|Robert Throckmorton||A man from Warboys in the county of Huntingdon, known to be wealthy and maintain a large household, and be the husband of Mistress Throckmorton, the father of Jane, Elizabeth, Grace, Mary, Joan and Robert Throckmorton, and the neighbour of Mother Alice Samuel, John Samuel and Agnes Samuel. He and his family were "but newly come to the towne to inhabite" when his daughter Jane "fell uppon the sodaine into a strange kinde of sickenes and distemperature of body." Mother Samuel was among the neighbours to visit the Throckmorton home during Jane's illness; on seeing her, Jane cried out "looke where the old witch sitteth...did you euer see (said the Child) one more like a witch than she is?" Numerous consultations with Dr. Barrow showed no illness or disease to be affecting Jane. At a loss, Dr. Barrow told Throckmorton that "he verily thought that there was some kind of sorcerie & witchcraft wrought towards his childe." Within weeks, all five of his daughters were afflicted with fits and claiming to see apparitions of Mother Samuel tormenting them. Mother Samuel, in turn, said that Throckmorton's children misused her with their accusations, that they were "playing the wantons" and that if they were her children they would have been punished for it. He witnessed his daughter Joan report Henry Pickering's encounter with Mother Samuel down to their actions and exact words, and confirmed the accuracy of this report with Henry later that day. He dispersed his children to various relatives for a time, suspecting that the separation would reduce their fits; this proves to be the case. When the children were back together under his roof, he noticed that their fits were fewer when Mother Samuel was in the house, and approached her husband John Samuel, offering him money for Mother Samuel's hire. Mother Samuel refused, however, due to the accusations the children had leveled against her, but consented when Robert Throckmorton offered her refuge after John beat her severely with a cudgel for refusing. Robert began to believe his children were indeed bewitched, and ordered Mother Samuel to predict their fits, which he saw to come true. He also witnessed her chin bleeding, which Mother Samuel later told Henry Pickering was because her spirits had been sucking at it. When the children told him Agnes Samuel needed to be questioned but would hide if he tried to speak to her, Robert went to John Samuel's home to test this out. She was found to be hiding, as predicted, and would not admit she was there until he threatened to pry open the trap door she had piled with heavy sacks. At another time, he witnessed Elizabeth unable to eat until he threatened that Mother Samuel would not eat until Elizabeth could again. Not long after, he witnessed Mother Samuel suffer several days of tormenting fits of her own, including strange swellings of her belly. When his daughter Elizabeth claimed her fits would not ease until John Samuel spoke a self-accusing "charm" over her, like his daughter Agnes had been made to, Robert Throckmorton tried unsuccessfully to make John do so. He stood by his daughter Joan at the Assizes in Huntindon while she had fits before the judges and was brought out of them by Agnes' "charm." During the trial, Robert gave a deposition that was instrumental in sentencing Mother Samuel, Agnes Samuel and John Samuel to death.(3-6)||A True and perticular Obseruation of a notable piece of Witchcraft practised by Iohn Samuell the Father, Alice Samuell the Mother, & Agnes Samuell their Daughter, of VVarboise in the Countie of Huntington, vpon fiue Daughters of Robert Throckmorton of the same towne and Countie Esquire, and certaine other Maide-seruants to the number of twelue in the whole all of them being in one house: Nouember, 1589.
