a half shed a vertical light the city, and then faded into darkness over the enemy’s camp; the second was the apparition the Virgin, accompanied several the Saints; and the third was a lusus naturæ of the Siamese-twins type: all three which O’Daly interprets his own satisfaction. The first these was some form the northern lights, and also recorded the diary certain Puritan officers. That learned, but[ 101] somewhat too credulous English antiquary, John Aubrey, relates his Miscellanies that before the last battle between the contending parties “a woman uncommon Statue all white appearing the Bishop [Heber McMahon, whom Aubrey terms Veneras] admonished him not cross the River first assault the Enemy, but suffer them , whereby should obtain the Victory. That theIrish took the water first move towards the English they should put a total Rout, which came pass. Ocahan and Sir Henry O’Neal, who were both killed there, saw severally the same apparition, and dissuaded the Bishop from giving the first onset, but could not prevail upon him instance Irishman suffering from the effects witchcraft outside Ireland afforded a pathetic petition sent the English Parliament between the years 1649 and 165331] The petitioner, John Campbell, stated that twelve years since lost his sight . Antrim, where was born, which was reduced such extremity that was forced come[ 102] over England seek some means livelihood for himself craving the charity well-disposed people, but contrary his expectation has been often troubled there with dreams and
  • 33. fearful visions his sleep, and has been twice bewitched, insomuch that can find quietness rest here, and prays for a pass return Ireland. The saintly James Usher, Archbishop Armagh, was a Prelate who, had happened live earlier period would certainly have been numbered amongst those whose wide and profound learning won for themselves the title magician— was, was popularly credited with prophetical powers. Most the prophecies attributed him may found a little pamphlet eight pages, entitled “Strange and Remarkable Prophecies and Predictions the Holy, Learned, and Excellent James Usher, &c.... Written the person who heard from this Excellent person’s own Mouth and apparently published 1656. According , foretold the rebellion 1641 a sermon Ezekiel . 6, preached Dublin [ 103] 1601. “And this Sermon the Bishop reserved the Notes, and put a note thereof the Margent his Bible, and for twenty years before still lived the expectation the fulfilling thereof, and the nearer the time was the more confident was that was nearer accomplishment, though there was visible appearance any such thing also foretold the death Charles I, and his own coming poverty and loss property, which last actually experienced for many years before his death. The Rev. William Turner hisCompleat History Remarkable Providences (London, 1697) gives a premonition approaching death that the Archbishop received. A lady who was dead appeared him his sleep, and invited him sup with her the next night. accepted the invitation, and died the following afternoon, 21 March 1656. This chapter may brought a conclusion the following story from Glanvill’s Relations32] One . John Browne Durley Ireland was made his neighbour, John Mallett Enmore, trustee[ 104] for his children minority. 1654 . Browne lay a- dying: the foot his bed stood a great iron chest fitted with three locks, which were the trustees’ papers. Some his people and friends were sitting him, when their horror they suddenly saw the locked chest begin open, lock lock, without the aid any visible hand, until length the lid stood upright. The dying man, who had not spoken for twenty-four hours, sat the bed, looked the chest, and said: You say true, you say true, you are the right (a favourite expression his I’ll with you and , and then lay down again, and never spoke after. The chest slowly locked itself exactly the same manner had opened, and shortly after this . Browne died. [ 105] CHAPTER V A.D. 1661 FLORENCE NEWTON, THE WITCH YOUGHAL
  • 34. With the Restoration King Charles witchcraft did not cease; the other hand went with unimpaired vigour, and several important cases were brought trial England. one instance, least, made its appearance Ireland, this time far south, Youghal. The extraordinary tale Florence Newton and her doings, which related below, forms the seventh Relation Glanvill’s Sadducismus Triumphatus (London, 1726 may also found, together with some English cases notoriety, Francis Bragge’s Witchcraft further displayed (London, 1712 from the first these sources that have taken , and reproduce here verbatim, except that some redundant matter has been omitted,.e. where one witness[ 106] relates facts(!) which have already been brought forward evidence the examination a previous witness, and which therefore not add our knowledge, though doubt they materially contributed strengthen the case against the unfortunate old woman. Hayman his Guide Youghal attributes the whole affair the credulity the Puritan settlers, who were firm believers such things. this correct doubt, but should borne mind the reader that such a belief was not confined the new-comers Youghal, but was common property throughout England and Ireland. The tale shows that there was a little covey suspected witches Youghal that date, well some skilful amateur witch-finders (Messrs. Perry, Greatrakes, and Blackwall From the readiness with which the Mayor proposed try the “water-experiment” one led suspect that such a process swimming a witch was not altogether unknown Youghal. For the benefit the uninitiated may briefly describe the actual process, which, shall see, the Mayor contemplated 107] but did not actually carry out. The suspected witch taken, her right thumb tied her left great toe, and vice versâ. She then thrown into the water: she sinks (and drowns, any chance her innocence conclusively established; , the other hand, she floats, her witchcraft proven, for water, being the element Baptism, refuses receive such a sinner its bosom. “Florence Newton was committed Youghal prison the Mayor the town, 24 March 1661, for bewitching Mary Longdon, who gave evidence against her the Cork Assizes (11 September follows: “Mary Longdon being sworn, and bidden look upon the prisoner, her countenance chang’d pale, and she was very fearful look towards her, but last she did, and being asked whether she knew her, she said she did, and wish’d she never had. Being asked how long she had known her, she said for three four years. And that Christmas the said Florence came the Deponent, [ 108] the house John Pyne Youghal, where the Deponent was a servant, and asked her give her a piece Beef out the Powdering Tub; and the Defendant answering her that she would not give away her Master’s Beef, the said Florence seemed very angry, and said, Thou had’st good give , and went away grumbling. “That about a week after the Defendant going the water with a Pail Cloth her head she met the said Florence Newton, who came full her Face, and threw the Pail off her head, and violently
  • 35. kiss’d her, and said, Mary, I pray thee let thee and I Friends; for I bear thee ill will, and I pray thee thou bear none. And that she the Defendant afterwards went home, and that within a few Days after she saw a Woman with a Vail over her Face stand her bedside, and one standing her like a little old Man Silk Cloaths, and that this Man whom she took a Spirit drew the Vail off the Woman’s Face, and then she knew Goody Newton: and that the Spirit spoke the Defendant and would have her promise him follow his advice and[ 109] she would have all things after her own Heart, which she says she answered that she would have nothing say him, for her trust was the Lord. “That within a month after the said Florence had kiss’d her, she this Defendant fell very ill Fits Trances, which would take her a sudden, that violence that three four men could not hold her; and her Fits she would taken with Vomiting, and would vomit Needles, Pins, Horsenails, Stubbs, Wooll, and Straw, and that very often. And being asked whether she perceived these times what she vomited? She replied, she did; for then she was not great distraction other parts her Fits she was. And that before the first beginning her Fits several (and very many) small stones would fall upon her she went and down, and would follow her from place place, and from one Room another, and would hit her the head, shoulders, and arms, and fall the ground and vanish away. And that she and several others would see them both fall upon her and the ground, but could never take[ 110] them, save only some few which she and her Master caught their hands. Amongst which one that had a hole she tied ( she was advised) with a leather thong her Purse, but was vanish’d immediately, though the latter continu’d tied a fast knot. “That her Fits she often saw Florence Newton, and cried out against her for tormenting her, for she says, that she would several times Stick Pins into her Arms, and some them fast, that a Man must pluck three four times get out the Pins, and they were stuck between the skin and the flesh. That sometimes she would remov’d out the bed into another Room, sometimes she would carried the top the House, and laid a board between two Sollar Beams, sometimes put into a Chest, sometimes under a parcel Wooll, sometimes between two Feather-Beds which she used lie, and sometimes between the Bed and the Mat her Master’s Chamber, the Daytime. And being asked how she knew that she was thus carried about and disposed , seeing her Fits she was[ 111] in a violent distraction? She answered, she never knew where she was, till they the Family and the Neighbours with
  • 36. them, would taking her out the places whither she was carried and removed. And being asked the reason and wherefore she cried out much against the said Florence Newton her Fits? She answered, because she saw her, and felt her torturing her. “And being asked how she could think was Florence Newton that did her this prejudice? She said, first, because she threatened her, then because after she had kiss’d her she fell into these Fits, and that she saw and felt her tormenting. And lastly, that when the people the Family, advice the Neighbours and consent the Mayor, had sent for Florence Newton come the Defendant, she was always worse when she was brought her, and her Fits more violent than another time. And that after the said Florence was committed Youghal the Defendant was not troubled, but was very well till a little while after the said Florence was removed Cork, and then the Defendant was [ 112] ill ever before. And then the Mayor Youghal, one . Mayre, sent know whether the said Florence was bolted ( the Defendant was told and finding she was not, the order was given put her Bolts her; which being done, the Deponent saith she was well again, and hath continued ever since, and being asked whether she had such like Fits before the said Florence gave her the kiss, she saith she never had any, but believed that with the kiss she bewitch’d her, and rather because she had heard from Nicholas Pyne and others that Florence had confessed much. “This Mary Longdon having closed her evidence, Florence Newton peeped her were betwixt the heads the bystanders that interposed between her and the said Mary, and lifting both her hands together, they were manacled, cast them a violent angry motion ( was observed W. Aston) towards the said Mary, she intended strike her she could have reached her, and said, Now she down. Upon which the Maid fell suddenly down the ground like a[ 113] stone, and fell into a most violent Fit, that all the people that could come lay hands her could scarce hold her, she biting her own arms and shreeking out a most hideous manner, the amazement all the Beholders. And continuing for about a quarter hour (the said Florence Newton sitting herself all that while pinching her own hands and arms, was sworn some that observed her the Maid was ordered carried out Court, and taken into a House. Whence several Persons after that brought word, that the Maid was a Vomiting Fit, and they brought several crook’d Pins, and Straws, and Wooll, white Foam like Spittle, great proportion. Whereupon the Court having taken notice that the Maid said she had been very well when the said Florence was
  • 37. Bolts, and ill again when out them, till they were again put her, demanded the Jaylor she were Bolts , which said she was not, only manacled. Upon which order was given put her Bolts, and upon putting them she cried out that she was killed, she was undone, she was spoiled, why you torment [ 114] thus? and continued complaining grievously for half a quarter hour. And then came a messenger from the Maid, and informed the Court the Maid was well. which Florence immediately and cholerickly uttered these words, She not well yet! And being demanded, how she knew this, she denied she said , though many Court heard her say the words, and she said, she did, she knew not what she said, being old and disquieted, and distracted with her sufferings. But the Maid being reasonably well come herself, was, before the Court knew anything , sent out Town Youghall, and was further examined. “The Fit the Maid being urged the Court with all the circumstance upon Florence Newton, have been a continuance her devilish practice, she denied , and likewise the motion her hands, and the saying, Now she down, though the Court saw the first, and the words were sworn one Roger Moor. And Thomas Harrison swore that had observed the said Florence peep her, and use that motion with her hands, and saw[ 115] the Maid fall immediately upon that motion, and heard the words, Now she down, uttered. “Nicholas Stout was next produced . Attorney-General, who being sworn and examined, saith, That had often tried her, having heard say that Witches could not say the Lord’s Prayer, whether she could , and she could not. Whereupon she said she could say , and had often said , and the Court being desired her hear her say , gave her leave; and four times together after these words, Give this day our daily bread, she continually said, As forgive them, leaving out altogether the words, And forgive our trespasses, upon which the Court appointed one near her teach her the words she left out. But she either could not, would not, say them, using only these the like words when these were repeated, Ay, , trespasses, that’s the word. And being often pressed utter the words they were repeated her, she did not. And being asked the reason, she said she was old and had a bad memory; and being asked how her memory served her well for other[ 116] parts the Prayer, and only failed her for that, she said she knew not, neither could she help . “John Pyne being likewise sworn and examined, saith, That about
  • 38. January last [1661] the said Mary Longdon, being his Servant, was much troubled with small stones that were thrown her c the Deponent’s statement, other items which also corroborated That sometimes the Maid would reading a Bible, and a sudden hath seen the Bible struck out her Hand into the middle the Room, and she immediately cast into a violent Fit. That the Fits hath seen two Bibles laid her Breast, and the twinkling eye they would cast betwixt the two Beds the Maid lay upon, sometimes thrown into the middle the Room, and that Nicholas Pyne held the Bible the Maid’s hand fast, that being suddenly snatch’d away, two the leaves were torn. “Nicholas Pyne being sworn, saith, That the second night after that the Witch had been Prison, being the 24 [26 March last, and Joseph Thompson, Roger Hawkins, and some others went [ 117] speak with her concerning the Maid, and told her that was the general opinion the Town that she had bewitched her, and desired her deal freely with them, whether she had bewitched her . She said she had not bewitched her, but may she had overlooked her, and that there was a great difference between bewitching and overlooking, and that she could not have done her any harm she had not touch’d her, and that therefore she had kiss’d her. And she said that what mischief she thought that time she kiss’d her, that would fall upon her, and that she could not but confess she had wronged the Maid, and thereupon fell down upon her knees, and prayed God forgive her for wronging the poor Wench. They wish’d that she might not wholly destroyed her; which she said, must another that would help her, and not they that did the harm. And then she said, that there were others, Goody Halfpenny and Goody Dod, Town, that could these things well she, and that might one these that had done the Maid wrong. [ 118 further saith, That towards Evening the Door the Prison shook, and she arose hastily and said, What makest thow here this time a night? And there was a very great noise, some body with Bolts and Chains had been running and down the Room, and they asked her what was she spoke , and what was that made the noise; and she said she saw nothing, neither did she speak, and she did, was she knew not what. But the next day she confess’d was a Spirit, and her Familiar, the shape a Greyhound. “ further saith, That and . Edward Perry and others for Trial her took a Tile off the Prison, went the place where the Witch lay, and carried the House where the Maid lived, and put the fire
