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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
Henry PickeringA man from Cambridge in the county of Cambridgeshire, known to be a scholar, brother to Gilbert Pickering and uncle to Mary, Elizabeth, Joan, Jane, Grace and Robert Throckmorton. He visited the Throckmorton home and, without the knowledge of the Throckmorton family, spent a day watching Mother Alice Samuel as she went about her errands. He watched her exchange a wooden tankard for some barme with a neighbour, and overheard the womens' conversation. Pickering then stopped her in the street and questioned her; Mother Samuel was loud and impatient with him. She was also critical of Robert Throckmorton, saying that he misused her with the accusations, that the children's fits were nothing but wantonness and that they should have been punished for their behaviour. He also questioned her about her belief in God; his interpretation of her answers implied she worshiped a different God. He told her to repent and confess, or else he would have her burnt at the stake and the children would come to blow on the coals; she replied "I had rather (sayd she) see you dowsed over head and eares in this pond." Mother Samuel later confessed to Pickering that her chin bled because her spirits sucked blood from it. Pickering also witnessed Mary Throckmorton's scratching of Agnes Samuel, and Elizabeth Throckmorton's encounter with John Samuel in which she was unsuccessful in persuading him to say a self-accusing "charm" to end her fit. His deposition was used to sentence Mother Samuel, Agnes Samuel and John Samuel to death.(32-33)About Christmas after, Anno 1590 (for there was nothing noted all y time, although there befel 100. wonders) maister Henry Pickering, uncle to these children, being then a Scholler of Cambridge, went to Maister Throckmortons house, & continued ther some 3. or 4. daies, was desirous to speak with mother Samuel, & taking a convenient time, he requested 2. other schollers of his acquaintance (then being in the town) to go with him, to who they granted, & presently went without the knowledg of any in Maister Throckmortons house. As they were going, she came out of her own house, & crossed y street before them: when they saw her, they determined rather to folow her whither she went, than stay her return, because her husband was a froward man, & wold not suffer her to talke with any, if he might know it. She went to a neighbours house for some Barme, & caried a little wooden tankard in her hand, & a little Barley in her lap, to exchange for the Barme: when she came to the house, to whither she purposed to go, the schollers followed her immediately, & heard her tel her errand to the wife of y house, who had not that for which she came. Being ready to depart, the Schollers desired to speake with her, but she seemed loth to stay, yet they entring into questions with her, stayd her a little. But she was very loud in her answeres, & impatient, not suffering any to speak, but her selfe, one of them desired her to keep the womans vertue, & be more silent: she answered, that she was born in a mill, begot in a kill, she must have her will, she could speak no more softlier. The greatest part of her speech, was rayling words against Ma. Throckmorton & his children, saying, that he did misuse her, in suffering his children so to play the wantons in accusing of her, & bringing her name into question, often repeating, that the childrens fits was nothing but wantonnesse in them, & if they were her children, she woulde not suffer the so to escape without punishment, one after the other. The schollers enquired about her seruice of God, and profession of her faith. But al y they could get of her, was, that her God would deliver her, her God would defend her, and revenge her of her enemie, alway using the phrase of my God wil doo this & that for me: which being noted by one of them, he asked her if she had a God, alone, or if she did not serve the same God that others did'? She aunswered, yes that she did: yet much adoe they had to bring her from the phrase of my God, to say the God of heaven & earth. In the end she would needs be gone, saying, that her husband would beat her for her long tarrying. Then the uncle of those children, being somewhat more moved than the rest, at the parting saide, that if she were the woman that had wrought this wickednesse upon these children, the vengeance of God would surely wait upon her unto death, & howsoever she might deceive her selfe, & she woulde for a time, yet there was no way to preuent the iudgements of God, but by her confession & repentance: which if she did not in time, he hoped one day to see her burned at a stake, and he himselfe would bring fire & wood, & the children should blowe the coales. Her answere to him was this, (for they were then in the street hard by a pond) I had rather (sayd she) see you dowsed over head and eares in this pond, and so they parted.()