A True and Fearefull Vexation of One Alexander Nyndge

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A True and Fearefull Vexation of One Alexander Nyndge: Being Most Horribly Tormented with the Devill, from the 20 day of January, to the 23 of July. At Lyeringswell in Suffocke: With his Prayer after his Deliverance.

Written by his owne brother Edward Nyndge Master of Arts, with the Names of the Witnesses that were at his Vexation.

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The grievous and lamentable vexation of Alexander Nyndge, fearfully tormented with an evill Spirit, from the 20 day of January, to the 23 of July.

The Divell, being the principall agent and chiefe practicer in all wickedness. It is much to the purpose we have in hand, to describe and set him forth, that we may the better be instructed to see what he is able to doe in what manner, and to what end and purpose. At the beginning (as Gods word doth teach us) he was created an holy Angell, full of power & glory. He sinned, he was cast downe from heaven, he was utterly deprived of glory, and preserved for judgement. This therefore, and this change of his, did not destroy nor take away the former faculty of Divils, but  itterly corrupt, pervert, and deprave the same. The Offence of Spirits remained, and the power and understanding such as is in Angels. The heavenly Angels are very mighty and strong, far… (it continues in this vein for another page and a half.)

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You shall understand therefore that the first at, and vexation, wherefore this Alexander Nyndge was so peacefully perplexed began about seaven of the clocke at night. His father, mother and brethren, with the residue of the houshold being at that time in presence. And it was in this matter. His chest; and body fell a swelling, his eies a staring, and his backe bending inwards to his belly which did strike the beholders into a strange wonder, and admiration at this first, yet one of his brothers then also present, named Edward Nyndge, a Master of Arts, being boulder then other were of this of the company, certainly perswading himselfe that it was some evill spirit, that so molested him: gave him comfortable words of mercy from the holy Scriptures, and also charged the Spirit by the death and Passion of Jesus Christ, that it should declard the cause of that torment. At which the countenance of the same Alexander turned more strange, and full of amazement, and feare then it was before, and so returned to his former style againe.

This Alexander Nyndge having his speach then at liberty

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laid unto the same Edward, Brother, he is marvelous afraid of you, therefore I pray you stand by me.

With which words the same Edward was the more bold, and said to Alexander, If thou dost earnestly repent thee of thy sins, and pray to God for the forgiveness of the same, (my life for thine) the Divell cannot hurt thee, No, rather then he should, I will goe to hell with thee. Then the Spirit (for a small time) racked the said Alexander in a far more cruell manner: for he did use such strange and idle kinds of gestures in laughing, dancing, and such like light behavioyrs, that he was suspected to be mad: Sundry times he refused all kinds of meat for a long space together, insomuch as he seemed to pine away. Sometimes he shaked as if he had had an ague. There was heard also a strange noise, or flapping from within his body. Hee would gather himselfe on a round heape under his bedclothes, and being so gathered, he would bounse up a good height from the bed, and bead his head and other parts of his body against the ground, and bed-stead in such earnest manner, that the beholders did feare that he would thereby have spoiled himselfe, if they had not by strong hand restrained him, and yet thereby he received no hurt at all.

In most of his fits he did swell in his body, and in some of them did so greatly exceed therein, as he seemed to be twice so big as his naturall body. He was often seene to have a certaine swelling or variable lumpe to a great bignesse swiftly running up and downe between the flesh and the skin.

Then would they carry the same Alexander downe the chamber, willing to call upon God for grace, and earnestly to repent him, and to put his truth only in Christ Jesus. And setting him in a chaire, desired his Father to send for all his neighbors, to helpe to pray for him. And on a suddaine he would be strangely handled, for (sitting in a chaire when the fit came) he would be cast head-long upon the ground, or fall downe, draiwing then his lips away, gnashing with his teeth, wallowing and foming, and the Spirit would bere him monstrously and transforme his bod, and after the same by many violences. Then the said Edward his brother with one Thomas Wakefield would lay hands on Alexander

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and set him in the Chaire againe, and there hold him. All that were in the house praying earnestly.

And the said Edward charging the Spirit with these words, Thou fowle Feind, I Coniure thee, in the name of Jesus our Saviour, the Sonne of Almighty God, that thou speake unto us.

Whereat the Spirit transformed him very ugly against his Chest, swelling upwards to his throat, plucking his belly just to his backe, and so ceased for a time.

