The Confession of Alison Device

30th March, 1612 (as recorded by Thomas Pott's in Discovery of Witches, 1613).

The said Alison Device sayth, that about two years ago, her grandmother, (called Elizabeth Southerns, alias old Demdike) did sundry times in going or walking together as they went begging persuade and advise her to let a devil or a familiar appear to her; and that she would let him suck at some part of her; and she might have and do what she would.

The Black Dog

And so not long after these persuasions, she being walking towards the Roughlee, in a close of one John Robinson's, there appeared unto her a thing like unto a black dog: speaking unto her and desiring her to give him her soul, and he would give her power to do any thing she would: whereupon she being therewithal enticed, and setting her down; the said black dog did with his mouth (as she then thought) suck at her breast, a little below her paps, which place did remain blue half a year next after: which said black-dog did not appear to her, until the eighteenth day of march last:

Laming the Peddler John Law

At which time she met with a peddler on the high-way, called Colne-field, near unto Colne: and she demanded of the said peddler to buy some pins of him; but the said peddler sturdily answered her that he would not loose his pack; and so she parting with him: presently there appeared to her the black dog, which appeared unto her as before: which black dog spoke unto her in English, saying; 'what wouldst thou have me to do unto yonder man?'

To whom this she said, 'what canst thou do at him?' And the dog answered again, 'I can lame him': Whereupon she answered, and said to the said black dog, 'lame him': And before the peddler was gone forty roodes [about 300 yards] further, he fell down lame: and she then went after the said peddler, and in a house about the distance aforesaid, he was lying lame:

And so she went begging in Trawden forest that day, and came home at night: and about five days next after, the said black dog did appear to her, as she was going a begging, in a close near Newchurch in Pendle, and spoke again to her, saying; 'stay and speak with me', but this she would not: since which time she never saw him.

A Cow Killed by Demdike

And she further sayth, that one John Nutter of the Bulhole in Pendle, had a cow which was sick, and requested her grandmother [Demdike] to amend the said cow; and her said grandmother said she would, and so her said grandmother about ten of the clock in the night, desired her to lead her forth; which this she did, [her grandmother] being then blind: and her grandmother did remain about half an hour forth: and her sister [Jennet] did fetch her in again; but what she did when she was so forth, she cannot tell.

But the next morning, she heard that the said cow was dead. And she verily thinketh, that her said grandmother did bewitch the said cow to death.

Witches Familiar

Charming Milk into Butter

And further she sayth, that about two years ago, she having gotten a piggin full of blue milk by begging, brought it into the house of her grandmother, where (she [Alison Device] going forth presently, and staying about half an hour) there was butter to the quantity of a quarter of a pound in the said milk, and the quantity of the said milke still remaining; and her grandmother had no butter in the house when she went forth: during which time, her grandmother still lay in her bed.

Killing a child of Richard Baldwin

And further she sayth, that Richard Baldwin of Wheathead within the Forest of Pendle, about 2 years ago, fell out with her grandmother, and so would not let her come upon his land: and about four or five days then next after, her said grandmother did request her to lead her forth about ten of the clock in the night: which she accordingly did, and she stayed forth then about an hour, and her sister [Jennet] fetched her in again.

And she heard the next morning, that a woman child of the said Richard Baldwin was fallen sick; and as she did then hear, the said child did languish afterwards by the space of a year, or thereabouts, and died: and she verily thinketh, that her said grandmother did bewitch the said child to death.

And further, she sayth, that she heard her said grandmother say presently after her falling out with the said Baldwin, she would pray for the said Baldwin both still and loud: and she heard her curse the said Baldwin sundry times.

Killing of John Device

Alison Device sayth, that about eleven years ago, she and her mother had their fire-house broken, and all, or the most part of their linen clothes, and half a peck of cut oat-meal, and a quantity of meal gone, all which was worth twenty shillings or above: and upon a Sunday then next after, she did take a band and a coife [scarf], parcel of the goods aforesaid, upon the daughter of Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, and claimed them to be parcel of the goods stolen, as aforesaid.

She further sayth, that her father, called John Device, being afraid, that the said Anne Chattox should do him or his goods any hurt by witchcraft; did covenant with the said Anne, that if she would hurt neither of them, she should yearly have one aghen-dole of [oat]meal; which meal was yearly paid, until the year which her father died in, which was about eleven years since: her father upon his then-death-bed, taking it that the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, did bewitch him to death, because the said meal was not paid the last year.

Killing of Anne Nutter

And she also sayth, that about two years ago, she being in the house of Anthony Nutter of Pendle, and being then in company with Anne Nutter, daughter of the said Anthony: the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, came into the said Anthony Nutter's house, and seeing her, and the said Anne Nutter laughing, and saying, that they laughed at her the said Chattox: well said then (sayes Anne Chattox) "I will be meet with the one of you."

And upon the next day after, she the said Anne Nutter fell sick, and within three weeks after died.

Killing a Child of John Moore

And further, she sayth, that about two years ago, she hath heard, that the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, was suspected for bewitching the drink of John Moore of Higham: and not long after, she heard the said Chattox say, that she would meet with the said John Moore, or his.

Whereupon a child of the said John Moore's, called john, fell sick, and languished about half a year, and then died: during which languishing, shesaw the said Chattox sitting in her own garden, and a picture of clay like unto a child in her apron; which she spying, the said Anne Chattox would have hid with her apron: and she declaring the same to her mother [Elizabeth Device], her mother thought it was the picture of the said John Moore's child.

Killing of Hugh Moore

And she further sayth, that about six or seven years ago, the said Chattox did fall out with one Hugh Moore of Pendle about certain cattle of the said Moore's, which the said Moore did charge the said Chattox to have bewitched: for which the said Chattox did curse and worry the said Moore, and said she would be revenged of the said Moore: whereupon the said Moore presently fell sick, and languished about half a year, and then died. Which Moore upon his death-bed said, that the said Chattox had bewitched him to death.

A Cow Killed by Chattox

And she further sayth, that about sixe years ago, a daughter of the said Anne Chattox, called Elizabeth, having been at the house of John Nutter of the Bullhole, to beg or get a dish full of milk, which she had, and brought to her mother, who was about a fields breadth of the said Nutter's house, which her said mother Anne Chattox took and put into a can, and did charm the same with two sticks across in the same field: whereupon the said John Nutter's son came unto her, the said Chattox, and misliking her doings, put the said can and milk over with his foot; and the morning next after, a cow of the said John Nutter's fell sick, and so languished three or four days, and then died.

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The Pendle Witch Trial of 1612 The Witches of Pendle Forest Witches Executed at Lancaster Witchcraft in the 19th Century The Confession of Alison Device The Confession of Demdike The Confession of Chattox The Confession of James Device