The Confession of Demdike

2nd April, 1612 (as recorded by Thomas Pott's in Discovery of Witches, 1613).

The said Elizabeth Southerns [alias Demdike] confesseth, and sayth; that about twenty years past, as she was coming homeward from begging, there met her near unto a stonepit in Gouldshey, in the said Forrest of Pendle, a spirit or devil in the shape of a boy, the one half of his coat black, and the other brown, who bade her stay, saying to her, that if she would give him her soul, she should have any thing that she would request.

Demdike's Familiar called 'Tibb'

Whereupon this examinate demanded his name? And the spirit answered, his name was Tibb: and so she in hope of such gain as was promised by the said devil or Tibb, was contented to give her soul to the said spirit: and for the space of five or six years next after, the said spirit or devil appeared at sundry times unto her about day-light gate [dawn], always bidding her stay, and asking her what she would have or do. To whom she replied, nay nothing: for she said, she wanted nothing yet.

And so about the end of the said six years, upon a Sabbath day in the morning, she having a little child upon her knee, and she being in a slumber, the said spirit appeared unto her in the likeness of a brown dog, forcing himself to her knee, to get blood under her left arm: and she being without any apparel saving her smock, the said devil did get blood under her left arm. And she awaking, said, 'Jesus save my child'; but had no power, nor could not say, 'Jesus save her self': whereupon the brown dog vanished out of her sight: after which, she was almost stark mad for the space of eight weeks.

Revenge against Richard Baldwin

And upon her examination, she further confesseth, and sayth. That a little before Christmas last, her [Elizabeth Device] daughter having been to help Richard Baldwin's folks at the mill: her daughter did bid her go to the said baldwin's house, and ask him some thing for her helping of his folks at the mill, and in her going to the said Baldwin's house, and near to the said house, she met with the said Richard Baldwin; which Baldwin said to her, and the said Alison Device (who at that time led her [Demdike], being blind) 'get out of my ground whores and witches, I will burn the one of you, and hang the other'.

To whom she answered: 'I care not for thee, hang thyself: presently whereupon, at going over the next hedge, the said spirit or devil called Tibb, appeared unto her, and said, revenge thee of him. To whom, she said again to the said spirit. Revenge thee either of him, or his. And so the said spirit vanished out of her sight, and she never saw him since.

And further she confesseth, and sayth, the speediest way to take a mans life away by witchcraft, is to make a picture of clay, like unto the shape of the person whom they mean to kill, and dry it thoroughly. And when they would have them to be ill in any one place more then an other; then take a thorn or pin, and prick it in that part of the picture you would so have to be ill. And when you would have any part of the body to consume away, then take that part of the picture, and burn it.

And when they would have the whole body to consume away, then take the remnant of the said picture, and burn it: and so there-upon by that means, the body shall die.

Making 'Pictures of Clay'

The said Elizabeth Southerns [alias Demdike] sayth upon her examination, that about half a year before Robert Nutter died, as she thinketh, she went to the house of Thomas Redfearne, which was about mid-summer, as she remembreth it. And there within three yards of the east end of the said house, she saw the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, and Anne Redferne wife of the said Thomas Redferne, and daughter of the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox: the one on the one side of the ditch, and the other on the other: and two pictures of clay or marle lying by them: and the third picture the said Anne Whittle, alias Chattox, was making: and the said Anne Redferne her said daughter, wrought her clay or marle to make the third picture withal.

And she passing by them, the said spirit, called Tibb, in the shape of a black cat, appeared unto her, and said, turn back again, and do as they do: to whom she said, what are they doing? Whereunto the said spirit said; they are making three pictures: whereupon she asked whose pictures they were? Whereunto the said spirit said: they are the pictures of Christopher Nutter, Robert Nutter, and Marie, wife of the said Robert Nutter:

But she denying to go back to help them to make the pictures aforesaid; the said spirit seeming to be angry, therefore shove or pushed her into the ditch, and so shed the milk which she had in a can or kit: and so thereupon the spirit at that time vanished out of her sight: but presently after that, the said spirit appeared to her again in the shape of a hare, and so went with her about a quarter of a mile, but said nothing to her, nor she to it.

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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