The partie tormented being somewhat restored, uttered these words; Sirs, He will speake with me, I pray you let him not speake with mee. Whereupon all that were present did pray earnestly, at which the Spirit began to bire him very grievously and swelled sore [in th]e Chest, and in a base sounding and hollow voyce, uttere[d the w]ords I will, I will, I will. Then replyed the same Edw[ar]d, a[nd] said; Thou shalt not, and I charge thee in the Name of Je[sus] Christ, that thou speake unto us, and not unto him. [Th]en the Spirit in a hollow voyce said, Why didst thou tell t[hem]? Why didst thou tell them? Then the said Edward, bid Charge the Spirit (as aforesaid) to tell them the cause of his coming? And why hee did torment his brother. To the which the Spirit answered. I come for his Soule. Then the said Edward said unto the Spirit, Wee have a warrant in the holy Scriptures, that such as doe earnestly repent them of their sins, and turne unto God with the only hope of Salvation, through the merits of Jesus Christ, thou mayest not havethem, for Christ is his Redeemer. The Spirit uttered (in a hale hollow sounding voyce) these words, Christ that was my Redeemer. Then Edward said, Christ that is his Redeemer, not thy Redeemer, by my brother Alexander his Redeemer.

Then the Spirit said in his hollow voyce, I will have his Soule and body too, and so began to torment and racke the same Alexander, and disfigure him more horribly than before, forcing him to such strange and fearefull skriking as cannot bee uttered by mans power, and was of such strength, as sometimes foure or five men, though they had much advantage against him by binding him to a chaire, yet they could not rule him. And in shewing

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that strength, hee was not perceived to pant or blow, no more than he had not strained his strength, nor strugled at all. Sometimes hee would cry extreamly, so as teares would come from him in gread aboundance. Presently after hes would laugh aloud, and shrill, and his mouth being shut close. And sometimes he was heaved by the ground by force invisible, the said Edward Nyndge, Thomas Nyndge, Thomas Wakefield, Thomas Goldsmith, William Miles, and William Nyndge Junior, hanging upon the same Alexander unto the middest of the house, and the said Edward putting his mouth unto the eare of the said disfigured body of his brother Alexander said, Brother, continue in your faith, and if you goe to hell, wee will go with you. Then the force did somewhat failed, and the hangers on dra[gged] [hi]m to the Chaire againe. Thene one of his younger brot[hers] [na]med William Nyndge said; Wee will keepe him from th[ee] tho[u] foule Spirit, in spite of thy Nose.

Whereat the transformed body, looked very [ter]ribly against the said William, and turned his most ugly lookes [un]to his brother Edward standing on the other side, uttering these hollowe sounding words, Will you sir, will you sir. To which the said Edward answered; Nor I sir, but the merits of Jesus Christ will, and him we earnestly pray to keepe him from thee. Then all that were there present, to the number to 40 persons and more, fell downe and said the Lords Prayer, with other Sentences, every on severally, and one of the Company uttered words, joyning God and the blessed virgin Mary together, whom the said Edward rebuked, and said, You offend God: whereat there came a voyce much like Alexanders voyce, saying twice, There bee other good Prayers. Whereunto the said Edward made answere, and said, Thou lyest, for there is no other Name under Heaven whereby wee may challenge Salvation, but the onely Name of Christ Jesus. And then the Spirit roares with a fearefull voice, and stretched out his necke long to the Fyre: and then the saide Edward desired Peter Bencham, Curate of the Towne, to Conjure and charge him in the Name of Jesus the Sonne of the Al-mightie, that the Spirit should declare unto them from whence