  • 39. until was red-hot, and then dripped some the Maid’s water upon , and the Witch was then grievously tormented, and when the water consumed she was well again. “Edward Perry being likewise sworn, deposeth, That , . Greatrix, and . Blackwall went the Maid, and . Greatrix and had read a way [ 119] discover a Witch, which would practise. And they sent for the Witch, and set her a Stool, and a Shoemaker with a strong Awl endeavoured stick into the Stool, but could not till the third time. And then they bade her come off the Stool, but she said she was very weary and could not stir. Then two them pulled her off, and the Man went pull out his Awl, and dropped into his hand with half Inch broke off the blade , and they all looked have found where had been stuck, but could find place where any entry had been made . Then they took another Awl, and put into the Maid’s hand, and one them took the Maid’s hand, and ran violently the Witch’s hand with , but could not enter , though the Awl was bent that none them could put straight again. Then . Blackwall took a Launce, and launc’d one her hands Inch and a half long, and a quarter Inch deep, but bled not all. Then launc’d the other hand, and then they bled. “ further saith, That after she was Prison went with Roger Hawkins and[ 120] others discourse with the Witch about the Maid, and they asked what was she spoke the day before, and after some denial she said was a Greyhound which was her Familiar, and went out the Window; and then she said, If I have done the Maid hurt I sorry for . And being asked whether she had done her any hurt she said she never did bewitch her, but confess’d she had overlooked her, that time she kiss’d her, but that she could not now help her, for none could help her that did the mishap, but others. Further the Deponent saith, That meeting after the Assizes Cashel with one William Lap [who suggested the test the tile, &c “. Wood, a Minister, being likewise sworn and examined, deposeth, That having heard the stones dropped and thrown the Maid, and her Fits, and meeting with the Maid’s Brother, went along with him the Maid, and found her her Fit, crying out against Gammer Newton, that she prick’d and hurt her. And when she came herself asked her what had troubled her; and she said[ 121] Gammer Newton. And the Deponent saith, Why, she was not there.Yes, said she, saw her bedside. The Deponent then asked her the original all, which she related from the time her begging the Beef, and after kissing, and that time. That then they
  • 40. caused the Maid got , and sent for Florence Newton, but she refused come, pretending she was sick, though indeed appeared she was well. Then the Mayor Youghall came , and spoke with the Maid, and then sent again and caused Florence Newton brought , and immediately the Maid fell into her Fit far more violent, and three times long any other time, and all the time the Witch was the Chamber the Maid cried out continually her being hurt here and there, but never named the Witch: but soon she was removed, then she cried out against her the name Gammer Newton, and this for several times. And still when the Witch was out the Chamber the Maid would desire Prayers, and found good affections her time Prayer, but when the Witch was brought again 122] though never privately, although she could not possibly, the Deponent conceives, see her, she would immediately senseless, and like strangled, and would continue till the Witch was taken out, and then though never privately carried away she would come again her senses. That afterwards . Greatrix, . Blackwall, and some others, who would need satisfy themselves the influence the Witch’s presence, tried and found several times. “Richard Mayre, Mayor Youghall, sworn, saith, That about the 24 March last sent for Florence Newton and examined her about the Maid, and she first denied , and accused Goodwife Halfpenny and Goodwife Dod, but length when had caused a Boat provided, and thought have tried the Water-Experiment all three, Florence Newton confessed overlooking. Then likewise examined the other two Women, but they utterly denied , and were content abide any trial; whereupon caused Dod, Halfpenny, and Newton carried the Maid; and[ 123] he told her that these two Women, one them, were said Gammer Newton have done her hurt, but she said, No, , they are honest Women, but Gammer Newton that hurts , and I believe she not far off. [She was then brought privately, with the usual result further deposeth that there were three Aldermen Youghall, whose children she had kiss’d, had heard them affirm, and all the children died presently after. “Joseph Thompson being likewise sworn, saith [the same Nicholas Pyne relative the Greyhound-Familiar “Hitherto have heard the most considerable Evidence touching Florence Newton’s witchcraft upon Mary Longdon, for which she was committed Youghall Prison, 24 March 1661. But April following she bewitched one David Jones death kissing his hand
  • 41. through the Grate the Prison, for which she was indicted Cork Assizes, and the evidence follows: “Elenor Jones, Relict the said David Jones, being sworn and examined open Court what she knew concerning any[ 124]practice Witchcraft the said Florence Newton upon the said David Jones her Husband, gave Evidence, That April last the said David, having been out all Night, came home early the Morning, and said her, Where dost thou think I have been all Night? To which she answered she knew not; whereupon replied, and Frank Beseley have been standing Centinel over the Witch all night. which the said Elenor said, Why, what hurt that? Hurt? quoth .Marry I doubt it’s never a jot the better for ; for she hath kiss’d Hand, and I have a great pain that arm, and I verily believe she hath bewitch’d , ever she bewitch’d any Man. To which she answered, The Lord forbid! That all that Night, and continually from that time, was restless and ill, complaining exceedingly a great pain his arm for seven days together, and the seven days’ end complained that the pain was come from his Arm his Heart, and then kept his bed Night and Day, grievously afflicted, and crying out against Florence Newton, and about fourteen days after died. [ 125Francis Beseley being sworn and examined, saith, That about the time aforementioned meeting with the said David Jones, and discoursing with him the several reports then stirring concerning the said Florence Newton, that she had several Familiars resorting her sundry shapes, the said David Jones told him had a great mind watch her one Night see whether could observe any Cats other Creatures resort her through the Grate, ’twas suspected they did, and desired the said Francis with him, which did. And that when they came thither David Jones came Florence, and told her that heard she could not say the Lord’s Prayer; which she answered, She could. then desir’d her say , but she excused herself the decay Memory through old Age. Then David Jones began teach her, but she could not would not say , though often taught . Upon which the said Jones and Beseley being withdrawn a little from her, and discoursing her not being able learn this Prayer, she called out David Jones, and said, David, David, come[ 126] hither, I can say the Lord’s Prayer now. Upon which David went towards her, and the said Deponent would have pluckt him back, and persuaded him not have gone her, but would not persuaded, but went the Grate her, and she began say the Lord’s Prayer, but could not say Forgive our
  • 42. trespasses, that David again taught her, which she seem’d take very thankfully, and told him she had a great mind have kiss’d him, but that the Grate hindered her, but desired she might kiss his Hand; whereupon gave her his Hand through the Grate, and she kiss’d ; and towards break Day they went away and parted, and soon after the Deponent heard that David Jones was ill. Whereupon went visit him, [and was told him that the Hag] had him the Hand, and was pulling off his Arm. And said, Do you not see the old hag How she pulls ? Well, I lay Death her, she has bewitch’d . About fourteen days languishing died This concludes the account Florence Newton’s trial, given Glanvill; the[ 127] source from which was taken will alluded shortly. would seem that the witch was indicted upon two separate charges, viz. with bewitching the servant-girl, Mary Longdon, and with causing the death David Jones. The case must have created considerable commotion Youghal, and was considered important that the Attorney-General went down prosecute, but unfortunately there record the verdict. found guilty (and can have little doubt but that she was she would have been sentenced death pursuance the Elizabethan Statute, section 1. Many the actors the affair were persons local prominence, and can identified. The “. Greatrix” was Valentine Greatrakes, the famous healer “stroker who also makes his appearance the tale the haunted butler (see p. 164 was born 1629, and died 1683. joined the Parliamentary Army, and when was disbanded 1656, became a country magistrate. the Restoration was deprived his offices, and then gave himself a life [ 128] contemplation. 1662 the idea seized him that had the power healing the king’s- evil. kept the matter quiet for some time, but last communicated his wife, who jokingly bade him try his power a boy the neighbourhood. Accordingly laid his hands the affected parts with prayer, and within a month the boy was healed. Gradually his fame spread, until patients came him from various parts England well Ireland. 1665 received invitation from Lord Conway come Ragley cure his wife perpetual headaches. stayed Ragley about three weeks, and while there entertained his hosts with the story Florence Newton and her doings; although did not succeed curing Lady Conway, yet many persons the neighbourhood benefited his treatment. The form words always used was: “God Almighty heal thee for His mercy’s sake and the patient professed receive any benefit bade them give God the praise. took fees, and rejected cases which were manifestly incurable. modern times the[ 129] cures have been reasonably attributed animal magnetism. was buried beside his father Affane, . Waterford33] Some his contemporaries had a very poor opinion him; Increase Mather, writing 1684, alludes contemptuously “the late miracle-monger Mirabilian stroaker Ireland, Valentine Greatrix whom accuses attempting cure ague the use that “hobgoblin word, Abrodacara John Pyne, the employer the bewitched servant-girl, served Bailiff Youghal along with Edward Perry 1664, the latter becoming Mayor 1674; both struck tradesmen’s tokens
  • 43. the usual type. Richard Myres was Bailiff Youghal 1642, and Mayor 1647 and 1660. The Rev. James Wood was appointed “minister the gospel” Youghal, the Commonwealth Government, a salary £120 per annum; 1654 his stipend was raised £140, and the following year got a further increase £40. was sworn a freeman [ 130] large 1656, and appears have been presented the Grand Jury 1683 a religious vagrant34] Furthermore, seems possible recover the name the Judge who tried the case the Cork Assizes. Glanvill says that took the Relation from “a copy Authentick Record, I conceive, every half-sheet having W. Aston writ the Margin, and then again W. Aston the end all, who all likelihood must some publick Notary Record-Keeper This man, who also mentioned the narrative, identified with Judge Sir William Aston, who after the establishment the Commonwealth came Ireland, and was there practising a barrister the time the Restoration, having previously served the royalist army. 3 November 1660 was appointed senior puisne Judge the Chief Place, and died 167135] The story accordingly based the notes taken the Judge before whom the case was brought, and therefore considerable[ 131] value, that affords a picture, drawn eye-witness full possession all the facts, a witch-trial Ireland the middle the seventeenth century. [ 132] CHAPTER A.D. 1662-1686 THE DEVIL DAMERVILLE— AND BALLINAGARDE— TAVERNER AND HADDOCK’S GHOST—HUNTER AND THE GHOSTLY OLD WOMAN—A WITCH RESCUED THE DEVIL—. WILLIAMS AND THE HAUNTED HOUSE DUBLIN—APPARITIONS SEEN THE AIR . TIPPERARY—A CLERGYMAN AND HIS WIFE BEWITCHED DEATH— BEWITCHING . MOOR—THE FAIRY-POSSESSED BUTLER—A GHOST INSTIGATES A PROSECUTION—SUPPOSED
  • 44. WITCHCRAFT . CORK—THE DEVIL AMONG THE QUAKERS. From the earliest times the Devil has made his mark, historically and geographically, Ireland; the nomenclature many places indicates that they are his exclusive property, while the antiquarian cannot sufficiently thankful him for depositing the Rock Cashel where did. But here must deal with a later period his activity. A quaint tale comes from . Tipperary a man bargaining with his Majesty for the price his soul, which usual the Devil worsted [ 133] simple trick, and gets nothing for his trouble. Near Shronell that county are still seen the ruins Damerville Court, formerly the residence the Damer family, and from which locality they took the title Barons Milton Shronell. The first the family settle Ireland, Joseph Damer, had been formerly the service the Parliament, but not deeming safe remain England after the Restoration, came over this country and, taking advantage the cheapness land that time, purchased large estates. was evidently this member the family that the following tale told. possessed great wealth, and ’twas darkly hinted that this had come him from lawful source, that fact had made a bargain with the Devil sell his soul him for a top-boot full gold. His Satanic Majesty greedily accepted the offer, and the day appointed for the ratification the bargain arrived with a sufficiency bullion from the Bank Styx— whatever may the name the establishment below! was ushered into a room, the middle which stood the empty top-boot; into[ 134] this poured the gold, but his surprise remained empty before. hastened away for more gold, with the same result. Repeated journeys and fro for fresh supplies still left the boot empty when began, until length sheer disgust took his final departure, leaving Damer possession the gold, and well (for a few brief years, all events) that spiritual commodity had valued little. process time the secret leaked out. The wily Damer had taken the sole off the boot, and had then securely fastened the latter over a hole the floor. the storey underneath was a series large, empty cellars, which had stationed men armed with shovels, who were under instructions remove each succeeding shower gold, and make room for more. Another story[36] comes from Ballinagarde . Limerick, the residence the Croker family, though probably later point time; the Devil appears a different rôle. Once upon a time . Croker Ballinagarde was out[ 135] hunting, but the country was very difficult few were able keep with the hounds. The chase lasted all day, and late the evening Croker and a handsome dark stranger, mounted a magnificent black horse, were alone the death. Croker, delighted his companion’s prowess, asked him home, and the usual festivities were kept fast and furious till far into the night. The stranger was shown a bedroom, and the servant was pulling off his boots saw that had a cloven hoof. the morning acquainted his master with the fact, and both went see the stranger. The latter had disappeared, and had his horse, but the bedroom carpet was seared a red-hot hoof, while four hoof-marks were imprinted the floor the horse’s stall. What incident gave rise the story cannot tell, but there was a saying among the peasantry that such-and- such a thing occurred “ sure the Devil was Ballinagarde while said have appeared there again recently.
