‘The Eastern Counties of
Fishing boats form the lifeblood of many coastal villages. There are records showing a boat near Northrepps was burnt in the 19th century because it was held to be bewitched.
Of course with prevention, many cures are sure to follow to help those poor unfortunates who are unlucky enough to be found suffering from the effects of witchcraft. Here is one, somewhat complicated remedy used in
The Rev. Wm Forby was very specific in how ‘the malignant influence of a known witch’, could be recognised. ‘A child is afflicted with an obstinate ague, a great many worms or any pining sickness…a calf may be dizzy, or a cow be “tail shotten”, or have “gargot” or “red water”, so that it may be reasonably be concluded to be bewitched’.
Forby recommended the following to deal with these horrible symptoms. ‘The most effective remedy or mode of exorcism is to take a quantity of the patient’s urine and boil it with nine nails from as many old horseshoes’..
Forby suggested that the process should begin exactly at and nothing should be touched or said by the person conducting the cure or his/her assistant. ‘A single word mars the whole charm’. So the cure had to be done by conveying signs. ‘At a certain critical point in the process, when 3, 5 or 7 of the nails have been put in motion at once by the force of the boiling fluid… the spirit is cast out’.
One would know when the cure has worked because ‘The child “squalls”, the cow “blores” or the calf “blares” and convalescence immediately commences.'
This remedy is said to have been used, albeit unsuccessfully, on a child by one
(Source - Glyde, Jarrold and Sons,1872)
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