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Jeake, Samuel (1652–1699), merchant and astrologer, was born on 4 July 1652 at Rye, Sussex, the first son of Samuel Jeake the elder (1623–1690), lawyer and nonconformist preacher, and his wife, Frances Hartridge (d. 1654), daughter of Thomas and Mary Hartridge. His siblings all died in infancy, and as an only son he lived alone with his father until his marriage in 1680. His father was a major figure in the religious life of ...

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Saffold, Thomas (bap. 1620?, d. 1691), astrologer and nostrum seller, was probably the son of Thomas and Mary Saffold who was baptized at West Hanningfield, Essex, on 14 September 1620; his brother James was living at Tillingham, 15 miles away in Essex, seventy years later. ...

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Shaw, Christian (b. c. 1685, d. in or after 1737), witch accuser and thread manufacturer, was the daughter of the laird of Bargarran, Renfrewshire, whose first name is unrecorded. According to a contemporary account (A True Narrative), when she was eleven years old she began to experience alarming symptoms, not only suffering mysterious fits, during which her body became as stiff as a board, her belly swelled, and her eyes rolled back into her head, but also vomiting balls of hair, pins, and hot embers. She had hallucinations too. The devil himself reportedly appeared before her and to the amazement of all beholders she engaged in complicated theological arguments with him, citing biblical texts with surprising accuracy. She also had lengthy discussions with a series of invisible tormentors whom she described as witches. They nipped and bit her, she said, pointing to the marks they had left. Questioned as to their identity, she named various local men and women, and this was to have catastrophic consequences....