  • 45. A most remarkable instance legal proceedings being instituted the instigation[ 136] of a ghost comes from the . Down the year 166237]About Michaelmas one Francis Taverner, servant Lord Chichester, was riding home horseback late one night from Hillborough, and nearing Drumbridge his horse suddenly stood still, and , not suspecting anything out the common, but merely supposing him have the staggers, got down bleed him the mouth, and then remounted. was proceeding two horsemen seemed pass him, though heard sound horses’ hoofs. Presently there appeared a third his elbow, apparently clad a long white coat, having the appearance one James Haddock, inhabitant Malone who had died about five years previously. When the startled Taverner asked him God’s name who was, told him that was James Haddock, and recalled himself his mind relating a trifling incident that had occurred Taverner’s father’s house a short while before Haddock’s death. Taverner asked him why spoke with him; told him, because was a man[ 137] of more resolution than other men, and requested him ride along with him order that might acquaint him with the business desired him perform. Taverner refused, and, they were a cross-road, went his own way. Immediately after parting with the spectre there arose a mighty wind, “and withal heard very hideous Screeches and Noises, his great amazement. last heard the cocks crow, his great comfort; alighted off his horse, and falling prayer desired God’s assistance, and got safe home The following night the ghost appeared again him sat the fire, and thereupon declared him the reason for its appearance, and the errand upon which wished send him. bade him Eleanor Walsh, its widow, who was now married one Davis, and say her that was the will her late husband that their son David should righted the matter a lease which the father had bequeathed him, but which the step-father had unjustly deprived him. Taverner refused , partly because[ 138] he did not desire gain the ill-will his neighbours, and partly because feared being taken for one demented; but the ghost thoroughly frightened him appearing him every night for a month, that the end promised fulfil its wishes. went Malone, found a woman named Eleanor Walsh, who proved the wrong person, but who told him she had a namesake living hard , upon which Taverner took further trouble the matter, and returned without delivering his message. The same night was awakened something pressing upon him, and saw again the ghost Haddock a white coat, which asked him had delivered the message, which Taverner mendaciously replied that had been Malone and had seen Eleanor Walsh. Upon which the ghost looked with a more friendly air upon him, bidding him not afraid, and then vanished a flash brightness. But having learnt the truth the matter some mysterious way, again appeared, this time a great fury, and threatened tear him pieces did[ 139] not desired. Utterly unnerved these unearthly visits, Taverner left his house the mountains and went into the town Belfast, where sat all night the house a shoemaker named Peirce, where were also two three Lord Chichester’s servants. “About midnight, they were all the fireside, they beheld Taverner’s countenance change and a trembling fall upon him; who presently espied the Apparition a Room opposite him, and took the Candle and went , and resolutely ask’d the name God wherefore haunted him? replied, Because had not delivered the message; and withal
  • 46. repeated the threat tearing him pieces did not speedily: and , changing itself into many prodigious Shapes, vanished white like a Ghost a very dejected frame mind Taverner related the incident some Lord Chichester’s family, and the chaplain, . James South, advised him and deliver the message the widow, which accordingly did, and thereupon experienced great quietness mind. Two nights[ 140] later the apparition again appeared, and learning what had been done, charged him bear the same message the executors. Taverner not unnaturally asked Davis, the step-father, would attempt him any harm, which the spirit gave a very doubtful response, but length reassured him threatening Davis should attempt anything his injury, and then vanished away white. The following day Taverner was summoned before the Court the celebrated Jeremy Taylor, Bishop Down, who carefully examined him about the matter, and advised him the next time the spirit appeared ask the following questions: Whence are you? Are you a good a bad spirit? Where your abode? What station you hold? How are you regimented the other world? What the reason that you appear for the relief your son small a matter, when many widows and orphans are oppressed, and none from thence their relations appear you right them? That night Taverner went Lord Conway’s house. Feeling the coming presence[ 141] of the apparition, and being unwilling create any disturbance within doors, and his brother went out into the courtyard, where they saw the spirit coming over the wall. told what had done, and promised not trouble him any more, but threatened the executors they did not see the boy righted. “Here his brother put him mind ask the Spirit what the Bishop bid him, which did presently. But gave him answer, but crawled its hands and feet over the wall again, and vanished white with a most melodious harmony The boy’s friends then brought action (apparently the Bishop’s Court) against the executors and trustees; one the latter, John Costlet, who was also the boy’s uncle, tried the effect bluff, but the threat what the apparition could and might him scared him into a promise justice. About five years later, when the story was forgotten, Costlet began threaten the boy with action, but, coming home drunk one night, fell off his horse and was killed. the above there mention the fate Davis. [ 142]Whatever explanation may choose give the supernatural element the above, there seems doubt that such incident occurred, and that the story , the main, true fact, was taken Glanvill from a letter . Thomas Alcock’s, the secretary Bishop Taylor’s Court, who must therefore have heard the entire story from Taverner’s own lips. The incident vividly remembered local tradition, from which many picturesque details are added, especially with reference the trial, the subsequent righting young David Haddock, and the ultimate punishment Davis, which points Glanvill rather unsatisfactory. According this source38] Taverner ( Tavney, the name locally pronounced) felt something get behind him as was riding home, and from the eerie feeling that came over him, well from the mouldy smell the grave that assailed his nostrils, perceived that his companion was not this world. Finally the ghost urged Taverner bring the case into Court, and came for[ 143] trial Carrickfergus. The
  • 47. Counsel for the opposite side browbeat Taverner for inventing such absurd and malicious story about his neighbour Davis, and ended tauntingly desiring him call his witness. The usher the Court, with a sceptical sneer, called upon James Haddock, and the third repetition the name a clap thunder shook the Court; a hand was seen the witness-table, and a voice was heard saying, “ this enough Which very properly convinced the jury. Davis slunk away, and his homeward road fell from his horse and broke his neck. Instead propounding Bishop Taylor’s shorter catechism, Taverner merely asked the ghost, “Are you happy your present state “ replied a voice anger, “you were not the man you are, I would tear you pieces for asking such a question and then went off a flash fire!!—which, fear, afforded but too satisfactory answer his question. the following year, 1663, a quaintly humorous story[39] of a most persistent and troublesome ghostly visitant comes from[ 144] the same part the world, though this particular instance its efforts right the wrong did not produce a lawsuit: the narrator was . Alcock, who appears the preceding story. One David Hunter, who was neat-herd the Bishop Down (Jeremy Taylor) his house near Portmore, saw one night, was carrying a log wood into the dairy, old woman whom did not recognise, but apparently some subtle intuition told him that she was not mortal mould, for incontinent flung away the log, and ran terrified into his house. She appeared again him the next night, and from that nearly every night for the next nine months. “Whenever she came must with her through the Woods a good round rate; and the poor fellow look’d was bewitch’d and travell’d off his legs Even were bed had rise and follow her wherever she went, and because his wife could not restrain him she would rise and follow him till daybreak, although apparition was visible her. The only member the family that took the matter philosophically was Hunter’s little[ 145] dog, and became accustomed the ghost that would inevitably bring the rear the strange procession— true that the lower classes dispensed with the use night-garments when bed, the sight must truly have been a most remarkable one. All this time the ghost afforded indication the nature and object her frequent appearances. “But one day the said David going over a Hedge into the Highway, she came just against him, and cry’d out, ‘Lord bless , I would I were dead; shall I never delivered from this misery which, ‘And the Lord bless too says she. ‘ was very happy you spoke first, for till then I had power speak, though I have followed you long. name says she, ‘ Margaret ——. I lived here before the War, and had one son Husband; when died I married a soldier, whom I had several children which the former Son maintained, else must all have starved. lives beyond the Ban-water; pray him and bid him dig under such a hearth, and there shall find 28s. Let[ 146] him pay what I owe such a place, and the rest the charge unpay’d Funeral, and Son that lives here, which I had latter Husband, and tell him that lives a very wicked and dissolute life, and very unnatural and ungrateful his Brother that nurtured him, and does not mend his life God will destroy him.’” David Hunter told her never knew her. “ says she, “I died seven years before you came
  • 48. into this Country but she promised that, would carry her message, she would never hurt him. But deferred doing what the apparition bade him, with the result that she appeared the night after, lay bed, and struck him the shoulder very hard; which cried out, and reminded her that she had promised him hurt. She replied that was did her message; not, she would kill him. told her could not now, because the waters were out. She said that she was content that should wait until they were abated; but charged him afterwards not fail her. Ultimately did her errand, and[ 147] afterwards she appeared and thanked him. “For now said she, “I shall rest, and therefore I pray you lift from the ground, and I will trouble you more Hunter lifted her , and declared afterwards that she felt just like a bag feathers his arms; she vanished, and heard most delicate music she went off over his head. important witch-case occurred Scotland 1678, the account which interest incidentally makes mention the fact that one the guilty persons had been previously tried and condemned Ireland for the crime witchcraft. Four women and one man were strangled and burnt Paisley for having attempted kill magic Sir George Maxwell Pollock. They had formed a wax image him, into which the Devil himself had stuck the necessary pins; was then turned a spit before the fire, the entire band repeating unison the name him whose death they desired compass. Amongst the women was “one Bessie Weir, who was hanged the last the four (one that had been taken[ 148] before Ireland and was condemned the fyre for malifice before; and when the hangman there was about cast her over the gallows, the devill takes her away from them out their sight; her dittay [indictment] was sent over here Scotland who this tyme, when she was cast off the gallows, there appears a raven, and approaches the hangman within ell him, and flyes away again. All the people observed , and cried out the sight A clergyman, the Rev. Daniel Williams (evidently the man who was pastor Wood Street, Dublin, and subsequently founded . Williams’s Library London relates the manner which freed a girl from strange and unpleasant noises which disturbed her; the incident might have developed into something analogous the Drummer Tedworth England, but the whole works out rather tamely. tells that about the year 1678 the niece Alderman Arundel Dublin was troubled noises her uncle’s house, “ violent Sthroaks the Wainscots and[ 149] Chests, what Chambers she frequented the hope that they would cease she removed a house near Smithfield, but the disturbances pursued her thither, and were longer heard her former dwelling. She thereupon betook herself a little house Patrick Street, near the gate, but purpose. The noises lasted all for about three months, and were generally their worst about two o’clock the morning. Certain ministers spent several nights prayer with her, heard the strange sounds, but did not succeed causing their cessation. Finally the narrator, Williams, was called , and came upon a night agreed the house, where several persons had assembled. says: “I preached from Hebrews . 18, and contrived Prayer that Time when the Noise used greatest. When I was Prayer the Woman, kneeling , catched violently Arm, and afterwards told that she saw a terrible Sight—but pleased God there was noise all. And from that Time God graciously freed her from all that Disturbance41]
  • 49. [ 150]Many strange stories apparitions seen the air come from all parts the world, and are recorded writers both ancient and modern, but there are certainly few them that can equal the account that weird series incidents that was seen the sky a goodly crowd ladies and gentlemen . Tipperary 2 March 167842] “ Poinstown the county Tepperary were seen divers strange and prodigious apparitions. Sunday the evening several gentlemen and others, after named, walked forth the fields, and the Sun going down, and appearing somewhat bigger than usual, they discoursed about , directing their eyes towards the place where the Sun set; when one the company observed the air, near the place where the Sun went down, Arm a blackish blue colour, with a ruddy complection’d Hand one end, and the other end a cross piece with a ring fasten’d the middle , like one end anchor, which stood still for a while, and then made northwards, and disappeared. Next, there[ 151] appeared a great distance the air, from the same part the sky, something like a Ship coming towards them; and came near that they could distinctly perceive the masts, sails, tacklings, and men; she then seem’d tack about, and sail’d with the stern foremost, northwards, upon a dark smooth sea, which stretched itself from south-west north-west. Having seem’d thus sail some few minutes she sunk degrees into the sea, her stern first; and she sunk they perceived her men plainly running the tacklings the forepart the Ship, were save themselves from drowning. Then appeared a Fort, with somewhat like a Castle the top ; out the sides which, reason some clouds smoak and a flash fire suddenly issuing out, they concluded some shot made. The Fort then was immediately divided two parts, which were instant transformed into two exact Ships, like the other they had seen, with their heads towards each other. That towards the south seem’d chase the other with its stem [stern foremost, northwards, till sunk with its stem first, [ 152] the first Ship had done; the other Ship sail’d some time after, and then sunk with its head first. was observ’d that men were running upon the decks these two Ships, but they did not see them climb , the last Ship, excepting one man, whom they saw distinctly get with much haste upon the very top the Bowsprit the second Ship they were sinking. They supposed the two last Ships were engaged, and fighting, for they saw the likeness bullets rouling upon the sea, while they were both visible. Then there appear’d a Chariot, drawn with two horses, which turn’d the Ships had done, northward, and immediately after came a strange frightful creature, which they concluded some kind serpent, having a head like a snake, and a knotted bunch bulk the other end, something resembling a snail’s house. This monster came swiftly behind the chariot and gave a sudden violent blow, then out the chariot leaped a Bull and a Dog, which follow’d him [the bull and seem’d bait him. These also went northwards, the former had done, the Bull first, holding[ 153] his head downwards, then the Dog, and then the Chariot, till all sunk down one after another about the same place, and just the same manner the former. These meteors being vanished, there were several appearances like ships and other things. The whole time the vision lasted near hour, and was a very clear and calm evening, cloud seen, mist, nor any wind stirring. All the phenomena came out the West Southwest, and all moved Northwards; they all sunk out sight much about the same place. the whole company there was not any one but saw all these things, above-written, whose names follow:
