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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
Joan JordenA woman from Stradbrook in the county of Suffolk, known to be the servant of Symon Fox. She allegedly had a falling out with Doll Bartham when she refused to give Bartham some of Symon Fox's goods. Bartham first sent three toads to torment Jorden and keep her from sleeping, but the first was thrown out the window, and the next two burnt in the fire. She then sent her cat, Gyles, to Jorden. He made strange noises in the night, would pin her down and kiss her, and talked often both to her and to anyone who would hear him. Gyles told the onlookers that he came for Jorden's life. Jorden suffered fits after Gyles began to visit her. In these fits, a lump arose and moved about her body, she struggled so hard she broke a chair and needed six men to restrain her, and was thrown violently against a wall and under the bed. Witnesses saw her eyes sink into her head, her head bend backwards almost to her hips, and her teeth close fast. She cried out " Barthram, thou hast killed mee" before numerous witnesses.(92-98)A REPORT, Contayning a brief Narration of certain diuellish and wicked witcheries, practized by Oliffe Barthram alias Doll Barthram of Stradbrook in the County of Suffolke, vpon Ioane Iorden the Servant of Symon Fox of the same Towne: For which, she was arraigned before the right Ho[n] the L chief Iustice of England condemned and executed at S. Edmondsbury in Suffolke the 12. of Iulye. 1599. ABout midsomer last, the said Doll Barthram, falling out with the said Ioane Iorden for refusing to giue her of her maisters goods, practised and devised, to afflict the said Joane by witcheries: as, through Gods permission by the meanes of Sata[n] it came to passe; which in briefe was thus. First the said Doll Barthra[m] sent 3. Toads to trouble her in her bed, not suffering her to rest. The first, being thrown out into the middest of the chamber, returned, and sat croaking on her beds side: which being thrown out of the window; another within fewe dayes after came and vexed her againe; which was taken and burnt. After that within a while came the 3d. which Ioane was counselled to burne her selfe; and going downe stayres to doe so, she was violently thrown to the stayers foot, there lying (a while) for dead. And when this Toade began to burne, (which Simon Fox had put into the fire,) a flame arose at the stayers foote where the toade lay when Ioane fell, & grew so great, that it seemed to them to indanger the house, yet no hurt was don. After this, On Satterday the 9. of Iune, in the sense of many of good accoumpt and credit, A Spirit (which had ben there the night before, and said then, beeing asked, that his name was Gyles, & that he came down the chimney in the likenes of a cat) came nowe againe about eleven a clock at night; first scraping on the wals, then knocking, after that shufling in the rushes: and then (as his vsuall maner was) he clapped the maide on the cheekes about halfe a skore times as to awake her; and, (as oft times els he did) he kissed her 3. or 4. times and slauered on her: and, (lying on her brest) he pressed her so sore that she could not speake; at other times hee held her handes that she could not stirre, and restrayned her voice that she could not answer. The Shape which they sawe the Spirite then to haue, was a thick darke substance about a foote high; like to a sugar lofe, white on the top. And (being charged) he did shoote vp in all their sightes as high againe as he shewed himselfe before. As this spirit had a shape, so had he also an audible voyce: by which he spake and vttered many thinges. This voyce was not the maides, neither from her, nor yet of a|ny other saue of the spirit it selfe. For; (besides that the maide denyed it,) she & the spirit were heard speak both at once; also, her lips were seene not to moue, when the spirit spake; and, some standing neerer to th'one then to th'other, did sensibly discerne and distinguish both their voyces. Neither was this the voyce of any counterfait confederate; for, (to put this out of doubt) the house was searched, the parties in the maides presence (except Io. Sheereman, M. Randall, and Sy. Fox) were strangers, the roomes vnder and adioyning to her, were full of people, and the house was besett with divers who came to see and heare these strang accidents, which indeed they did; for the voyce was easily heard to them all. This Spirit being demanded diverse questions, returned answers; saying, (among diverse other things,) Joane, Ioane, I come for thy life; J will haue it, I am a Boy, a Boy; my name is Gyles; an old woman that dwells in the streete