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Witchcraft and Devil Lore in the Channel Islands Transcripts from the Official Records of the Guernsey Royal Court, with an English Translation and Historical Introduction   By: (1836-1917)

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First Page:

WITCHCRAFT

AND

DEVIL LORE

IN THE

CHANNEL ISLANDS

TRANSCRIPTS FROM THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE GUERNSEY ROYAL COURT, WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION AND HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

BY

JOHN LINWOOD PITTS,

Membre de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie.

Editor of "The Patois Poems of the Channel Islands;" "The Sermon on the Mount and the Parable of the Sower, in the Franco Norman Dialects of Guernsey and Sark," &c., &c.

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

EXODUS xxii, 18.

[Illustration]

Guernsey:

GUILLE ALLÈS LIBRARY,

AND

THOMAS M. BICHARD, PRINTER TO THE STATES.

1886.

[ All Rights Reserved. ]

TO

EDGAR MACCULLOCH, ESQUIRE,

F.S.A., LONDON AND NORMANDY, AND MEMBER OF THE FOLKLORE SOCIETY,

BAILIFF OF GUERNSEY,

WHOSE HISTORICAL RESEARCHES HAVE TENDED SO MUCH TO ELUCIDATE THE TIME HONOURED CONSTITUTION

AND

ANCIENT CUSTOMS OF HIS NATIVE ISLAND,

THIS

BRIEF RECORD OF ONE OF THE DARKEST CHAPTERS IN ITS CHEQUERED ANNALS

Is Dedicated

WITH SENTIMENTS OF THE HIGHEST RESPECT AND ESTEEM.

Venena magnum fas nefasque non valent Convertere humanam vicem.

HORACE, Epod. V. 87 8.

FOREWORD.

In presenting to the public another little volume of the "Guille Allès Library Series," it affords me much pleasure to acknowledge various kindnesses experienced during its preparation. From Edgar MacCulloch, Esq., F.S.A., Bailiff of Guernsey, I have received several valuable hints and suggestions bearing upon the subject; and also from F.J. Jérémie, Esq., M.A., Jurat of the Royal Court. I am also particularly indebted to James Gallienne, Esq., Her Majesty's Greffier, for his uniform kindness and courtesy in allowing the fullest access at all times to the Archives under his care, not only in respect to the subject matter of the present publication, but also in other historical researches which I have wished to make. I am equally obliged to Mr. E.M. Cohu and Mr. H.J.V. Torode, Deputy Greffiers, and to Mr. A. Isemonger, Bailiff's Clerk, for various information and much ready help, which materially facilitated my investigations. All these gentlemen have my cordial acknowledgments and best thanks.

J.L.P.

Guernsey, December, 1885.

NOTE. The Seal represented on the title page is that of the Guernsey Bailiwick. It was first granted by Edward I. in the seventh year of his reign (1279), and bears the inscription: S. BALLIVIE INSULE DE GERNEREYE.

CONTENTS.

Page

DEDICATION v.

FOREWORD vii.

TABLE OF CONTENTS viii.

INTRODUCTION 1

WITCHCRAFT IN GUERNSEY 1

The Witches' Sabbath 2

The Devil's Ointment 2

Three Women burnt for Heresy in Guernsey 3

WITCHCRAFT IN JERSEY 4

Ordinance of the Royal Court 4

Women Hanged and Burnt 4

Mr. Philippe Le Geyt's Opinion 5

Later Superstitions 5

The Pricking of Witches 5

Sorcerots , or Witches' Spells 6

Torture of Witches in Guernsey 6

" " Scotland 7

GENERAL PERSECUTION OF WITCHES 7

On the Continent 7

In America 7

In England 8

In Scotland 8

CONFESSIONS OF GUERNSEY WITCHES UNDER TORTURE 9

Collette Du Mont 11

Marie Becquet 15

Isabel Becquet 16

DEPOSITIONS AGAINST COLLAS BECQUET 22

NOTE ON THE GUERNSEY RECORDS 27

WITCHCRAFT TRIALS IN GUERNSEY, 1563 1634 28

THE STORY IN BRIEF OF THE GUILLE ALLÈS LIBRARY 33

INTRODUCTION... Continue reading book >>




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