James Sharpe

Knowledge and Truth

Reading Witchcraft: Stories of Early English Witches


Routledge 233pp £45 hbk £14.99 pbk order from our bookshop

On 18 March 1612 Alizon Device was out begging near Colne in Lancashire, when she met a pedlar called John Law. The pedlar refused the young woman’s request that he should show her his wares, and when Alizon grew angry with him, a black dog appeared and offered to harm the pedlar on her behalf. When Alizon said ‘lame him’, the dog promptly did so. The left side of Law’s body was paralysed, and, as a result, Alizon Device was tried and subsequently executed for witchcraft at the Lancaster assizes a few months later.

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