The Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter, a Most Wicked Sorcerer

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The Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter, a Most Wicked Sorcerer (1590)
by Anonymous
4167782The Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter, a Most Wicked Sorcerer1590Anonymous

A true Diʃcourʃe.
Declaring the damnable life

and death of one Stubbe Peeter, a moſt
wicked Sorcerer, who in the likenes of a
Woolfe, committed many murders, continuing this
diueliſh practice 25 yeeres, killing and
devouring Men, Woomen, and
Who ƒor the ʃame ƒact was
taken and executed the 31. of October
Laʃt paʃt in the Towne of Bedbur
neer the Cittie of Collin
in Germany.

Trulye tranſlated out of the high Duch. according to the Copie printed in Collin, brought ouer into England by George Bores ordinary Poſte, the xi. daye of this preſent Moneth of Iune 1590, who did both ſœ and heare the ſame.

At London
Printed for Edward Venge, and are to be
ʃolde in Fleet-ſtreet at the ʃigne of the

A moſt true Diſcourſe,
declaring the life and death of one
Stubbe Peeter, being a moſt
wicked Sorcerer.

Thoſe whome the Lord dooth leaue to followe the Imagination of their own hartes, diſpiſing his proffered grace, in the end through the hardnes of hart and contempt of his fatherly mercy, they enter the right path to perdition and deſtruction of body and ſoule foreuer: as in this preſent hiſtorie in perfect ſorte may be ſeene, the ſtrangenes whereof, together with the cruelties committed, and the long time therin continued, may driue many in doubt whether the ſame be truth or no, and the ratherfore that ſundry falce & fabulous matters haue heertofore paſſed in print, which hath wrought much incredulitie in ye harts of all men generally, inſomuch that now a daies fewe thinges doo eſcape be it neuer ſo certain, but that it is embaſed by the tearm of a lye or falce reporte. In the reading of this ſtory, therfore I doo firſt requeſt reformation of opinion, next patience to peruſe it, becauſe it is publiſhed for examples ſake, and laſtly to cenſure thereof as reaſon and wiſdome dooth think conueniēt, conſidering the ſubtilty that Sathan vſeth to work the ſoules deſtruction, and the great matters which the accurſed practiſe of Sorcery dooth effect, the fruites whereof is death and deſtruction for euer, and yet in all ages practiſed by the reprobate and wicked of the earth, ſome in one ſort and ſome in another euen as the Deuill giueth promiſe to perfourme. But of all other that euer liued, none was comparable vnto this helhound, whoſe tiranny and cruelty did well declare he was of his Father the deuill, who was a murderer from the beginning, whoſe life and death and moſt bloody practiſes the diſcourſe following dooth make iuſt reporte. In the townes of Cperadt and Bedbur neer vnto Collin in high Germany, there was continually brought vp and nouriſhed one Stubbe Peeter, who from his youth was greatly inclined to euill, and the practiſing of wicked Artes euen from twelue yeers of age till twentye, and ſo forwardes till his dying daye, inſomuch that ſurfeiting in the Damnable deſire of magick, negromancye, and ſorcery, acquainting him ſelfe with many infernail ſpirites and feendes, inſomuch that forgetting ye God that made him, and that Sauiour that ſhed his blood for mans redemption: In the end, careles of ſaluation gaue both ſoule and body to the deuil for euer, for ſmall carnall pleaſure in this life, that he might be famous and ſpoken of on earth, though he loſt heauen thereby. The Deuill who hath a readye eare to liſten to the lewde motions of curſed men, promiſed to give vnto him whatſoeuer his hart deſired during his mortall life: wherupon this vilde wretch neither deſired riches nor promotion, nor was his fancy ſatiſfied with any externall or outward pleaſure, but hauing a tirannous hart, and a moſt cruell bloody minde, he only requeſted that at his pleſure he might woork his mallice on men, Women, and children, in the ſhape of ſome beaſt, wherby he might Hue without dread or danger of life, and vnknowen to be the executor of any bloody enterpriſe, which he meant to commit: The Deuill who ſawe him a fit inſtruemēt to perfourm miſcheefe as a wicked feend pleaſed with the deſire of wrong and deſtruction, gaue vnto him a girdle which being put about him, he was ſtraight tranſfourmed into the likenes of a greedy deuouring Woolf, ſtrong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night ſparkeled like vnto brandes of fire, a mouth great and wide, with moſt ſharpe and cruell teeth, A huge body, and mightye pawes: And no ſooner ſhould he put off the ſame girdle, but preſently he ſhould appeere in his former ſhape, according to the proportion of a man, as if he had neuer beene changed.

