Judge Hale’s papers concerning witches

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 123 DWL/RB/1/56
  • Former Reference
      GB 123 Treatises ii.46
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      ff 284-290. 300 x 196 mm.

Scope and Content

Containing the depositions of witnesses, respecting witchcraft, alleged to have been committed upon the children of Samuel Pacey of Lowestoft, and other particulars of the trial (at Norwich) 13 March 1661-(2), f 290v: ‘Judge Hales his Papers concerning Witches. 1676.’


See Cobbet’s State Trials, 1810, vi.647 ff for this case. From section 2 (col. 690 ff) the MS and the printed versions are substantially the same. The MS is defective at the beginning but evidently differed considerably from section 1 in the printed version. The date, ‘1665’ in State Trials is an error for 1661 (i.e. 1662).

Other Finding Aids

Argent / Black ii.46; Thomas p,16

Custodial History

Pagination 3-16. A fairly written narrative of which the first leaf is wanting and pp. 3-4 have been reversed by the binder


  • See Baxter’s last publication during his lifetime, The certainty of the worlds of spirits. Fully evinced by the unquestionable histories of apparitions, operations, witchcrafts, voices, &c. Proving the immortality of souls (1691). (AGM 135), p. 80.
  • For Sir Matthew Hale (1609-76) see Corr 443, 764, 901A, 939, 994, 1041, 1091, 1094, 1095, 1127, 1179 and 1232, Rel. iii. 34, 47-8, 175-6, 181, ODNB, Gilbert Burnet’s hagiographical The Life and Death of Sir Matthew Hale (1682) and Baxter’s Additional notes on the life and death of Sir Matthew Hale (1682) (AGM 110).