Being very usefull for these Times,
wherein the DEVIL reignes and prevailes
over the soules of poor Creatures, in
drawing them to that crying Sin of
Be it enacted by the King our Soveraigne Lord; the Lords Spirituall and Temporall, and the
Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the Statute
made in the fifth yeare of the Reigne of our late Soveraigne Lady of most Famous and Happy
memory, Queen Elizabeth, Entituled, An Act against Conjurations, Inchantments and
Witchcrafts; be from the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel next comming, for
and concerning all offences to bee committed after the same Feast, utterly repealed.
And for the better restraining the said offences, and more severe punishing the same, be it further
Enacted by the Authority aforesaid; That if any person or persons, after the said Feast of St.
Michael the Archangell next comming, shall use, practise, or ëxercise any invocation or
conjuration of an evil and wicked spirit: or shall consult, covenant with, entertaine, imploy, feed,
or reward any evil and wicked spirit, to or for any intent or purpose; or take up any dead man,
woman, or child; out of his, her, or their grave, or any other place where the dead body resteth; or
the skin, bone, or any other part of any dead person, to be imployed, or used in any manner of
Witchcraft, Sorcery, Charms, or Inchantment, or shall use, practise, or exercise,
any Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charms, or Sorcery, whereby any person
shall be Killed, Destroyed, Wasted, Consumed, Pined, or Lamed, in His or Her body, or any part
thereof; that then every such Offender, or Offenders, their Ayders, Abetters, and Councellors,
being of any of the said offences duly and lawfully Convicted and Attainted, shall suffer paines
of death as a Felon or Felons, and shall lose the privilege and benefit of Clergy and
And further, to the intent that all manner of practise, use or exercise of Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charme, or Sorcery, should be from henceforth utterly avoided, abolished, and taken away: Be it Enacted by the Authority of this present Parliament, that if any person or persons, shall from and after the said Feast of St. Michaell the Archangell next comming, take upon him or them, by Witchcraft, Inchantment, Charme, or Sorcery, to tell or declare in what place any Treasure of Gold or Silver should or might be found or had in the earth, or other secret places; or where goods, or things lost, or stole, should be found or become, or to the intent to provoke any person to unlawfull love, or whereby any Cattle, or Goods of any person shall be destroyed, wasted, or impaired; or to hurt or destroy any person in his or her body, although the same be not effected and done, that then all and every such person or persons so offending, and being thereof lawfully convicted, shall for the said offence suffer imprisonment by the space of one whole year, without baile or maineprise; and once in every quarter of the said year, shall in some Mirket-Town, upon the Market cay, or at any such time as any faire shall be kept there, stand openly upon the Pillory by the space of 6. hours, and there shall openly confess his or her errour and offence. And if any person or persons, being once convicted of the same offences as is aforesaid, do estsoones perpetrate and commit the like offence, that then every such offender, being of any the said offences the second time lawfully, and duly convicted, and attainted as is aforesaid, shall suffer paines of death as a Felon, or Felons, and shall lose the benefit and privilege of Clergy, and Sanctuary, saving to the wife of such person as shall offend in any thing contrary to this Act, her title of Dower, and also to the Heire and Successor of every such person, his, or their titles of inheritance, succession, and other rights, as though no such attainder of the Ancestor or Predecessour had been made: provided alwayes, that if the offender in any the cases aforesaid, shall happen to be a Peer of the Realm, then his tryall therein, to be had by his Peers, as it is used in cases of Felony or Treason, and not otherwise.
Now for as much as Witches are the most cruell, revengefull, and bloody of all others:
The Justices of Peace may not alwayes expect direct evidence,
seeing all their works are workes of darkenesse, and no witnesses present
with them to accuse them; and therefore for their better discovery
I thought good here to insert certaine observations, partly out of the book of discovery
of the Witches that were arraigned at Lancaster, Anno dom. 1612. before Sir James Altham,
and Sir Edward Bromeley Judges of Assise there:
And partly out of Mr. Bernards Guide to grand Jury men.
1. These Witches have ordinarily a familiar, or spirit, which appeareth to them; sometimes in one shape, sometimes in another, as in the shape of a Man, Woman, Boy, Dogge, Cat, Foale, Fowle, Hare, Rat, Toad, &c. And to these their spirits they give names, and they meet together to Christen them.
2. Their said Familiar hath some big or little teat upon their body, where he sucketh them; and besides their sucking, the Devil leaveth other markes upon their bodies, sometimes like a Blew-spot, or Redspot, like a flea-biting, sometimes the flesh sunck in and hollow, all which for a time may be covered, yea taken away, but will come again to their old forme: and these the Devils markes be insensible, and being pricked will not bleed; and be often in their secret parts, and therefore require diligent and carefull search. These first two are maine points to discover and convict these Witches; for they prove fully that those Witches have a Familiar, and made a League with the Devil. So like wise if the suspected be proved to have been heard to call upon their Spirit, or to talk to the, or of them, or have offered them to others. So if they have been seen with their Spirits, or seen to feed some thing secretly, these are proofes they have a familiar,
3. They have often pictures of clay or wax (like a man, made of such as they would bewitch) found in their house, or which they roast, or bury in the earth, that as the picture consumes, so may the parties bewitched consume.
