As a Human Being

Hell Really Exists

Hell Really Exists

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The evidence of the witches makes it abundantly clear that the so-called Devil was a human being. generally a man. occasionally a woman. At the great Sabbaths. where he appeared in his grand array. he was disguised out of recognition; at the small meetings. in visiting his votaries. or when inducing a possible convert to join the ranks of the witch-society, he came in his own person, usually dressed plainly in the costume of the period. When in ordinary clothes he was indistinguishable from any other man of his own rank or age, but the evidence suggests that he made himself known by

some manual gesture, by a password, or by some token carried on his person. The token seems to have been carried on the foot, and was perhaps a specially formed boot or shoe, or a foot-covering worn under the shoe.[1]

Besides the Grand Master himself there was often a second 'Devil', younger than the Chief. There is no indication whatsoever as to the method of appointing the head of the witch-community, but it seems probable that on the death of the principal 'Devil' the junior succeeded, and that the junior was appointed from among the officers (see chap. vii). This suggestion, however, does not appear to hold good where a woman was the Chief, for her second in command was always a man and often one well advanced in years. The elderly men always seem to have had grey beards.

Danaeus in 1575 summarizes the evidence and says of the Devil, 'he appeareth vnto them in likenesse of a man, insomuch that it hapneth many tymes, that among a great company of men, the Sorcerer only knoweth Satan, that is present, when other doo not know him, although they see another man, but who or what he is they know not'.[2] De Lancre says, 'On a obserue de tout temps que lors qu'il veut receuoir quelcun a faire pacte auec luy, il se presente tousiours en homme'.[3] Cooper states that 'the Wizards and Witches being met in a place and time appointed, the devil appears to them in humane shape'.[4] Even a modern writer, after studying the evidence, acknowledges that the, witches 'seem to have been undoubtedly the victims of unscrupulous and designing knaves, who personated Satan '.[5]

The witches not only described the personal appearance of the Devil, but often gave careful details as to his clothes; such details are naturally fuller when given by the women than by the men.

[1. It is possible that the shoe was cleft like the modern 'hygienic' shoe. Such a shoe is described in the ballad of the Cobler ofCanterbury, date 1608, as part of a woman's costume:

'Her sleeves blue, her traine behind, With silver hookes was tucked, I find; Her shoes broad, and forked before.'

4. Cooper, Pleasant Treatise, p. 2.

England. John Walsh of Dorsetshire, 1566, described the Devil, whom he called his Familiar, as 'sometymes like a man in all proportions, sauing that he had clouen feete'.[1] The Lancashire witch, Anne Chattox, 1613, said, 'A thing like a Christian man did sundry times come to this Examinate, and requested this Examinate to giue him her Soule: And in the end, this Examinate was contented to giue him her sayd Soule, shee being then in her owne house, in the Forrest of Pendle; wherevpon the Deuill then in the shape of a Man, sayd to this Examinate: Thou shalt want nothing.' Elizabeth Southerns of the same Coven said that 'there met her this Examinate a Spirit or Deuill, in the shape of a Boy, the one halfe of his Coate blacke, and the other browne'.[2] To Margaret Johnson, one of the later Lancashire witches, 1633, there appeared 'a spirit or divell in the similitude and proportion of a man, apparelled in a suite of black, tyed about w th silke pointes'.[3] The Yarmouth witch, 1644, 'when she was in Bed, heard one knock at her Door, and rising to her Window, she saw, it being Moonlight, a tall black Man there'.[4] The Essex witches, 1645, agreed very fairly in their description of the man who came amongst them: according to Elizabeth Clarke he appeared 'in the shape of a proper gentleman, with a laced band, having the whole proportion of a man . . . He had oftentimes knocked at her dore in the night time; and shee did arise open the dore and let him in'; Rebecca Weste gave evidence that 'the Devil appeared in the likeness of a proper young man'; and Rebecca Jones said that the Devil as 'a very handsome young man came to the door, who asked how she did'; on another occasion she met the Devil, 'as shee was going to St. Osyth to sell butter', in the form of a 'man in a ragged sute'.[5] There are two accounts of the evidence given by the Huntingdonshire witch, Joan Wallis of Keiston, 1646: Stearne says that she 'confessed the Devill came to her in the likenesse of a man in blackish cloathing, but had cloven feet'. Davenport's record is slightly different: 'Blackman came first to her, about a

