Agnes Waterhouse (1503 – 1566) was the first woman executed for witchcraft in England.
She was accused, along with 2 other women- Elizabeth Francis and her daughter, Joan Waterhouse. The actual trial notes are confusing, but what it boils down to is this:
Elizabeth Francis confessed to having a familiar- a cat named Satan. She received the cat from her grandmother- who taught her witchcraft as a child.
Elizabeth had a close relationship with Satan and it spoke to her in exchange for drops of blood. She also said the cat helped her kill people, terminate pregnancies and instructed her to steal cattle (reminds me of Toonces- anyone remember him?)
Here’s the best part- Elizabeth gave Agnes the cat in exchange for cake. Priorities, priorities. Agnes tested the cat’s witchy abilities and had it kill one of her pigs. After arguing with her neighbors- she had him kill their cows and geese.
Joan Waterhouse testified next- she confessed to giving it a whirl with Satan when her mother was out. At this point in the story- Satan had transformed himself into a toad. When Joan was refused food from a neighbor’s child- Satan the toad offered to help in exchange for her soul. Joan agreed to the deal- and the toad, now a dog with horns, harassed the child. This child, in turn, testified that the black dog with horns asked her for butter (I’m not making this up) and when she refused, Satan promised she would die. When the child asked who the master’s “dame” was- he indicated that it was, in fact, Agnes Waterhouse. And THIS, my friends, was the evidence that convicted poor Agnes. Toads, butter, dogs, horns, a child’s word.
Two days after the trial, Agnes was executed. In her final words- she said she had prayed often, but always in Latin because Satan forbid her to pray in English.
I think everyone involved ate some liberty cap mushrooms.