A ‘Divellish’ Woman Discovered: The Witch of Newbury, 1643
During September 1643 a number of publications related the news that a witch had been found and killed by Roundhead soldiers just prior to the Battle of Newbury. This article will analyse the contents of the longest work on the Witch of Newbury, A Most Certain, Strange, and True Discovery of a VVitch, focusing in particular on aspects of the account which illustrate developments in early modern English witch beliefs. In ascertaining her identity, the soldiers relied upon popular beliefs about witches and their powers, and these beliefs informed their reactions to the witch. The discussion of the Witch of Newbury’s powers ,and the soldiers perceptions of them, illustrates how ideas about witchcraft could and did change throughout the seventeenth-century, and in particular, during the English Civil Wars.
E.3 (17) John Taylor, A dog's elegy, or, Rvpert's tears, for the late defeat given him at Marstonmoore, neer York, by the three renowned generalls; Alexander Earl of Leven, general of the Scottish forces, Fardinando, Lord Fairefax, and the Earle of Manchester generalls of the English Forces in the North. Where his beloved dog, named Boy, was killed by a valiant souldier, who had skill in necromancy. Likewise the strange breed of this shagg'd cavalier, whelp'd of a malignant water-witch; with all his tricks, and feats. Sad Cavaliers, Rupert invites you all that does survive, to his dogs funerall. Close-mourners are the witch, Pope, & devill, that much lament ye'r late befallen evill, (London: for G. B., 1644).
E.51 (15) William Jesop, A More Exact and Full Relation of Many Admirable Passages (London: Mathew Walbancke, 1644).
E.69 (8), Thomas Bates Mercvrivs Civicvs, (London: Thomas Bates, 21st-28th of September 1643).
E.69 (9) [Anon], A Most Certain, Strange, and True Discovery of a VVitch , (London: John Hammond, 1643).
E.69 (17) 37, Ingler, William, Certaine informations from severall parts of the kingdome, (London: Printed for Henry Overton, 25th September-2nd October 1643).
E.71 (10) Thomas Audley, Mercurius Britanicus, communicating the affaires of great Britaine for the better information of the people, (London: G. Bishop and R. White , 10th–17th October 1643).
E.72 (1), Peter Heylyn, Mercvrivs avlicvs, (Oxford: Henry Hall, 14th October 1643).
E 90 (25) John Taylor, An Exact description of Prince Ruperts malignant she-monkey, a great delinquent having approved her selfe a better servant then his white dog called Boy : laid open in three particulars 1. what she is in her owne-shape, 2. what she doth figuratively signifie, 3. her malignant tricks and qualities, (London: E. Johnson, 1643).
E.92 (13) [Anon], The Parliaments unspotted-bitch: in answer to Prince Roberts dog called Boy, and his malignant she-monkey, (London: R. Iackson, 1643).
E.93 (9) [Anon], The humerous tricks and conceits of Prince Roberts malignant she-monkey, discovered to the world before her marriage. Also the manner of her marriage to a cavaleer and how within three dayes space, she called him cuckold to his face, (London: printed for T. Cornish, 1643).
E.127 (48), The Effect of All Letters Read in the House of Parliament (London: Printed for John Cave, 1642).
E.127 (49) [Anon], The true proceedings of both armies, (London Printed by T. F., 1642).
E.133 (14) Richard Johnson, Good and True Newes from Ireland (London: H. Blunden, 1642).
E.245 (33) [Anon] ‘T.B.’, Observations Upon Prince Rupert's White Dog called Boy, (London: s.n., 1642).
E.246 (23) Taylor, John, A dialogue, or, Rather a parley betweene Prince Ruperts dogge whose name is Puddle, and Tobies dog whose name is Pepper, (London: I. Smith, 1643).
E.284 (20), Mercurius Avlicvs (Oxford: Henry Hall, 20-27 April 1645).
E.295 (2) [Anon] Signes and wonders from heaven.(London: I.H., 1645).
E.295 (2) [Anon] Signes and wonders from heaven, (London: I.H., 1645).
E.296 (35), [Anon], ‘H.F.’, A true and exact relation of the severall informations, examinations, and confessions of the late witches, arraigned and executed in the county of Essex (London: M.S. for Henry Overton, and Benj. Allen, 1645).
E.388 Matthew Hopkins, The discovery of vvitches: in answer to severall queries, lately delivered to the judges of the assize for the county of Norfolk. And now published by Matthevv Hopkins, witch-finder. For the benefit of the whole kingdome, (London: R. Royston. 1647).
E.546 (28) Prince Rupert, Count Palatine, The declaration of His Highnesse Prince Rupert, Lord High Admirall of all the navy Royall, belonging to the Kings Majesty Charles the II. Wherein hee cleareth himselfe from many scandalous rumours which have bin cast upon his reputation, (London: s.n. 1649).
S 5365, John Sterne, A confirmation and discovery of witchcraft, (London: William Wilson, 1648).
STC (2nd ed.) 14364 King James VI & I. Daemonologie in forme of a dialogue, diuided into three bookes. (Edinburgh, 1597).
STC (2nd ed.) 20138 Thomas Potts, The vvonderfull discouerie of witches in the countie of Lancaster (London: W. Stansby, 1613).
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