[1. Examination of John Walsh.

twelve-moneth since, like a man something ancient, in blackish cloathes, but he had ugly feet uncovered.'[1] The evidence of the Suffolk witches, 1645-6, is to the same effect; Thomazine Ratcliffe of Shellie confessed that 'there came one in the likeness of a man. One Richmond, a woman which lived at Brampford, confessed the Devill appeared to her in the likenesse of a man, called Daniel the Prophet. One Bush of Barton, widdow, confessed that the Devill appeared to her in the shape of a young black man'.[2] All the Covens of Somerset, 1664, were evidently under one Chief; he came to Elizabeth Style as 'a handsome man'; to Elizabeth Style, Anne Bishop, Alice Duke, and Mary Penny as 'a Man in black Clothes, with a little Band'; to Christian Green 'in the shape of a Man in blackish Clothes'; and to Mary and Catherine Green as 'a little Man in black Clothes with a little Band'.[3] To the Yorkshire witch, Alice Huson, 1664, he appeared 'like a Black Man on a Horse upon the Moor', and again 'like a Black Man upon a Black Horse, with Cloven Feet'.[4] Abre Grinset of Dunwich, in Suffolk, 1665, said 'he did appear in the form of a Pretty handsom Young Man'.[5] In Northumberland, 1673, Ann Armstrong said that 'she see the said Ann Forster [with twelve others and] a long black man rideing on a bay galloway, as she thought, which they call'd there protector'.[6] The Devonshire witch Susanna Edwards, 1682, enters into some detail: 'She did meet with a gentleman in a field called the Parsonage Close in the town of Biddiford. And saith that his apparel was all of black. Upon which she did hope to have a piece of money of him. Whereupon the gentleman drawing near unto this examinant, she did make a curchy or courtesy unto him, as she did use to do to gentlemen. Being demanded what and who the gentleman she spake of was, the said examinant answered and said, That it was the Devil.'[7] In Northamptonshire, 1705, he came to Mary Phillips and Elinor Shaw as 'a tall black Man'.[8]

Scotland. The earliest description is in the trial of Bessie

3. Glanvil, pt. ii, pp. 136, 137, 147, 149, 156, 161-5.

7. Howell, viii, 1035

8. Elinor Shaw and Mary Phillips, p. 6.]

Dunlop of Lyne in Ayrshire in 1576, and is one of the most detailed. Bessie never spoke of the person, who appeared to her, as the 'Devil', she invariably called him Thom Reid; but he stood to her in the same relation that the Devil stood to the witches, and like the Devil he demanded that she should believe on him. She described him as 'ane honest wele elderlie man, gray bairdit, and had ane gray coitt with Lumbart slevis of the auld fassoun; ane pair of gray brekis, and quhyte schankis, gartanit aboue the kne; ane blak bonet on his heid, cloise behind and plane befoir, with silkin laissis drawin throw the lippis thairof; and ane quhyte wand in his hand'.[1] Alison Peirson, 1588, must have recognized the man who appeared to her, for she 'wes conuict of the vsing of Sorcerie and Wichcraft, with the Inuocatioun of the spreitis of the Dewill; speciallie, in the visioune and forme of ane Mr. William Sympsoune, hir cousing and moder-brotheris-sone, quha sche affermit wes ane grit scoller and doctor of medicin'.[2] Though the Devil of North Berwick, 1590, appeared in disguise, it is not only certain that he was a man but his identity can be determined. Barbara Napier deposed that 'the devil wess with them in likeness of ane black man . . . the devil start up in the pulpit, like a mickle blak man, with ane black beard sticking out like ane goat's beard, clad in ane blak tatie [tattered] gown and ane ewill favoured scull bonnet on his heid; hauing ane black book in his hand'. Agnes Sampson's description in the official record was very brief: 'he had on him ane gown, and ane hat, which were both black';[3] but Melville, who probably heard her evidence, puts it more dramatically: 'The deuell wes cled in ane blak gown with ane blak hat vpon his head. . . . His faice was terrible, his noise lyk the bek of ane egle, gret bournyng eyn; his handis and leggis wer herry, with clawes vpon his handis, and feit lyk the griffon.'[4] John Fian merely mentions that the first time the Devil came he was clothed in white raiment.[5] The evidence from Aberdeen, 1596-7, points to there being two, Chiefs, one old and one young. Ellen Gray confessed that

