Mary Moore’s Wonderfull News from
Marion Gibson also seems more minded
The case began as
http://roy25booth.blogspot.com/2008/04/wise-virgin-martha-hatfield-1652.html , Margare
Mary Moore and her niece (who may be daugh
Was Mary Moore really
These imaginary friends
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There is a notable stylistic feature in Mary Moore’s pamphlet: chronic ambiguity about the preceding direct object of pronouns: “alas, she sayd I have two weeks and two days yet before my Comforters come, which made her enemies thus cruell, that if it were in her power to take their lives she would…” Here Margaret is lamenting that her good angels are away on one of their dramatic but curiously scheduled absences, so her enemies Hutton and Swinow are attacking her: if it were in (Swinow’s) power to kill Margaret and various of her siblings, she would. But the persistent grammatical ambiguity seems expressive of the ambiguity of the situation: Margaret and her mother want the power to take the lives of Swinow and her allies.
Here’s another example, where young Margaret is “In the Chamber, where the Spectators heard her for two houres, most divinely and heavenly discourse with them … praying for her enemy DOROTHY SWINOW, with the teares running downe her face, that if the Lord had mercy in store to grant her it, lamenting the sad condition she had run her soule into, for satisfying her malice to lessen her hope of eternity…” The godly and edified neighbours briefly flicker into the gawping spectators at a show; and Mary Moore’s string of ‘her’ pronouns subverts the pamphlet against Dorothy Swinow into something like the counter-pamphlet that might have come from ‘her enemy’, in which young Margaret is the sorceress whose malice has imperilled her soul.
Despite the accumulated evidence from the children, all the witnesses to their torments, the voided virginal wires and the rest, the magistracy duck and weave about committing Dorothy Swinow, who lives conveniently for them over the county border in Durham. These legal pretexts for inaction leave Margaret and her mother ‘crying for justice’. In another fit, Margaret addresses her good angels in a complaint about how “that Godlesse theife DOROTHY SWINOW, by the instigation of the Divell, had hardned the heart of both Judges and Justices against her, and now at this instant (sayd she) is using meanes to harden her husbands heart against her too (which she knows will be cruellest to her of all”.
Hutton ‘the rogue’ was elderly, and died in prison. In a strange mirror to the main story, a confessing witch called Margaret White testified that she and her sister Jane, and Dorothy Swinow, had all been witches together. In this case, perhaps aware that this Jane Martin was just the sister of an illiterate woman, and backed by no gentry family, the justices did act, and her own sister’s accusation led to Jane Martin being hanged.
Swinow’s only son had married
Two women were ba