Irish Witchcraft and Demonology

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Irish Witchcraft and Demonology

  1. 1. Special Edition Brought To You By; Chuck Thompson of TTC Media Digital Publishing; September, 2013 Http://www.gloucestercounty-va.com Visit us
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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

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