Newbury Witch

Newbury Witch (?–1763) An old woman, probably harmless, who was executed as a witch in 1763 by Cromwell’s soldiers, near Newbury in Berkshire. The soldiers reportedly saw the old woman sailing on a plank down the river kennet—by some accounts, the soldiers claimed she was walking on the water—and captured her as a witch and tried to shoot her.

According to a 17th-century pamphlet, “with a deriding and loud laughter at them, she caught their bullets in her hands and chewed them.” The soldiers then “blooded” her, a custom of the times in which a witch’s forehead was slashed in the belief that the bleeding would drain out her power. One of the men put his pistol under her ear and shot her, “at which she straight sank down and died.”



  • Maple, Eric. The Dark World of Witches. New York: A.S. Barnes & Co., 1962.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.


Witch Hunts in the Western World: Persecution and Punishment from the Inquisition through the Salem Trials - Brian A. Pavlac
Witchcraft, witch-hunting, and politics in early modern England - Elmer, Peter
The Hammer of Witches: A Complete Translation of the Malleus Maleficarum - Christopher S. Mackay
The Lancashire Witches: Histories and Stories - Robert Poole
Beyond the witch trials: witchcraft and magic in Enlightenment Europe -Owen Davies, Willem de Blécourt
The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe - Brian Levack
The European Witch-Hunt - Julian Goodare
Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft - Paul Boyer & Stephen Nissenbaum
The Path of the Devil: Early Modern Witch Hunts - Gary Jensen
Witch Hunts in Europe and America: An Encyclopedia - William E. Burns
Demonolatry - Nicholas Remy

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