3. Id., i, pt. ii, pp. 245-6, 239. Spelling modernized.

'the Devill, thy maister, apperit to thee in the scheap of ane agit man, beirdit, with a quhyt gown and a thrummit [shaggy] hatt'. Andro Man 'confessis that Crystsunday cum to hym in liknes of ane fair angell, and clad in quhyt claythis'. Christen Mitchell stated that 'Sathan apperit to the in the lyknes of a littill crippill man'; and Marion Grant gave evidence that 'the Deuill, quhom thow callis thy god, apperit to thee in ane gryte man his licknes, in silkin abuilzeament [habiliment], withe ane quhyt candill in his hand'.[1] Isobell

Haldane of Perth. 1607. was carried away into a fairy hill. 'thair scho stayit thrie dayis. viz. fra Thurisday till Sonday at xii houris. Scho mett a man with ane gray beird. quha brocht hir furth agane.' This man stood to her in the same relation as Thom Reid to Bessie Dunlop. or as the Devil to the witches.[2] Jonet Rendall of Orkney. 1629. saw him 'claid in quhyt cloathis. with ane quhyt head and ane gray beard'.[3] In East Lothian. 1630. Alexander Hamilton met the Devil in the likeness of a black man.[4] At Eymouth. 1634. Bessie Bathgate was seen by two young men 'at 12 hours of even (when all people are in their beds) standing bare-legged and in her sark valicot. at the back of hir yard. conferring with the devil who was in green cloaths'.[5] Manie Haliburton of Dirlton. 1649. confessed that. when her daughter was ill. 'came the Devill. in licknes of a man. to hir hous. calling himselff a phisition'.[6] He came also as 'a Mediciner' to Sandie Hunter in East Lothian in 1649.[7] In the same year he appeared as a black man to Robert Grieve. 'an eminent Warlock' at Lauder.[8] In the same year also 'Janet Brown was charged with having held a meeting with the Devil appearing as a man. at the back of Broomhills'.[1] Among the Alloa witches. tried in 1658. Margret Duchall 'did freelie confes hir paction with the diwell. how he appeared first to hir in the liknes of a man in broun cloathis. and ane blak hat'; while Kathren Renny said 'that he first appeared to hir in the bodis medow

[1. Spalding Club Miscellany. i. pp. 124. 127; 164. 172.

3. County Folklore. iii. p. 103. Orkney.

4. From the record of the trial in the Justiciary Court. Edinburgh.

5. Spoltiswode Miscellany. ii. p. 65.

in the liknes of a man with gray cloathis and ane blew cap'.[1] The years 1661 and 1662 are notable in the annals of Scotch witchcraft for the number of trials and the consequent mass of evidence. including many descriptions of the Grand-master. At Forfar. in 1661. Helen Guthrie said that at several meetings the devil was present 'in the shape of a black iron-hued man'; Katherine Porter 'saw the divill and he had ane blacke plaid about him'; when Issobell Smyth was alone gathering heather. 'hee appeared to hir alone lik ane braw gentleman'; and on another occasion 'like a light gentleman'.[2] Jonet Watson of Dalkeith. also in 1661. said 'that the Deivill apeired vnto her in the liknes of ane prettie boy. in grein clothes. . . . Shoe was at a Meitting in Newtoun-dein with the Deavill. who had grein clothes vpone him. and ane blak hatt vpone his head'.[3] In the same year an Edinburgh Coven was tried: Jonet Ker was accused that 'as you wer comeing from Edr to the park you mett with the devill at the bough in the liknes of a greavous black man'; Helene Casso 'met with the devill in liknes of a man with greine cloaths in the links of Dudingstone qr he wes gathering sticks amongst the whines'; Isobel Ramsay 'mett with the devill in the Liknes of a pleasant young man who said qr live you goodwyf and how does the minister And as you wes goeing away he gave you a sexpence saying God bud him give you that qch you wared and bought meall therwith As also you had ane uther meiting wt the devill in yor awne house in the liknes of yor awne husband as you wes lying in yor bed at qch tyme you engadged to be his servant'; Jonet Millar 'did meit wt the devill in liknes of ane young man in the hous besyd the standing stane'.[4] The trials of the Auldearne witches in 1662 are fully reported as regards matters which interested the recorder; unfortunately the appearance of the Devil was not one of these. therefore Isobel

