Copyright (c) 2018 American Name Society
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Matthew Hopkins, England’s most notorious witch hunter, rested his reputation on his experience in confronting the supernatural. To this end, he greatly exaggerated the intensity of his first encounter with an accused witch, Elizabeth Clarke. In Hopkins’ account, Clarke mentioned a familiar named Grizzel Greedigut. But earlier publications show that this did not happen, and that Hopkins appropriated the name from the dubious confession of another woman, Joan Wallis. Today, we have largely accepted Grizzel Greedigut as a bizarre, nonsensical name, but it would not have been all that absurd at the time. Grizzle often described grey animals, and Grissel was a fairly popular name, an abbreviation of Grisilde. Greedigut meant ‘glutton,’ and was the name English colonials used for the American anglerfish. Without knowing more about the name’s historical context, we fall for Hopkins’ cynical ploy to maximize the strangeness of his encounter.
- A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches, arraigned and executed in the County of Essex. 1645. London: M.S. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/details/atrueandexactrelation1645
- Baker, Emerson W. 2015. A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bernard, Richard. 1627. A Guide to Grand-Jury Men. London: Felix Kingston. [See endnote 11.]
- Blakeway, Amy. 2016. “‘Newes from Scotland’ in England, 1559–1602.” Huntingdon Library Quarterly 79. no. 4: 533–559.
- Bush, Fred. 2003. “Pyewacket: Names Familiar and Unfamiliar.” Strange Horizons, 17 Feb. 2003. Accessed May 27, 2019. http://strangehorizons.com/non-fiction/articles/pyewacket-names-familiar-and-unfamiliar/
- Coates, Richard. 2013. “Pyewacket: A Familiar Spirit of the Witchfinder General.” Names 61. no. 4: 212–218.
- Cox, Barbara & Scott Forbes. 2013. Witches, Wizards, and Dark Magic. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group.
- Cox, Nicholas. 1686. The Gentleman’s Recreation. 3rd edition. London: Freeman Collins. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/gentlemansrecrea00coxn
- Davenport, John. 1646. The Witches of Huntingdon, Their Examinations and Confessions; exactly taken by his Majesties Justices of Peace for that County. Whereby will appear how craftily and dangerously the Devill tempteth and seizeth on poore soules. London: W. Wilson. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/01HuntingdonWitchesMedRes/01-Huntingdon%20Witches%20MedRes
- Davies, S.F., ed. 2007. The Discovery of Witches and Witchcraft. Brighton: Puckrel Publishing.
- Field, Irving A. 1907. Unutilized Fishes and Their Relation to the Fishing Industries (Bureau of Fisheries Document No. 622). Washington: Government Printing Office. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/unutilizedfishes00fiel
- Gaskill, Malcolm. 2005. Witchfinders: A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Gaskill, Malcolm. 2008. “Witchcraft and Evidence in Early Modern England.” Past & Present 198: 33–70.
- Gaskill, Malcolm. 2009. “Fear Made Flesh: The English Witch Panic of 1645–1647.” In Moral Panics, the Media and the Law in Early Modern England, edited by David Lemmings and Claire Walker, 78–96. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle, & Flavia Hodges. 2012. ‘Grizel.’ In A Dictionary of First Names (2 ed.), online edition. http://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780198610601.001.0001
- Hill, Christopher. 1991. The World Turned Upside Down (paperback). London: Penguin Books.
- Hole, Christina. 1957. A Mirror of Witchcraft. London: Chatto & Windus.
- Hopkins, Matthew. 1647. The Discovery of Witches. London: R. Royston.
- Kilbourne, Frederick Wilkinson. 1916. Chronicles of the White Mountains. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin. OED Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed May 27, 2019. http://www.oed.com/
- Rosen, Barbara. 1991. Witchcraft in England, 1558–1618. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
- Rouse, W.H.D. 1904. Shakespeare’s Ovid. London: De La More Press. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/shakespearesovid00oviduoft
- Serpell, James A. 2002. “Guardian Spirits or Demonic Pets: The Concept of the Witch’s Familiar in Early Modern England, 1530–1712.” In The Animal/Human Boundary: Historical Perspectives, edited by Angela N.H. Creager & William Chester Jordan, 157–190. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.
- Sharpe, James. 2001. “The Devil in East Anglia: the Matthew Hopkins Trials Reconsidered.” In Witchcraft in the British Isles and New England, edited by Brian P. Levack, 323–340. NewYork: Routledge.
- Stearne, John. 1648. A Confirmation and Discovery of Witch Craft. London: William Wilson. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/confirmationdisc00steauoft
- The Witches of Northamptonshire. 1612. Witches. London: Thomas Purfoot.
- Thomas, Thomas. 1644. Thomae Thomasii Dictionarium. London: Iohannis Legati. https://books.google.com/books?id=SwplAAAAcAAJ
- Weir, Alison. 2008. Henry VIII (paperback). New York: Ballantine Books.
- Wilby, Emma. 2000. “The Witch’s Familiar and the Fairy in Early Modern England and Scotland.” Folklore 111. no. 4: 283–305.
- Wilby, Emma. 2005. Cunning Folk and Familiar Spirits. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press.
- Wood, William. 1634. New Englands Prospect. London: Thomas Cotes. Accessed May 27, 2019. https://archive.org/stream/newenglandsprosp01wood