|Joyce Dovey||A young woman from Bewdley in the county of Worcestershire, who wasformerly little taken notice of Religion, until about four years since [...] after hearing of a Sermon, seemed to be much wrought upon and dejected, who afterwards fell into some passion, and (as was conceived by her friends) Convulsion fits, which in time grown stronger upon her, and observed especially to take her in time of private prayer, or performance of pious duties. By 1642, Dovey, troubled by religious talk, preaching, and prayer, begins to have convulsions. Doveys possession might have been brought on by the belief of military man who, by some discourse, and other informations, strongly imagined, that shee is possessed. Her keeper "lifte[ed] his heart up to the Lord in prayer," and "without uttering the words," said that, if Dovey were indeed possessed, "the Lord would be pleased to make it manifest" (2). Dalton recounts how Dovey immediately acted like a woman possessed. The devil who occupied her body attempted to destroy it from the inside out, and God, in his infinite mercy, continued to preserve her. Throughout her trials, Dovey was "often en thrown against walls and into the fire, but all without any hurt" (ibid.). Dalton also recalls how, when she was "cast into a great fire, some would have taken her out but her keeper said, let her alone, and observe the providence of God and straight away she was snatched out without humane help, not having any hurt, or so much as the smell of fire on her clothes." Most brutally, Dovey appears to have tried to kill herself: she "snatched a paire of Cizzers from a womans girdle, and applied them to her throat, and another time a knife from another, in an admirable quick way, and strook her breast, yet both without so much as a scarre in either place." It is unclear if Dovey is ever cured.
(1-4)||At Bewdley, seven miles from us, there is a young Woman (by name Joyce Dovey) one who formerly was little taken notice of for Religion, untill about 4. years since, who after the hearing of a Sermon, seemed to be much wrought upon and dejected, who afterward fell into some passions, and (as was conceived by her friends) Convulsion fits, which in time grew
stronger upon her, and observed especially to take her in the time of private prayer, or performance of other pious duties; whereupon they procured a devour religious young man, to b[...] in the house, and to be as a Keeper unto her; the bruit whereof increasing, there came to visit her a Chaplaine of a Regiment, and a Captaine, who by some discourse, and other informations, strongly imagined, that shee was possessed; whereupon about three weeks or a month since, her Keeper lift up his heart to the Lord in prayer, without uttering of words, that if she were possessed, the Lord would be pleased to make it manifest, which no sooner conceived, but the Devill answers with swearing, Wounds, Blood, &c. that thou shalt know; and this observe generally, that he makes the womans tongue and organs instruments of speech, but it is in a bigger and grosser tone then her ordinary speech, and when he speaketh, she looketh fiercely with something arising big in her throat, and commonly with swearing, and especially by the life of Pharoah: When any discourseth with her about wordly businesse, she will familiarly talk with them, but when any use speech of Divine matters, shee is most troubled.
It is further reported, that M. Burrowson Minister there with others came to see her, to whom M Bur. said, thou foule spirit, thy power is limited; to whom was replyed, Thou lyest, my power is over all the world, and my Kingdome is the greatest: To another that said, Thou foule uncleane spirit, what hast thou to doe to vex a poore creature, was answered, I have Commission and power to tempt you all. Three Souldiers, (they say,) came to see her, who talking of Papists,
Crucifixes, and Crosses, presently appeared in her breast or throat two Crosses, whereupon the Souldiers being agast, began to get away; haw, haw, haw, sayes the Devill: now (sayes her Keeper) they are afraid, and the Devill laughs at them. Shee usually goeth abroad, and comming to the House of an honest religious man, where many came in after her to s[...]e her, she began to be so distempered, that she could not goe home that night; and as they were at prayer in an upper Chamber, she was on a sudden caught up into the window, and the greatest part of her body thrust thorow a great casement, but her Keeper having an eye unto her, stept unto her, and caught her by the coats, and took her in again: She is oft thrown against the walls, and into the fire, but all without any hurt: One time being cast into a great fire, some would have taken her out, but her Keeper said, let her alone, and observe the providence of God, and strait-way she was snatched out without humane help, not having any hurt, or so much as the smell of fire on her clothes: She hath snatched a paire of Cizzers from a womans girdle, and applyed them to her throat; and another time a knife from another, in an admirable quick way, and strook her breast, yet both without so much as a scarre in either place: She hath throwne a Bible into the fire, which was not burned. On a time one comming into the house, to discourse with her Keeper, and to take some observations in writing concerning her, they went into an inner chamber, and as he came forth with the paper in his hand, shee fell upon him very violently, and would have taken the paper from him, but he contended with her very toughly,
and after a long conflict, gave her the repulse, who having kept the paper without tearing, onely a little corner, but not a word torne off, he voluntarily threw it downe on the ground, saying, Devill thou hast not power to take it up, and so took it up himselfe and departed.