|Anonymous 39||A familiar in the shape of a horse, which belongs to Anonymous 269, one of the nine witches tried and executed at Husband Bosworth in the county of Leicester (July 18th, 1616) for the bewitchment of John Smyth. Six of these witches allegedly had familiars which possessed Smyth, a possession manifest by him making the noise which corresponded to the familiar's shape: "when the hors tormented him, he woold whinny." The familiar would be temporarily exorcised when the accused witch would recall her spirit from him by saying "I such a one chardge the hors, yf I be a wiche, that thou com forthe of the chilld." And then another by her sperit to doe the like; and so till all had doone."
||The following letter from alderman Robert Heyrick, of Leicester, to his brother sir William, in the year 1616, relates to an extraordinary transaction which took place at Husbands Bosworth.
Although we have bene greatly busyed this 4 or 5 days past, being fyse tyme, and a busy fyse speacylly about the araynment of a sort of woomen, wytches, w' 9 of them that shall be executed at the gallows this fornone, for bewitching of a younge gentellman of the adge of 12 or 13 years old, beinge the son of one Mr. Smythe, of Husbands Bosworth, brother to Mr. Henry Smythe, that made the booke which we call Mr. Smythe's Sarmons. Your man Sampson stays, and yt is to tedyous to write anny one thing unto you of the matter; and the examynacyons and finding out of the matter came to my hand in wryting just as'I began your lettar. Only I will signilye unto you of the child's straunge fits, who was brought hythar of Sayturday last to be shewed to the judges; and since his coming hither he hath had dyvars wonderful straunge fyts in the sight of all Is i all the greatest parsons here, as dyvars knights and ladies, and many othars of the bettar sort, most tereble to be tolld. Sir Henry Hastings hath doon what he colld to holld him'in his fit; but he and another as strong as he could not hold him; yi' he might have his arm at liberty, he woolld stryke himfellfe suche bls on his brest, being in his shirt, that you myght here the sound of yt the length of a long chamber, soumtvmes 50 bloes, soumtyms 100, yea soumtymes 2 or 300 bloes, that the least of them was able to stryke doune a strong man; and yet all he did to himself did him no hurt. 6 of the witches had 6 severall sperits, one in the lyknes of a hors, another like a dog, another a cat, another a pullemar, 1 another a fishe, another a code, 2 with whom evary one of them tormented him: he woolld make soom syne according to the sperit; as, when the hors tormented him, he woold whinny; when the cat tormented him, he would cry like a cat, &c. When he was in his fyt, they were soomtymes brought to him, and then they were chardged to speake sarten words, and to name theare sperits, and one of them to speake yt aftar another; as thus: "I such a one chardge the hors, yf I be a wiche, that thou com forthe of the chilld." And then another by her sperit to doe the like; and so till all had doone. Yf anny of them woolld speake a woord contrary to that charm, he shold be myghtyly tormented; but, if he 3 would speake as he had first directed them, at the end of the last he woolld fall out of his fit as quyetly as if one did lay him doune to slepe. For the rest, I leave till it please God we meete. Leicester, the 18th of July, 1616. |
Nichols, John . A Letter from Alderman Robert Heyrick, of Leicester, to his brother Sir William, in the year 1616. London: 1898, 6-9