Stubbe Peeter heerwith was exceedingly well pleaſed, and the ſhape fitted his fancye and agreeed beſt with his nature, being inclined to blood and crueltye, therfore ſatiſfied with this ſtrange and diueliſh gifte, for that it was not troubleſome nor great in cariage, but that it might be hidden in a ſmall room, he proceeded to the execution of ſundry moſt hainous and vilde murders, for if any perſon diſpleaſed him, he would incontinent thirſt for reuenge, and no ſooner ſhould they or any of theirs walke abroad in the feeldes or about the Cittie, but in the ſhape of a Woolfe he would preſentlye incounter them, and neuer reſt till he had pluckt out their throates and teare their ioyntes a ſunder: And after he had gotten a taſte heerof, he tooke ſuch pleaſure and delight in ſhedding of blood, that he would night and day walke the Feelds, and work extreame cruelties. And ſundry times he would goe through the Streetes of Collin, Bedbur, and Cperadt, in comely habit, and very ciuilly as one well knowen to all the inhabitants therabout, & oftentimes was he ſaluted of thoſe whoſe freendes and children he had buchered, though nothing ſuſpected for the ſame. In theſe places, I ſay, he would walke vp & down, and if he could ſpye either Maide, Wife or childe, that his eyes liked or his hart luſted after, he would waite their iſſuing out of y͏ͤ Cittie or town, if he could by any meanes get them alone, he would in the feeldes rauiſhe them, and after in his Wooluiſhe likenes cruelly murder them: yea often it came to paſſe that as he walked abroad in the feeldes, if he chaunſte to ſpye a companye of may dens playing together, or elſe a milking of their Kine, in his Wooluiſhe ſhape he would incontinent runne among them, and while the reſt eſcaped by flight, he would be ſure to laye holde of one, and after his filthy luſt fulfilled, he would murder her preſentlye, beſide, if he had liked or knowne any of them, look who he had a minde vnto, her he would purſue, whether ſhe were before or behinde, and take her from the reſt, for ſuch was his ſwiftnes of foot while he continued a woolf: that he would outrunne the ſwifteſt greyhound in that Countrye: and ſo muche he had practiſed this wickednes, that y͏ͤ whole Prouince was feared by the cruelty of this bloody and deuouring Woolfe. Thus continuing his diueliſhe and damnable deedes within the compas of fewe yeeres, he had murdered thirteene yong Children, and two goodly yong women bigge with Child, tearing the Children out of their wombes, in moſt bloody and ſauedge ſorte, and after eate their hartes panting hotte and rawe, which he accounted dainty morſells & beſt agreeing to his Appetite.

Moreouer he vſed many times to kill Lambes and Kiddes and ſuch like beaſtes, feeding on the ſame moſt vſually raw and bloody, as if he had beene a naturall Woolfe indeed, ſo that all men miſtruſted nothing leſſe then this his diueliſh Sorcerie.

