Anne Whittle, alias Old ChattoxThe second matriarch was Anne Whittle, alias Old Chattox. Around the same age as Demdike, she lived through the trial and was hanged with the rest of the witches. Potts describes her by saying, "the repetition of her hellish practices and Revenge; being the chiefest of things wherein she always took great delight." (Potts, 32) She was reputed to have been named Chattox because her lips chattered when she walked and she mumbled slightly to herself. No one could understand what she was saying so they believed she was constantly cursing them.
In Chattox's confession she made a great protest that she was seduced into witchcraft by Demdike, as they used to be great friends before the feud broke out. She made her pact with her familiar at Demdike's house and after Demdike's insistence, "She yielded to be at his commandment and appointment; whereupon the said wicked Spirit then said unto her that he must have one part of her body for him to suck upon, the which at first, she refused to assent unto; but after, by the great persuasion made by the said Demdike, she yielded to be at his commandment and appointment where upon the said wicked Spirit said unto her… that he would have a place of her right side near to her ribs for him to suck upon." (Potts, 22)
The devil also told her that his name was Fancie, a name one would typically imagine a child would pick out, not a fearless devil bent on destruction and violence. The name suggests a simplicity or innocence on the part of the familiar aiding in the disillusionment of the witch.
The description of her slide into damnation continues with something similar to a sabbat in that Demdike's familiar, Tibb, appears in the form of a spotted dog and the two devils provide their new witches with a feast. Fancie appears to Chattox in the shape of a man, same as Demdike's familiar first appeared in human form, but then Tibb comes as a dog while Fancie stays as a man. Once again, the description is similar to James I's definition of a sabbat. Chattox describes the feast that the devils bring as the same as any other but stresses the point that, "although they did eat, they were never the fuller, nor better for the same." (Potts, 22)
This is similar to the common description of fairy food and how no matter what or how much people eat of it, they are never satisfied. This follows James' idea that the Devil has no real ability, "all these things are but deluding of the senses, and no ways true in substance… for that is the difference between God's miracles and the Devils, God is a creator, what he makes appear in miracle, it is so in effect." Once again, the witches are misled and taken advantage of by a devil that only uses them for his evil purposes.
Copyright © 2007 Shannon L. Meyer, University of Nebraska, Lincoln