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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
Sir Bassingbourn GawdyA man from West Harling in the county of Norfolk and one time High Sheriff of Norfolk (1578), Sir Bassingbourn Gawdy is responsible for imprisoning Margaret Fraunces for the alleged bewitchment of Joan Harvey. Gawdy was prompted to release Fraunces after receiving a letter from Augustine Styward in which Styward pleaded for mercy for Fraunces and diagnosed Harvey as suffering from hysteria.(71)20 December 1600. Augustine Sty ward, Thetford, to Sir Bass. Gawdy. One Margaret Fraunces, by "the hasty censure of some and by neglecting the ordinary means to know the truth" has been accused of bewitching a maid at Hockham named Joane Harvey. Fraunces was brought before Gawdy and has been "a long time committed," of which Stywarde was notified by divers of the same town who have now re-formed their opinion. He visited the maid on Friday and makes bold to state "according to the experience I have had both of ordinary and extra- ordinary diseases, the effect and operations of divers humors, of sick persons\' qualities and several dispositions that this (that some carrying the show of learning there do so much wonder at, and as it were make uproar about it together with others like-ignorant) is nothing else but a disease called the Mother commonly, or as Phisicke calleth it uteri suffocatio or strangulatio which hath her natural cause, and all the strange fits they affirm to proceed of witchcraft to be only passions and symptoms of the same and other mixed disorders in her nature ; yea greater have I seen than this and more admirable . . . neither are there any such strange mutters as they report which are now ashamed of what they have done and therefore strive to uphold their credit herein with falsehood ; as that she is not able to be held in the time of her fit with 3 or 4, which I myself in presence of divers both learned Divines and others did alone ; and that " [she, the word is struck out] " the spirit spits at the name of Jesus and divers other fopperies." Stywarde will give this evidence publicly and begs that the "present misery" of Margaret Fraunces so wrongfully inflicted may induce Gawdy to ponder means for her " deliverance out of prison, or other provision in this hard extremity."()