The Introduction

It is not clear whether the introduction of a candidate by a member of the society was an early or a late detail. It is quite possible that it was early, the introducer standing in the same relation to the candidate as the Christian sponsors stand to a candidate for baptism. On the other hand, it is quite comprehensible that, when the witch religion became an object of persecution, no new member could be admitted unless

vouched for by some trustworthy person. In the cases where the first meetings with the Devil are recorded, both systems are apparently in vogue. Occasionally, however, the accounts show a confusion on the part of the recorder. Thus Anne Chattox said that Mother Demdike introduced her to the Devil in Mother Demdike's own house, and that she there yielded her soul to him; and in another place she is reported as saying that 'a thing like a Christian man, for foure yeares togeather, 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.'[1] The two statements are not inconsistent if we conclude that in her own house she consented to join the society, and in Mother Demdike's presence she took the vows. As a rule the men seem to have joined at the direct invitation of the Devil himself, especially when they came of witch families.

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