4. There are other presumptions against these Witches; as if they be given to usuall cursing, and bitter imprecations, and withall use threatenings to be revenged, and their imprecations, or some other mischief presently followeth,
5. Their implicite confession, as when any shall accuse them for hurting them or their cattell, they shall answer, You should have let me alone then, or, I have not hurt you as yet: These and the like speches are in manner of a confession of their power of hurting,
6. Their diligent inquiry after the sick party; or coming to visite him or her unsent for; but especially being forbiden the house.
7. Their apparition to the sick party in his fits.
8. The sick party in his fits naming the parties suspected, and where they be or have been, or what they do, if truly.
9. The Common report of their neighbours, especially if the party suspected be of kin, or servant to, or familiar with a convicted Witch.
10. The testimony of other Witches, confessing their own Witchcraft, and witnessing against the suspected, and that they have Spirits, or Markes; that they have been at their meetings: that they have told them what harme they have done,
11. If the dead body bleed upon the Witches touching it.
12. The testimony of the person hurt, upon his death.
13. The examination and confession of the Children (able and fit to answer) or servants of the Witch; especially concerning the first six observations of the party suspected; Her threatnings and cursings of the sick party; her enquiring after the sick party; her boasting or rejoycing at the sick parties trouble: Also whether they have seen her call upon, speak to, or feed any Spirit, or such like; or have heard her foretell of this mishap, or speak of her power to hurt, or of her transportation to this or that place,
14. Their own voluntary confession (which exceeds all other evidences) of the hurt they have done, or of the giving of their soules to the Devil, and of the Spirits which they have, how many, how they call them, and how they came by them.
15. Besides, upon the apprehension of any suspected, to search also their houses diligently for pictures of clay or wax, haire cut, bones, powders, books of witchcrafts, charms; and for pots or places where their spirits may be kept, the smell of which place will stink detestably.
Now to shew you further some signes to know whether the sick party be bewitched:
1. When a healthy body shall be suddenly taken,without probable reason, or naturall cause appearing.
2. When two or more are taken in the like strange fits in many things.
3. When the afflicted party in his fits doth tell truly many things what the Witch or other persons absent are doing or saying, and the like.
4. When the parties shall do many things strangely, or speak many things to purpose, and yet out of their fits know not any thing thereof.
5. When there is a strength supernaturall, as that a strong man or two shall not be able to keep down a child, or weak person, upon a bed.
6. When the party doth vomit up pins, needles, nailes, coales, lead, straw, haire, or the like.
7. When the party shall see visibly some apparition, and shortly after some mischief shall befall him.
Note, for the better riddance of these Witches, there must good care be had, as well in their examinations taken by the Justices, as also in the drawing of their indictments, that the same be both set down directly in the materiall points, As,
That the Witch (or party suspected) hath used invocation of some Spirit.
That they have consulted or covenanted with their Spirit.
That they imployed their Spirit.
That they fed or rewarded their Spirit.
That they have killed, or lamed some person,
And not to indict them generally for being Witches,
The difference between Conjuration, Witchcraft, and Inchantment, is this: viz.
Conjurers and Witches have personall conference with the Devil or evill spirit, to effect their
purpose, see 1 Sam. 28.7. The Conjurers believe, that by certain terrible words they
can raise the Devil, and make him to tremble; and by impaling themselves in a circle (which as
one saith cannot keep cut a mouse) they believe that they are therein ensconced and safe from the
Devil, whom they are about to taise; and having raised the Devil, they seem, by prayers, and
invocation of Gods powerfull Names, to compell the Devil to say or do what the Conjurer
The Witch dealeth rather by a friendly and voluntary conference or agreement between him (or her) and the Devil or Familiar, to have his or her turn served, and in lieu there of the Witch giveth (or offereth) his or her soule, blood, or other gift unto the Devil. Also the Conjurer compacteth for curiosity, to know secrets or work miracles; And the Witch of meere malice to do mischiefe, and to be revenged.
The Inchanter, Charmer, or Sorcerer, those have no personall conference with the Devil, but
(without any apparition) work and perform things (seemingly at the least) by certain
superstitious, and ceremoniall formes of words (called Charmes) by them pronounced, or by
medicines, herbs, or other things applied above the course of nature; and by the Devils help, and
covenants made with him.
Of this last sort like wise are Soothsayers or Wizards, which divine and foretell things to come, by the flying, singing, or feeding of Birds: and unto such questions as be demanded of them, they do answer by the Devil (or by his help) sc. they do either answer by voyce, or else do set before their eyes in glasses, chrystall stones, or rings, the pictures or images of the persons or things sought for.