Gowdie's description is abbreviated to the following: 'He was a meikle black roch man. Sometimes he had boots and sometimes shoes on his foot; but still [always] his foot are

4. From the records in the Justiciary Court, Edinburgh.]

forked and cloven.'[1] At Crook of Devon in Kinross-shire, in the same year, nine of the witches describe the men they saw, for evidently there were two 'Devils' in this district; Isobel Rutherford said that 'Sathan was in the likness of a man with gray cloathes and ane blue bannet, having ane beard'; Bessie Henderson, 'the Devil appeared to you in the likeness of ane bonnie young lad, with ane blue bonnet'; Robert Wilson, 'the Devil was riding on ane horse with fulyairt clothes and ane Spanish cape'; Bessie Neil, 'Sathan appeared to you with dun-coloured clothes'; Margaret Litster, 'Sathan having grey clothes'; Agnes Brugh, 'the Devil appeared in the twilight like unto a half long fellow with an dusti coloured coat'; Margaret Huggon, 'he was an uncouth man with black cloathes with ane hood on his head'; Janet Paton, 'Sathan had black coloured clothes and ane blue bonnet being an unkie like man'; Christian Grieve, 'Sathan did first appear to yow like ane little man with ane blue bonnet on his head with rough gray cloaths on him'.[2] Marie Lamont of Innerkip, also in 1662, said that 'the devil was in the likeness of a meikle black man, and sung to them, and they dancit'; he appeared again 'in the likeness of a black man with cloven featt'.[3] At Paisley, in 1678, the girl-witch Annabil Stuart said that 'the Devil in the shape of a Black man came to her Mother's House'; her brother John was more detailed in his description, he observed 'one of the black man's feet to be cloven: and that the black man's Apparel was black; and that he had a bluish Band and Handcuffs; and that he had Hogers[4] on his Legs without Shoes'; Margaret Jackson of the same Coven confirmed the description, 'the black man's Clothes were black, and he had white Handcuffs'.[5] The clearest evidence is from an unpublished trial of 1678 among the records in the Justiciary Court in Edinburgh:

'Margaret Lowis declaires that about Elevin years ago a man whom she thought to be ane Englishman that cured diseases in the countrey called [blank] Webb appeared to her in her own house and gave her a drink and told her that she

4. Hogers, a coarse stocking without the foot.

would have children after the taking of that drink And declares that that man made her renunce her baptisme . . . and declares that she thought that the man who made her doe these things wes the divill and that she has hade severall meitings with that man after she knew him to be the divill. Margaret Smaill prisoner being examined anent the Cryme of witchcraft depones that having come into the house of Jannet Borthvick in Crightoun she saw a gentleman sitting with her, and they desyred her to sitt down and having sitten down the gentleman drank to her and she drank to him and therefter the said Jannet Borthvick told her that that gentleman was the divill and declares that at her desyre she renunced her baptisme and gave herself to the divill.'

At Borrowstowness in 1679 Annaple Thomson 'had a metting with the devill in your cwming betwixt Linlithgow and Borrowstownes, where the devil, in the lyknes of ane black man, told yow, that yow wis ane poore puddled bodie . . . And yow the said Annaple had ane other metting, and he inveitted yow to go alongst, and drink with him'. The same devil met Margaret Hamilton 'and conversed with yow at the town-well of Borrowstownes, and several tymes in yowr awin howss, and drank severall choppens of ale with you'.[1] The Renfrewshire trials of 1696 show that all Mrs. Fulton's grandchildren saw the same personage; Elizabeth Anderson, at the age of seven, 'saw a black grim Man go in to her Grandmothers House'; James Lindsay, aged fourteen, 'met his Grandmother with a black grim Man'; and little Thomas Lindsay was awaked by his grandmother 'one Night out of his Bed, and caused him take a Black Grimm Gentleman (as she called him) by the Hand'.[2] At Pittenweem, in 1704, 'this young Woman Isobel Adams [acknowledged] her compact with the Devil, which she says was made up after this manner, viz. That being in the House of the said Beatie Laing, and a Man at the end of the Table, Beatie proposes to Isobel, that since she would not Fee and Hire with her, that she would do it, with the Man at the end of the Table; And accordingly Isobel agreed to it, and spoke with the Man at that time in General terms. Eight days after, the same Person in Appearance comes to her, and owns that

