The True and Horrifying Confessions of the St. Osyth Witches

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Origin: Scenario Dear Ladies by Hugh Jesseman

Description

The pamphlet is a series of examinations and confessions of thirteen women from St. Oysth in Essex, taken by the Justice Brian Darcey. The book is not that big, just fifty or so pages. It was published soon after the trials of the women in 1582, and is written in florid Elizabethan prose, which is not always easy for a modern reader to understand fully.

The essence of the pamphlet is that the coven of witches summoned, conjured, or inherited collections of imps in various bizarre, animal-like forms (compare to Rat-Things), which they feed on milk if possible or their own blood otherwise, which they could then command with evil speech to torment enemies among their neighbors, via the usual ways (turning milk sour, killing livestock, haunting people in their sleep with nightmares, causing mysterious illnesses and freak accidents, etc.)

English Version

Language: Elizabethan English

Physical Description: A 50-page pamphlet.

General Content: A series of examinations and confessions of a coven of 13 witches from St. Oysth in Essex, England, including enough hints at contact, summoning, binding, maintaining, and banishment rituals, practices, and spells for familiars, imps, and other supernatural beings ("puppets, spirits, and maummats"), for occultists to reconstruct and perform the rituals.

Number of known copies and last known location of surviving copies (if rare): This is inspired by a real Tome which is freely available on the Internet; the full text of the various testimonies for the St. Osyth, Essex Witch Trials can be found online at http://www.witchtrials.co.uk/osyth.html


Mythos Content

Spells: Contact, Summon, Bind, and Banish spells for Imps and Familiars

  • Sanity Loss: (none listed, presumed to be low to non-existent)
  • Mythos Knowledge: (none listed, presumed to be low to non-existent)
  • Occult Knowledge: (none listed, presumed to be low)


Quotes

  • From - http://www.witchtrials.co.uk/osyth.html :
    • "The saide Thomas Rabbet saith, that his said mother Ursley Kempe alias Grey hath foure severall spirites, the one called Tyffin, the other Tittey, the third Pigine, & the fourth Jacke: & being asked of what colours they were, saith, that Tyttey is like a little grey Cat, Tyffin is like a white lambe, Pygine is black like a Toad, and Jacke is black like a Cat. And hee saith, hee hath seen his mother at times to give them beere to drinke, and of a white Lofe or Cake to eate, and saied that in the night time the said spirites will come to his mother, and sucke blood of her upon her armes and other places of her body...."
    • "And casting her eyes aside, shee saw a spirit lift up a clothe lying over a pot, looking much lik a Ferret. And it beeing asked of this examinate why the spirite did looke upon her, shee said it was hungrie.... This examinate, beeing asked howe shee knewe the names of mother Bennets spirites, sayth, that Tyffin her spirite did tell this examinate that shee had two spirites, the one of them like a blacke Dogge, and the other redde like a Lyon, and that their names were Suckin and Lyerd , and sayeth that Suckin did plague Byettes wife unto death, and the other plagued three of his Beastes whereof two of them dye...."
    • "And the saide Examinate beeing alone in her Chamber, and sitting up on a lowe stoole... the ferrit standing with his hinderlegs upon the ground, and his forelegs setled upon her lappe, and setling his fiery eyes upon her eyes, spake and pronounced to her these woordes following, namelye: Joan Prentice give me thy soule, to whome this Examinate beeing greatly amazed, answered and said: In the name of God what art thou. The ferrit answered, I am satan, feare me not my coming unto thee is to doo thee no hurt but to obtaine thy soule, which I must and wil have before I departe from thee...."
    • "...One night there was a blacke thing like his sister, that tooke him by the legge and that hee cried out, saying, father, father, come helpe me and defende mee, for there is a blacke thing that hath me by the legge: at which he saith, his father said to his mother, ye stinking whore what meane yee’: can yee not keepe your imps from my children’: & beeing asked what colour they were of, & what they were called, he saith, that one is black, & another is white, & that he hath hard his mother to call them Imps, and that they have eyes as big as himselfe: and he saith, that his father and his mother put them away or els kill them. And saith , that a while sithence his mother delivered them to one of Colchester... and saith that Wedons wife had a cap to dresse of his mothers, and saith, that they were carried away in a basket at that time.... He saith, that his father called one of them, which is the blacke one, John, which he said his father mocked him because his name was so: And his mother called the white one an Impe...."
    • "...The sayd Febey Hunt sayth, that shee hath seen her mother to have two little thinges like horses, the one white, the other blacke, the which shee kept in a litle lowe earthen pot with woll, colour white and blacke: and that they stoode in her chamber by her bed side, and saith, that shee hath seene her mother to feede them with milke out of a blacke trening dishe, and this examinat being caried after this confessid by the Counstables to her fathers house, shee shewed them the place were they stood and the borde that covered them: And this examinat chose out the dishe, out of which they were fedde, from amongst many other dishes. She this examinat did also confessed that her mother had charged her not to tell any thing, what shee had seene : And if shee did those thinges woulde take her..."
    • "The sayde Margerie Sammon... daughter to one mother Barnes lately deceased, (which mother Barns was accompted to bee a notoriuos Witche ) saith, that shee remayned at home with her mother by the space of half a yeare, and saith shee was with her mother several times, when shee laye sicke, and also at the houre of her death... The said Margery that night being committed to the ward and keeping of the counstable... beeing charged by her sayde Syster to have two spirites like toades, given her by her mother at her death... confessed that she had two spirites delyvered her by her mother, the same day shee departed. And that shee this Examinate carryed them awaye with her in the evening, they beeing in a wicker basket, more than half full of white and blacke wooll: And that she asking her mother what shee should doe with them, she bad her keepe them and feede them: This Examinate asking wherewithall: her mother answered, if thou doest not give them mylke, they will sucke of thy blood...."

Appearances