  • 50. “. Allye, a minister, living near the place. Lieutenant Dunsterville, and his son. . Grace, his son--law. Lieutenant Dwine. . Dwine, his brother. . Christopher Hewelson. . Richard Foster. . Adam Hewelson. . Bates, a schoolmaster. [ 154]. Larkin. Mrs. Dunsterville. Her daughter--law. Her maiden daughter. . Dwine’s daughter. Mrs. Grace, her daughter The first the sixteen persons who subscribed the truth the above was the Rev. Peter Alley, who had been appointed curate Killenaule Union (Dio. Cashel) 1672, but was promoted livings the same diocese the autumn the year the apparitions appeared43] There a townland named Poyntstown the parish Buolick and barony Slievardagh, and another the same name the adjoining parish Fennor. must have been one other these places that the sights were witnessed, both parishes are only a few miles distant from Killenaule. Somewhat similar tales, although not full marvellous detail, are reported different periods from the west Ireland. Such indeed seem have been the origin the belief that mysterious island[ 155] O’Brasil, lying far out the western ocean. About the year 1665, a Quaker pretended that had a revelation from Heaven that was the man ordained discover , and accordingly fitted out a ship for the purpose. 1674, Captain John Nisbet, formerly . Fermanagh, actually landed there! this period was located off Ulster44] Between the clergy and the witches a continuous state warfare existed; the former, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, ever assumed the offensive, and were most diligent their attempts eradicate such a damnable heresy from the world—indeed with regret must confessed that their activity this respect was frequently the means stirring the quiescent Secular Arm, thereby setting foot bloody persecutions, the course which many innocent creatures were tortured and put a cruel death. Consequently, human nature being what , not a matter surprise learn that witches occasionally[ 156] appear the aggressors, and cause the clergy much uneasiness mind and body they possibly could. about the year 1670 Irish clergyman, the Rev. James Shaw, Presbyterian minister Carnmoney, “was much troubled with witches, one them appearing his chamber and showing her face behind his cloke hanging the clock-pin, and then stepping the door, disappeared. was troubled with cats coming into his chamber and bed; sickens and dyes; his wyfe being dead before him, and, was supposed, witched Some equally unpleasant experiences befel his servant. “Before his death his man going out the stable one night, sees had been a great heap hay rolling towards him, and then
  • 51. appeared the shape and likeness a bair [bear charges appear human shape, which did. Then asked, for what cause troubled him? bid him come such a place and should tell him, which ingaged , yet ere did , acquainted his master with ; his master forbids him keep sic a tryst; obeyed his master, and went not. That night should have[ 157] kept, there a stone cast him from the roof the house, and only touches him, but does not hurt him; whereupon conceives that had been done him the devill, because kept not tryst; wherefore resolutely goes forth that night the place appointed, being a rash bold fellow, and the divill appears human shape, with his heid running down with blood. asks him again, why troubles him? The devill replyes, that was the spirit a murdered man who lay under his bed, and buried the ground, and who was murdered such a man living sic a place twenty years ago. The man comes home, searches the place, but finds nothing bones anything lyke a grave, and causes send such a place search for such a man, but such a one could found, and shortly after this man dyes which story . Robert Law[45] sagely adds the warning: “It’s not good come communing terms with Satan, there a snare the end , but resyst him prayer and faith and turn a deaf ear his temptations [ 158]Whatever explanation may choose give the matter, there doubt but the time the influence witchcraft was firmly believed , and the deaths . Shaw and his wife attributed supernatural and diabolical sources. The Rev. Patrick Adair, a distinguished contemporary and -religionist . Shaw, alludes the incident follows his True Narrative: “There had been great ground jealousy that she [Mrs. Shaw] her child-bed had been wronged sorcery some witches the parish. After her death, a considerable time, some spirit spirits troubled the house casting stones down the chimney, appearing the servants, and especially having got one them, a young man, keep appointed times and places, wherein appeared divers shapes, and spake audibly him. The people the parish watched the house while . Shaw this time lay sick his bed, and indeed did not wholly recover, but within a while died, was thought not without the art sorcery Classon Porter his pamphlet gives[ 159] an interesting account the affair, especially the trend events between the deaths the husband and wife respectively; according this source the servant-boy was accomplice the Evil One, not a foolish victim. Mrs. Shaw was dead, and . Shaw lay ill, and was unable the next monthly meeting his brethren the ministry consult them about these strange occurrences. However, sent his servant, who was supposed implicated these transactions, with a request that his brethren would examine him about the matter, and deal with him they thought best. The boy was accordingly questioned the subject, and having confessed that had conversed and conferred with the evil spirit, and even assisted its diabolical operations, was commanded for the future have dealings any kind with that spirit. The boy promised obedience, and was dismissed. But the affair made a great commotion the parish, great that the brethren not only ordered the Communion (which was then approaching) delayed Carnmoney “until the confusion should fall a little 160] but appointed two their number hold a special fast the congregation Carnmoney, “ consideration the trouble which had come upon the minister’s house a spirit that appeared some the family, and the distemper the minister’s own body, with other confusions that had
  • 52. followed this movement the parish The ministers appointed this duty were, Kennedy Templepatrick, and Patton Ballyclare, who reported the next meeting that they had kept the fast Carnmoney, but with what result not stated. . Shaw died about two months later. Most wonderful and unpleasant were the bodily contortions that Irish gentleman suffered, the result not having employed a woman who the useful trade of sage- femme added the mischievous one witch— quite conceivable that a country midwife, with some little knowledge medicine and the use simples, would classed popular opinion amongst those who had power above the average. “ Ireland there was one Thomas Moor, who had his wife brought bed a child, and not having made use her former[ 161] midwife, who wasmalæ famæ, she was witched her that she dies. The poor man resenting , she was heard say that that was nothing that which should follow. She witches him also, that a certain tyme the day, towards night, the Devil did always trouble him, once every day for the space 10 12 yeirs, possessing his body, and causing swell highly, and tearing him that foamed, and his face turned about his neck, having a most fearfull disfigured visage. which tyme was held strong men, out whose grips when gott, would have rushed his head against the wall hazard braining himself, and would have leaped and down fearfully, tumbling now and then the ground, and cryed out fearfully with a wyld skirle and noise, and this did ordinarily for the space ane hour; when the fitt was over was settled before; and without the fitt was his right mynd, and did know when came him, and gave notice , that those appoynted for keeping him prepared for . was, appointment the ministers, sent from[ 162] parish parish for the ease his keepers. length, people being wearied with waiting him, they devysed a way for ease, which was put him a great chyer [chair] fitted for receiving his body, and ordered that clasped round about that could not get out, and then a pillue [pulley] drew him off the ground; and when the fitt came ( whilk still gave warning) put him and drew him , that his swinging and froo did not hurt him, but was keept till the fitt went over save fra danger, and then lett down till that tyme the next day, when the fitt recurred. Many came see him his fitts, but the sight was astonishing that few desired come again. was a man a good report, yet may see givin Satan’s molestations the wise and soveraigne God. Complains were givin against her [the midwife] for her malefices the magistrat there, but England and Ireland they used not judge and condemn witches upon presumptions, but are very sparing that. was alive the year 1679 The concluding words the story would lead infer that[ 163] trials for witchcraft had taken place Ireland, which Law had heard, and from the report which formed his opinion relative the certain amount common-sense displayed the magistrates that country, contradistinction Scotland, where the very slightest evidence sufficed bring persons torture and death. the following tale[46] the ghostly portion rather dwarfed the strong fairy element which appears , and, have already shown, many witchcraft cases Scotland were closely interwoven with the older belief the “good people Lord Orrery, when giving the account Baxter, considered “the effect Witchcraft Devils The reader free take what view
  • 53. likes the matter! The Lord Orrery mentioned therein probably Roger, the second Earl, whom Lodge his Peerage describes being “ a serious and contemplative disposition, which led him seek retirement this identification correct the following event must have occurred between 1679 and 1682, during which years the Earl held the title. [ 164]The butler a gentleman living near the Earl was sent buy a pack cards. was crossing a field was surprised see a company people sitting down a table loaded with all manner good things, which they invited him partake, and doubt would have accepted had not someone whispered his ear, “ nothing this company invites you upon which refused. After this they first fell dancing, and playing musical instruments, then work, both which occupations they desired the butler join, but purpose. The night following the friendly spirit came his bedside and warned him not stir out doors the next day, for did the mysterious company would obtain possession him. remained indoors the greater part that day, but towards evening crossed the threshold, and hardly had done when a rope was cast about his waist, and was forcibly dragged away with great swiftness. A horseman coming towards him espied both the man and the two ends the rope, but could see nothing pulling. catching[ 165] hold one end succeeded stopping the man’s headlong course, though a punishment for doing received a smart blow his arm from the other. This came the ears the Earl Orrery, who requested the butler’s master send him his house, which the latter did. There were then staying with the Earl several persons quality, two Bishops, and the celebrated Healer, Valentine Greatrakes. Here the malice the spirits fairies manifested itself a different manner. The unfortunate man was suddenly perceived rise from the ground, and the united efforts Greatrakes and another were unable check his upward motion— fact all that the spectators could was keep running under him protect him from being hurt the invisible power should suddenly relax its hold. length fell, but was caught them before reached the ground, and received harm. That night the spectre, which had twice proved friendly, appeared his bedside with a wooden platter full some grey[ 166] liquid, which bade him drink, had brought him cure him two sorts fits was subject . refused drink , and would appear from another part the narration that his refusal was based the advice the two Bishops, whom had consulted the matter. this the spirit was very angry, but told him had a kindness for him, and that drank the juice plantain-roots would cured one sort fit, but that should suffer the other one till his death. asking his visitant who was, replied that was the ghost a man who had been dead seven years, and who the days his flesh had led a loose life, and was therefore condemned borne about a restless condition with the strange company until the Day Judgment. added that “ the butler had acknowledged God all His ways had not suffered such things their means and reminded him that had not said his prayers the day before met the company the field; and thereupon vanished. Had this story rested alone the evidence the butler the “two sorts[ 167] of fits” would have been more than sufficient account for , but what are say the fact that all the main points the narrative were borne out the Earl, while . Greatrakes (according . More, the
  • 54. author of Collections Philosophical Writings) declared that was actually eye-witness the man’s being carried the air above their heads. the instigation a ghost a lawsuit took place Downpatrick 1685. The account this was given Baxter[47] by Thomas Emlin, “a worthy preacher Dublin well Claudius Gilbert, one the principal parties therein concerned: the latter’s son and namesake proved a liberal benefactor the Library Trinity College—some his books have been consulted for the present work. appears that for some time past there had been a dispute about the tithes Drumbeg, a little parish about four miles outside Belfast, between . Gilbert, who was vicar that town, and the[ 168] Archdeacon Down, Lemuel Matthews, whom Cotton his Fasti describes “a man considerable talents and legal knowledge, but a violent overbearing temper, and a litigous disposition The parishioners Drumbeg favoured Gilbert, and generally paid the tithes him being the incumbent possession; but the Archdeacon claimed the lawful recipient, support which claim produced a warrant. the execution this his servants the house Charles Lostin, one the parishioners, they offered some violence his wife Margaret, who refused them entrance, and who died about a month later (1 Nov. 1685) the injuries she had received their hands. Being a woman a bad state health little notice was taken her death, until about a month after she appeared one Thomas Donelson, who had been a spectator the violence done her, and “affrighted him into a Prosecution Robert Eccleson, the Criminal. She appeared divers times, but chiefly upon one Lord’s Day-Evening, when she fetch’d him with a strange force out his House into[ 169] the Yard and Fields adjacent. Before her last coming (for she did three times that Day) several Neighbours were called , whom gave notice that she was again coming; and beckon’d him come out; upon which they went shut the Door, but forbad , saying that she looked with a terrible Aspect upon him, when they offered . But his Friends laid hold him and embraced him, that might not out again; notwithstanding which (a plain evidence some invisible Power was drawn out their Hands a surprizing manner, and carried about into the Field and Yard, before, she charging him prosecute Justice: which Voice, also Donelson’s reply, the people heard, though they saw shape. There are many Witnesses this yet alive, particularly Sarah (Losnam the Wife Charles Lostin, Son the deceased Woman, and one William Holyday and his Wife This last appearance took place Holyday’s house; there were also present several young persons, well Charles and Helen Lostin, children the deceased, most whom appeared witnesses the trial. [ 170]Upon this Donelson deposed all knew the matter . Randal Brice, a neighbouring Justice the Peace; the latter brought the affair before the notice Sir William Franklin Belfast Castle. The depositions were subsequently carried Dublin, and the case was tried Downpatrick Assizes Judge John Lindon 168548] On behalf the plaintiff, Charles Lostin, Counseller James Macartney acted— the Judge who subsequently makes his appearance a most important witch-trial Carrickfergus, certainly was excellent advocate any plaintiff a case witchcraft could possibly desire, was strongly prejudiced favour the truth all such matters. “The several Witnesses were heard and sworn, and their Examinations were entred the Record that Assizes, the Amazement and Satisfaction all that Country and the Judges, whom I have heard speak that time
  • 55. with much Wonder 171] insomuch that the said Eccleson hardly escaped with his life, but was Burnt the Hand A case supposed witchcraft occurred Cork 1685-6, the account which contained a letter from Christopher Crofts Sir John Perceval (the third Baronet, and father the first Earl Egmont) written the fifteenth March that year. Though the narrator professes his disbelief such superstitions, yet there seems have been unconscious feeling his mind that his strict administration the law was the means bringing the affliction his child. says: “ poor boy Jack all appearances lay dying; had a convulsion for eight nine hours. His mother and several others are opinion bewitched, and the old woman, the mother Nell Welsh, who reputed a bad woman; and the child was playing her that day she was upon her examination, and was taken ill presently after she was committed Bridewell. But I have not faith believe was anything but the hand God. I have committed the girl[ 172] to Bridewell, where she shall stay some time49] one period their history that peculiar people, known amongst themselves the Society Friends, and their opponents Quakers, appear have been most troublesome, and have caused a good deal annoyance other religious bodies. Not unnaturally their enemies credited any wild tales which were related about them their detriment, especially when they had reference their doctrine the influence the Spirit. . More, his continuation Glanvill’s book, has the sixth Relation account a man, near Cambridge England, who was possessed evil spirit which led him the most extraordinary things its attempt convert him Quakerism. the Life . Alexander Peden, late Minister the Gospel New Glenluce Galloway, who died 1686, there account a Quakers’ meeting this country which the Devil appeared most blasphemous parody the Holy Ghost. . Peden was travelling one[ 173] time himself Ireland “the night came , and a dark mist, which obliged him into a house belonging a Quaker. . Peden said, ‘I must beg the favour the roof your house all night The Quaker said, ‘Thou art a stranger, thou art very welcome and shalt kindly entertained, but I cannot wait upon thee, for I going the meeting . Peden said, ‘I will along with you The Quaker said, ‘Thou may, thou please, but thou must not trouble said, ‘I will civil When they came the meeting, their ordinary , they sat for some time silent, some with their faces the wall, and others covered. There being a void the loft above them there came down the appearance a raven, and sat upon one man’s head, who started immediately, and spoke with such vehemence that the froth flew from his mouth; went a second, and did the same; and a third, who did the former two. . Peden sitting near his landlord said, ‘ you not see that? will not deny afterwards When they dismissed, going home . Peden[ 174] said him, ‘I always thought there was devilry among you, but never thought that did appear visibly among you till now that I have seen The poor man fell a-weeping, and said, ‘I perceive that God hath sent you house, and put into your heart along with , and permitted the Devil appear visibly among this night. I never saw the like before. Let have the help your prayers After this became a singular Christian . Peden was also somewhat a prophet, and his speciality appears have been the prognostication unpleasant events, all events persons Ireland. Two instances will