gaue mee that name, to witt, Doll Barthram; She sent me; I haue serued her 10. yeares, yea 20. yeares; She is now in prison, (as indeede she was); Nan Barthram sent me now; I will kill Ioane tomorrow night; J will teare her in peeces; She hath giuen her life and soule to mee (which Ioane in parte acknowledging, viz. that she had given him her life, hee laughed Ho, Ho, Ho.) To this whe[n] John Sheereman defying him) replyed, that he should not haue her life, he said, I wil haue thine then; I come to thee, J come; & with that, offered towards him, to the great astonishment & feare of him and the rest present. And yet thus for that time he vanished away. But, not long after, he returned againe; in maner as at the first (except scraping the wals.) When, vpo[n] occasion of talke touching one Cavers wife, in the presence of many, he said: Tom, (which was another of the Spirites of the said Doll,) and J, at Doll Barthrams commandement, did hang her. But first I led her into a ditch vp to the chyn and could not drowne her, and therefore I brought her out againe. Then Tom brought a rope and put it vnder her chaps, and I pulled her vp and hung her. Which seemeth to haue ben so, because of the strangnes of it. For, the rope werewithall Cauers wife was hanged, was but put vnder her chaps, not about her neck: and the noose was so bigge, that three mens heds might haue slipt through it at once. Moreover, this Spirite then declared, That he, (at Doll Barthams co[m]mandment) had killed a child, in the womb of the mother, by nipping out the braines; and that hee entred into another partie and killed him, by tearing his heart in peeces. Both which seeme to be true also: for, the woman was deliuered of a dead child, & the man did dye in a very strange maner; and both at the same time that the Spirit declared. Then, after many speaches vsed by the spirit, as, that hee would kill Ione, and teare Iohn Sheereman in pieces; that he was their God; and that he would not be content with the life of Ioane only, but would haue also the liues of Fox, his wife, children, and cattell, and that by the commaundement of Doll Bartharm, hee went away for that night. But Satan and the Witch, nothing contented with that which as yet had ben don, [r]eturned againe in more grieuous sort then before. For, in the presence of many credible persons, there was seene a lump to arise in her body as big as a mans fist; which ascended vpwardes in her body till it came to her throate, & there setled as big as a mans arme. With this the maide was somewhat vnruly, and therefore was bound in a chaire with a long to well, very fast. But she (or rather the Divell in her) strugled and strained so sore, that it brake in pieces. Being againe bound in the chair, sixe stronge men leaned with their whole strength thereon, each also setting one foote on the rounde of the chaire to keepe it down. But she, (though so bound) notwithsta[n]ding all their strength, remoued the chaire round about the house, a yard at a time, they hanging thereon. After this fit ended, the maide was had to bed: And about eleaven a clock the Spirit came; not after his vsuall [m]aner, but with a great stroke on the bordes, like the fall of a greate stone. Wherewith, the people awoke, and the maide cried, Helpe, Helpe: & then, a thicke shadow was seene to goe vp to the maides bed. Shortly after which, the maide was take[n] out, & throwne so viole[n]tly against the wall, as if it would haue driven out the side of the chamber. Then search being made for the maid, she was found lying vnderneath the standing bed: From whence, it was as much as fower men could doe to pluck her. Neither was this great throw, and heavy waight, the only strange thinges in this her fit: For, her eyes were sunck into her head an inch. Her head and body were bent backwards, almost to her hips. She lay as it were dead. Her teeth were so fast closed, that a man could not ope~ them, though with all his strength he assayed it with his dagger and a key. And, (that which strang is,) a stiffe dry Rush being put into her nostrels, so far, as it might touch her braines in the iudgment of them that were present, yet she moved nothing thereat; neither at the violent bending of her fingers; nor yet at a great quantity of Aqua-vitae, which was powred into her mouth. In which case she having lyen halfe an hower, at last she opened one of her eyes gazing there with very strangly; then th'other, crying, Barthram, thou hast killed mee. Then, being layed in her bed, she so striued to get out, that all there present (which were not a few for such a purpose,) could scarse hold her therein. And this is the summe of that wch happened to this maide bewitched.()