Letter from George Taylor / sheet 1

Master Mayor, under correction I will declare unto your worship and the rest of your brethren, as near as I can remember, divers speeches which the wife of Roger Swaffer hath delivered unto me, concerning spirits which did frequent her.

First, I talked with her, as I remember, about certain sights which did appear in show to me, as divers shapes in shadows in Master Fowkes’ glass window, as thus:

Near about midsummer, as I remember, did appear to me, in shadow in the said glass, a very ancient grave man sitting very majestically in a chair with a book before him. At his right hand, a man in shadow sitting as it were, either reading or casting of accounts. ?appreka-- d-st------ At his left hand, a man and a woman in shadow s------ sitting in like form, the woman to my thinking ------ in shayish* coloured apparel. All.

Behind those two, a pretty distance, death’s head as apparently ------w as a man’s skull. Round about him, a great company in ?sler-- t--nging together as it were to hear some thing which shall be declared unto them. And behind them a pretty distance, shadows of people in as rich and gorgeous apparel as could be devised. And right underneath death’s head a pretty distance below, the shado-- of a woman holding a child standing up against her knees.

When I had seen these sights, I sent for this Swaffer’s wife because my wife had and my wife’s mother had told me of many strange thing-- which this Swaffer’s wife had told them of. And asked her

Whether she could tell me what these sights were, and what they meant? And she answered me,

No, she could not tell. But, sayeth she, the spirits told me they were set there for you to behold, because you were so hard of belief, and would not believe that which she had told my wife and her mother was true.

This Swaffer’s wife told me, talking with her, that

The spirits told her of a great deal of treasure, namely a great cauldron and a great pot full of money, and divers cups of plate, and some eight or ten dozen of silver spoons. A very great deal, she knew not how much. I asked her

How she knew? and she told me

She had seen it, and had hope clean it. And I ask [h]er

What it should all do? and she told me that

The spirits told her that my son George Taylor, which is now dead, should have it when he came to the full age of six years. And he died when, as I remember, he was not full two year old.

Then I asked her of

These spirits which she spoke of, how many there were of them? And she told me

Four, namely Richard, Robert, Mar--ry and Katherine. I asked

Whether the number of them held always ---r--- ? and she answered

No, for here of late they were incr----. But never none had any conference with her but Ri---- ---ry and Katherine.

Further I asked her of

The sights I saw in the g------ led with them. She answered me that

I should kn[ow] ------ already know. For the spirits, as she said, thought ------ already seen was sufficient to make me believe that ?which ?she ----- delivered in speeches to me was true.


And until eleven months were expired I should never have any more revealed unto me, but at eleven month’s end I should have that revealed unto me that never Abraham nor Solomon had, nor any man living upon the earth. And that at eleven month’s end, there should no man living be left to tread upon this earth.


And that none could have the sight of these spirits or familiarity with them, but herself.

[end of sheet 1]

*possibly a deep red (cf. Rye Spirits p.73)

[RYE 13/6 letter]