Pretending to be a witch (2)

Katherine Malpas: Answers of Thomas Saunders. (Catalogue ref: STAC 8/32/13)

In the course of a legal trial witnesses would be called to answer Interrogatories (questions) about the case. This source contains three of the answers of Thomas Saunders who denied pretending that Katherine Malpas (the younger) was a witch for his own financial gain, February, 1622.


  1. Thomas Saunders of Upton in the parish of WestHam
  2. in the county of Essex yeoman sworn &c
  3. To the first Interrogatory [question] this defendant says that he did not in or
  4. about the month of December in the 18 year of his Majesty’s reign
  5. persuade, procure or invite Katherine Malpas the younger
  6. in this interrogatory mentioned to counterfeit [pretend] or fain herself to
  7. be bewitched & possessed with an evil spirit or to
  8. counterfeit or fain strange fits or trances or to practise
  9. & use strange & unusual tricks of deceits as it is in this
  10. interrogatory set forth. Neither doth he know of any other person or persons
  11. that did move or incite her thereunto or were privy
  12. acquainted or consenting to the same & doth utterly deny
  13. that he did teach or instruct her the said K.M. [Katherine Malpas] at any time
  14. or showed unto her the manner how to do or perform the same
  15. in this interrogatory questioned. Neither doth he know or hath heard
  16. of any other person or persons that did instruct her therein nor
  17. show her any such form & to the rest
  18. of this interrogatory this defendant denies the particulars therein
  19. To the 2 Interrogatory this defendant say he did report to diverse
  20. of his friends & acquaintances that the said K.M. was strangely
  21. visited but denies that he or any other person or persons did
  22. devise or use any means how to draw company out the
  23. house of this defendant where the said K.M. did then remain to
  24. see the strange & unusual fits & trances used by the
  25. said K.M. but whether the said K.M. did counterfeit the
  26. same this defendant knows not.
  27. To the 3 interrogatory this defendant says he did not nor any other
  28. person or persons to this knowledge that moved or persuaded the
  29. said K.M. the younger to counterfeit as aforesaid or to draw
  30. company to see her strange tricks & fits, neither was
  31. it conceived by this defendant or any others that much money would
  32. be given unto this defendant or the said K.M. by any person or persons
  33. that should come to see her in pity or commiseration but confesses
  34. & says that 4d was given unto this defendant by a stranger unknown to the use of
  35. the said K.M. which was all that this defendant ever received in that
  36. kind in this interrogatory demanded. And says that some other means
  37. was given unto K.M. the elder but how much or from whom
  38. she so received it this defendant knows not.
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