The Salisbury assizes.

[The Sal]isbury assizes. [...]ard of witchcraft. Being a true relation of one mistris Bodnan living in Fisherton, next house but one to the gallowes, who being [a] Witch seduced a maid, called by name, Anne Stiles, to the same abominable and detested action of vvitchcraft; which VVitch for that action was executed the 19 day of March 1653. To the tune of Bragandary.
When men and women leave the way of God, and goodnesse quite,
They practice mischief every day, and therein take delight
The Divel then is nye at hand
When these things he doth understand,
You that will goe,
High or low
Resolve upon this doubt.

As by the Story you shall heare […]ft you will list a while
The Divell lately did appetite; and a Woman did beguile.
But she did make the way before,
And to her heart did him adore
You that will goe, &c.

Sin Fisherton this dame did dwell of conversation bad,
She did converse with the Divell of Hell, which made her friends all sad,
Unto the Divell she gave her soule
Sealed in a bloody scroule,
 You that will goe, &c.

Mistris Bodnam was her name, who daily undertake
To helpe men to [?]oine gods againe,
[…] with her conjuring take
A looking glasse she had likewise,
To the […] before their eyes
You that will goe, &c.

Amonge the rest a Maid then went,
Her name was Annis Stiles
About [?]olne goods in discontent
But the Divill her beguiles
The Divill did the Witch perswade
For to seduce this silly maid
You that will goe, &c

She gave the Maid a Looking glass
On which she looked on
But at the length it came to pas
She was to soone undone,
For want of wisdome and true grace,
She was undone in little space,
You that will goe, &e.

Sweet heart quoth she if that you please,
I will teach you my art,
So you may live in wealth and ease
According to your heart.
If you your Soule the Divell will give,
In health and wealth you then may live,
You that will goe, &c.

To soone alas she did consent
And seald it with her blood;
Which made her afterwards repent,
When as she understood
That she must loose the joyes of heaven
For some Toyes unto her given
You that willl goe,
High or low,
Resolve upon this doubt.

2 At length it came for to be known,
How she had simply run
Then to the Witch she made her mone
And said she was undone
She said to London she would flye,
For feare least both of them should dye,
You that will goe
High or low,
Resolve upon this doubt.

The Witch was willing there unto,
And bid her fly with speed
She was at Stockbridge taken though,
For that notorious deed,
The Divill cast her to and froe
As all the company did know
You that will goe, &c,

When in the chamber she came in,
The Divell tost her about
She askt the divell where heed bin
To give her a floute,
Then all the standers by amaz’d,
Upon each other then they gaz’d,
You that will goe, &c,

A Gentleman great paines did take,
With her the people say,
And she to him her minde did breake
And for her he did pray,
She told him the old witch was case
That she had broke Gods holy lawes
You that will goe, &c.

Foure days together she was vert tormented grieviously
And in her mind was fore perplex[…]
That some thought she would […]

The Divell like a Snake apeard
Which all the country people feard
You that will goe, &c,

But then the old Wich came in sight,
Then did she take her rest,
And she did sleepe well all that night
As plainly is exprest,
She said when as she walkt againe,
She praised God she felt no paine
You that will goe, &tc.

She told the Gentleman that she
Would tell him all her art
And that he should inriched by
By what she should impart
She told him that she knew full well,
She should be a great Lady in hel,
You that will goe, &c.

The old Witch executed was,
This moneth the 19. Day,
She ever had a face of Bliss
As all the people say,
Indeed of pensiuenesse and prayer
She did nought but curse and sware,
You that will goe, &c,

God nothing had to doe with her
She said most desperately
She swore and curst and kept a […]r
And desperately did dye
Let all good people therefore say
[…] hearts with me and pray,
You that will goe, &c.


How to Cite

Anon. The Salisbury assizes. ed. Kirsten C Uszkalo. The Witches in Early Modern England Project. 2011. [date of access]. <>.

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