The Fearfull Vexation of Alexander Nyndge

Compiled by Steven Connor as part of The Dumbstruck Archive, a continuing, online supplement to Dumbstruck: A Cultural History of Ventriloquism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

At Lieringswell in Suff. the .xx. daye of Januarie. In the XV yere of the Reigne of our most gracious Queene Elyzabeth

The first fit and vexation, of Alexander Ninge, began the day and yere aboue saide, about vii. of the clock at night. His Father, Mother, and Brothers, with the residue of the householde being present: his cheste and bodie swellinge, with his eyes staring, & his back bendinge inward to his bellie: whereat the brothers had meruell at the first, yet one of his brothers named Edwarde Nyndge Master of Art, beying bolder than other of the companye certainlye perswading him selfe that it was some euill Spirit that so molested him, recomforted him with mercifull wordes of the holye scripturres, and also charged the Spirit by the death and passion of Ihesus Christ, that it should declare the cause of that torment. Wher at the countenance of the [A2b] same Alexander tourned more straung and fearfull then it was before: & so retourned to his former state againe. Then Alexander Nindge hauing his speache at lybertie, said vnto the same Edwarde, brother hee is marueilous afrayd of you therefore I praye you stande by mee. with which wordes the same Edward was the more bolde, and said to Alexander, if thou doest earnestlie repent thee of thy sinnes and pray to God for the forgeuenes of the same (my life for thyne) the Deuill cannot hurt thee, no rather then hee should I will go to Hell with thee, then this Spirit racked the saide Alexander more cruelly for a small time. Then they carried the same Alexander downe the chaumber willing him to caulle to God for grace, and ernestly repent him, and onlye to put his trust in Ihesus Christ. And then wee sette him in a Chaire desiryng his father to sende for all his neighbours to helpe to pray for him. the Spirit then againe tering him monstrouslie transforming his body, plucking his mouth a waye, mouing him by vyolence out of the Chayer, then the said Edwarde, with one Thomas Wakefeelde [A3a] layde hands on Alexander and helde him in the Chayre, all that were in the house prayyng ernestly. And then the said Edward chargyng the Spirit with these wordes. Thou foule Feinde, I coniure thee, in the name of Ihesus our sauyour the sonne of almightie God that thou speake vnto vs.

 Wher at the Spirit tranceformed hym verye owglye agaynst his chest, swellynge upwarde to this throte, pluckynge his bellye iuste to his backe and so seased a tyme.

 Alexander Nindge beyng somewhat rested, vttered these wordes. Sirs hee will speake with mee, I praye you let him not speake with mee, then the syade Edwarde, sayde: wee wyll pray to God that hee may not speake with you, whereupon all that were present, did praie earnestly, wher at the Spirit began to ter him most rufully, and swelled sore in the chest, here at, & then vttered in a base soundnige or hollow voyce these wordes I woll I woll I woll, then the saide Edward said thou shalt not, and I charg theee in the name of Ihesus Christ, that thou speake vunto vs and not vnto him, then the Spirit said in [A3b] a hollow voyce, why didst thou tell them, why dist thou tell them, then the sayd Edward did charge the Spirit. Ut supra. To tell vs the cause of his cominge, and why he did torment his brother, to the which the Spirit answered, I come for his soule, then the said Edward saide vunto the Spirit, we haue a warrant in the Holy Scripture, that such as do ernestly repent them of their sinnes, and torne vnto God with thonly hope of Saluacion, thorowe the merits of Ihesus Christ, thou maist not haue them for Christ is his redemer, then the Spirit vttered sounding in a Base, hollow voice these wordes. Christ that was my redemer, then Edward saide, Christ that is his redemer, not thy redemer, but my brother Alexander hys redemer, then the Spirit saide in his hollow voice, I will haue his soule and body to, and so begane to racke the same Alexander and disfygure more horribly, than he did before & heued ye same Alexander from the grounf by force inuycible, the said Edward Nindg, Thomas Nindge, Thomas Wakefeld, Thomas Goldsmithe, William Myles, and William Nyndge, Junier, hangyng vpon the [A4a]

A Booke declaringe the fearfull vexation, of one Alexander Nyndge, beynge most horriblye tormented wyth an euyll Spirit the xx. date of Januarie...In the yere of our Lorde, 1573, at Lyeringswell in Suffolk... (London: primter Thomas Colwell, n.d. 1578?)