2. Narrative of the Sufferings of a Young Girle, pp. xxxix-xli Sadd. Debell., pp. 38-40.]

he was the Devil.'[1] The latest instance is at Thurso in 1719, where the Devil met Margaret Nin-Gilbert 'in the way in the likeness of a man, and engaged her to take on with him, which she consented to; and she said she knew him to be the devil or he parted with her'.[2]

In Ireland one of the earliest known trials for ritual witchcraft occurred in 1324, the accused being the Lady Alice Kyteler. She was said to have met the Devil, who was called Robin son of Artis, 'in specie cuiusdam aethiopis cum duobus sociis ipso maioribus et longioribus'.[3]

In France also there is a considerable amount of evidence. The earliest example is in 143'0, when Pierronne, a follower of Joan of Arc, was put to death by fire as a witch. She persisted to the end in her statement, which she made on oath, that God appeared to her in human form and spoke to her as friend to friend, and that the last time she had seen him he was clothed in a scarlet cap and a long white robe.[4] Estebene de Cambrue of the parish of Amou in 1567 said that the witches danced round a great stone, 'sur laquelle est assis un grand homme noir, qu'elles appellent Monsieur'.[5] Jeanne Hervillier of Verberie near Compiègne, in 1578, daughter of a witch who had been condemned and burnt, 'confessa qu'à l'aage de douze ans sa mere la presenta au diable, en forme d'vn grand homme noir, & vestu de noir, botté, esperonné, auec vne espée au costé, & vn cheual noir à la porte'.[1], Françoise Secretain of Saint Claud in 1598 stated 'qu'elle s'estoit donnée au Diable, lequel auoit lors la semblance d'vn grand homme noir'; Thievenne Paget, from the same district, 'racontoit que le Diable s'apparut à elle la premiere fois en plein midy, en forme d'vn grand homme noir'; and Antide Colas 'disoit, que Satan s'apparut à elle en forme d'vn homme, de grande stature, ayant sa barbe & ses habillemens noirs'.[7] Jeanne d'Abadle, in the Basses-Pyrénées, 1609, 'dit qu'elle y vid le

[1. A true and full Relation ofthe Witches ofPittenweem, p. 10, Sinclair, p. lxxxix.

3. Camden Society, Lady Alice Kyteler, p. 3.

4. Journal d'un bourgeois de Paris, p. 687.

Diable en forme d'homme noir & hideux, auec six cornes en la teste, parfois huict'.[1] Silvain Nevillon, tried at Orleans in 1614, 'dit que le Sabbat se tenoit dans vne maison, où il vit à la cheminée com{m}e ledit Sabbat se faisoit, vn homme noir, duquel on ne voyoit point la teste. Vit aussi vn grand homme noir à l'opposite de celuy de la cheminée. Dit que les deux Diables qui estoient au Sabbat, l'vn s'appelloit l'Orthon, & l'autre Traisnesac.'[2] Two sisters were tried in 1652: one 'dict avoir trouvé ung diable en ghuise d'ung home à pied'; the other said that 'il entra dans sa chambre en forme d'ung chat par une fenestre et se changea en la posture d'un home vestu de rouge'.[3]

