The notebook of Nehemiah Wallington detailing the confession of accused “Witch” Rebecca West in 1645 by the self appointed “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins.
Suspicion had fallen on villager Elizabeth Clarke and Hopkins was appointed to question her in March 1645. She was examined for ‘devil’s marks’ like warts or moles. Under torture she broke down and named several other women including Anne West and her daughter Rebecca. They were already being blamed for the deaths of two children. All but Rebecca were found guilty, and a total of 19 women – including Clarke – were hanged.
When she came to the house of meeting there were five Witches more; the two chiefs were Mother Benefield and Mother Goodwin: this Mother Goodwin pulled out a Booke, and after their manner they prayed out of it, and presently their severall Impes appeared in severall shapes: fix whereof appeared in the shapes of Kitnens about a weeke old in Mother Benefield’s lap, and after she had kissed them, she said unto Rebecca that those were all her children which she had by as handsome a man as any was in England.