Witchcraft discovered and punished.


Witchcraft discovered and punished.


Or, the Tryals and Condemnation of three Notorious Witches, who were Tryed the last Assizes, holden at the Castle of Exeter, in the County of Devon: where they received Sentance for Death, for bewitchng several Persons, destroying Ships at Sea, and Cattel by Land, &c.


Three old women are convicted of witchcraft in Exeter. It is claimed that they poisoned livestock and children, and bewitched people.

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

British Library - Roxburghe, C.20.f.8.531, EBBA 31034

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Doctor Faustus (Fortune My Foe)


NOw listen to my Song good People all,
And I shall tell what lately did befall,
At Exeter, a place in Devonshire,
The like whereof of late you nere did hear.

At the last Assizes held at Exeter,
Three Aged Women that Imprisoned were
For Witches, and that many had destroyd;
Were thither brought in order to be tryd.

For Witchcraft, that Old Wicked Sin,
Which they for long time had continued in:
And joynd with Satan, to destroy the good,
Hurt Innocents, and shed their harmless blood.

But now it most apparent does appear,
That they will now for such their deeds pay dear:
For Satan having lulld their Souls asleep,
Refuses Company with them to keep.

A known deceiver he long time has been,
To help Poor Mortals into dangerous Sin;
Thereby to cut them off, that so they may,
Be plungd in Hell, and there be made his Prey.

So these Malicious Women at the last,
Having done mischiefs, were by Justice cast:
For it appeard they Children had destroyd,
Lamed Cattel, and the Aged much annoyd.

Having Familiars always at their beck,
Their Wicked Rage on Mortals for to wreck:
It being provd they used Wicked Charms,
To Murther Men, and bring about sad harms.

And that they had about their Bodys strange
And Proper Tokens of their Wicked Change:
As Pledges that to have their cruel will,
Their Souls they gave unto the Prince of Hell.

The Country round where they did live came in,
And all at once their sad complaints begin:
One lost a Child, the other lost a Kine,
This his brave Horses, that his hopeful Swine.

One had his Wife bewitched, the other his Friend,
Because in some things they the Witch offend:
For which they labour under cruel pain,
In vain seek remedy, but none can gain.

But Roar in cruel sort, and loudly cry,
Destroy the Witch, and end our misery:
Some used Charms by Mountabanks set down,
Those cheating Quacks, that swarm in every Town.

But alls in vain, no rest at all they find,
For why? all Witches to cruelty are enclind:
And do delight to hear sad dying groans,
And such laments, as woud pierce Marble Stones.

But now the Hand of Heaven has found them out,
And they to Justice must pay Lives, past doubt:
One of these Wicked Wretches did confess,
She Four Score Years of Age was, and no less.

And that she had deserved long before,
To be sent packing to the Stigian shore:
For the great mischiefs she so oft had done,
And wondered that her Life so long had run.

She said the Devil came with her along,
Through Crouds of People, and bid her be strong:
And she no hand should have, but like a Lyer,
At the Prison Door he fled, and nere came nigh her.

The rest aloud, cravd Mercy for their Sins,
Or else the great deceiver her Soul gains;
For they had been lewd Livers many a day,
And therefore did desire that all would Pray

To God, to Pardon them, while thus they lie
Condemned for their Wicked Deeds to Die:
Which may each Christian do, that they may find
Rest for their Souls, though Wicked once inclind.


Method of Punishment






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“Witchcraft discovered and punished.,” Execution Ballads, accessed April 13, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/1217.

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