In Belgium, Digna Robert, 1565, met 'un beau jeune homme vètu d'une casaque noire, qui était le diable, et se nommait Barrebon . . . À la Noël passée, un autre diable, nommé Crebas, est venu près d'elle.' Elisabeth Vlamynx of Ninove in the Pays d'Alost, 1595, was accused 'que vous avez, avant comme après le repas, vous septième ou huitième, dansé sous les arbres en compagnie de votre Belzebuth et d'un autre démon, tous deux en pourpoint blanc à la mode française' Josine Labyns in 1664, aged about forty: 'passé dix-neuf ans le diable s'est offert à vos yeux, derrière votre habitation, sous la figure d'un grand seigneur, vètu en noir et portant des plumes sur son chapeau.'[4]

In the copper mines of Sweden, 1670, the Devil appeared as a minister.' In the province of Elfdale in the same year his dress was not the usual black of that period: 'He used to appear, but in different Habits; but for the most part we saw him in a gray Coat, and red and blue Stockings; he had a red Beard, a high-crown'd Hat, with Linnen of divers colours wrapt about it, and long Garters upon his Stockings." This is not unlike the costume of Thom Reid as described, more than a century before, by Bessie Dunlop.

2. Id., L'Incrédulité, pp. 799, 800. The second Devil is called Tramesabot on p. 802.

3. Van Elven, La Tradition, v (1891), p. 215. Neither the witches' names nor the place are given.

In America the same evidence is found. At Hartford, 1662, 'Robert Sterne testifieth as followeth: I saw this woman goodwife Seager in ye woods with three more women and with them I saw two black creatures like two Indians but taller'; and Hugh Crosia 'sayd ye deuell opned ye dore of eben booths hous made it fly open and ye gate fly open being asked how he could tell he sayd ye deuell apeered to him like a boye and told him hee ded make them fly open and then ye boye went out of his sight.'[1] Elizabeth Knap at Groton, 1671, 'was with another maid yt boarded in ye house, where both of them saw ye appearance of a mans head and shoulders, wth a great white neckcloath, looking in at ye window, which shee hath since confessed, was ye Devill coming to her. One day as shee was alone in a lower roome she looked out of ye window, and saw ye devill in ye habit of an old man, coming over a great meadow.'[2] At Salem, 1692, Mary Osgood saw him as a black man who presented a book; and Mary Lacey described him as a black man in a high-crowned hat.[3]

The evidence suggests that an important part of the Devil's costume was the head-covering, which he appears to have worn both in and out of doors. Though the fact is not of special interest in itself, it may throw light on one of the possible origins of the cult.

In 1576 Bessie Dunlop met Thom Reid, who was clearly the Devil; he was 'ane honest wele elderlie man, gray bairdit, and had ane gray coitt with Lumbart slevis of the auld fassoun; ane pair of gray brekis and quhyte schankis, gartanit aboue the kne; ane blak bonet on his heid, cloise behind and plane befoir, with silkin laissis drawin throw the lippis thairof.'[4] At North Berwick in 1590, 'the deuell, cled in a blak gown with a blak hat vpon his head, preachit vnto a gret nomber of them.'[5] Another description of the same event shows that 'the Devil start up in the pulpit, like a mickle black man clad in a black tatie gown; and an evil-favoured scull-bonnet on his head'.[6] At Aberdeen in 1597 Ellen Gray described the

