Written in Latin - the formal Bills of Indictment encapsulated the charges against the accused. These were drawn up at the Assize and were the only "official" court record. This is one of the fourteen Indictments against Amy Denny and Rose Cullender. This formally accuses Rose Cullender of bewitching Susan Chandler. Because the Indictments were the embodiment of the charges against the accused, they were laid out in a very strict and legally prescribed format. Translated, the above Indictment reads:
It is the Bills of Indictment that not only form a direct link with the proceedings at the Assize but also give a glimpse of the immediacy of the proceedings. The Indictments were drawn up before the trial, but as the events in the courtroom unfolded the Clerk of the court endorsed the document accordingly in hastily scribbled Latin contractions (these can be seen at the top centre of the document).
The first contractions is po se which is short for ponit se super patriam de bono et malo. This is the plea of "not guilty" entered by the accused woman.
The next word is cul short for culpabilis. This is the the "guilty" verdict of the jury.
Next come the contraction ca nu short for catalla nulla - indicating that the woman had no good to forfeit. Felons who were found guilty and had goods or chattels worth more than £10 forfeited them to the Crown.
Finally, comes the chilling sus per coll short for suspendendae per collum - this is the sentence of the Judge "to be hanged by the neck". These three short Latin words effectively marked the end of an innocent human life . . . .