Imprimis, this said exminate saith and confesseth, that about six
years past, between the feats of All Saints and the birth of our Lord God,
the Devil appeared unto her in the almshouse aforesaid about ten of the
clock in the night time, being in the shape and proportion of a dunnish
colored ferret, having fiery eyes; and the said examinate being alone in her
chamber, and sitting upon a low stool preparing herself to bedward, the
ferret standing with his hinder legs upon the ground and his forelegs
settled upon her lap, and settling his hinder legs upon the ground and his
forelegs settled upon her lap, and settling his fiery eyes upon her eyes,
spake and pronounced unto her these words following, namely: "JOAN PRENTICE,
give me thy soul."
To whom this examinate, being greatly amazed, answered and said "In the Name of God, What art thou?" The ferret answered "I am Satan; fear me not, my coming unto thee is to do thee no hurt but to obtain they soul, which I must and will have before I depart from thee." To whom the said examinate answered and said that he demanded that of her which is none of hers to give, saying that her soul appertained only until Jesus Christ by whose precious blood-shedding it was brought and purchased. To whom the said ferret replied and said, "I must then have some of they blood", which she willingly granted, offering him the foreginger of her left hand; the which the ferret took into his mouth and, setting his former feed upon that hand, sucked blood thereout, insomuch that her finger did smart exceedingly. And the said examinate demanding again of the ferret what his name was, it answered "BID"; and then presently the said ferret vanished out of her sight suddenly.
The said examinate saith further that about one month after the said ferret came again unto her in the night as she was sitting upon a little stool, preparing herself to bedward, as is above said, "JOAN, wilt thou go to bed?" to whom she answered "Yea, that I will by God's grace'; then presently the ferret leapt upon her lap, and from tehnce up to her bosom, and laying his former feet upon her left shoulder, sucked blood out of her left cheek, and then he said unto her, "Joan, if thou wilt have me do anything for thee, I am and will be always ready at thy commandment." And thereupon she, being a little before fallen out with William Adams his wife of Sible Hedingham aforesaid, willed the ferret to spoil her drink which was then in brewing, which he did accoridngly.
The said examinate furthermore saith and confesseth that the said ferret divers times after appeared unto her, always at the time when she was going to bed; and the last time he appeared unto her was about seven weeks last past, at which time she was going to bed, the ferret leaped upon her left shoulder and sucked blood out of her left cheek and, that done, he demanded of her what she had for him to do? To whom she answered, "Go unto Master Glascock's house, and nip one of his children a little, named Sara, but her it not."
And the next night he resorted unto her again and told her that he had done as she willed him, namely that he had nipped Sara Glascock and that she would die thereof. To whom she answered and said, "Thou villain! What hast thou done? I bid thee to nip it but a little and not to hurt it, and has thou killed the child?" Which speech being uttered, the ferret vanished away suddenly, and never came to her since.
She affirmeth that the occasion why she did will her ferret to nip the said child was for that she being the day before at the hosue of the said Master Glascock to beg his alms, answer was made to her by one of his maiden servants that both her master and mistress were from home, and therefore desired her to be contented for that time, and thereupon the examinate departed greatly discontented, and that night sent her ferret to nip the child as is aforesaid.
She said and affirmeth that at what time soever she would have her ferret do anything for her, she used the words "BID, BID, BID, come BID, come BID, come BID, come suck, come suck, come suck," and that presently he would appear as is aforesaid and sucked blood out of her left cheek, and then performed any mischief she willed or wished him to do for her unto or against any of her neighbours.
Lastly, the said examinate saith and confesseth that one Elizabeth Whale, the wife of Michael Whale of Sible Hedingham aforesaid, labourer, and Elizabeth Mott, the wife of John Mott of the said town, cobbler, are as well acquainted with her BID as herself is, but knoweth not what hurt they or any of them have done to any of their neighbors.
When their inditements [sic] were read, and their examinations also, they stood upon their terms to prolong life. Yet to make the matters more apparent, sundry witnesses were produced to give evidence against them; and first the judge of the circuit very wisely with a great foresight called in the two bastard children before mentioned, and commended them greatly for telling the truth of which he should ask them concerning their grandam and their mothers (which they did). And having said what they could, together with the depositions of sundry other witnesses, they having confessed sufficient matter to prove the inditements [sic] THE JURY FOUND THESE BAD WOMEN GUILTY, and that they had slain men, women, and children, and committed very wicked and horrible actions, divers and sundry time, AND THEREUPON THE JUDGE PROCEEDED AND PRONOUNCED THE SENTENCE OF DEATH AGAINST THEM, AS WORTHILY THEY HAD DESERVED.
After they had received their judgments, they were conveyed from the bar back again to prison, where they had not stayed above two hours but the officers prepared themselves to conduct them to the place of execution. To which place they led them, and being come thither, one Master Ward, a learned divine, being desired by the justices did exhort these wicked women to repentance, and persuaded them that they should show unto the people the truth of their wickedness, and to call upon their God for mercy with penitent hearts, and to ask pardon at His hands for the same. Some few prayers they said after the preacher, but little else more than this, that that they had deserved to die in committing those wicket sins, AND SO TOOK THEIR DEATHS PATIENTLY.
Note that Mother Upney being inwardly pricked, and having some inward feeling in conscience, cried out saying that she had grievously sinned, that "the DEVIL HAD DECEIVED HER, THE DEVIL HAD DECEIVED HER," and that she had twice given her soul to the Devil; yet by the means of god's spirit working in her, and the pains which Master Ward took with her, she seemed very sorry for the same, and DIED VERY PENITENT, ASKING GOD AND THE WORLD FORGIVENESS EVEN TO THE LAST GASP, FOR HER WICKED AND DETESTABLE LIFE.