3. Howell, vi, 660, 664; J. Hutchinson, ii, pp. 31, 37.

7. Pitcairn, i, pt. ii, p. 246. Spelling modernized.]

Devil as 'ane agit man, beirdit, with a quhyt gown and a thrummit hat'.[1] 'In 1609, in the Basses-Pyrénées, when the Devil appeared as a goat, 'on luy voit aussi quelque espece de bonet ou chapeau au dessus de ses cornes.'[2] The Alloa Coven in 1658 spoke of 'a man in broun clathis and ane blak hat'; and on two occasions of 'a young man with gray cloathis and ane blew cap'.[3] In 1661 Janet Watson of Dalkeith 'was at a Meitting in Newtoun-dein with the Deavill, who had grein cloathes vpone him, and ane blak hatt vpone his head'.' Five members of the Coven at Crook of Devon in 1662 spoke of the Devil's head-gear: 'Sathan was in the likeness of a man with gray cloathes and ane blue bannet, having ane beard. Ane bonnie young lad with ane blue bonnet. Ane uncouth man with black clothes with ane hood on his head. Sathan had all the said times black coloured cloathes and ane blue bonnet being an unkie like man. Ane little man with ane blue bonnet on his head with rough gray cloathes on him." In 1662 in Connecticut Robert Sterne saw 'two black creatures like two Indians, but taller'; I as he was at a little distance it is probable that he took a plumed or horned head-dress to be the same as the Indian head-gear. In Belgium in 1664 Josine Labyns saw the Devil wearing a plumed hat.[7] In Somerset in 1665 Mary Green said that when he met the witches 'the little Man put his hand to his Hat, saying How do ye, speaking low but big'.[8] At Torryburn Lilias Adie said that the light was sufficient to 'shew the devil, who wore a cap covering his cars and neck'.[9] In Sweden in 1670 the Devil came 'in a gray Coat, and red and blue Stockings, he had a red Beard, a high-crown'd Hat, with Linnen of divers colours wrapt about, and long Garters upon his Stockings'.[10] At Pittenweem in 1670 the young lass Isobel Adams saw the Devil as 'a man in black cloaths with a hat on his head, sitting at the table' in Beatty Laing's house."

The Queen of Elphin. or Elfhame. is sometimes called the Devil. and it is often impossible to distinguish between her and the Devil when the latter appears as a woman. Whether she was the same as the French Reine du Sabbat is equally difficult to determine. The greater part of the evidence regarding the woman-devil is from Scotland.

In 1576 Bessie Dunlop's evidence shows that Thom Reid. who was to her what the Devil was to witches. was under the orders of the Queen of Elfhame:

'Interrogat. Gif sche neuir askit the questioun at him. Quhairfoir he com to hir mair [than] ane vthir bodye? Ansuerit. Remembring hir. quhen sche was lyand in childbed-lair. with ane of her laiddis. that ane stout woman com in to hir. and sat doun on the forme besyde hir. and askit ane drink at her. and sche gaif hir; quha alsua tauld hir. that that barne wald de. and that hir husband suld mend of his seiknes. The said Bessie ansuerit. that sche remembrit wele thairof; and Thom said. That was the Quene of Elfame his maistres. quha had commandit him to wait vpoun hir. and to do hir gude. Confessit and fylit.'[1]

In 1588 Alison Peirson 'was conuict for hanting and repairing with the gude nychtbouris and Quene of Elfame. thir diuers 3eiris bypast. as scho had confest be hir depositiounis. declaring that scho could nocht say reddelie how lang scho wes with thame; and that scho had freindis in that court quhilk wes of hir awin blude. quha had gude acquentence of the Quene of Elphane. And that scho saw nocht the Quene thir seuin 3eir.'[2] In 1597 at Aberdeen Andro Man was accused that

'thriescoir yeris sensyne or thairby. the Devill. thy maister. come to thy motheris hous. in the liknes and scheap of a woman. quhom thow callis the Quene of Elphen. and was delyverit of a barne. as apperit to the their. thow confessis that be the space of threttie two yeris sensyn or thairby. thow begud to have carnall deall with that devilische spreit. the Quene of Elphen. on quhom thow begat dyveris bairnis. quhom thow hes sene sensyn . . . Thow confessis that the Devill. thy maister. quhom thow termes Christsonday. and

supponis to be ane engell. and Goddis godsone. albeit he hes a thraw by God. and swyis [sways] to the Quene of Elphen. is rasit be the speaking of the word Benedicite . . . Siclyk. thow affermis that the Quene of Elphen hes a grip of all the craft. bot Christsonday is the gudeman. and hes all power vnder God . . . Vpon the Ruidday in harvest. in this present yeir. quhilk fell on a Wedinsday. thow confessis and affermis. thow saw

Christsonday cum out of the snaw in liknes of a staig, and that the Quene of Elphen was their, and vtheris with hir, rydand on quhyt haikneyes, and that thay com to the Binhill and the Binlocht, quhair thay vse commonlie to convene, and that thay quha convenis with thame kissis Christsonday and the Quene of Elphenis airss. Thow affermis that the quene is verray plesand, and wilbe auld and young quhen scho pleissis; scho mackis any kyng quhom scho pleisis, and lyis with any scho lykis'.[l]

