Page:Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921).djvu/213

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213
FAMILIARS

a litle Child vpon her knee, and she being in a slumber, the sayd Spirit appeared vnto her in the likenes of a browne Dogg, forcing himselfe to her knee, to get blood vnder her left Arme: and she being without any apparrell sauing her Smocke, the said Deuill did get blood vnder her left arme'.[1] Of the witches who plagued the Fairfax family at Fewstone in 1621, five had domestic familiars: Margaret Waite's was 'a deformed thing with many feet, black of colour, rough with hair, the bigness of a cat'; her daughter, Margaret Waite, had as 'her spirit, a white cat spotted with black, and named Inges'; Jennet Dibble had 'her spirit in the shape of a great black cat called Gibbe, which hath attended her now above 40 years'; Dibble's daughter, Margaret Thorpe, had a 'familiar in the shape of a bird, yellow of colour, about the bigness of a crow—the name of it is Tewhit'; Elizabeth Dickenson's spirit was 'in the likeness of a white cat, which she calleth Fillie, she hath kept it twenty years'.[2] The witch of Edmonton, Elizabeth Sawyer, in 1621, said: 'It is eight yeares since our first acquaintance, and three times in the weeke, the Diuell would come and see mee; he would come sometimes in the morning, and sometimes in the evening. Alwayes in the shape of a dogge, and of two collars, sometimes of blacke and sometimes of white. I gaue him leaue to sucke of my bloud, the which hee asked of me. When he came barking to mee he then had done the mischiefe that I did bid him to doe for me. I did call the Diuell by the name of Tom. I did stroake him on the backe, and then he would becke vnto me, and wagge his tayle as being therewith contented.'[3] Margaret Johnson, another Lancashire witch in 1633, 'alsoe saith, yt when her devill did come to sucke her pappe, hee usually came to her in ye liknes of a cat, sometymes of one colour, and sometymes on (sic) an other. And yt since this trouble befell her, her spirit hath left her, and shee never sawe him since.'[4]

From 1645 to 1647 are the chief records of the witch trials of Essex and the eastern counties, celebrated as the scene of Matthew Hopkins's work. The Essex trials took place in

  1. Potts, B 3.
  2. Fairfax, pp. 32, 33, 34, 79, 82.
  3. Wonderfull Discouerie of Elizabeth Sawyer.
  4. Whitaker, p. 216.