Go back

Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
Joan NaylerA girl from Thames Street near Broken Wharf in London, known to be the daughter of Master Nayler, and sister to George and Joan Nayler. The spirit tormenting her sister Anne told their father Master Nayler "one would come after who should discouer the causer, and the truth of all" before she died. The day after Anne's burial, at which Anne Kirk was denied some of the alms the Nayler family gave to the poor, Joan began to be tormented by an evil spirit as well. The spirit possessing Joan spoke was heard to say "Giue me thy liuer, thy lights, thy heart, thy soule, &c; then thou shalt be released, then I will depart fro[m] thee" and to bid Joan to hang herself. Her body would be contorted in tormenting fits, during which she accused Anne Kirk of bewitching her. Master Nayler had Kirk apprehended, and thereafter Joan was witnessed to fall into fits whenever in Kirk's presence. She also had a fit when Kirk was bailed from prison, and while the jury was deliberating at Kirk's trial.(101-103)Besides all these, among other mischiefes don by Satans instrument in the house of one M. Nayler dwelling in Thames street neere Broken wharf, she torme[n]ted his sonne George in such grievous maner that he dyed. So also did she torment his daughter Anne till she dyed: who was oftimes vexed wth a frenzines: and with an evill spirit, to which this maide in her Fathers hearing did often talke. And being demaunded who was the causer of these her torments, the spirit which was within her said, that one would come after who should discouer the causer, and the truth of all; as afterwardes it came to passe by Ione Nayler, another of the saide M. Naylers daughters. For so it was, That money being given to poore at the buriall of the said Anne Nayler; This witch was vexed that she had none, being a parishioner; and therefore practised against the said Ioane Nayler also. Who the next night after her sisters buriall, was tormented with an evill spirit, which spake in her oftimes in the hearing of her Parents; saying, Giue me thy liuer, thy lights, thy heart, thy soule, &c; then thou shalt be released, then I will depart fro[m] thee: also; Goe, take thy lace & hang thy selfe: Go into the next roome and hang thy self in the iack rope, and so thou shalt be released. She was oftimes grievously tormented and in a traunce, during which her mouth was turned to th'one side, her ioyncts so shrunke vp that the soles of her feete did beate togither, her shoulder bones did strike one against another, so, as that they were heard to rattle, to the terror of them present. And (according to the wordes of the spirit in her sister Anne) she oft said, that mother Kerke had bewitched her. And when the maide (according as some had willed her to doe) did reach forth her hands to scratch this mother Kerke, they were so fast closed tha[t] none could open the[m]. Whervpon, her Fathe[r] suspected this Anne Kerke of witchcraft, & procured a warrant from Sir Richard Marti[n] to fetch her before him, he being the[n] in th[e] house of the said M. Nayl. & in the presence of the maide. But so soone as the witch came to the dore, she fel into her former trau[n]ce, her handes being againe so closed as they could not be opened, Sir Rich Martin himselfe assaying it. Into the like traunce the maide did also fal being in the houses of Sir Iohn Hart, & Sir Steph. Slaney (or Some) so soone as the witch (being by the[m] sent for,) was entred into their dores: And the like also did she fal into, being in the fields, at the same instant when the witch was bayled forth of prison: as also being in the Sessions house, when the iury were departing to co[n]sider of the matter. But that of Sir R. Martin is not heere to be omitted: who having heard that a witches hayre could not be cut; sent for the said An. Kerke, & co[m]manded a Seriant to pull from her head 10. or 12. of her haires, & try if he could cut them. The Seriant did so; and offering to cut the[m] with a paire of Barbers Sissers, they turned round in his hand: and the edges were so battered, turned, & quite spoiled, as that they would not cut any thing. Then the Seriant tooke the haire, and did put it into the fire to burne it; but the fire flew from it, and the haire in the middest thereof vnburnt. ()