|Sir Humphrey Winch||A man from Bedford in the county of Bedfordshire, who owned land at Cardington, Nothill, and Everton. Sir Humphrey Winch was one of two justices who, along with Randolph Crew, presided over the midland and northern assize circuits. He was responsible for imprisonment and execution of nine women as witches on July 18, 1616, at Husbands Bosworth. He was also responsible for the prosecution and imprisonment of another of six women at Husbands Bosworth, Leicester on October 15, 1616. based on the testimony of John Smith, whom the allegedly bewitched. Smyth recanted after King James I personally interrogated him, and called for the witches to be released from jail the following day. Five women walked free; one died. Winch's reputation was likely harmed by the incident.(6-9)||Sir Humphry Winch, (none of the least Honest, and Conscientious Itinerant Judges of his Time,) was, in the Northern Circuit presented with this Evidence, against Three Silly Women, That they had out of propense Malice, not onely bewitched divers Cattle, and Children to Death: But the principal Cause of their Commitment, arose from the Son of a Gentleman, that was supposed to have layn divers Moneths under their Fascination; who at certain Times, would Contract his whole Body, within the Compass of a Joyn'd-stool, and write in Hebrew, and Greek Characters, though not knownto be skilled in those tongues; That a Spirit came then into
him, sent by these poor Wretches, by which he was so Tormented, as he did, in his Fits, foame at the Mouth. Nor was there a greater, and more probable Evidence wanting; For, that Night the Judges entred the Town, One of the Witches, did privately desire the Jaylour, to bring Her into a room by her Self, where without any Compulsion, (a thing not omitted by our Witch Finders) She told Him, she used a Familiar, together with the Rest; And that they had joyned to bewitch the said Boy; but did humbly beseech Him, her Fellows might not know it, nor she be returned to the same lodging, for fear, They should torment Her: And within few Hours dyed. Now upon the Keepers Evidence, and others of like Nature, the Two were found guilty, and Condemned to be Hang'd. But under this Proviso, That in Case they continued
obstinate in the Denyal of the Fact, The Sheriff should remand them back, where they were to live, till the Progress, which was to be Northward, that Summer. The King being gratified by nothing more, then an Opportunity to shew his Dexterity in Discovering an Imposture, (at which, I must confess Him, The Promptest Man Living) upon his Arrival convented The Boy. Where, before Him, (possibly daunted at his Presence, or Terrified by his Words) he began to faulter, so as The King discover'd a Fallacy. And did for a further Confirmation, send him to Lambeth; where the Servants of George Abbot, did in a few Weeks, discover the Whole Deceit. And He was sent back to his Majesty, before the end of the Progress. Where upon a Small Entreaty, He would repeat all his Tricks oftentimes in a Day. Nor did He do and
suffer all this, for a more Serious Cause, Then to prevent a present Whipping, and avoyd going to School. Amongst other Prancks, he lived in an Orchard a Week, upon Apples onely.
I shall make no Paraphrase, nor pursue the Argument further, to avoyd Prolixity, no less, then Offence. The Doctrine of such &c. Being a Diana, out of Which, no small Profit is made, and Credit purchased, in reference to Opinions, otherwise Ridiculous, and Untenable.()|