Another Aberdeen witch, Marion Grant, was accused in the same year and confessed, 'that the Devill, thy maister, quhome thow termes Christsonday, causit the dans sindrie tymes with him and with Our Ladye, quha, as thow sayes, was a fine woman, cled in a quhyt walicot'.[l] In Ayrshire in 16G5 Patrick Lowrie and Jonet Hunter were accused that they 'att Hallow-evin assemblit thame selffis vpon Lowdon-hill, quhair thair appeirit to thame ane devillische Spreit, in liknes of ane woman, and callit hir selff Helen Mcbrune'.[3] In the Basses-Pyrénées in 16G9, one could 'en chasque village trouuer vne Royne du Sabbat, que Sathan tenoit en delices com{m}e vne espouse priuilegiée'.[4] At the witch-mass the worshippers 'luy baisent la main gauche, tremblans auec mille angoisses, & luy offrent du pain, des ^ufs, & de l'argent: & la Royne du Sabbat les reçoit, laquelle est assise à son costé gauche, & en sa main gauche elle tient vne paix ou platine, dans laquelle est grauée l'effigie de Lucifer, laquelle on ne baise qu'après l'auoir premièrement baisée à elle'.[5] In 1613 the Lancashire witch, Anne Chattox, made a confused statement as to the sex of the so-called spirits; it is however quite possible that the confusion is due to the recorder, who was accustomed to consider all demons as male: 'After their eating, the Deuill called

Fancie, and the other Spirit calling himselfe Tibbe, carried the remnant away: And she sayeth that at their said Banquet, the said Spirits gaue them light to see what they did, and that they were both shee Spirites and Diuels.'[l] In 1618 at Leicester Joan Willimott 'saith, that shee hath a Spirit which shee calleth Pretty, which was giuen vnto her by William Berry of Langholme in Rutlandshire, whom she serued three yeares; and that her Master when he gaue it vnto her, willed her to open her mouth, and hee would blow into her a Fairy which should doe her good; and that shee opened her mouth, and he did blow into her mouth; and that presently after his blowing, there came out of her mouth a Spirit, which stood vpon the ground in the shape and forme of a Woman, which Spirit did aske of her her Soule, which she then promised vnto it, being willed thereunto by her Master.'^] William Barton was tried in Edinburgh about 1655:

'One day, says he, going from my own house in Kirkliston, to the Queens Ferry, I overtook in Dalmeny Muire, a young Gentlewoman, as to appearance beautiful and comely. I drew near to her, but she shunned my company, and when I insisted, she became angry and very nyce. Said I, we are both going one way, be pleased to accept of a convoy. At last after much entreaty she grew better natured, and at length came to that Familiarity, that she suffered me to embrace her, and to do that which Christian ears ought not to hear of. At this time I parted with her very joyful. The next night, she appeared to him in that same very place, and after that which should not be named, he became sensible, that it was the Devil. Here he renounced his Baptism, and gave up himself to her service, and she called him her beloved, and gave him this new name of Iohn Baptist, and received the Mark.'[3]

At Forfar in 1662 Marjorie Ritchie 'willingly and friely declared that the divill appeired to her thrie severall tymes in the similitud of a womane, the first tyme in on Jonet Barrie's house, the second tyme whyle she was putting vp lint in the companie of the said Jonet, and that the divill did take her by the hand at that tyme, and promised that she should never

2. Wonderful Discovery of Margaret and Phillip Flower, p. 117.

want money; and therafter that the divill appeired to her in the moiss of Neutoune of Airly, wher and when she did renunce her baptism'.[1] In 1670 Jean Weir, sister of the notorious Major Weir, gave an account of how she entered the service of the Devil; the ceremony began as follows: 'When she keeped a school at Dalkeith, and teached childering, ane tall woman came to the declarants hous when the childering were there; and that she had, as appeared to her, ane chyld upon her back, and on or two at her foot; and that the said woman desyred that the declarant should imploy her to spick for her to the Queen of Farie, and strik and battle in her behalf with the said Queen (which was her own words).'[2] Among the Salem witches in 1692, this Rampant Hag, Martha Carrier, was the person, of whom the Confessions of the Witches, and of her own Children among the rest, agreed, That the Devil had promised her, she should be Queen of Hell.'[3]

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