He had at that time liuing a faire yong Damoſell to his Daughter, after whom he alſo luſted moſt vnnaturallye, and cruellye committed moſt wicked inceſte with her, a moſt groce and vilde ſinne, far ſurmounting Adultrye or Fornication, though the leaſt of the three dooth driue the ſoule into hell fier, except hartye repentance, and the great mercy of God. This Daughter of his he begot when he was not altogither ſo wickedlye giuen, who was called by the name of Stubbe Beeil, whoſe beautye and good grace was ſuch as deſerued commendacions of all thoſe that knewe her: And ſuch was his inordinate luſt and filthye deſire toward her, that he begat a Childe by her, dayly vſing her as his Concubine, but as an inſaciate and filthy beaſt, giuen ouer to woork euil, with greedines he alſo lay by his owne Siſter, frequenting her company long time euen according as the wickednes of his hart lead him: Moreouer being on a time ſent for to a Goſſip of his there to make merry and good cheere, ere he thence departed he ſo wunne the woman by his faire and flattering ſpeech, and ſo much preuailed, ye ere he departed the houſe: he lay by her, and euer after had her companye at his commaund, this woman had to name Katherine Trompin, a woman of tall and comely ſtature of exceeding good fauour and one that was well eſteemed among her neighbours. But his lewde and inordinat luſt being not ſatiſfied with the company of many Concubines, nor his wicked fancye contented with the beauty of any woman, at length the deuill ſent vnto him a wicked ſpirit in the ſimilitude and likenes of a woman, ſo faire of face and comelye of nage, that ſhe reſembled rather ſome heauenly Helfin then any mortall creature, ſo farre her beauty exceeded the choiſeſt ſorte of women, and with her as with his harts delight, he kept company the ſpace of ſeuen yeeres, though in the end ſhe proued and was found indeed no other then a ſhe Deuil, notwithſtanding, this lewd ſinne of lecherye did not any thing aſſwage his cruell and bloody minde, but continuing an inſatiable bloodſucker, ſo great was the ioye he took therin, that he accoūted no day ſpent in pleaſure wherin he had not ſhed ſome blood not reſpecting ſo much who he did murder, as how to murder and deſtroy them, as the matter enſuing dooth manifeſt, which may ſtand for a ſpeciall note of a cruell and hard hart. For hauing a proper youth to his ſonne, begotten in the flower and ſtrength of his age, the firſte fruite of his bodye, in whome he took ſuch ioye, that he did commonly call him his Hartes eaſe, yet ſo farre his delight in murder exceeded the ioye he took in his only Sonne, that thirſting after his blood, on a time he inticed him into the feeldes, and from thence into a Forreſt hard by, where making excuſe to ſtay about the neceſſaries of nature, while the yong man went on forward, incontinent in the ſhape and likenes of a Woolfe he encountred his owne Sonne, and there moſt cruelly ſlewe him, which doon, he preſently eat the brains out of his head as a moſt ſauerie and dainty delycious meane to ſtaunch his greedye apetite: the moſt monſtrous act that euer man heard off, for neuer was knowen a wretch from nature ſo far degenerate.

Long time he continued this vilde and villanous life, ſometime in the likenes of a Woolfe, ſometime in the habit of a man, ſometime in the Townes and Citties, and ſometimes in the Woods and thickettes to them adioyning, whereas the duche coppye maketh mention, he on a time mette with two men and one woman, whom he greatly deſired to murder, and the better to bring his diueliſh purpoſe to effect, doubting by them to be ouermatched and knowing one of them by name, he vſed this pollicie to bring them to their end. In ſubtill ſorte he conuayed himſelfe far before them in their way and craftely couched out of their ſight, but as ſoone as they approched neere the place where he lay, he called one of them by his name, the partye hearing him ſelfe called once or twice by his name, ſuppoſing it was ſome familiar freend that in ieſting ſorte ſtood out of his ſight, went from his companye towarde the place from whence the voice proceeded, of purpoſe to ſee who it was, but he was no ſooner entred within the danger of this tranſformed man, but incontinent he was murdered in ye place, the reſt of his company ſtaying for him, expecting ſtill his returne, but finding his ſtay ouer long: the other man lefte the woman, and went to looke him, by which means the ſecond man was alſo murdered, the woman then ſeeing neither of both returne againe, in hart ſuſpected that ſome euill had fallen vpon them, and therfore with all the power ſhe had, ſhe ſought to ſaue her ſelfe by flight, though it nothing preuailed, for good ſoule ſhe was alſo ſoone ouertaken by this light footed Woolfe, whom when he had firſt deflowred, he after moſt cruelly murdered, the men were after found mangled in the wood, but the womans body was neuer after ſeene, for ſhe the caitife had moſt rauenouſlye deuoured, whoſe fleſhe he eſteemed both ſweet and dainty in taſte.

