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6 W.D. Killen (ed), A True Narrative of the Rise and Progress of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (1623-1670) by the Rev Patrick Adair (Belfast, 1866).4 (p. 299) ‘Mr James Shaw, a zealous worthy preacher, was laid by, through sickness, this strange afflicting trouble coming on his family after the death of his wife. There had been great ground of jealousy that she, in her childbed, had been wronged by sorcery of some witches in the parish. After her death, a considerable time, some spirit or spirits troubled the house by casting stones down at the chimney, appearing to the servants, and especially having got one of them, a young man, to keep appointed times and places, wherein it appeared in divers shapes and spake audibly to him. The people of the parish watched the house while Mr Shaw at this time lay sick in bed; and, indeed, he did not wholly recover, but within a while died, it was thought, not without the art of sorcery; though otherwise he was not only valetudinary, but broken (p.300) with melancholy’. Minutes of the Antrim Presbytery Meeting, 3 September 1672, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), D1759/1A/12, p. 54. ‘Carmoney: Mr James Shaw having recommended to this meeting one George Russell a servant of his who had conferred with that spirit that troubled Mr James Shaw as that the bretherene might speak to the s[ai]d George. He being cited … confessed his conversing and conferring with that spirit which appeared to him and his keeping trist with it and conjuring it by drawing circles and other circumstances att the demand and direct[tio]ne of the s[ai]d spirit. The bretherene finding in the [?] carriage of the boy much ignorance and a bold confidence and finding the hazard he was in by the s[ai]d spirit, they laboured to make him sensible off his sinfull carriage [,] warned him off [sic] his danger and recommended to him the studye knowledge and to pray and discharged him [not] to converse any such way in tyme coming with the said spirit under what pretence so ever, which he promised and the bretheren did resolve to deal further with him afterward to bring him to more sense of his sine and danger.’ Murder of suspected witch in Antrim Town, 1698 [Back to Contents] In Antrim town in May 1698, the inaction of local agents of law enforcement led to the murder of an old woman by a mob who believed she had bewitched a nine-year-old girl.5 The below extract from Daniel Higgs’ pamphlet about the case is the only known published 4 Patrick Adair was remembering the year 1672. 5 See, Andrew Sneddon, Witchcraft and Magic in Ireland (forthcoming, Palgrave Macmillan).

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