  • 56. suffice. When a gentleman’s house . Antrim foretold that a maid-servant was enceinte, that she would murder the child, and would punished. “Which accordingly came pass, and she was burnt Craig Fergus another occasion two messengers were sent inform the Lord-Lieutenant that the Presbyterian ministers Ireland should affirm that they had nothing with the rebellion Bothwell Bridge. 175] Peden said they were the Devil’s errand, but God would arrest them the gate. Accordingly one was stricken with sickness, while the other fell from his horse and broke his leg. [ 176] CHAPTER VII A.D. 1688 IRISH-AMERICAN WITCH often said that Irishmen succeed best out Ireland; those qualities they possess, which fail ripen and come maturity the lethargic atmosphere the Green Isle, where nothing matters very much provided public opinion not run counter , become factors history under the sunshine and storm countries where more ample scope given for the full development pugnacity, industry, state-craft. any rate, from the days Duns Scotus and . Columbanus down the present, Irishmen have filled, and still fill, positions the highest importance every part the globe friends kings, leaders armies, preachers the Truth— such every Irishman, his creed politics what they may, [ 177] justly proud. the lengthy and varied list honours and offices may added ( one instance least) the item witchcraft. Had the unhappy creature, whose tale related below, remained her native land, she would most probably have ended her days happy oblivion a poor old woman, way distinguishable from hundreds others like position; was, she attained unenviable notoriety a powerful witch, and was almost certainly the means starting the outbreak Salem. Incidentally the story interest showing that this time there were some Irish- speaking people Boston. Shortly after the date its colonisation the State Massachusetts became remarkable for its cases witchcraft; several persons were tried, and some were hanged, for this crime. But the time about which are writing there was Boston a distinguished family puritanical ministers named Mather. The father, Increase Mather, identified with the person that name who was Commonwealth “minister the Gospel” Magherafelt Ireland 1656; his[ 178] more famous son, Cotton, was a most firm believer all the possibilities witchcraft, and his pen that owe the following. first gave account the world his Memorable Providences relating Witchcraft, published Boston 1689, the year after its occurrence; and subsequently reproduced , though a more condensed form, his better-known Magnalia Christi (London, 1702 from this latter source that have taken ,
  • 57. and the principal passages which are omitted , but occur the Memorable Providences, are here inserted either within square brackets the text, footnotes. may now let the reverend gentleman tell his tale his own quaint and rotund phraseology. “Four children John Goodwin Boston which had enjoyed a Religious Education, and answer’d with a towardly Ingenuity; Children indeed exemplary Temper and Carriage, and Example all about them for Piety, Honesty, and Industry. These were the year 1688 arrested a stupendous [ 179]Witchcraft. The Eldest the children, a Daughter about Thirteen years old, saw fit examine their Laundress, the Daughter a Scandalous Irish Woman the Neighbourhood, whose name was Glover [whose miserable husband before died had sometimes complained her, that she was undoubtedly a witch, and that wherever his head was laid, she would quickly arrive unto the punishments due such a one about some Linnen that was missing, and the Woman bestowing very bad language the Child, the Daughter’s Defence, the Child was immediately taken with odd Fits, that carried them something Diabolical. was not long before one her Sisters, with two her Brothers, were horribly taken with the like Fits, which the most Experienc’d Physicians [particularly our worthy and prudent friend . Thomas Oakes] pronounced Extraordinary and preternatural; and one thing the more confirmed them this Opinion was, that all the Children were tormented still just the same part their Bodies, the same time, though their Pains flew like swift lightning [ 180]from one part another, and they were kept far asunder that they neither saw nor heard each other’s Complaints. nine ten a-clock Night they still had a Release from their miseries, and slept all Night pretty comfortably. But when the Day came they were most miserably handled. Sometimes they were Deaf, sometimes Dumb, and sometimes Blind, and often all this once. Their tongues would drawn down their throats, and then pull’d out upon their Chins, a prodigious Length. Their Mouths were forc’d open such a Wideness, that their Jaws were out Joint; and anon clap together again, with a Force like a Spring-lock: and the like would happen their Shoulder-blades, their Elbows and Hand-wrists, and several their Joints.... Their Necks would broken, that their Neck-bone would seem dissolv’d unto them that felt after , and yet the sudden would become again stiff, that there was stirring their Heads; yea, their Heads would twisted almost round. And the main Force their Friends any time obstructed a dangerous Motion [ 181]which they seemed upon, they would roar exceedingly. “But the Magistrates being awakened the Noise these Grievous
  • 58. and Horrid Occurrences, examin’d the Person who was under the suspicion having employ’d these Troublesome Dæmons, and she gave such a Wretched Account herself that she was committed unto the Gaoler’s Custody. [Goodwin had proof that could have done her any hurt; but the hag had not power deny her interest the enchantment the children; and when she was asked, Whether she believed there was a God? her answer was too blasphemous and horrible for any pen mine mention. Upon the commitment this extraordinary woman all the children had some present ease, until one related her, accidentally meeting one two them, entertain’d them with her blessing, that railing, upon which three them fell ill again “ was not long before this Woman was brought upon her Trial; but then [thro’ the efficacy a charm, I suppose, used upon her one some her crue] the [ 182]Court could have Answers from her but the Irish, which was her Native Language, although she understood English very well, and had accustom’d her whole Family none but English her former Conversation. [ was long before she could with any direct answers plead unto her Indictment, and when she did plead] was with owning and bragging rather than denial her Guilt. And the Interpreters, whom the Communication between the Bench and the Barr was managed, were made sensible that a Spell had been laid another Witch this, prevent her telling Tales, confining her a language which ’twas hoped nobody would understand. The Woman’s House being searched, several Images, Poppets, Babies, made Raggs and stuffed with Goat’s Hair, were found; when these were produced the vile Woman confess’d, that her way torment the Objects her Malice was wetting her Finger with her Spittle, and stroaking these little Images. The abus’d Children were then produced Court, and the Woman still kept stooping and shrinking, one that was almost prest [ 183] death with a mighty Weight upon her. But one the Images being brought her, she odly and swiftly started , and snatch’d into her Hand. But she had sooner snatch’d than one the Children fell into sad Fits before the whole Assembly. The Judges had their just Apprehensions this, and carefully causing a repetition the Experiment, they still found the same Event , tho’ the Children saw not when the Hand the Witch was laid upon the Images. They ask’d her, Whether she had any stand her? She reply’d, She had; and looking very fixtly into the air, she added,, he’s gone! and then acknowledged she had One, who was her Prince, with whom she mention’d I know not what Communion. For which cause the Night after she was heard
  • 59. expostulating with a Devil for his thus deserting her, telling him, that because had served her basely and falsely she had confessed all. “However make all clear the Court appointed five six Physicians examine her very strictly, whether she were way craz’d her Intellectuals. Divers Hours [ 184]did they spend with her, and all that while Discourse came from her but what was agreeable; particularly when they ask’d her what she thought would become her Soul, she reply’d, You ask a very solemn Question, and I cannot tell what say . She profest herself a Roman Catholick, and could recite her Paternoster Latin very readily, but there was one Clause two always too hard for her, whereof she said,She could not repeat , she might have all the world50] In the Upshot the Doctors returned her Compos Mentis, and Sentence Death was past upon her. “Divers Days past between her being arraign’d and condemn’d; and this time one Hughes testify’d, that her Neighbour (called Howen who was cruelly bewitch’d unto Death about six years before, laid her Death the charge this Woman [she had seen Glover sometimes come down her chimney and bid her, the said Hughes, [ 185] remember this; for within six years there would occasion mention . [This Hughes now preparing her testimony, immediately one her children, a fine boy well grown towards youth] was presently taken ill the same woful manner that Goodwin’s were; and particularly the Boy the Night cry’d out, that a Black Person with a Blue Cap the Room tortur’d him, and that they try’d with their Hand the Bed for pull out his Bowels. The Mother the Boy went unto Glover the day following, and asked her, Why she tortured her poor Lad such a rate? Glover answered, Because the Wrong she had receiv’d from her; and boasted That she had come him a Black Person with a Blue Cap, and with her Hand the Bed would have pulled his Bowels out, but could not. Hughes denied that she had wronged her; and Glover then desiring see the Boy, wished him well; upon which had more his Indisposition. “After the Condemnation the Woman, I did self give divers Visits her, wherein she told , that she did use Meetings, where her Prince with Four [ 186]more were present. She told who the Four were, and plainly said, That her Prince was the Devil. [She entertained with nothing but Irish, which language I had not learning enough understand without interpreter When I told her that, and how her Prince had deserted her, she reply’d [I think
  • 60. English, and with passion too If , I sorry for that. And when she declined answering some things that I ask’d her, she told , She could give a full answer, but her Spirits would not give her leave: nor could she consent, she said, without this leave that I should pray for her. [However against her will I pray’d with her, which were a fault was excess pity. When I had done she thanked with many good words, but I was sooner out her sight than she took a stone, a long and slender stone, and with her finger and spittle fell tormenting ; though whom what she meant I had the mercy never understand her Execution she said the afflicted Children should not relieved her Death, for others besides she had a hand their Affliction [ 187]Mrs. Glover was hanged, but accordance with her dying words the young Goodwins experienced relief from their torments, , Cotton Mather characteristically puts , “the Three Children continued their Furnace, before; and grew rather seven times hotter than before and this was brought about our Irish witch may not out place give some extracts relative the extraordinary adventures that befel them. “ their Fits they cried out of They and Them as the Authors all their Miseries; but who that They and Themwere, they were not able declare. Yet last one the Children was able discern their Shapes, and utter their names. A Blow the Place where they saw the Spectre was always felt the Boy himself that part his Body that answer’d what might stricken . And this tho’ his Back were turned, and the thing done, that there could Collusion . But a Blow the Spectre always helped him too, for would have a respite from his Ails a considerable while, and the Spectre would gone. Yea, ’twas very credibly affirmed, that a[ 188]dangerous Woman two the Town received Wounds the Blows thus given their spectres.... Sometimes they would very mad, and then they would climb over high Fences, yea, they would fly like Geese, and carry’d with incredible Swiftness through the Air, having but just their Toes now and then upon the Ground (sometimes not once Twenty Foot and their Arms wav’d like the Wings a Bird.... they were bidden a needless thing ( rub a clean Table) they were able unmolested; but any useful thing ( rub a dirty Table they would presently, with many Torments, made incapable Finally Cotton Mather took the eldest the three children, a girl, his own house, partly out compassion for her parents, but chiefly, tells , “that I might a critical Eye-witness things that would enable confute the Sadducism this Debauched Ageand certainly her antics should have provided him with a quiverful arguments against the “Sadducees “ her Fits she would[ 189] cough a Ball big a small Egg into the side her Windpipe that would near choak her, till Stroaking and Drinking was again carry’d down. When I pray’d the Room her Hands were with a strong, though not even, Force clapt upon her Ears. And when her Hands were our Force pull’d away, she cry’d out, They make such a noise, I cannot hear a word. She complained that Glover’s chain was upon her Leg; and assaying , her Gate was exactly such the chain’d Witch had before she dy’d.
  • 61. [Sometimes she imagined she was mounted horseback and setting herself a riding Posture, she would her Chair agitated, one sometimes Ambling, sometimes Trotting, and sometimes Galloping very furiously. these Motions could not perceive that she was mov’d the Stress her Feet upon the Ground, for often she touched not. When she had rode a Minute two, she would seem a Rendezvous with Them that were her Company, and there she would maintain a Discourse with them, asking them many Questions concerning her self. length she pretended[ 190] that her Horse could ride the Stairs; and unto admiration she rode (that , was toss’d one that rode) the Stair Subsequently, when the clergy Boston and Charleston had kept a day prayer with fasting, the children improved until they became perfectly well. But unlucky moment . Mather determined entertain his congregation with a sermon these Memorable Providences, and the study this again affected the girl. Formerly, the worst her attacks, she had been most dutiful and respectful Cotton Mather, “but now her whole Carriage was with a Sauciness which I not us’d anywhere treated withal. She would knock Study door, affirming that some one below would glad see , tho’ there was none that ask’d for . And when I chid her for telling what was false, her Answer was that Mrs. Mather always glad see you! Once when lying a fit, that was praying was alluding the Words the Canaanitess, and saying, Lord, have mercy a Daughter vext with a Devil, there came a big, but low 191] voice from her, which the Spectators did not see her Mouth move, There’s two three Finally after three days fasting and prayer the children were completely cured, but the storm thus raised was not easily allayed. The old woman seems, like many another her years and sex, have been a choleric and crotchety disposition, while also quite within the bounds possibility that she had become infected with the popular superstition (and who could blame her that she actually believed herself capable harming people merely stroking dolls stones with her finger. That not uncommon form mental torture employed, namely, the making her repeat the Lord’s Prayer, all the time watching carefully for lapsus linguæ, and thence drawing deductions her being league with the Devil, was particularly absurd the case such a person Mrs. Glover, whose memory was confused age. any rate there are probably very few the present day who would care forced say public either that Prayer the Apostles 192] Creed knew that our lives depended absolute verbal accuracy, and that the slightest slip might mean death. possible, too, that some the fits Goodwin’s children were due conscious imposture; and certain , from a study the whole case, that the deep-rooted belief the self- opinionated Cotton Mather the truth such things, well the flattering his vanity received, contributed very largely the success the whole incident. Cotton Mather’s account the case was very highly praised . Baxter his Certainty the World Spirits, and this delighted . Mather that distributed the latter work throughout New England being one that should convince the most obdurate “Sadducee The result this was speedily seen. Three years after the Boston incident a similar outbreak occurred amongst some young persons the house the Rev. Samuel Parris Salem, then a small village about nineteen miles north-east Boston. The contagion spread with appalling rapidity;
