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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
Jennet BierleyA woman from Salmesbury in the County of Lancaster, known to be the grandmother of Grace Sowerbutts, mother of Henry Bierley, and mother-in-law to Ellen Bierley. She was indicted at the Lancaster Assizes, along with Ellen Bierley and Jane Southworth, for bewitching her granddaughter Grace so that her body wasted and was consumed. Jennet pleaded not guilty, and was eventually acquitted and released. Grace accused Jennet of numerous things. The accusations started with haunting and vexing her, drawing her by her hair, and laying her on top of a hay-mow. Grace also claimed that Jennet had shapeshifted into a black dog in front of her and picked her off a sty. Another time, Jennet came to Grace in dog shape and allegedly tried to persuade her to drown herself, but a spirit in a white sheet carried her away. Jennet-as-dog also buried Grace in hay and lay on top, robbing her of her speech, senses, and an entire day. Grace claimed to be unable to speak in Jennet's presence thereafter. Grace also accused Jennet and Ellen of stealing Thomas Walshman's child, driving a nail through its navel and sucking from the hole through a pen, then returning the child to its bed; the child languished and died thereafter. Once the child died, Jennet and Ellen allegedly took it from the churchyard, boiled it, ate it and rendered the fat from its bones to anoint themselves so they could change shape. Grace also said Jennet had brought her to attend a meeting of witches where four things like men carried them all across the water to eat strange meat, which Grace refused, and dance and "abuse their bodies." Thomas Walshman gave deposition confirming that he had a child who became sick and died, but he did not know the cause. Jennet accused Grace, in turn, of conspiring with the priest Master Thompson, who had been slandering her by calling her witch, and to whom Grace had been brought to by her mother. Grace retracted her accusations.(C4)The Witches of Salmesbury. Iennet Bierley. Elen Bierley. Iane Southworth. Iohn Ramesden. Elizabeth Astley. Alice Gray. Isabell Sidegraues. Lawrence Haye.()