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Assertions for a specific being.

Name Description Original Text
GylesA spirit or familiar from Stradbrook in the county of Suffolk, known to appear in the shape of a cat or a thick dark substance a foot in height shaped like a sugar loaf, and to belong to Doll Barthram. This spirit answers to the name of Gyles. Barthram sends Gyles to torment Joan Jorden after her toad sprits fail, and he comes into her chamber through the chimney in the night to scrape and knock at the walls and shuffle through the rushes. He also clapped her on the cheeks to awaken her, kissed her several times while slavering on her, and sat on her breast to press her so she could not speak. At other times he held her hands so she could not stir, and her voice so she could not speak. He "spake and vttered many thinges," as witnessed by Symon Fox and numerous others. In answer to the questions put to him, he claimed to have come for Joan's life, to be a boy, to have belonged to Doll Barthram for as long as 20 years, and that Barthram gave him her life and her soul. He also said that he, along with fellow familiars Tom and J., hanged Caver's wife at Barthram's command, but only after he failed to drown her by leading her into a flooded ditch. Gyles also told of how he, also by Barthram's command, killed a child, in the womb of the mother, by nipping out the braines; and that hee entred into another partie and killed him, by tearing his heart in peeces." Shortly thereafter, the woman's pregnancy ended in a stillbirth, and the man died strangely. In addition to killing Jordan, Gyles was also charged with tearing John Sheereman to pieces, and with killing Symon Fox, and his wife, children and cattle.After this, On Satterday the 9. of Iune, in the sense of many of good accoumpt and credit, A Spirit (which had ben there the night before, and said then, beeing asked, that his name was Gyles, & that he came down the chimney in the likenes of a cat) came nowe againe about eleven a clock at night; first scraping on the wals, then knocking, after that shufling in the rushes: and then (as his vsuall maner was) he clapped the maide on the cheekes about halfe a skore times as to awake her; and, (as oft times els he did) he kissed her 3. or 4. times and slauered on her: and, (lying on her brest) he pressed her so sore that she could not speake; at other times hee held her handes that she could not stirre, and restrayned her voice that she could not answer. The Shape which they sawe the Spirite then to haue, was a thick darke substance about a foote high; like to a sugar lofe, white on the top. And (being charged) he did shoote vp in all their sightes as high againe as he shewed himselfe before. As this spirit had a shape, so had he also an audible voyce: by which he spake and vttered many thinges. This voyce was not the maides, neither from her, nor yet of a|ny other saue of the spirit it selfe. For; (besides that the maide denyed it,) she & the spirit were heard speak both at once; also, her lips were seene not to moue, when the spirit spake; and, some standing neerer to th'one then to th'other, did sensibly discerne and distinguish both their voyces. Neither was this the voyce of any counterfait confederate; for, (to put this out of doubt) the house was searched, the parties in the maides presence (except Io. Sheereman, M. Randall, and Sy. Fox) were strangers, the roomes vnder and adioyning to her, were full of people, and the house was besett with divers who came to see and heare these strang accidents, which indeed they did; for the voyce was easily heard to them all. This Spirit being demanded diverse questions, returned answers; saying, (among diverse other things,) Joane, Ioane, I come for thy life; J will haue it, I am a Boy, a Boy; my name is Gyles; an old woman that dwells in the streete gaue mee that name, to witt, Doll Barthram; She sent me; I haue serued her 10. yeares, yea 20. yeares; She is now in prison, (as indeede she was); Nan Barthram sent me now; I will kill Ioane tomorrow night; J will teare her in peeces; She hath giuen her life and soule to mee (which Ioane in parte acknowledging, viz. that she had given him her life, hee laughed Ho, Ho, Ho.) To this whe[n] John Sheereman defying him) replyed, that he should not haue her life, he said, I wil haue thine then; I come to thee, J come; & with that, offered towards him, to the great astonishment & feare of him and the rest present. And yet thus for that time he vanished away. But, not long after, he returned againe; in maner as at the first (except scraping the wals.) When, vpo[n] occasion of talke touching one Cavers wife, in the presence of many, he said: Tom, (which was another of the Spirites of the said Doll,) and J, at Doll Barthrams commandement, did hang her. But first I led her into a ditch vp to the chyn and could not drowne her, and therefore I brought her out againe. Then Tom brought a rope and put it vnder her chaps, and I pulled her vp and hung her. Which seemeth to haue ben so, because of the strangnes of it. For, the rope werewithall Cauers wife was hanged, was but put vnder her chaps, not about her neck: and the noose was so bigge, that three mens heds might haue slipt through it at once. Moreover, this Spirite then declared, That he, (at Doll Barthams co[m]mandment) had killed a child, in the womb of the mother, by nipping out the braines; and that hee entred into another partie and killed him, by tearing his heart in peeces. Both which seeme to be true also: for, the woman was deliuered of a dead child, & the man did dye in a very strange maner; and both at the same time that the Spirit declared. Then, after many speaches vsed by the spirit, as, that hee would kill Ione, and teare Iohn Sheereman in pieces; that he was their God; and that he would not be content with the life of Ioane only, but would haue also the liues of Fox, his wife, children, and cattell, and that by the commaundement of Doll Bartharm, hee went away for that night.

Appears in:
Anonymous. The Trial of Maist. Dorrell. Unknown: 1599, 93-96