Page:Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921).djvu/162

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162
THE RITES

has a record: 'Concerning the matter of the buriall of the Lady Pittadro, who, being vnder a great scandall of witchcraft, and being incarcerat in the Tolbuith of this burgh during her triall before the Justice, died in prison, The Comission of the Generall Assembly, having considered the report of the Comittee appointed for that purpose, Doe give their advyse to the Presbyterie of Dumfermling to show their dislike of that fact of the buriall of the Lady Pittadro, in respect of the maner and place, and that the said Presbyterie may labour to make the persons who hes buried her sensible of their offence in so doeing; and some of the persons who buried hir, being personallie present, are desired by the Comission to shew themselvis to the Presbyterie sensible of their miscarriage therein.'[1]

At Maidstone in 1652 'Anne Ashby, alias Cobler, Anne Martyn, Mary Browne, Anne Wilson, and Mildred Wright of Cranbrook, and Mary Read, of Lenham, being legally convicted, were according to the Laws of this Nation, adjudged to be hanged, at the common place of Execution. Some there were that wished rather they might be burnt to Ashes; alledging that it was a received opinion among many, that the body of a witch being burnt, her bloud is prevented thereby from becomming hereditary to her Progeny in the same evill.'[2] The witches themselves also held the belief that they ought to die by fire. Anne Foster was tried for witchcraft at Northampton in 1674: 'after Sentence of Death was past upon her, she mightily desired to be Burned; but the Court would give no Ear to that, but that she should be hanged at the Common place of Execution.'[3]

 

9. Magic Words

The magic words known to the witches were used only for certain definite purposes, the most important use being to raise the Devil. I have omitted the charms which are founded on Christian prayers and formulas, and quote only those which appear to belong to the witch-cult.

In the section on Familiars it will be seen how the witches

  1. Scot. Hist. Soc., xxv, p. 348. See also Ross, Aberdour and Inchcolme, p. 339.
  2. Prod. and Trag. History, p. 7.
  3. Tryall of Ann Foster, p. 8.