Accusing monarch of witchcraft

Accusing Queen Elizabeth I and Prince Henry of witchcraft. (Catalogue ref: SP 14/175 f.90)

It was not just ordinary people who were accused of witchcraft. Accusing the monarch of being a witch was dangerous, which is probably why this report, where a ‘stranger’ slandered Queen Elizabeth and Prince Henry (the late son of King James I), made its way into the hands of the Secretary of State, 28 November, 1624.


Page One:

  1. The relation of Roger Morse of the
  2. town and county of Southampton
  3. Clothier taken the xxvij [27th] day of November
  4. 1624
  5. Before John Elvie, Mayor, Edward Epton
  6. William Movey, John Long, Arthur Baker
  7. John Mayor, Richard Dalby and
  8. George Gallop Alderman Justices of
  9. the peace within the said town
  10. and county
  11. Morse says that yesterday being the xxviij [28th]
  12. day of this instant November about nine o’clock
  13. in the evening one Mr Butler the curate of
  14. Milbrooke in the county of Southampton came
  15. unto this relator’s house, bringing thither with
  16. him a stranger called Mr Morgan, and required
  17. to lodge there that night, which this relator
  18. granted, and thereupon brought them into a
  19. chamber in the house there to lodge and about
  20. half an hour after this relator and one
  21. John Percher came into the said chamber
  22. unto them, where they fell in discourse together
  23. touching the wars in the Low Countries
  24. and so of England and of Spain. And this
  25. relator saying that if Queen Elizabeth
  26. had lived but a little longer she would have
  27. made the King of Spain a poor King or
  28. to the like effect, the said Morgan made
  29. answer this: They say that she was a
  30. whore and a witch. And this relator performing
  31. in this discourse the present state and
  32. strength of our King and Kingdom before
  33. Spain the said Morgan replied that
  34. England was weak and the Castles were weak

Page two:

  1. naming the Castles of Dover and Hurst
  2. and Calshot Castle. And that the King
  3. of Spain paid more in one year to his soldiers
  4. than all the revenues of England were worth
  5. …Saying further, you shall
  6. see what will become of England and
  7. repeating those words oftentimes. And this
  8. relator in their said discourse saying that the
  9. late prince Henry of Wales would have met
  10. with Spain well enough, if he had lived
  11. or to the like effect, the said Morgan replied
  12. they say before his body was cold on earth
  13. his soul was frying on a gridiron [a hot grill for cooking] in hell
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