An Indictment

 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:

The King's sworn officers maintain upon their oaths that Rose Cullender late of Lowestoft in the aforesaid county, widow, on the Second day of February in the 14th year of the reign of our Lord Charles the Second King of England Scotland France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith etc., being a common witch and enchantress not having God before her eyes but moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil did at the aforesaid Lowestoft in the aforesaid county violently unlawfully diabolically and feloniously use practise and employ certain evil and diabolical  fascinations (in English "witchcrafts") and Incantations (in English "Enchantments") on one Susan(na) Chandler spinster then and there living in the peace of God and the said Lord King and by the aforesaid eveil and diaboloical witchcrafts and enchantments then and there did feloniously bewitch and enchant her by which diabolical witchcrafts and enchantments aforesaid the aforesaid Susan(na) Chandler spinster from the aforesaid second day of February of the above mentioned year to the day of the holding of this inquisition at Lowestoft aforesaid in the aforesaid county has languished and languishes still and is greatly wasted in her/his body and is consumed to the injury of the same Susan(na) Chandler and in breach of the peace of the said Lord King now crowned and of his priviledges and also in breach of the form of the Statute given forth and provided for such cases.

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 . . . .

The original Indictments are now in the Public Record Office, London.  (ASSI/16/4/1)