First examination of Susan Swapper / sheet 1

Examinations taken before Thomas Higgons, Mayor of the ancient town of Rye in the county of Sussex and the Jurats of the same town, the 26th day of September Anno Regni domini nostri Jacobi dei gratia Regis nunc Anglie etc. quinto et Scotie 41mo 1607

Susan Swapper the wife of Roger Swapper of Rye aforesaid sawyer, sayeth that:

About middle Lent last past, she being in the chamber where she did lie with her husband in bed in the night time, about the hours of twelve and one of the clock, there appeared to her four spirit[s in the] likeness of two men and two women. The one of them being the tallest o[f the men] wa[s] clothed in a white surplice down to the ground, being a young man in countenance (to her view) without any hair on his face. The other man was a short thick man clothed all in white, with a satin doublet and breeches pinked and a long grey beard. And one of the women was clothed with a green petticoat and a white waistcoat, with a rail about her neck and a white kerchief upon her head, and a young woman to her judgment. The other was a young woman, likewise clothed all in white.

And so they continued two or three nights togethers appearing unto her. And she this examinate, after the first night that they did appear unto her, the next day made Mistress Taylor acquainted with the vision that she had seen. Who asked this examinate whether

She were awake or asleep when they did appear unto her?  and she said

She was awake, and then Mistress Taylor willed her to

Call upon God, for that they were illusions which she had seen.

And two days after, this examinate made Mistress Taylor acquainted that the spirits had appeared unto her two nights more togethers. And then she willed her that

If they appeared again to her, that she should speak unto them, and ask them “In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, wherefore come you to trouble me, or what will you have?”

Then the next night after they appeared again to her, and the woman in the green petticoat called this examinate:

“Sue come and go with me, or else I will carry thee.”

Whereuppon she this examinate being afeared with that vision, and the calling of her by her name, called to her husband and waked him, and willed him to hold her. And he awaking, turned unto her, and answered her

“Wherefore should I hold thee?” and she replied unto him again, and said

“Here is a thing that will carry me away!” and he said again unto her

“I see nothing”, and so turned about from her.

And then the said vision which she so did see departed from her. And afterwards the same night, a little before day, the said two men and two women appe[ared] unto her in form as they were before. And she this examinate asked them

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, what will you have me do?”

And the woman in the green petticoat said unto her

“I would have you go unto young Anne Bennett, and call her and go into her garden with her, and dig and set sage, and then you should be well.”

 Whereupon in the morning this examinate sent unto Mistress Taylor’s to come unto her, which accordingly she did, and then she teld her what the woman had said unto her. And in the afternoon, after dinner, Mistress Taylor did pull open two pales of her garden and sent for this examinate, and so they went both together in to the garden, and this examinate did dig in the garden with Mistress Taylor.

[end of sheet 1]

[RYE 13/1]