|Jo. Ward||A Justice from Wakefield in the county of Yorkshire who heard the testimony of Richard Jackson, of Wakefield against Jennet and George Benton. The Bentons were indicted for allegedly practicing witchcraft on Richard Jackson and his family after Jackson reprimanded them for trespassing.(74-75)||LXXIV. JENNET AND GEOKGE BENTON. FOR WITCHCRAFT.
June 7, 1656. Before Jo. Warde. Richard Jackson, of WaJcefeilcl, sayth, that, he beinge tennant to Mr. Stringer, of Sharlston,* "for a farme called by the name of Bunny hall, nyare Wakefeild, one Jennett Benton, and George Benton, her sonn, pretended to have a high way thorough the grounds belonginge to the said farme; which one Daniell Craven, servant to the informant, and by his niayster's appoynteraent, did indevor to hinder. Upon which the said George Benton did cast a stone at him, the said Craven, wherewith he cutt his overlipp, and broake two teeth out of his chaps. Soc, an action beinge brought against the said Benton for the trespass, which was submitted unto by him, and
indevors used to end the difference, which was composed, and satisfaction given unto the said Craven. After which, the said Jennett Benton and her sonn did say that it should be a deare day's worke unto the said Rich. Jackson, to him or to his, before the yeare went about. Since which time his wife haith had her hearinge taken from her ; a childe strangely taken with fitts in the night time; himselfe alsoe, beinge formerly of helthfull body, have beene sudenly taken without any probable reason to be given or naturall cause appearinge, beinge sometimes in such extremity that he conceived himselfe drawne in peiccs at the hart, backe, and shoulders. And, in the begininge of these fits, the first night, he heard a greate noyse of musicke and dancinge about him. The next night, about twelve of the clocke, he was taken with another fitt, and, in the midle of it, he conccved there was a noyse like ringinge of small bells, with singinge and dancinge, and sometimes both nights a noise of deepe groneing; upon which he called of his wife and asked her if she heard it not, and soe of his man, who answered they did not. He asked them againe and againe if they heard it not; at last lie, his wife, and servant, all heard it give three hevie groones ; at that instant doggs did howle and yell at the windows, as though they would have puld them in peeces. He had also a great many swine which broake thorrow two barn dores. Also the dores in the howse at that time clapt to and fro; the boxes and trunkes, as they conceived, was removed;, and severall aparitions like black doggs and catts was scene in the house. And he saith that, since the time the said Jennet and George Benton threatned him, he hath lost 18 horses and meares. And he conceives he hath had all this loss by the use and practise of some witchcraft or sorccric by the said Gennet and George Benton.
Susanna, wife of Robert Maude, of Snow hill, saith that Jennet Benton came downe to her house to seeke her son George Benton, and asked him if hce would goe home with her. He answered, " Mother, which way shall I goe? You know I can goe thorrow the stone wall if yow would have me." And further said, that either his father or the divell came to their house and tooke up the iron tongues and strooke upon the iron range. And said that the thing which soe came to their house range soe all times of the night. To which the said Gennet said, "Villaine, did it ever doe the any hurt? it will doe soe at the noone time."
Two other witnesses testify to suspicious circumstances against them; the two accused deny all.