A Full and True Account

A Full and True Account of the Discovery, Apprehending and taking of a notorious witch, who was carried before Justice Bateman in Well-Close, on Sunday, July the 23.  Together with her Examination and Commitment to Bridewel, Clerkenwel.

Sarah Griffith who lived in a Gerret in Rosemary lane was long time suspected for a bad Woman, but nothing could be prov’d against her that the Law might take hold of her.  The [?] some of the Neighbour Children would be strangely effected with unknown Distempers, as Vomiting of Pins, their Bodies turn’d into strange postures and such like, many were frighted with strange apperitions of Cats, which of a sudden would vanish away, these and such like made those who lived in the Neighbourhood both suspicious and fearful of her: Till at last the Devil (who always betrays those that deal with him) thus brought the Truth to Light.  One Mr. John --- at the Sugarloaf had a good jolly fellow for his Apprentice.  This Old Jade came into his Shop to buy a wistern? of Sope, the young fellow happened to Laugh, and the Scales not fraging? right, cryed out he thought that they were be Witch’d; The Old Woman hearing him say so, fellow? a great Passion, judging he said so to Ridicule her, ran out of the Shop and threatened Revenge.  In the Night was heard a lumbring noise in the Shop and the Man coming down to see, found a strange confusion, every thing turn’d topsy turvy all the goods out of order; but what was worse, the next day the poor fellow was troubled with a strange diseases, but the good prayers of some Neighboring Divines the power of the Devil was restrained.  Two or three days after it happened, that the Young Man with two or three more walking up to the New River Head, who should they see but Mother Griffith walking that way, They consulted together to try her, and one of them said let us toss her into the River, for I have heard that if she swims ‘tis a certain sign of a Witch; in short they put their design in execution, for coming up to her they tossed her in; but like a Bladdar when forc’d under Water pops up again.  So this Witch was no sooner in but Swam like a Corke; they kept her in some time, and at last let her come out again; she was no sooner out, but she smote that Young man on the Arm, and told him he should pay dear for what he had done: Immediately he found a strange pain on his arm, and looking on it found the exact mark of her Hand and Fingers as black as a Cole; he went home where he lay much lamented and wonderfully affrighted with the Old Woman coming to afflict him, and at last cried with the pain, and Buried in St. Pulchers Chuch yard.

Mr. John --- fearing some further mischief, takes a Constable and goes to her lodging where he finds the Old Woman, and charges the Constable with her.  She made many attempts to escape, but the Devil who owned her ashamed had now left her, and she was apprehended.  As she was conducted toward, the Justice House she tried to leap over the Wall and had done it had not the Constable knocked her down.  In this manner, she was carried before the Justice, there was Evidence that was with him in his Sickness could witness that he had unaccountable fits, vomited up old nails, pins and such like, his body being turned into strange postures, and all the while nothing but crying out of Mother Griffith that she was come to torment him, his Arm rotted almost off Gangreen’d and kill’d him.  When she came before the Justice she pleaded innocence, but the circumstances appeared so plainly that she was committed to Bridewel, where she now remains.

Witness my hand, July 24,  1704  Thomas Greenwel?London Printed by U Hill …. Near the Water side.


How to Cite

Anon. A Full and True Account of the Discovery, Apprehending and Taking of a Notorious Witch. ed. Kirsten C Uszkalo. The Witches in Early Modern England Project. 2011. [date of access]. <http://witching.org/>.

All site content copyright © Uszkalo except where noted. Images courtesy of the Wellcome Collection.