Anonymous - Trial of Manningtree Witches in Chelmsford 1645 (134.0 Kb)
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Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex. Who were arraigned and condemned at the late Sessions, holden at Chelmesford before the Right Honorable ROBERT,Earle of Warwicke, and severall of his Majesties Justices of Peace, the 29 of July, 1645. Wherein the severall murthers, and devillish Witchcrafts, committed on the bodies of men, women, and children, and divers cattell, are fully discovered.Thou hast here presented to thee a sad emblem of ... More >>>
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Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex. Who were arraigned and condemned at the late Sessions, holden at Chelmesford before the Right Honorable ROBERT,Earle of Warwicke, and severall of his Majesties Justices of Peace, the 29 of July, 1645. Wherein the severall murthers, and devillish Witchcrafts, committed on the bodies of men, women, and children, and divers cattell, are fully discovered.
Thou hast here presented to thee a sad emblem of the strange sleights and cunning subtilties, whereby Satan labours daily to in snare soules, and at last to bring them to utter ruine who being that grand impostor, soone began this worke, even in the morning of the Creation, in the body of a Serpent miraculously, to reason, dispute, speake, and conferre with Evah and never ceased till he had laid the honour of those glorious creatures in the dust: and therefore is called that Old Serpent, that deceiveth all the world, by whose deceitfull promises and subtill devices (for his own end, and desire of their destruction,) hath in snared and drawne these poore silly creatures, into these horrid and detestable practises, of renouncing God and Christ, and entring into a solemne league and contract with the Devill the thought where of is sufficient to cause a man to be filled with horror and astonishment. The Law and expresse command of god doth allow of no familiarity or inquiry of any other spirit, but from himselfe as Isa. 8. 19. And when they shall say unto you, seeke unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto Wizards, that peep and that mutter, should not a people seeke unto their God.
"Anonymous" of course means "without a name" and is used when the author is not known--or sometimes, when a story develops out of an oral tradition over generations with possibly many storytellers contributing to and revising the tale before it is finally written down and becomes literature.
A notable amount of ancient and medieval literature is anonymous. This is not only due to the lack of documents from a period, but also due to an interpretation of the author's role that differs considerably from the romantic interpretation of the term in use today. Ancient and Medieval authors were often overawed by the classical writers and the Church Fathers and tended to re-tell and embellish stories they had heard or read rather than invent new stories. And even when they did, they often claimed to be handing down something from an auctor instead. From this point of view, the names of the individual authors seemed much less important, and therefore many important works were never attributed to any specific person.