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58 Accordingly, about ten o’clock at night, she gave orders for Montgomery, and a young man who was accidently there, to go to the cow-house, turn their waistcoats inside out, and, in that dress, to stand close by the head of the cow until they heard from her. They immediately went out, and did as she desired, whilst Montgomery’s wife, his son, a lad about 20 years of age, and an old woman, who was a lodger, remained in the house to watch the astrologer’s operations. She then caused the door to be shut, the chimney to be stopped, and every crevice that could admit air to be carefully closed up. “Montgomery, the father, and the young man who went into the cow-house, remained there for several hours, until it was daylight. The young man then went and knocked at the door, but not receiving any answer, he looked through a window, and beheld the four persons within lying stretched on the floor. They immediately broke open the door, when they found the mother and son both dead, and the other two nearly so. They carried out the two former, but in doing so, the young man had nearly lost his life, by the sulphurous vapour that filled the house. One of them expired in a few hours, but Mary Butters, the sorceress, recovered, and has been committed to jail. “It is not known what stratagems she employed to work her pretended enchantment, but the people who went into the house found a pot on the fire, in which were needles, large pins, and crooked nails, with a quantity of milk. Little doubt can be entertained that she had been burning sulphur, and that the vapour from it proved fatal to the sufferers. A coroner’s inquest has been held, and the following is a copy of their verdict- “It is the opinion of the Jury, that the deceased Elizabeth Montgomery came by her death from suffocation, occasioned by a woman named Mary Butters, in her making use of some noxious ingredients, in the manner of a charm to recover a cow.” The report of the inquest upon the other bodies was similar. Belfast Newsletter, 15 April 1808. Court Report from the Carrickfergus County Assizes: ‘Mary Butters, the Carnmoney witch, was discharged by proclamation.’

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