  • 62. numerous persons were brought trial, whom, the space sixteen months 193]nineteen (twenty-five according Ashton51] were hanged, one them being a clergyman, the Rev. George Burroughs, about one hundred and fifty were put prison, and more than two hundred accused witchcraft. Finally the Government put a stop the trials, and released the accused April 1693; . Parris, whose house the affair commenced, was dismissed from his cure, being the “Beginner and Procurer the sorest Afflictions but, directly and indirectly, Mrs. Glover may considered the first cause, for the case Goodwin’s children had not occurred Boston more than probable the village Salem would never have been plagued was. [ 194] CHAPTER VIII A.D. 1689-1720 PORTENT ENTRY JAMES — WITCHCRAFT . ANTRIM— TRADITIONAL VERSION SAME— EVENTS PRECEDING THE ISLAND- MAGEE WITCH-TRIALTHE TRIAL ITSELF—. FRANCIS HUTCHINSON. The account the following portent given Aubrey’s Miscellanies. “When King James first entered Dublin after his Arrival from France, 1689, one the Gentlemen that bore the Mace before him, stumbled without any rub his way, other visible occasion. The Mace fell out his hands, and the little Cross upon the Crown thereof stuck fast between two Stones the Street. This well known all over Ireland, and did much trouble King James himself with many his chief Attendants but doubt greatly raised the hopes his enemies. A few years later a witch-story comes from the north Ireland, and related[ 195] by George Sinclair his Satan’s Invisible World displayed ( later editions, not the first This book, the way, seems have been extremely popular, was reprinted several times, even late 1871. “ Antrim Ireland a little girl nineteen (nine years age, inferior none the place for beauty, education, and birth, innocently put a leaf sorrel which she had got from a witch into her mouth, after she had given the begging witch bread and beer the door; was scarce swallowed her, but she began tortured the bowels, tremble all over, and even was convulsive, and fine swoon away dead. The doctor used remedies the 9 May 1698, which time happened, but purpose, the child continued a most terrible paroxysm; whereupon they sent for the minister, who scarce had laid his hand upon her
  • 63. when she was turned the demon the most dreadful shapes. She began first rowl herself about, then vomit needles, pins, hairs, feathers, bottoms thread, pieces glass, window- nails, nails drawn out a cart coach-wheel, iron knife about a span long, eggs, and fish- shells 196] and when the witch came near the place, looked the house, though the distance two hundred paces from where the child was, she was worse torment, insomuch that life was expected from the child till the witch was removed some greater distance. The witch was apprehended, condemned, strangled, and burnt, and was desired undo the incantation immediately before strangling; but said she could not, reason others had done against her likewise. But the wretch confessed the same, with many more. The child was about the middle September thereafter carried a gentleman’s house, where there were many other things scarce credible, but that several ministers and the gentleman have attested the same. The relation seen a pamphlet printed 1699, and entitled The Bewitching a Child Ireland Baxter his Certainty the World Spirits quotes what first sight appears the same case, but places Utrecht, and dates 1625. But quite possible for a similar incident have occurred the Continent well[ 197] as Ireland; many cases witchcraft happening widely different places and dates have points close resemblance. Sinclair’s story appears based actual trial for witchcraft . Antrim, the more has drawn his information from a pamphlet the subject which was printed the year after its occurrence. The mention this latter particularly interesting; was probably locally printed, but there appears means tracing , and indeed must have been thumbed out existence many years ago. The above story, marvellous though may seem, capable explanation. The oxalic acid sorrel irritant poison, causing retching and violent pains. But when once the suspicion of witchcraft arose the ejection such extraordinary collection miscellaneous articles followed quite a matter course— would, speak, have been altogether against the rules the game for the girl have got rid anything else that particular date. Classon Porter gives what considers the traditional version the above 198] According the supposed witch was a poor old woman, who was driven mad the cruel and barbarous treatment which she received from many her neighbours the ground her being a witch. escape this treatment she sought refuge a cave, which was a field attached the old (not the present) meeting-house Antrim. Her living such a place being thought a confirmation what was alleged against her, she was thereupon stabbed death, and her body cut pieces, which were then scattered over the places where she was supposed have exercised her evil influence. For some years after this terrible tragedy her ghost, the form a goat, was believed haunt the session-house the old meeting- house near which she had met her cruel fate; was popularly known MacGregor’s ghost, this having been the name the man who was sexton the meeting-house when these things took place, and who probably had been concerned the murder. far Classon Porter. But very much doubt the above has really any connection with the Antrim[ 199] witch-case 1698. seems more probable that occurred a later date, possibly after the Island-Magee trial, and thus would instance one those outbursts
  • 64. cruelty the part a mob rendered ferocious ignorance and superstition, which examples are found England during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. one occasion Irish witch wise woman was the means having a Scotch girl delated the Kirk for using charms Hallow-Eve apparently for the purpose discovering who her future husband should . She confessed that “ the instigation old woman from Ireland she brought a pint water from a well which brides and burials pass over, and dipt her shirt into , and hung before the fire; that she either dreamed, else there came something and turned about the chair which her shirt was, but she could not well see what was Her sentence was a rebuke before the congregation; considering the state Scotland that period must admitted she escaped very well52] [ 200] now come the last instance witches being tried and convicted Ireland offenders against the laws the realm—the celebrated Island-Magee case. There a very scarce published account this, said have been compiled eye-witness, and entitled: “A Narrative the sufferings a young girl called Mary Dunbar, who was strangely molested spirits and witches, . James Haltridge’s house, parish Island Magee, near Carrigfergus, the County Antrim, and Province Ulster, Ireland, and some other places which she was removed during her disorder; also the aforesaid . Haltridge’s house being haunted spirits the latter end 1710 and beginning 1711 This continued for many years manuscript, but 1822 was printed a pamphlet Belfast, under the editorship M‘Skimin, author the History Carrigfergus. This pamphlet have not seen; but full particulars the entire case can obtained combining the following sources information, viz. Wright’s Narratives Sorcery and Witchcraft; the Dublin[ 201] University Magazine, vol. lxxxii a letter . Tisdall, the Vicar Belfast, the Hibernian Magazine for January 1775; Classon Porter’s pamphlet; M‘Skimin’sHistory Carrigfergus (. M‘Crum, 1909 while the depositions that were taken are published Young’s Historical Notices Old Belfast, . 161-4. The actual trial the witches was preceded a series most extraordinary incidents. September 1710, Mrs. Anne Haltridge, widow the Rev. John Haltridge, late Presbyterian minister Island Magee, while staying the house her son, James Haltridge the same place, suffered great annoyance every night from some invisible object, which threw stones and turf her bed, the force the blow often causing the curtains open, and even drawing them from one end the bed the other. About the same time, also, the pillows were taken from under her head, and the clothes pulled off; and though a strict search was made, nothing could discovered. Continuing annoyed this way she removed another room 202] being afraid remain her own any longer. Then about the 11 December, she was sitting the twilight the kitchen fire, a little boy came and sat down beside her. appeared about eleven twelve years old, with short black hair, having old black bonnet his head, a half-worn blanket about him trailing the floor, and a torn vest under , and kept his face covered with the blanket held before . Mrs. Haltridge asked him several questions: Where came from? Where was going? Was cold hungry? and ; but instead answering her got and danced very nimbly round the kitchen, and then ran out the house and disappeared the cow-shed. The servants ran
  • 65. after him, but was nowhere seen; when they returned the house, however, there was beside them. They tried catch him, but every time they attempted ran off and could not found. last one the servants, seeing the master’s dog coming , cried out that her master was returning home, and that would soon[ 203] catch the troublesome creature, upon which immediately vanished, nor were they troubled with him again till February 1711. the 11 that month, which happened a Sunday, old Mrs. Haltridge was reading . Wedderburn’s Sermons the Covenant, when, laying the book aside for a little while, nobody being the room all the time, was suddenly taken away. She looked for everywhere, but could not find . the following day the apparition already referred came the house, and breaking a pane glass one the windows, thrust his hand with the missing volume . began talk with one the servants, Margaret Spear, and told her that had taken the book when everybody was down the kitchen, and that her mistress would never get again. The girl asked him could read , which replied that could, adding that the Devil had taught him. Upon hearing this extraordinary confession she exclaimed, “The Lord bless from thee! Thou hast got ill lear (learning).” told her she might bless[ 204] herself often she liked, but that could not save her; whereupon produced a sword, and threatened kill everybody the house. This frightened her much that she ran into the parlour and fastened the door, but the apparition laughed her, and declared that could come the smallest hole the house like a cat mouse, the Devil could make him anything pleased. then took a large stone, and hurled through the parlour window, which, upon trial, could not put out the same place. A little after the servant and child looked out, and saw the apparition catching the turkey-cock, which threw over his shoulder, holding him the tail; and the bird making a great sputter with his feet, the stolen book was spurred out the loop the blanket where the boy had put . then leaped over a wall with the turkey-cock his back. Presently the girl saw him endeavouring draw his sword kill the bird, but escaped. Missing the book out his blanket ran nimbly and down search , and then with a club came and broke the glass the[ 205] parlour window. The girl again peeped out through the kitchen window, and saw him digging with his sword. She summoned courage ask him what was doing, and answered, “Making a grave for a corpse which will come out this house very soon refused, however, say who would , but having delivered himself this enlivening piece information, flew over the hedge had been a bird. For a day two following nothing happened, but the morning the 15 the clothes were mysteriously taken off Mrs. Haltridge’s bed, and laid a bundle behind . Being put back some the family they were again removed, and this time folded and placed under a large table which happened the room. Again they were laid order the bed, and again they were taken off, and this third time made the shape a corpse, something that very closely resembled . When this strange news spread through the neighbourhood many persons came the house, and, after a thorough investigation lest there might a trick [ 206] the matter, were obliged acknowledge that there was some invisible agent work. . Robert Sinclair, the Presbyterian minister the place, with John Man and Reynold Leaths, two his Elders, stayed the whole that day and the following night with the distressed family, spending much the time prayer. night Mrs. Haltridge went bed
  • 66. usual the haunted room, but got very little rest, and about twelve o’clock she cried out suddenly great pain. Upon . Sinclair asking her what was the matter, she said she felt a knife had been stuck into her back. Next morning she quitted the haunted room and went another; but the violent pain never left her back, and the end the week, the 22 February, she died. During her illness the clothes were frequently taken off the bed which she occupied, and made like a corpse, and even when a table and chairs were laid upon them keep them , they were mysteriously removed without any noise, and made before; but this never happened when anyone was the room 207] The evening before she died they were taken off usual; but this time, instead being made the customary way, they were folded with great care, and laid a chest upstairs, where they were only found after a great deal searching. now reach the account the witchcraft proper, and the consequent trial. about the 27 February 1711, a girl about eighteen years age, Miss Mary Dunbar, whom . Tisdall describes “having open and innocent countenance, and being a very intelligent young person came stay with Mrs. Haltridge, junior, keep her company after her mother-- law’s death. A rumour was afloat that the latter had been bewitched into her grave, and this could not fail have its effect Miss Dunbar. Accordingly the night her arrival her troubles began. When she retired her bedroom, accompanied another girl, they were surprised find that a new mantle and some other wearing apparel had been taken out a trunk and scattered through the house. Going look[ 208] for the missing articles, they found lying the parlour floor apron which two days before had been locked another apartment. This apron, when they found , was rolled tight, and tied fast with a string its own material, which had upon five strange knots[53] (Tisdall[54] says nine These she proceeded unloose, and having done , she found a flannel cap, which had belonged old Mrs. Haltridge, wrapped the middle the apron. When she saw this she was frightened, and threw both cap and apron young Mrs. Haltridge, who also was alarmed, thinking that the mysterious knots boded evil some inmate the house. That evening Miss Dunbar was seized with a most violent fit, and, recovering, cried out that a knife was run through her thigh, and that she was most grievously afflicted three women, whom she described[ 209] particularly, but did not then give any account their names. About midnight she was seized with a second fit; when she saw her vision seven eight women who conversed together, and their conversation called each other their names. When she came out her fit she gave their names Janet Liston, Elizabeth Cellor, Kate M‘Calmont, Janet Carson, Janet Mean, Latimer, and one whom they termed Mrs. Ann. She gave minute a description them that several them were guessed , and sent from different parts the district the “Afflicted . Tisdall terms her, whom she distinguished from many other women that were brought with them. “She was constantly more afflicted they approached the house; particularly there was one Latimer, who had been sent from Carrigfergus privately . Adair, the dissenting teacher; who, when she came the house where the Afflicted was, viz. Island Magee, none them suspected her, but the Afflicted fell into a fit she came near the house, and recovering when the woman was the chamber the first[ 210] words she said were, Latimer, Latimer(which was her name and her description agreed most exactly the person. After this manner were all the rest