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hee came: Whether he would: And what washts Name [to] which the Spirit made answere in this mumbling manner. I would come out, I would come out. Then Edward charged him (as before) that he should declare his name. And the Spirit said, Aubon, Aubon. They charged him then (as aforesaid) to make knowne unto them whence hee came: And the Spirit made answere in a hollow voyce; From Ireland, from Ireland. Then they laide the fourth Chapter of Saint Matthew against him, where Christ said, It is; Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him onely shalt thou serve. Which Sentence, as it was pronounced, the hollow voyce sounded, My Master, my Master, I am his Disciple, I am his Disciple. They they answered, Thy master we graunt he is, but thou lyest, thou art none of his Disciple. Thou art onely an instrument, and scourge to punish the wicked, so farre as pleaseth him. And then the layd unto him the eight Chapter of S. Luke, whereas Christ himselfe bid call out Devils. And the Spirit answered hollowly, Baw-wawe, ba-wawe. And within a little space after, the body of the said Alexander, being as monstrously transformed as it was before, much like the picture of the Devill in a play, with an horrible roaring voyce, sounding Hell-hound, was most horribly tormented. And they that were present fell to prayer, desiring God earnestly to take away the foule Spirit from him. The said Edward then desired to have the window opened, for, I trust in God (said hee) the fowle Spirit is wearie of our company. The windowes being opened accordingly, within two Minuts after the tormented body returned to true shape again, the said Alexander leaping up, and holding up his hands, and saying, Hee is gone, he is gne, Lord I thanke thee. Whereat all the people that were then present fell downe on their knees with the reverence, and yeelded unto God exceeding praise and thanksgiving. This fit ended about eleven of the Clocke the same night, and so they went to Supper with great joy and gladness.

After foure a clocke in the Morning another fit began: and the said Alexander being in his bed, with great trembling said, I will goe, I will goe. Then said Edward, Brother, call your selfe to

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remembrance, an beleeve in Jesus Christ your Redeemer, and take this Sentence for your defence against him, whesoever see him come, this is the Sentence; Speake for mee my Saviour Jesus Christ. Which Sentence the said Alexander uttered very earnestly many times, with a trembling and a feareful looke, as though something had invaded him, but we saw nothing but his belly swelling a little. This it continuing halfe and houre, and somewhat more, they tooke him the Bible to read, and so fell to godly Prayer against all assaults and temptations in this maner.

The Prayer (not transcribed; irrelevant to events) (fills rest of page 8, page 9, and ¾ of page 10)

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After the Prayer ended, he fel into a slumber, but it continued not so, but that he fell into his former vexation: For about eight of the clock the next morning following, the same Alexander was marvellesly misformed and cryed out; Help me brother Edward, and all you that be my friends, and pray for mee, for this foule Feind will come into me, whether I will or no. And therewithal the said Alexander made an horrible spitting, his belly being

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swelled as before hath beene expressed. And then he breathed for a time, and they put on his hose, and brought him downe into the house, where he was grievously tormented of all his members, and the voyce roared exceedingly, but they say nothing, and Edward speaking in his brothers eare, said unto him; Stand to your true Repentance brother, and your posessed hope of Salvation, which you deteined yesternight, and then undoubtedly God will deliver you. And presently the left eare, and the which the said Edward spake to vehemently, was sodainly wrinkled like a clung Walnut which falleth from the tree before it be ripe.

And sight whereof the saide Edward being amazed, called the Curate of the Towne, and desired him to take the Bible, and to turne to the place of Scripture, where Christ gave authority his Ministers, and willing him to read and use that authority, for the losing of the same eare which was so wrinkled together. The same Edward going to the right eare uttered thereat many Sentences of consolation unto his brother being in a monstrous, and horrible vexation. And then divers of them, tooke upon them to Conjure, and charge the foule Feind as in the first manner, namely; Wee conjure thee in the Name of Jesus Christ our Saviour, the Sonne of the Almightie God, that thou depart and no longer torment the said Alexander. And within a while after, the same Alexander stood up and said; Hee is gone, He is gone.

Whereup on hee joined with his brother Edward in hearty Prayer of acknowledgement, and said after him in this manner.

(another prayer takes up the rest of the page, and ½ of page 12)

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After this, they tooke the said Alexander, and all of them joyfully accompany him to his brother Thomas Nyndge his house, whereafter his coming thither, hee was not knowne to bee perplexed with the like terrible vexations.

These things were seene and suffered in the presence of the persons hereunder named, and many others both men and women.

Sir Thomas Nyndge
William Nyndge
William Nindge Junior
Henry Clarence
William Pye
George Oldfeild
Tomas Wakefeild
Thoms Goldsmith
William Miles
John Baron
Thomas Gathercolt
Thomas Kent
George Richarde
Thomas Edwards
John Neaue, alias Bolding
Ezechiell Clement
John Turner, &c.


How to Cite

Nyndge, Edward. A True and Fearefull Vexation of One Alexander Nyndge. 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.