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ID Short Description & Text Name Preferred Name Person Type
76

Mary Forster is a woman from Estoat near Fosters-Booth in Northhamptonshire, identified as the wife of a translator or shoemaker and the neighbour of Joseph Weedon. When she tried to buy mutton from Weedon, who had slaughtered several sick sheep, and offered less than Weedon was asking for the meat, Weedon refused. At this, Mary/Ann was heard to mutter "You had been better let me have it, for you shall have more Mutton shortly lye upon your hands then you know what to do with." The next day, Weedon found seven of his soundest sheep had shattered legs, and this repeated night after night until over 30 had been destroyed. When he burned the bodies, Mary/Ann "came up to the fire, and asked them what they were doing," though she had no business in the area. Weedon tried to scratch her with his fingernails, and when they proved too blunt, cut the back of her hand with his knife. Mary/Ann threatened to sue him for the damage to her person, and Weedon gave her 20 shillings in reparation. She boasted thereafter that "it was the devil in her shape that received it of Weedon, and that now she had thereby power to do him further mischief." She was suspected in the burning of Weedon's hay barn, corn barn and house, and was examined before a Justice of the Peace. She would not confess until after she was searched by a Jury of Women, who found her to have "five several strange and unusual excrescencies which appeared exactly like a Sows Teats, and seemed to be usually suckt by something." During her next examination, she confessed to lighting the barns on fire and claimed she used a lighted torch and the Devil had carried her to the roof. She also claimed responsibility for the destruction of Weedon's sheep, and said there were several other witches active in the area, but would not name them. She was imprisoned in Northampton Gaol and, when visited by Weedon, said it was all in revenge for him refusing to sell her mutton. At her trial, she denied being a witch. She is said to have flown about her cell in a basin. She was executed on charges of witchcraft.(3-7)

Appears in:
Anonymous. Relation of the Most Remarkable Proceedings at the late Assizes at Northampton. London: 1674, 3-7

Mary Foster Mary/Ann Foster Witch
1169

A man from Estoat near Fosters-Booth in Northhamptonshire, known to be a well-respected farmer and the neighbour of Mary/Ann Foster. When Foster tried to buy mutton from Weedon, who had slaughtered several sick sheep, and offered less than Weedon was asking for the meat, Weedon refused. At this, Mary/Ann was heard to mutter "You had been better let me have it, for you shall have more Mutton shortly lye upon your hands then you know what to do with." The next day, Weedon found seven of his soundest sheep had shattered legs, and this repeated night after night until over 30 had been destroyed. When he burned the bodies, Mary/Ann "came up to the fire, and asked them what they were doing," though she had no business in the area. Weedon tried to scratch her with his fingernails, and when they proved too blunt, cut the back of her hand with his knife. Mary/Ann threatened to sue him for the damage to her person, and Weedon gave her 20 shillings in reparation. She boasted thereafter that "it was the devil in her shape that received it of VVeedon, and that now she had thereby power to do him further mischief." Days later, Weedon's hay barn, corn barn and house burnt down, causing over 300 pounds in damages. Mary/Ann Foster later confessed to lighting the barns on fire and claimed responsibility for the destruction of Weedon's sheep. Weedon visited her in prison, and she told him it was all in revenge for him refusing to sell her mutton. (3-7)

Appears in:
Anonymous. Relation of the Most Remarkable Proceedings at the late Assizes at Northampton. London: 1674, 3-7

Joseph Weedon Joseph Weedon Victim
1171

One of an unknown number of women from Northampton in Northamptonshire, known to form the Jury of Women ordered to search Mary/Ann Foster. They found her to have "five several strange and unusual excrescencies which appeared exactly like a Sows Teats, and seemed to be usually suckt by something."(6)

Appears in:
Anonymous. Relation of the Most Remarkable Proceedings at the late Assizes at Northampton. London: 1674, 6

Anonymous 162 Witch-Searcher