Medical examinations

The Lancaster Witches: certificate of surgeons and midwives. (Catalogue ref: SP 16/271 f.15)

Another common component of witchcraft trials was an invasive medical examination where surgeons and midwives would examine the accused’s bodies for evidence of witches’ marks, 2 July, 1634.


  1. Surgeons Hall in Mugwell Street London, 2 July
  2. 1634
  3. We in humble obeyance [obedience] to your Lordships have this day called unto us the
  4. Surgeons and midwives whose names are hereunder written who have
  5. by the directions of Mr Doctor Harvey (in our presence and his) made
  6. diligent searches and inspections on those women which were lately
  7. brought up from Lancaster and find as follows:
  8. On the bodies of Jenett Hargreaves, Frances Dickenson
  9. and Mary Spencer nothing unnatural neither in their
  10. secrets or any other parts of their bodies, nor any thing
  11. like a teat or mark, not any sign that any such
  12. thing hath ever been
  13. On the body of Margaret Johnson we find two things
  14. [which] may be called teats
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