|Mary Cooper||A woman from Nottingham in the county of Nottinghamshire, known to be the sister of William Sommers. She is said to have had fits and to have been possessed, much as Sommers was, and to have started her fits when his ended. John Darrell faced charges for allegedly instructing Mary Cooper, William Sommers and others to counterfeit their possessions and dispossessions. Darrell alleged in his defense that Cooper's belly was heard to make a whooping noise like the purr of a cat and swelled as if in pregnancy. (13-17)||Allegations Against Mr DORRELL, Made at Lambeth the 26. of May. 1599. With such DEFENCES as are made in his behalfe.
HE challengeth to him selfe a singular [allegation 1] gift to cast out Divells for vaine glory sake.
1. Mr Dorrell his profession is, that howsoever [defense 1] it hath pleased the Lord to vse his poore Ministery of prayer, &c. in the dispossession of sundry: Yet he doth not challenge (neither ever did) anie speciall gift therein aboue the least of his brethren, or anie private Christia[n]; and his practise (answerable to that profession) doth manifest the contrary to that frivolous imputation. Which also may be witnessed by his letters to Mr Starkey in Lancashire, and to Mr Aldridge of Nottingham, by thousandes that have heard him in Pulpit disclaime such a gifte, by 16. Ministers in Leycester shiere that vrged him to goe to the 7. in Mr Starkeys house by other Preachers, & by Darlings friends that could not entreat him to ioine with them in fasting, &c.
2. But admit vainglory (whereof yet God [defense 2] is only Iudge) it may reprove the person, but not overthrowe the cause.
[allegation 2] Mr Dorrell taught 4. to counterfeite, viz: Katherine Wright of Ridg way lane in the County of Darby, Tho. Darling of Burton in the County of Stafford, Mary Couper, & William Sommers of Nottingham. For the signes of possessio[n] & dispossessio[n] were alike in all. Therefore these 4. and 7. in La[n]cashire were counterfectes, and taught by Mr Dorrell.
[defense 1] 1. Besides his Negatiue oath (which also 4. grave, godly, and learned Divines offered to confirme as compurgators according to the lawe) Mr Dorrell solemly protesteth, that he is most free from teaching any to counterfeit either possession or dis|possession. [defense 2] 2. In ordinary course of law the affirmatiue part proveth, but in this course the affirmatiue is suppressed, & the negative enforced. For in this cause co[n]cerning a matter of fact, Mr Dorrell should proove that there was vndoubted possession and dispossession. But that will not be admitted. [defense 3] 3. The 7. in Lancashire are spoke[n] of to no other purpose but to imply; that for the reason of like handling, if the other 4. were counterfets, then these 7. were likewise. Which Mr Dorrell graunteth & retorteth thus: If those 7. had the same signes of possession & dispossession; if they were cured by the same meanes, to wit, by fasting and prayer, and if they did not counterfet, then is it likely that Mr Dorr. did not teach the other 4. to counterfeit. But the 2. former are graunted to haue ben at least in shew. And M. Dorrell presumeth no counterfeiting can bee imagined in them. Because then the L. B. of London, who hath labored (night and day) to prove the other 4. to be counterfeits, sent his pursivant for som to be examined, and addressed Harsenett his examiner, and Pigott his secretary to Chesterfeild in Darbyshire there to examine Katherine Wright her possession, which was 12. years agoe, would not have lost so great a pray, having had a large discourse thereof, but would haue made som shew of proofe or at least demaunded som answer from M. Dorr. touching the same, and charged M. Moore therewith (against whom hee wanted matter) or (in so long time of imprisonment) examined them partners in that dispossession) about the same. But (belike) the L. B. of London vn|derstanding 2. of the 7. were but 10. years old, & therefore could not possibly coun|terfeit so strange thinges; knowing Jane Ashton (an other of the 7) is repossessed, & by Popish Priestes made a spectacle to Papistes; reading M[a.] Starkey (the gentleman in whose house the 7. were) his confident lettre to the L. B. of Chester, who by the direction (as he said) of one in great place, (belike the L.B. of London) required true certificate; and hearing (it may be) the report of sundry of credit in Lancashire, thought that case to be cleare, and therefore hurtfull to the rest of his proceedings [defense 4] if it were drawen into question. 4. If many thinges were donne or suffered by these 4: which cannot possiblie be cou[n]terfetted, then Mr. Dorrell could not teach them: if not them, why the rest? But such things he proved to be donne or suffered by Sommers: and may be proved (if commission were graunted) by the rest. Therefore M. [defense 5] Dorrell did not teach them. 5. If Maister Dorrell did teach all 4. why is not time & place (necessary circumstances) spoken of in the 3. firste supposed counterfeits, but only in the last? For if he did teach them, there must needes bee a time when, and a [defense 6] place where, he did teach them. 6. The reason doth not prove that Maister Dorrell taught any to conterfeit: for by the same reason Christ may be convinced of the same sinne, which were impiety to admit. Sith sundry by him dispossessed had the like signes as our supposed Counterfeites had, Mar. 1.24.26. & 126.96.36.199. Lu. 4.35.
7 Indeed Mai. Dorr. graunteth that the [defense 7] like handling may argue the same teacher or handler, as the like proper symptomes may argue the same cause. But any religious and reasonable ma[n] may argue the Divell to be that teacher or handler: considering the signes of possession and dispossessession in these 4. were like to those possessed in Christs time, and some of them not possible to be counterfeited. ()|