Thus this damnable Stubbe Peeter liued the tearme of fiue and twenty yeeres, unſuſpected to be Author of ſo many cruell and vnnaturall murders, in which time he had deſtroyed and ſpoyled an vnknowen number of Men, Women, and Children, ſheepe, Lambes, and Goates: and other Catttell, for when he could not through the warines of people drawe men, Women, or Children in his danger, then like a cruell and tirannous beaſt he would woorke his cruelty on brut beaſts in moſt ſauadge ſort, and did act more miſcheefe and cruelty then would be credible, although high Germany hath been forced to taſte the trueth thereof.

By which meanes the inhabitantes of Collin, Bedbur and Cperadt, ſeeing themſelues ſo greeuouſly endaungered, plagued, and moleſted by this greedy & cruel Woolfe, who wrought continuall harme and miſcheefe, inſomuch that few or none durſt trauell to or from thoſe places without good prouiſion of defence, and all for feare of this deuouring and fierce woolf, for oftentimes the Inhabitants found the Armes & legges of dead Men, Women, and Children, ſcattered vp and down the feelds to their great greefe and vexation of hart, knowing the ſame to be doone by that ſtrange and cruell Woolfe, whome by no meanes they could take or ouercome, ſo that if any man or woman miſt their Childe, they were out of hope euer to ſee it again aliue, miſtruſting ſtraight that the Woolfe had deſtroyed it.

And heere is to be noted a moſt ſtrange thing which ſetteth foorth the great power and mercifull prouidence of God to ye comfort of eache Chriſtian hart. There were not long agoe certain ſmall Children playing in a Medowe together hard by ye town, where alſo ſome ſtore of kine were feeding, many of them hauing yong calues ſucking upon thē: and ſodainly among theſe Children comes this vilde Woolfe running and caught a prittie fine Girle by the choller, with intent to pull out her throat, but ſuch was ye will of God, that he could not pearce the choller of the Childes coate, being high and very well ſtiffened & cloſe claſpt about her neck, and therwithall the ſodaine great crye of the reſt of the childrē which eſcaped, ſo amazed the cattell feeding by, that being fearfull to be robbed of their young, they altogether came running againſt the Woolfe with ſuch force that he was preſently compelled to let goe his holde and to run away to eſcape ye danger of their hornes, by which meanes the Childe was preſerued from death, and God be thanked remains liuing at this day.

And that this thing is true, Maiſter Tice Artine a Brewer dwelling at Puddlewharfe, in London, beeing a man of that Country borne, and one of good reputation and account, is able to iuſtifie, who is neere Kinſman to this Childe, and hath from thence twice receiued Letters conſerning the ſame, and for that the firſte Letter did rather driue him into wondering at the act then yeelding credit therunto, he had ſhortlye after at requeſt of his writing another letter ſent him, wherby he was more fully ſatiſfied, and diuers other perſons of great credit in London hath in like ſorte receiued letters from their freends to the like effect.

Likewiſe in the townes of Germany aforeſaid continuall praier was vſed vnto god that it would pleaſe him to deliuer thē from the danger of this greedy Woolfe.