  • 67. discovered; and one time she singled out one her tormentors amongst thirty whom they brought see they could deceive her either the name description the accused person. All this was sworn persons that were present, having heard from the Afflicted she recovered from her several fits Between the 3 and the 24 March depositions relative various aspects the case were sworn several people, and the Mayor Carrigfergus issued a warrant for the arrest all suspected persons. Seven women were arrested; their names were: Janet Mean, Braid Island. Jane Latimer, Irish quarter, Carrigfergus. Margaret Mitchell, Kilroot. Catherine M‘Calmont, Island Magee. Janet Liston, alias Sellar, same. Elizabeth Sellar, same. Janet Carson, same. [ 211]Her worst tormentors seem have been taken into custody early stage the proceedings, for Miss Dunbar stated her deposition, made the 12 March, that since their arrest she received annoyance, except from “Mrs. Ann, and another woman blind eye, who told her when . Robb, the curate, was going pray with and for her, that she should little the better for his prayers, for they would hinder her from hearing them, which they accordingly did one her attacks Miss Dunbar was informed this “Mrs. Ann” that she should never discovered her name, the rest had been, but she seems have overlooked the fact that her victim was quite capable giving accurate description of her, which she accordingly did, and thus was the means bringing about the apprehension one Margaret Mitchell, upon which she became free from all annoyance, except that she felt something strange her stomach which she would glad get rid —and did, shall see presently. With regard the woman blind [ 212] one eye, learn from another deponent that three women thus disfigured were brought her, but she declared that they never troubled her. “One Jane Miller, Carrigfergus, blind eye, being sent for, soon she drew near the house the said Mary, who did not know her coming, became very much afraid, faintish, and sweat, and soon she came into the room the said Mary fell into such a violent fit pains that three men were scarce able hold her, and cryed out, ‘For Christ’s sake, take the Devil out the room And being asked, said the third woman, for she was the woman that did torment her Yet Jane Miller does not seem have been arrested. one the earliest the depositions, that sworn James Hill the 5 March, find extraordinary incident recorded, which seems show that least one the accused was a victim religious mania. states that the 1 March, “ being the house William Sellar Island Magee, one Mary Twmain (sic came the said house and called out Janet Liston speak [ 213] her, and that after the said Janet came again she fell a-trembling, and told this Deponent that the said Mary had been desiring her . Haltridge’s see Mary Dunbar, but she declared she would not for all Island Magee, except . Sinclair would come for
  • 68. her, and said: the plague God was her (Mary Dunbar the plague God them altogether; the Devil with them was among them. God had taken her health from her, God give her health: the Devil had taken from her, the Devil give her. And then added: O misbelieving ones, eating and drinking damnation themselves, crucifying Christ afresh, and taking all out the hands the Devil Finally the accused were brought for trial Carrigfergus before Judges Upton and Macartney[55] on 31 March 1711. Amongst the witnesses examined[ 214] were . Skeffington, curate Larne; . Ogilvie, Presbyterian minister Larne; . Adair, Presbyterian minister Carrigfergus; . Cobham, Presbyterian minister Broad Island; . Edmonstone, Red Hall, and others. The proceedings commenced six o’clock the morning, and lasted until two the afternoon. abstract the evidence was made . Tisdall, who was present Court during the trial, and from whose letter extract the following passages—many the foregoing facts(!) being also adduced. “ was sworn most the evidences that some her fits three strong men were scarce able hold her down, that she would mutter herself, and speak some words distinctly, and tell everything she had said her conversation with the witches, and how she came say such things, which she spoke when her fits “ her fits she often had her tongue thrust into her windpipe such a manner that she was like choak, and the root seemed pulled into her mouth. Upon[ 215] her recovery she complained extremely one Mean, who had twisted her tongue; and told the Court that she had tore her throat, and tortured her violently reason her crooked fingers and swelled knuckles. The woman was called the Bar upon this evidence, and ordered show her hand; was really amazing see the exact agreement betwixt the description the Afflicted and the hand the supposed tormentor; all the joints were distorted and the tendons shrivelled , she had described “One the men who had held her a fit swore she had nothing visible her arms when took hold them, and that all the room saw some worsted yarn tied round her wrist, which was put invisibly; there were upon this string seven double knots and one single one. another fit she cried out that she was grievously tormented with a pain about her knee; upon which the women the room looked her knee, and found a fillet tied fast about ; her mother swore the fillet, that was the same she had given her that morning, and had seen [ 216] about her head; this had also seven double knots and one single one “Her mother was advised a Roman Catholic priest use a counter-charm, which was write some words out the first chapter . John’s Gospel a paper, and tie the paper with incle three times round her neck, knotted each time. This charm the girl herself declined; but the mother, one the times her being afflicted, used . She was a violent fit upon the bed held down a man, and, recovering a little, complained grievously a pain her back and about her middle; immediately the company discovered the said incle tied round her middle with seven double knots and one single one: this was sworn several. The man who held the Afflicted was asked the Judge were possible she could reach the incle about her neck while held her; said was not, the virtue his oath, having her hands fast
  • 69. down “The Afflicted, during one her fits, was observed several persons slide off the bed unaccountable manner 217] and laid gently the ground supported and drawn invisibly. Upon her recovery she told them the several persons who had drawn her that manner, with the intention, they told her, bearing her out the window; but that she reflecting that time, and calling upon God her mind, they let her drop the floor “The Afflicted, recovering from a fit, told the persons present that her tormentors had declared that she should not have power over the threshold the chamber-door; the evidence declared that they had several times attempted lead her out the door, and that she was often thrown into fits they had brought her the said threshold; that pursue the experiment further they had the said threshold taken , upon which they were immediately struck with strong a smell brimstone that they were scarce able bear ; that the stench spread through the whole house, and afflicted several that degree that they fell sick their stomachs, and were much disordered The above were the principal facts sworn[ 218] to the Court, which most the witnesses gave their joint testimony. “There was a great quantity things produced Court, and sworn what she vomited out her throat. I had them all hand, and found there was a great quantity feathers, cotton, yarn, pins, and two large waistcoat buttons, least much would fill hand. They gave evidence the Court they had seen those very things coming out her mouth, and had received them into their hands she threw them Her tormentors had told Miss Dunbar that she should have power give evidence against them Court. “She was accordingly that day before the trial struck dumb, and continued Court during the whole trial, but had violent fit. I saw her Court cast her eyes about a wild distracted manner, and was then thought she was recovering from her fit [ dumbness and was hoped she would give her own evidence. I observed, they were raising her , she sank into the arms a person who held her, closed her eyes, and seemed perfectly senseless and[ 219] motionless. I went see her after the trial; she told she knew not where she was when Court; that she had been afflicted all that time three persons, whom she gave a particular description both their proportion, habits, hair, features, and complexion, and said she had never seen them till the day before the trial The prisoners had lawyer defend them, while hardly necessary say that medical evidence the state health Miss Dunbar was heard. When the witnesses had been examined the accused were ordered make their defence. They all positively denied the charge witchcraft; one with the worst looks, who was therefore the greatest suspect, called God witness that she was wronged. Their characters were inquired into, and some were reported unfavourably , which seemed rather due their ill appearance than any facts proved against them. “ was made appear oath that most them had received the Communion, some them very lately, that several them had been laborious, industrious people 220] and had frequently been known pray with their families, both publickly and privately; most them could say the Lord’s Prayer, which generally said they learnt prison, they being every one Presbyterians
  • 70. “Judge Upton summed the whole evidence with great exactness and perspicuity, notwithstanding the confused manner which was offered. seemed entirely opinion that the jury could not bring them guilty upon the sole testimony the afflicted person’s visionary images. said could not doubt but that the whole matter was preternatural and diabolical, but conceived that, had the persons accused been really witches and compact with the Devil, could hardly presumed that they should such constant attenders upon Divine Service, both public and private Unfortunately his Brother the Bench was not open-minded. Judge Macartney, who almost certainly the Counsel for the plaintiff the Lostin case, differed altogether from him, and thought that the jury might well bring them guilty 221] The twelve good men and true lost time doing , and, accordance with the Statute, the prisoners were sentenced a year’s imprisonment, and stand the pillory four times during that period. said that when placed this relic barbarism the unfortunate wretches were pelted the mob with eggs and cabbage-stalks such extent that one them had eye knocked out. And thus ended the last trial for witchcraft Ireland. significant that witch-trials stopped all three countries within a decade each other. The last condemnation England occurred 1712, when a woman Hertfordshire, Jane Wenham, was found guilty a jury, but was reprieved the representation the Judge; another trial occurred 1717, but the accused were acquitted. Scotland the Sheriff-depute Sutherland passed sentence death a woman (though apparently illegally) 1722, who was consequently strangled and burnt. Ashton indeed states (p. 192) that the last execution Ireland occurred Glarus, when a servant was burnt a[ 222] witch 1786. This would extremely interesting, were not for the fact that utterly incorrect. clear from what J. Français says that this happened Glaris in Switzerland, and was the last instance judicial condemnation and execution Europe. have drawn attention this lest should mislead others, did . Before concluding this chapter will not out place mention the fact that one the most strenuous writers against witchcraft subsequently ornamented the Irish Episcopal Bench. This was . Francis Hutchinson, who wrote the “Historical Essay concerning Witchcraft” the form a dialogue between a clergyman (the author a Scotch advocate, and English juror. The first edition was published 1718, and was followed a second 1720, which year was promoted the See Down and Connor. the value his book, and the important position occupied the literary history witchcraft England, cannot better than quote . Notestein’s laudatory criticism. says: “Hutchinson’s[ 223] book must rank with Reginald Scot’s Discoverie as one the great classics English witch-literature. nearly was his point view that our own day that would idle rehearse his arguments. A man with warm sympathies for the oppressed, had been led probably the case Jane Wenham, with whom had talked, make a personal investigation all cases that came all within the ken those living. Whoever shall write the final story English witchcraft will find himself still dependent upon this eighteenth-century historian. His work was the last chapter the witch controversy. There was nothing more say
  • 71. [ 224] CHAPTER A.D. 1807 PRESENT DAY MARY BUTTERS, THE CARNMONEY WITCH—BALLAD HER—THE HAND GLORY—A JOURNEY THROUGH THE AIR—A “WITCH” 1911—SOME MODERN ILLUSTRATIONS CATTLE- AND MILK-MAGIC— TRANSFERENCE DISEASE A CAILLEACH—BURYING THE SHEAF—J.PS COMMISSION— CONCLUSION Old beliefs die hard, especially when their speedy demise a consummation devoutly wished; the Island-Magee case was the last instance judicial condemnation witchcraft offence against the laws the realm was very far indeed from being the last occasion which a witch and her doings formed the centre attraction Irish law-court. Almost a century after the Island-Magee incident the town Carrigfergus again became the scene action, when the celebrated “Carnmoney witch Mary Butters, was put forward for trial the Spring Assizes March 1808. instance black[ 225] magic versus white ( may dignify the affair with the title of magic!), though should borne mind that the persecution witches many women were put death the latter charge, albeit they were really benefactors the human race; the more their skill simples and knowledge the medicinal virtue herbs must have added small degree the resources our present pharmacopœia. The following account this taken from the Belfast News-Letter for 21 August 1807, well from some notes M‘Skimin Young’s Historical Notices Old Belfast. One Tuesday night (evidently August 1807) extraordinary affair took place the house a tailor named Alexander Montgomery, who lived hard Carnmoney Meeting-House. The tailor had a cow which continued give milk usual, but late butter could produced from . opinion was unfortunately instilled into the mind Montgomery’s wife, that whenever such a thing occurred, was occasioned the cow having been bewitched. Her belief this was[ 226] strengthened the fact that every old woman the parish was able relate some story illustrative what she had seen heard times gone with respect the same. length the family were informed a woman named Mary Butters, who resided Carrigfergus. They went her, and brought her the house for the purpose curing the cow. About ten o’clock that night war was declared against the unknown magicians. Mary
  • 72. Butters ordered old Montgomery and a young man named Carnaghan out the cow- house, turn their waistcoats inside out, and that dress stand the head the cow until she sent for them, while the wife, the son, and old woman named Margaret Lee remained the house with her. Montgomery and his ally kept their lonely vigil until daybreak, when, becoming alarmed receiving summons, they left their post and knocked the door, but obtained response. They then looked through the kitchen window, and their horror saw the four inmates stretched the floor dead. They immediately burst[ 227] in the door, and found that the wife and son were actually dead, and the sorceress and Margaret Lee nearly . The latter soon afterwards expired; Mary Butters was thrown out a dung-heap, and a restorative administered her the shape a few hearty kicks, which had the desired effect. The house had a sulphureous smell, and the fire was a large pot which were milk, needles, pins, and crooked nails. the inquest held Carnmoney the 19 August, the jurors stated that the three victims had come their deaths from suffocation, owing Mary Butters having made use some noxious ingredients, after the manner a charm, recover a sick cow. She was brought the Assizes, but was discharged proclamation. Her version the story was, that a black man had appeared the house armed with a huge club, with which killed the three persons and stunned herself. Lamentable though the whole affair was, well for the gross superstition displayed the participants for its tragical ending, yet seems have aroused other feelings amongst the inhabitants Carnmoney[ 228] and Carrigfergus than those risibility and derision. A clever racy ballad was made upon a resident the district, which, probably the only poem the subject witchcraft Ireland, print here its entirety from the Ulster Journal Archæology for 1908, though have not had the courage attempt a glossary the “braid Scots adds some picturesque details the more prosaic account the News-Letter. “ Carrick town a wife did dwell Who does pretend conjure witches. Auld Barbara Goats, Lucky Bell, Ye’ll lang come through her clutches. A waeful trick this wife did play simple Sawney, our poor tailor. She’s mittimiss’d the other day lie limbo with the jailor. This simple Sawney had a cow, Was aye sleekit otter; happened for a month two Aye when they churn’d they got nae butter. Rown-tree tied the cow’s tail, And vervain glean’d about the ditches; These freets and charms did not prevail, They could not banish the auld witches. The neighbour wives a’ gathered
  • 73. number near about a dozen; Elspie Dough, and Mary Linn, [ 229]’ Kate M‘Cart, the tailor’s cousin. Aye they churn’d and aye they swat, Their aprons loos’d, and coost their mutches; But yet nae butter they could get, They blessed the cow but curst the witches. Had Sawney summoned all his wits And sent awa for Huie Mertin, could have gall’d the witches’ guts, ’ cur’t the kye Nannie Barton56] But may shew the farmer’s wab, ’ lang wade through Carnmoney gutters; Alas! was a sore mis-jab When employ’d auld Mary Butters. The sorcerest open’d the scene With magic words her invention, make the foolish people keen Who did not know her base intention, She drew a circle round the churn, And washed the staff south-run water57] And swore the witches she would burn, But she would have the tailor’s butter. When sable Night her curtain spread Then she got a flaming fire; The tailor stood the cow’s head With his turn’d waistcoat[58] in the byre. [ 230]The chimney covered with a scraw ’ every crevice where smoak’d, But long before the cock did craw The people the house were choak’d. The muckle pot hung all night, Mary Butters had been brewing hopes fetch some witch wight, Whas entrails her art were stewing. this her magic a’ did fail; Nae witch nor wizard was detected. Now Mary Butters lies jail For the base part that she has acted. The tailor lost his son and wife, For Mary Butters did them smother; But hates a single life four weeks’ time got another.
