|Anonymous 184||One of four spirits appearing on the North bank of the river Ribble, and known to be black in appearance, stand upright but look unlike a man in the face. According to Grace Sowerbutts, these spirits were participants in witches' meetings, along with Grace, her grandmother Jennet Bierley, her aunt Ellen Bierley and Jane Southworth. They carried the women across the Ribble river, feasted on strange meat with them, and danced with them. After the dancing, Grace claimed that "the said black things did pull downe the said three Women, and did abuse their bodies, as this Examinate thinketh, for shee saith, that the black thing that was with her, did abuse her bodie."||The Examination and Euidence of GRACE SOVVERBVTTS, daughter of THOMAS SOVVERBVTTS, of Salmesbury, in the Countie of Lancaster Husband-man, vpon her Oath, Against IENNET BIERLEY, ELLEN BIERLEY, and IANE SOVTHVVORTH, prisoners at the Barre, vpon their Arraignement and Triall, viz.
And being further sworne and examined, she deposeth & saith, that about halfe a yeare agoe, the said Iennet Bierley, Ellen Bierley, Iane Southworth, and this Examinate (who went by the appointment of the said Iennet her Grand mother) did meete at a place called Red banck, vpon the North-side of the water of Ribble, euery Thursday and Sonday at night by the space of a fortnight, and at the water side there came vnto them, as they went thether, foure black things, going vpright, and yet not like men in the face: which [f]oure did carrie the said three women and this Examinate ouer the Water, and when they came to the said Red Banck they found some thing there which they did eate. But this Examinate saith, shee ne|uer saw such meate; and therefore shee durst not eate thereof, although her said Grand mother did bidde her eate. And after they had eaten, the said three Women and this Examinate danced, euery one of them with one of the black things aforesaid, and after their dancing the said black things did pull downe the said three Women, and did abuse their bodies, as this Examinate thinketh, for shee saith, that the black thing that was with her, did abuse her bodie. |
Potts, Thomas. The Wonderfull Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster. London: 1613, K4v, L2v