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Assertions for a specific person.

Name Description Original Text
John DarrellA man from Ashbie de la zouche in the County of Leicestershire, known to be a priest and traveling exorcist. He is the author "A brief apologie prouing the possession of William Sommers," which was allegedly published without his consent. Darrell came Nottingham so that he may cure William Sommers of his possession, and has Sommers pray and fast to effect his dispossession. After this, Darrell was retained as preacher in Nottingham and used his position to discover witches in the town. Darrell took the names of threescore persons willing to give deposition when Sommers claimed to have fakes his possession and named him as a co-consipirator; of these, seventeen were sworn, examined and their depositions taken. Sommers insisted that he had known Mr. Darrell some four years, that Darrell had hired him to counterfeit possession in Ashbie Park, and that when Darrell arrived in Nottingham, Sommers had received instruction from him on how to behave when being dispossessed. Darrell denied these accusations, but was nonetheless imprisoned for a week thereafter. Once the depositions taken against Sommers were heard, they were taken as proof of true possession, and Darrell redeemed. in 1598, Darrell was summoned to Lancashire by Nicholas Starchie to dispossess his children and others of his household, and claimed to have successfully dispossessed six of them in one day, and the seventh on the following day. In 1599, Darrell faced charges of instructing Sommers, Katherine Wright, Thomas Darling, Mary Couper and others to fake their possessions and dispossessions to bolster his own reputation.(Images 4, 6, 7, 12)Mr Dorrell and Mr Moore who are nowe imprisoned for giving testimonie to this truth, have bene both of them for manie yeares aproved godlie ministers, just, and simple hearted men, fearing God, of good reputation among the best Christians, and painfull preachers where they lived. [...] [U]nderstanding that Mr Dorrell, a minister of Gods worde dwellingh in Ashbie de la zouche, had by praier and fasting restored 8. or 9. persons that in like sort had bene vexed, did insta[n]tlie se[n]d for the said Mr Dorrell to com to Not. to bestwe some paines about the faid sommers: wich he refused sundrie times to yeeld vnto: bycause he tooke vppon him nogreatter power in such cases, then was incident to anie godlie minisster, or other perso[n]s; with onelie was to intreat the Lord in the name of Christ Iesus to disposesse the wicked spirit out of the possessed person: yet by theyr importunate letters and messengers he condiscended to their desires. And came to Nott. the 5 of Nouember in the yeare aforesaid: hauing neuer before that time (to his knowledge) seene the said Sommers. The 7. daie of Nouember, being Mondaie, was appointed for the exercise of praier, and fasting, to the end the said Sommers might be dispossessed: which Allmightie God onelie at the prayers of Mr Dorrell, and others to the nomber of 150. persons brought to passe. Hyereuppon Mr Dorrell was retained preacher in Nott: that populous towne, hauing had no setled preacher before this time since the beginning of her Maiesties reigne. Sommers being dispossessed, he discouered certaine witches; whereof one was called Doll ffreeman, allied to one ffreeman an Alderma[n] of Nott[.] [...] a[n]d surcessed to examie ani moe witnesses Mr Walton Archdeaco[n] of derbie being prese[n]t, a[n]d a principall enime to Mr Dorrell acknowledged it was the finger of God vppon this rare accident. [...] To search into the truth hereof a Commission was awarded from the highe Commissioners for the province of yorke, to certifie the matter, to 12. principall persone of account there abouth. Mr Dorrell had taken the names of threescore persons: who were readie to haue bene deposed touching the extraordinarie handeling of the said Som. 17. of them being sworne, examined, and theyr depositions take[n] Som was called before the Comissioners to be examined himself, whether he had counterfeited, or not. [...] The matter was so well handled that Som: persisted in saiing that he had bene a counterfeyt: and at length seing this to be so plausible, grewe to be so impudent, that he said Mr Dorrell had hired him to counterfeyt, and had bene acquained with him 4. yeares before, and caused him to practise his feats in Ashbie parck: and informed him after his comming to Nott: howe he should demeane himselfe in time of his dispossession. All which Mr Dorrell vppon his othe denied, but Som: bare word (nowe growone to be a mam of great credit, though he had confessed himselfe, heretofore to haue bene a counterfeyt) was better beleiued then Mr Dorrell a godlie, and faithfull man, of honest conversation, long approved by the best Christians, and ministers where he lived. But Mr Dorrell for a weeke was herevppon close prisoner. [...] THus much touching the objections which have bene made to prove the pretended counterfeiting of W. Sommers. But howe by counterfeyting he could speake a quarter of an houre together his mouth being shut: howe he should staye his temples, and pulses from a[n]d beating: howe his eye, hands, a[n]d face should be vnnaturallie black and turne by and by into theyr naturall colour: howe there should be extraordinarie smells in the place where he laye: howe he should violentlie be with great force cast-against the yron bars, a[n]d posts of the chimneies receyving no hart: howe he could be taller then the highest man in Nott: howe all his bodie should be as cold as ice, and heavie as yron: howe his face should be turned quite backward his neck throwen round about without hurt vnto him: howe he being naturallie weake should so oftentimes belabour so manie strong men, himselfe not panting, sweatting, or changing colour: howe he made his tongue to swell to the bignes of a Calves tongue, and his eies as great as beasts eies: howe he should forget continuallie what he did, or was done vnto him in his fits: howe his legs crooked with falls, should be inflexible as anie yron: howe the collick should run along all his bodie, in a variable quantitie: Howe such a collick should be cured by prayer, and fasting: howe in his fits he should vtter strange voices, which at other tymes he could not doe agayne, as is deposed: howe he did counterfeyt all these impossibilities, when the Sadduces, Galenists, and Naturalists of our time have considered of the matter, we will expect some newe objections sutable in discretion to the former. In the meane season, Let him that is filthie, be filthie still: but doe Satan what he can, Wisedome shalbe justified of her children.()