And although they had practiſed all the meanes that men could deuiſe to take this rauenous beaſt, yet vntill the Lord had determined his fall, they could not in any wiſe preuaile: notwithſtanding they daylye continued their purpoſe, and daylye ſought to intrap him, and for that intent continually maintained great maſtyes and Dogges of muche ſtrength to hunt & chaſe the beaſt wherſoeuer they could finde him. In the end it pleaſed God as they were in readines and prouided to meete with him, that they ſhould eſpye him in his wooluiſhe likenes, at what time they beſet him round about, and moſte circumſpectlye ſet their Dogges vpon him, in ſuch ſort that there was no means to eſcape, at which aduantage they neuer could get him before, but as the Lord deliuered Goliah into ye handes of Dauid, ſo was this Woolfe brought in danger of theſe men, who ſeeing as I ſaide before no way to eſcape the imminent danger, being hardly purſued at the heeles preſently he ſlipt his girdle from about him, wherby the ſhape of a Woolfe cleane auoided, and he appeered preſently in his true ſhape & likenes, hauing in his hand a ſtaffe as one walking toward the Cittie, but the hunters whoſe eyes was ſtedfaſtly bent vpon the beaſt, and ſeeing him in the ſame place metamorphoſed contrary to their expectation: it wrought a wonderfull amazement in their mindes, and had it not beene that they knewe the man ſo ſoone as they ſawe him, they had ſurely taken the ſame to haue beene ſome Deuill in a mans likenes, but for as much as they knewe him to be an auncient dweller in the Towne, they came vnto him, and talking with him they brought him by communication home to his owne houſe, and finding him to be the man indeede, and no deluſion or phantaſticall motion, they had him incontinent before the Maieſtrates to be examined.

Thus being apprehended, he was ſhortly after put to the racke in the Towne of Bedbur, but fearing the torture, he volluntarilye confeſſed his whole life, and made knowen the villanies which he had committed for the ſpace of xxv. yeeres, alſo he cōfeſſed how by Sorcery he procured of the Deuill a Girdle, which beeing put on, he forthwith became a Woolfe, which Girdle at his apprehenſion he confeſt he caſt it off in a certain Vallye and there left it, which when the Maieſtrates heard, they ſent to the Vallye for it, but at their comming found nothing at al, for it may be ſuppoſed that it was gone to the deuil from whence it came, ſo that it was not to be found. For the Deuil hauing brought the wretch to al the ſhame he could, left him to indure the torments which his deedes deſerued.

After he had ſome ſpace beene impriſoned, the maieſtrates found out through due examination of the matter, that his daughter Stubbe Beeil and his Goſſip Katherine Trompin, were both acceſſarye to diuers murders committed, who for the ſame as alſo for their leaud life otherwiſe committed, was arraigned, and with Stubbe Peeter condempned, and their ſeuerall Iudgementes pronounced the 28 of October 1589, in this manor, that is to ſaye: Stubbe Peeter as principall mallefactor, was iudged firſt to haue his body laide on a wheele, and with red hotte burning pincers in ten ſeueral places to haue the fleſh puld off from the bones, after that, his legges and Armes to be broken with a woodden Axe or Hatchet, afterward to haue his head ſtrook from his body, then to haue his carkaſſe burnde to Aſhes.

Alſo his Daughter and his Goſſip were iudged to be burned quicke to Aſhes, the ſame time and day with the carkaſſe of the aforeſaid Stubbe Peeter. And on the 31. of the ſame moneth, they ſuffered death accordingly in the town of Bedbur in the preſence of many peeres & princes of Germany.

Thus Gentle Reader haue I ſet down the true diſcourſe of this wicked man Stub Peeter, which I deſire to be a warning to all Sorcerers and Witches, which vnlawfully followe their owne diueliſh imagination to the vtter ruine and deſtruction of their ſoules eternally, from which wicked and damnable practice, I beſeech God keepe all good men, and from the crueltye of their wicked hartes. Amen.

After the execution, there was by the aduice of the Maieſtrates of the town of Bedbur a high pole ſet vp and ſtronglye framed, which firſt went through ye wheele wheron he was broken, whereunto alſo it was faſtened, after that a little aboue the Wheele the likenes of a Woolfe was framed in wood, to ſhewe unto all men the ſhape wherein he executed those cruelties. Ouer that on the top of the ſtake the ſorcerers head it ſelfe was ſet vp, and round about the Wheele there hung as it were ſixteen peeces of wood about a yarde in length which repreſented the ſixteene perſons that was perfectly knowen to be murdered by him. And the ſame ordained to ſtand there for a continuall monument to all inſuing ages, what murders by Stub Peeter was committed, with the order of his Iudgement, as this picture doth more plainelye expreſſe.

Witneſſes that this is

Tyſe Artyne.
William Brewar.
Adolf Staedt.
George Bores.

With diuers others that haue ſeen the ſame.

This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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