About the tenth of November which was in the yeare 1589. Mistris Iane one of the daughters of the saide Master Throckmorton being neere the age of tenne yeares, fell uppon the sodaine into a strange kinde of sickenes and distemperature of body, the manner whereof was as followeth. Sometimes shee woulde neese very lowd and thicke for the space of halfe an howre together; and presently as one in a great rance and sound lay quietly as long, soone after she woulde begin to swell and heaue up her bellie so as none was able to bende her, or keepe hir downe, sometime shee would shake one legge and no other part of her, as if the paulsie had bin in it, sometimes the other, presently she would shake one of hir armes and then the other, and soone after hir head, as if shee had binne in fected with the running paulsie: continuing in this case two of three dayes, amongst other neighbours in the towne there came into the house of master Throckmorton, the foresaid Alice Samuell to visite this sicke childe, who dwelled in the next house on the Northside of the said Master Throckmorton. The child when the old woman came into the parlour was held in an other womans armes by the fire side, so she went into the chimney corner and sate downe hard by the childe, the Grandmother of the childe, and the Mother beeing also present, shee had not beene there long, but the child grue something worse than she was at her comming, and on the sodaine cried (saing) Grandmother looke where the old witch sitteth (pointing to the said mother Samuell) did you euer see (said the Child) one more like a witch than she is: Take off her blacke-thrumbed cappe, for I cannot abide to looke on her. The mother of the child little then suspecting any such matter (as afterwards fell out) was very angry with her child and rebuked her for saying so, & thinking that it might proceede of some lightnes in the childs braine by reason of her great neesing and want of sleepe, tooke her and laid her downe upon a bed, and hanged curtaines against the windowes, thereby hoping to bring her into a sleepe, but much adoo they had to pacifie and quiet the child. The old woman hearing this sate still, and gaue neuer a word, yet looked very ruefully, as afterwards was remembred by them that saw her. The child still continuing her manner of sickenes, rather worse than better, within two daies after, her parents sent the childs urine to Cambridge to Doctor Barrow, a man well knowne to be excellent skilfull in Phisicke, who returned this answer: namely, that he did perceiue no kind of distemperature save onely that he thought she might be troubled with wormes, and therefore sent his medicine accordingly, but the child was no white the better; so within two daies after they sent againe to the same man, declaring unto him the manner of her fits more at large: hee saide that the urine which they then againe brought to him, shewed no such kind of disquietnes to be in her body: and to be failling sickenes (which the Parents did suspect to be in the child) he would warrant her cleare from that disease. Then he sent other prescripts as he thought good to purge her body, which tooke no place nor prevayled any thing in the childe as he looked for. Then the Parents sent to him the third time (as his desire was to understand howe his Phisicke wrought) declaring that it wrought nothing at all as hee looked for, neither that the child was any way amended. Then Mister Doctor looking again in the urine, and perceiving the childs body to bee in good temper (as hee then saide for any thing that hee sawe) demaunded whether there was no sorcery or witchcraft suspected in the childe, answere was made no. Then said he, all surely cannot be well, for it is not possible, that the childs body should be distempered by any natural cause as then was declared to him, and no signe thereof at all to appeare in the urine: not withstanding for their better assurance (if the messenger woule goe to any other skifull man in the towne to take further advise, hee saide hee woulde bee very well contented. Whereupon the messenger went to Master Butler, who considering of the urine, and hearing the maner of the childs trouble said, that he thought it might be the wormes, which yet he did not perceiue to be by the urine and if it were the wormes, that then it was a very strange kind of griefe to bee caused by them in that sort, and appointed the same medicine and phisicke (for the remedie) which before Doctour Barrow had prescribed: which being knowne was not applyed to the child, because Master Doctor Barrow had said that if Master Throckmorton (to whome hee wished very well as he then said, by reason of auncient acquaintance with him) woulde follow his advice, he should not striue any more there with by Physicke, nor spend any more money about it: for he himselfe said, that he had some experience of the mallice of some witches, and he verily thought that there was some kind of sorcerie & witchcraft wrought towards his childe.
After which answere from Master Doctour Barrow, Master Throckmorton resolued himselfe to rest uppon Gods pleasure, not striving any further by Phisicke to helpe his daughter; yet both himselfe and his wife were free from any such conceit of witchcraft which Master Doctour Barrow did suspect; untill within one ijst moneth after (the very day and houre almost observed) two more of his daughters elder than the other by two or three yeares, fell into the same like extremities as the other Sister before them was in, and cryed out upon Mother Samuell: saying, take her away, looke where shee standeth here before us in a blacke thrumbd Cap, (which kind of Cap indeed shee did usually weare, but shee was not then present) it is shee (saide they) that hath bewitched us, and shee will kill us if you doe not take her away. This thing did something moue the Parents, and strike into their minds a suspition of witchcraft, yet deuising with themselves for what cause it shoulde be wrought upon them or their children, they could not image, for they were but newly come to the towne to inhabite, which was but at Michaelmas before, neither had they giuen any occasion (to their knowledge) either to her or any other, to practise any such mallice against them.()|