  • 74. a crouse auld canty chiel, ’ cares nae what the witches mutter; He’ll never mair employ the Deil, Nor his auld agent Mary Butters. day the tailor left his post Though had seen apparition, Nae wizard grim, nae witch, nor ghost, Though still had a stray suspicion That some auld wizard wrinkled wife Had cast her cantrips o’er poor brawney Cause she and did live strife, ’ whar’s the man can blame poor Sawney. Wae sucks for our young lasses now, For who can read their mystic matters, tell their sweethearts true, The folks a’ run Mary Butters. tell what thief a horse did steal, this she was a mere pretender, ’ has nae art raise the Deil [ 231]Like that auld wife, the Witch Endor. Mary Butters a witch Why but the people all should know , ’ she can the muses touch I’m sure she’ll soon descry the poet. Her ain familiar aff she’ll sen’ paughlet ’ a ’ commission pour her vengeance the man That tantalizes her condition There also exists a shorter version the ballad, which seems a rather clumsy adaptation what have given above; the witch incorrectly termed Butlers. That the heroine did not evolve the procedure she had adopted out her own fervent imagination, but that she followed a method generally recognised and practised the country-side shown a case that occurred Newtownards January 187159] farm-hand had brought action against his employer for wages alleged due him. transpired the course the evidence that one occasion had been set banish witches that were troubling the cows. His method working illustrates the Carnmoney case. All left the house except the plaintiff, who locked[ 232] himself , closed the windows, stopped all keyholes and apertures, and put sods top the chimneys. then placed a large pot sweet milk the fire, into which threw three rows pins that had never been used, and three packages needles; all were allowed boil together for half hour, and, there was outlet for the smoke, the plaintiff narrowly escaped being suffocated. strange find use made Ireland that potent magical instrument, the Hand Glory, and that too the nineteenth century. the night the 3 January 1831, some Irish thieves
  • 75. attempted commit a robbery the estate . Naper, Loughcrew, . Meath. They entered the house, armed with a dead man’s hand with a lighted candle , believing the superstitious notion that such a hand procured, and a candle placed within its grasp, the latter cannot seen anyone except him whom used; also that the candle and hand introduced into a house will prevent those who may asleep from awaking. The inhabitants, however, were alarmed, and[ 233] the robbers fled, leaving the hand behind them60] No doubt the absolute failure this gruesome dark lantern this occasion was due the fact that neither candle nor candlestick had been properly prepared! The orthodox recipe for its preparation and consequent effectual working may found full . Baring Gould’s essay Schamir his Curious Myths the Middle Ages. The following tale comes from article the Dublin University Magazine, vol. lxiv has rather a Cross-Channel appearance, but may have been picked locally Ireland. A man named Shamus Rua (Red James) was awakened one night a noise the kitchen. stole down, and found his old housekeeper, Madge, with half a dozen her kidney, sitting the fire drinking his whisky. When the bottle was finished one them cried, “It’s time off and the same moment she put a peculiar red cap, and added “ yarrow and rue, And red cap, too, Hie over England [ 234]And seizing a twig she soared the chimney, whither she was followed all save Madge. the latter was making her preparations Shamus rushed into the kitchen, snatched the cap from her, and placing himself astride her twig uttered the magic formula. speedily found himself high the air over the Irish Sea, and swooping through the empyrean a rate unequalled the fastest aeroplane. They rapidly neared the Welsh coast, and espied a castle afar off, towards the door which they rushed with frightful velocity; Shamus closed his eyes and awaited the shock, but found his delight that had slipped through the keyhole without hurt. The party made their way the cellar, where they caroused heartily, but the wine proved too heady, and somehow Shamus was captured and dragged before the lord the castle, who sentenced him hanged. his way the gallows old woman the crowd called out Irish “, Shamus alanna! going die you are a strange place without your little red cap craved, and obtained, permission put . reaching the[ 235] place execution was allowed address the spectators, and did the usual ready-made speech, beginning, “Good people all, a warning take But when reached the last line, “ parents reared tenderly” instead stopping unexpectedly added, “ yarrow and rue &c with the result that shot through the air, the great dismay all beholders. Our readers will once recall Grandpapa’s Tale the Witches’ Frolic the Ingoldsby Legends. Similar
  • 76. tales appear Scotland, for which see Sharpe, . 56, 207; the same writer (p. 212) makes mention a red cap being worn a witch. After the opening years the eighteenth century, when once had ceased attract the unwelcome attentions judge, jury, and executioner, witchcraft degenerated rapidly. said some writers that a belief the old-fashioned witch history may still found the remoter parts rural England; the same can hardly said [ 236] Ireland, this being due the fact that witchcraft was never, its best ( worst) period, very prevalent this country. But its place taken ineradicable belief in pishogues, the semi-magical powers the bone-setter, the stopping bleeding wounds incantation, the healing diseases human beings animals processes unknown the medical profession, many other quaint tenets which lie the borderland between folklore and witchcraft, and best only represent the complete degeneracy and decay the latter. Yet these practices sometimes come, for one reason another, within the wide reach the arm the law, though perhaps unnecessary state that they are not treated infringements the Elizabethan Statute. For example, some years ago a case was tried New Pallas . Limerick, where a woman believed that another desired steal her butter by pishogues, flew a passion, assaulted her and threw her down, breaking her arm the fall61] That appalling tragedy, the “witch-burning 237] case that occurred near Clonmel 1895, altogether misnamed. The woman was burnt, not because she was a witch, but the belief that the real wife had been taken away and a fairy changeling substituted her place; when the latter was subjected the fire would disappear, and the wife would restored. Thus the underlying motive was kindness, but , how terribly mistaken! Lefanu hisSeventy Years Irish Life relates a similar incident, but one which fortunately ended humorously rather than tragically: while Crofton Croker mentions instances wives being taken the fairies, and restored their husbands after the lapse years. Even late the summer 1911 the word “witch” was heard Irish law-court, when unhappy poor woman was tried for killing another, old-age pensioner, a fit insanity62] One the witnesses deposed that met the accused the road the morning the murder. She had a statue her hand, and repeated three times: “I have the old witch killed: I got power from[ 238] the Blessed Virgin kill her. She came 3 o’clock yesterday, and told kill her, I would plagued with rats and mice She made much the same statement another witness, and added: “ will all happy now. I have the devils hunted away. They went across the hill 3 o’clock yesterday The evidence having concluded, the accused made a statement which was reduced writing: “ the day the thunder and lightning and big rain there did a rat come into house, and since then I was annoyed and upset mind.... A lady came when I was lying bed night, she was dressed white, with a wreath her head, and said that I was danger. I thought that she was referring the rat coming into the house.... The lady who appeared said, you receive this old woman’s pension-book without taking off her clothes and cleaning them, and putting out her bed and cleaning the house, you will receive dirt for ever, and rats and mice Imagine the above occurring 1611 instead 1911! The ravings the poor[ 239] demented
  • 77. creature would accepted gospel-truth; the rat would the familiar sent the witch torment her, the witnesses would have many more facts add their evidence, the credulous people would rejoice that the country-side had been freed from such a malignant witch (though they might regret that she had been given hercongé so easily while the annals Irish witchcraft would the richer nearly extraordinary a case that Florence Newton, and one which would have lost nothing the telling the printing. Shorn their pomp and circumstance, doubt many witch-stories would found very similar origin the above. only expected a country where the majority the inhabitants are engaged agricultural pursuits, most the tales strange doings are connection with cattle. Dungannon Quarter Sessions June 1890, before Sir Francis Brady, one farmer sued another for breach warranty a cow63] It was suggested[ 240] that the animal was “blinked other words was under the influence the “evil eye had a pishogue put upon . The defendant had agreed send for the curative charm a wise woman the mountains. The modus operandi was then proceeded with. Three locks hair were pulled from the cow’s forehead, three from her back, three from her tail, and one from under her nostrils. The directions continued follows: The operators were write the names eight persons the neighbourhood whom they might suspect having done the harm (each name three times and the one these eight who was considered the most likely have “blinked” the cow was pointed out. When this had been done there was a bundle thatch pulled from the roof the suspected person. The owner the cow was then cut a sod, and take a coal out the fire a shovel which burn the hair, the thatch, and the paper which the names had been written. The sod was then put the cow’s mouth, and she licked she would live. [ 241]His Honour defendant: “And did she lick Defendant: “Aye, lick ; she would have ate (Roars laughter then transpired that the burning the thatch had been omitted, and this necessitated another journey the wise woman. may also expect find traces strange doings with respect the produce cows, viz. milk and butter. Various tales are related the following effect. A herdsman having wounded a hare, which has discovered sucking one the cows under his charge, tracks a solitary cabin, where finds old woman, smeared with blood and gasping for breath, extended almost lifeless the floor. Similar stories are found England, and helped make the witch-element there, though may noted that early the twelfth century are informed Giraldus Cambrensis that certain old hags Ireland had the power turning themselves into hares and that shape sucking cows. The preservation hares for coursing, which being taken parts this country, will probably deal the death-blow this[ 242]particular superstition. With regard the stealing butter many tales are told, which the following may taken illustration. A priest was walking his field early one summer’s morning when came upon old woman gathering the dew from the long grass, and saying, “Come all The priest absent-mindedly muttered, “And half Next morning discovered his dairy three times much butter ought have, while his neighbours complained that they had none all. searching the old beldame’s house three large tubs freshly-churned butter
  • 78. were discovered, which, her entire flocks and herds consisted a solitary -goat, left little doubt her evil-doing64] The witch history now a thing the past. longer does she career a broomstick the nocturnal Sabbath, longer does she sell her soul the Devil and receive from him return many signal tokens his favour, amongst which was generally the gift a familiar spirit her behests. longer does the judge[ 243] sentence, longer does the savage rabble howl execrations the old witch come her doom. The witch history gone, and can never rehabilitated—would that superstition had died with her. For Ireland, probably every part the civilised world, many things are believed and practised which seem repugnant religion and common-sense. Scattered throughout the length and breadth the land there are found persons whom the country-folk credit with the power performing various extraordinary actions. From what source they derive this power not all clear—probably neither they themselves nor their devotees have ever set themselves the task unravelling that psychological problem. Such persons would extremely insulted they were termed wizards witches, and indeed they only represent white witchcraft a degenerate and colourless stage. Their entire time not occupied with such work, nor, the majority cases, they take payment for their services; they are ready practise their art when occasion arises, but apart from such moments they pursue[ 244] the ordinary avocations rural life. The gift has come them either accident birth, else the especial recipe charm has descended from father son, has been bequeathed them the former owner; a rule such used for the benefit their friends. acquaintance told the writer some marvellous tales a man who had the power stopping bleeding, though the ailing person might many miles off the time; promised leave the full modus operandi to the writer’s informant, but the latter was unable and see him during his last moments, and lost the charm, and well deprived the writer the pleasure satisfying himself the efficacy its working—for the interests Science was fully prepared cut his finger (slightly) and let the blood flow! The same informant told the writer a most respectable woman who had the power healing sores. Her method follows. She thrusts two sally-twigs the fire until they become red-hot. She then takes one, and makes circles round the sore (without touching the[ 245] flesh all the while repeating a charm, which the informant, who underwent the process, could not catch the words. When the twig becomes cool, she thrusts back into the fire, takes out the other, and does above. The whole process repeated about ten twelve times, but not more than two twigs are made use . She also puts her patients a certain diet, and this, together with the general air mystery, doubt helps produce the desired results. Instances also occur Ireland persons employing unhallowed means for the purpose bringing sickness and even death some one who has fallen foul them, else they act behalf those whose willingness circumscribed their powerlessness. From the Aran Islands a story comes the power old woman transfer disease from the afflicted individual another, with the result that the first recovered, while the newly-stricken person died; the passage reads more like the doings savages Polynesia Central Africa
  • 79. than Christians Ireland. 1892 a man stated that a friend his[ 246] was sick incurable disease, and having been given over the doctor, sought, after a struggle with his conscience, the services a cailleach who had the power transfer mortal sickness from the patient some healthy object who would sicken and die unconscious substitute. When fully empowered her patient, whose honest intention profit the unholy remedy was indispensable its successful working, the cailleach would out into some field close a public road, and setting herself her knees she would pluck herb from the ground, looking out the road she did . The first passer- her baleful glance lighted upon would take the sick man’s disease and die twenty-four hours, the patient mending the victim sickened and died65] A most extraordinary account the Black Art, instanced the custom known “burying the sheaf” comes from . Louth. The narrator states that details are difficult obtain, which are not surprised, but from what[ 247] he has published the custom appears not only exceedingly malignant, but horribly blasphemous. The person working the charm first goes the chapel, and says certain words with his ( her) back the altar; then takes a sheaf wheat, which fashions like the human body, sticking pins the joints the stems, and (according one account) shaping a heart plaited straw. This sheaf buries, the name the Devil, near the house his enemy, who believes will gradually pine away the sheaf decays, dying when finally decomposes. the operator the charm wishes his enemy die quickly buries the sheaf wet ground where will soon decay; but the other hand desires his victim linger pain chooses a dry spot where decomposition will slow. Our informant states that a case which one woman tried kill another this means was brought light the police court Ardee a couple years before wrote the above account (i.e. before 189566] Though the Statutes against witchcraft[ 248] in England and Scotland were repealed (the latter very much against the will the clergy said that that passed the Irish Parliament was not similarly treated, and consequently , theoretically, still force. that may, will probably news our readers learn that witchcraft still officially recognised Ireland offence against the law. the Commission the Peace the newly-appointed magistrate empowered take cognisance , amongst other crimes, “Witchcraft, Inchantment, Sorcery, Magic Arts a curious relic bygone times find the twentieth century, though more than unlikely that any Bench Ireland will ever have adjudicate such a case. the foregoing pages have endeavoured trace the progress witchcraft Ireland from its first appearance the present day, and well have introduced some subjects which bear indirectly the question. From the all too few examples obtained have noted its gradual rise the zenith (which represented the period 1661-1690 and from thence its downward progress the[ 249] strange beliefs the day, which some respects are the degenerate descendants the witchcraft-conception, others represent ideas older than civilisation. may pay the tribute a tearful smile the ashes witchcraft, and express our opinion the present-day beliefs the simple country-folk a pitying smile, feeling all the time how much more enlightened are than those who believed, still believe, such absurdities! But the mind man built water-tight compartments. What better embodies the spirit the
  • 80. young twentieth century than a powerful motor car, fully equipped with the most --date appliances for increasing speed lessening vibration; its tuneful hum travels forty-five miles hour without effort, hear the triumph-song mind over matter. The owner certainly does not believe witchcraft or pishogues ( perhaps anything save himself!), yet fastens the radiator a “Teddy Bear” some such thing way a mascot. Ask him why does — cannot tell, except that others the same, while all the time the back his mind there[ 250] exists almost unconsciously the belief that such a thing will help keep him from the troubles and annoyances that beset the path the motorist. The connection between cause and effect unknown him; cannot tell you why a Teddy Bear will keep the engine from overheating prevent punctures—and this respect for the moment exactly the same intellectual level , let say, his brother-man New Zealand, who carries a baked yam with him night scare away ghosts. The truth the matter that all have a vein superstition , which makes its appearance some period our lives under one form another. A. will laugh scorn Bs belief witches ghosts, while himself would not undertake a piece business a Friday for all the wealth Crœsus; while C who laughs both, will offer his hand the palmist full assurance faith. Each dwells his own particular glass house, and cannot afford hurl missiles his neighbours; milk-magic motor-mascots, pishogues palmistry, the method [ 251] manifestation little account comparison with the underlying superstition. The latter unfortunate trait that has been handed down from the infancy the race; have managed get rid such physical features tails third eyes, whose day usefulness has passed; longer masticate our meat raw, chip the rugged flint into the semblance a knife, but still acknowledge our descent giving expression the strange beliefs that lie some remote lumber-room the back the brain. But may objected that belief witches, ghosts, fairies, charms, evil-eye, &c. &c need not put down unreasoning superstition, pure and simple, that fact the trend modern thought show that there are more things heaven and earth than were formerly dreamt . grant that man a very complex machine, a microcosm peopled with possibilities which can understand but little. know that mind acts mind extraordinary degree, and that the imagination can affect the body extent not yet fully realised, and indeed has often[ 252] carried men far beyond the bounds common-sense; and consider that many the elements the above beliefs can a general way explained along these lines. Nevertheless that does not away with the element superstition and, may add, oftentimes deliberately-planned evil that underlies. There need resurrect the old dilemma, whether God the Devil was the principal agent concerned; have desire preach our readers, but feel that every thinking man will fully prepared admit that such beliefs and practices are inimical the development true spiritual life, that they tend obscure the ever-present Deity and bring into prominence primitive feelings and emotions which are better left fall into a state atrophy. addition they cripple the growth national life, they make the individual the fearful slave the unknown, and consequently prevent the development independent spirit him without which a nation only such name. The dead past utters warnings the heirs all the ages. tells already have partially[ 253] entered into a glorious heritage, which may perhaps nothing respect
  • 81. what will ultimately fall the lot the human race, and bids give our upward-soaring spirits freedom, and not fetter them with the gross beliefs yore that should long ere this have been relegated limbo. Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON & . Paul’s Work, Edinburgh