Go back

Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
James DayA young man from St. Andrew's in Dublin, who allegedly encountered the Devil in a field, and discussed the signing over his soul. James Day allegedly begins to write a lease in blood, but the Devil bids him tear it up, and rewrites a lease using words James Day does not recognize. James Day refuses to sign the lease, and the Devil allegedly takes him to an unknown Tavern, without barkeeps, and where drinks magically filled themselves. Upon returning home, James Day recounts his story to his master, the smith Roger Day. He visits his uncle, Patrick Dawson, and upon returning to his master, claims that he will become Roman Catholic and that he is leaving his master to work for his uncle James Day. When Mr. Travers, the local Protestant minister, investigates, it is found that James Day fabricated the entire story with the help of his uncles, in order to help him change religions to Roman Catholic, and to leave the service of his master. After repenting these actions, James Day "promises amendment of life and diligence in his Masters service for the future."(1)A Boy Named James Day, Aged about eighteen years, formerly bred in the Blew Boy-Hospital, and now an Apprentice to Roger Day, Smith, on Lazy-Hill in St. Andrews Parish, Dublin, seemed to be troubled in Mind, and gave out, That he was in League with the Devil, which was the more easily believd, by reason of an unuseal Sullenness of Temper, and distraction of Look that appeard in him. Mr. Travers Minister of the Parish hearing of such a one Prayd for in his Church, enquird after him, and made him a visit on Monday the 17th of June last; he found him as he had heard and discourcing him, had from him the following Story; which is related as near as is possible, in the Boys own Words. Viz. That some time since, he had made Complaint to a Journey-man Smith, who wrought under his Master, that he wanted five or six Shillings to spend among some Friends in the Country, whome he was minded to visit; and that the said Man answered him, That if he shook hands with the Old Gentleman, he should never want Money; whereupon he asked him how he should beget an acquaintance with him; and the man told him, The way was to go into a private Place, and write some Prayer to him in his own Blood; and that accordingly he went on Saturday the 8th day of June, into a Field near St. Patricks Well, and writ in his own Blood these Words; In the Name of the Devil, I command you to appear; and that immediately there came to him a Tall Slender Black Man, of a thin Visage, and a thick Speech; and that they conversed together for some time; and that he said black man made him great Offers of Money, and Wordly Goods; if he would become his Servant; particularly, That he should win at all sorts of Game; and that after they parted, he went immediately by some secret Direction, to the Lottery on Essex Bridge, where he won that evening Eleven Shillings and Four Pence : That on Saturday the 15th day of June, he went in the morning to St. Patricks Well for a Pitcher of Water, and in his return homewards, there met him of a sudden, a man in colourd Cloths, who told him, That there was a Gentleman in the fields near the Gallows desird to speak with him, and bid him bring with him a Knife, a piece of Paper and a Pan ; and that accordingly he did go to those fields, and there met the Devil, and that after a a good while Conference with him, he agreed to Sell himself to him for ever, in consideration of seventeen years Life and Happiness, and that pursuant to this Agreement, the Boy was writing a Lease, or Deed, or Sale in his own Blood, having cut his Finger for that purpose; but when he had written part of it, the Devil bid him tare it, for that he himself could do it better and faster; and accordingly the Devil did draw up a Lease, and read it to the Boy, wherein he was assured of Gold and Silver in great plenty, but some of the Words he could not understand; and that the Devil would have had him sign the said Lease at that time, which he was unwilling to do, without some further time to consider it, but appointed to meet him again the Saturday following for the perfecting of it; and that the Devil carryd him that afternoon to a House that lookt like a Tavern, he knows not where, but that they had there Sack and March Beer sugard, with other Liquours; and that all the while they were drinking, the sat one on each side of a Table hand in hand, the Devil pressing him all the time to sign the said Lease; and that they had no Drawer, or Attendant to supply them with Drink, but that notwithstanding, they drank plentifully, the Cups were always full; and that there were in the said Tavern a great many people of all sorts, little and big: When they were parted thence, the Boy came home Frighted and Disorderd as twas thought, and he told these things to his Master and others of the Neighbourhood, telling them withal. That all their Advice, and that all they could do for him would be in vain. For that he must necessarily go to the Devil the Saturday following, according to the appointment that was made. There were some Circumstances that renderd the foregoing Story somewhat probably, for the Journey-Man Smith confessd, That he had said something to the Boy of Shaking hands with the Old Gentleman, tho in Jest. There was a visible Gash or two in one of his Fingers: There appeared I him some symptoms of a disturbd mind; and several Persons of Credit went with him on Sunday the 16th to the field near the Gallows, where he said he had been in Conference with the Devil the day before, and there they found the torn Paper written in blood as he had said, and putting the Scraps together, they could read the date of the Months and Year, and the words Promise and Law, and some other words; upon these Accounts, some Cridit was given to this Relation for three or four days. ()