Note: As Above So Below

I was not aware of the wider context when I first read this account of Elizabeth Clarke. I was attempting to look at something else in wider context, do cows have the evil eye (related to the idea that fish steal milk)?

The way this narrative was structured caught my attention and distracted me. I was caught up in the detail but did not stop to think about who Mathew Hopkins was nor that this was his first case.

His first successes.

Its a window into his popularity.

His craft and skill in the production of a successful narrative.

Narratives here are negotiated and agreed upon. Different social classes hold very different ideas about what witchcraft is. Confession depends on two very different social worlds reaching agreement.

Hopkins at first glance looks like a very social animal.

I have no idea yet who Mr Edwards of Mannintree or Mr Robert Taylor are. But a think one of the things on offer here is the ability to make you’re wildest dreams come true.

Invitation to enter a fantasy in which Mr Edwards  and Mr Taylor, like the great and good of the land are the number one enemy of Satan.

They are placed at the center of great affairs.

A glamour has been cast and is now tangible and within reach.



This Invisible World (Elizabeth Clarke)

I. The Information of Matthew Hopkins of Manningtree, Gent. Taken upon Oath before us, the 25th. of March, 1645.

This Informant saith, that the said Elizabeth Clarke, alias, Beddingfield (suspected for a Witch as aforesaid, and whose Mother and some others of her Kinsfolk, did suffer Death for Witchcraft and Murther) being by appointment of the said Justices, watcht several Nights, for the better discovery of her wicked Practises: This Informant came into the Room, where the said Elizabeth was watcht, as aforesaid, the last Night, being the 24th. of this Instant Marc, but intended not to have stay’d long there, but the said Elizabeth forthwith told this Informant, and one Mr. Sterne, there present, if they would stay, and do the said Elizabeth no hurt, she would call one of her white Imp, and play with it in her Lap; but this Informant told her they would not allow of it; but that staying there a while longer, within a quarter of an Hour after, there appeared an Imp like to a Dog, which was White with some Sandy Spots, and seem’d to be very Fat, and Plump, with very short Legs, and forthwith Vanisht away: and the said Elizbeth said the name of that Imp, was Jarmra; and immediately there appeared another Imp, which she called Vinegar Tom, in the shape of a Grey-hound, with long Legs; and the said Elizabeth then said, that the next Imp should be a black Imp, and should come for the said Mr. Sterne, which appeared, but presently Vanisht; and the last that appeared was in the shape of a Pole-cat, but the Head somewhat bigger; and the said Elizabeth then told this Informant, that she had five Imps of her own, and two of the Imps of the Old Bedlam West, (meaning one Ann West, Widow who is now also suspected to be guilty of Witchcraft) and said sometimes the Imps of the Old Bedlam Suck’d on the said Elizabeth, and sometimes her Imps Suck’d on the Old Beldam West; and the said Elizabeth farther told this Informant, that Satan would never let her be at rest, or quiet, till she did consent to the Killing of the Hogs of one Mr. Edwards of Mannintree, and the Horse of one Robert Taylor, of the same Town.


A True and exact Relation of the several Informations, Examinations and Confessions of the late Witches Arraigned and Executed in the County of Essex. 1645

On Being Consumed (John Beumont Geologist)

John Beaumont (c. 1650 -1731) English physician, early geologist.

Beaumont was also a practitioner of the occult fond of conjuring spirits. He sought to demonstrate that the spiritual world could be perceived by the five senses.

The historian Micheal Hunter notes that the only sensation not open to Beaumont in terms of his spirit familiars was that he had not eaten one.

Deploy one of the historical narratives he uses next, to demonstrate the manner in which the supernatural is open to the eyes and to our physical perception.

I like the source as it has the unsettling juxtaposition of the everyday and the mundane. In this case a moment of quite intimacy that is both recognizable and utterly alien.

It is also captured in the middle of a witch-hunt.   The moment when panic and fear is at its high point. Also calmness, control and detail.

People becoming absorbed and lost. Seeking comfort and escape from the eye of a storm in a range of differing ways.

A horror story. Entrancing, entertaining and at the time of its telling compulsively inviting.

People desired to play a part and act out this drama.

not to be foreseen or guarded against


An Unwelcome Thought

I desire the wood of allabair and argatbran, between fire and wall

I desire the three lean boars.

May a phantom come to meet me with the grain and milk of whoever it is on whom I cast it.

If this is destined for me, let it be grain and milk that I see.

If it is not destined for me, let it be wolves stags and wandering on the mountain and young warriors that I see.


Note: Cut, paste, repeat alter.

Whats to be determined as the unfortunate event here?

It clearly does not lie in either vision of the future.


Trying to convince myself that noting an encounter with a trout with occult properties may not meet a legal definition of misfortune is not as foolish as thinking about it and making the relationship seems.

Using the thought to alter the way I think about the poem does not seem as bad. It feels like a retrospective act of deceit but looks like an idea. For the moment that’s enough.