A true Discourse
Declaring the damnable life
and death of one Stubbe Peeter, a most
wicked Sorcerer, who in the likenes of a
Woolfe, committed many murders, continuing this
diuelish practise 25. yeeres, killing and deuouring
Men, Woomen, and
Who for the same fact was taken
and executed the 31. of October
neer the Cittie of Collin
Trulye translated out of the high Duch, according to the Copie printed in Collin, brought ouer into England by George Bores ordinary Poste, the xj. daye of this present Moneth of Iune 1590. who did both see and heare the same.
Printed for Edward Venge, and are to be
solde in Fleet street at the signe of the
A most true Discourse,
declaring the life and death of one
Stubbe Peeter, being a most
Those whome the Lord dooth leaue to followe the Imagination of their own hartes, dispising his proffered grace, in the end through the hardnes of hart and contempt of his fatherly mercy, they enter the right path to perdicion and destruction of body and soule for euer : as in this present historie in perfect sorte may be seene, the strangenes whereof, together with the cruelties committed, and the long time therein continued, may driue many in doubt whether the same be truth or no, and the ratherfore that sundry falce & fabulous matters haue heertofore passed in print, which hath wrought much incredulitie in ye harts of all men generally, insomuch that now a daies fewe thinges doo escape be it neuer so certain, but that it is embased by the tearm of a lye or falce reporte. In the reading of this story, therefore I doo first request reformation of opinion, next patience to peruse it, because it is published for examples sake, and lastly to censure thereof as resaon and wisdome dooth think conueniet, considereing the subtilty that Sathan vseth to work on the soules destruction, and the great matters which the accursed practise of Sorcery dooth efect, the fruites whereof is death and destruction for euer, and yet in all ages practised by the reprobate and wicked of the earth, some in one sort and some in another euen as the Deuill, who was a murderer from the beginning, whose life and eath and most bloody practises the discourse following dooth make iust reporte. In the townes of Cperadt and Bedbur neer vnto collin in high Germany, there was continually brought vp and nourished one Stubbe Peeter, who from his youth was greatly inclined to euill, and the practising of wicked Artes euen from twelue yeers of age till twentye, and so forwardes till his dying daye, insomuch that surfeiting in the Damnable desire of magick, negromancye, and sorcery, acquainting him selfe with many infernall spirites and feendes, insomuch that forgetting ye God that made him, and that Sauiour that shed his blood for mans redemption : In the end, careles of saluation gaue both soule and body to the deuil for euer, for small carnall pleasure in this life, that he might be famous and spoken of on earth, though he lost heauen thereby. The Deuill who hath a readye eare to listen to the lewde motions of cursed men, promised to give vnto him whatsoeuer his hart desired during his mortall life : whereupon this vilde wretch neither desired riches nor promotion, nor was his fancy satisfied with any externall of outward pleaure, but hauing a tirannous hart, and a most cruell bloody minde, he only requested that at his plesure he might woork his mallice on men, Women, and children, in the shape of some beast, wherby he might liue wihtout dread or danger of life, and vnknowen to be the executor of any bloody enterprise, which he meant to commit: TheDeuill who sawe him a fit instrumet to perfourm mischeefe as a wicked feend pleased with the desire of wrong and destruction, gaue vnto him a girdle which being put about him, he was straight transfourmed into the likenes of a greedy deuouring Woolf, strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkeled like vnto brandes of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharpe and cruell teeth, A huge body, and mightye pawes : And no sooner should he put off the same girdle, but presently he should appeere in his former shape, according to the proportion of a man, as if he hadneuer beene changed.
Stubbe Peeter heerwith was exceedingly well pleased, and the shape fitted his fancye and agreeed best with his nature, being inclined to blood and crueltye, therefore satisfied with this strange and diuelish gifte, for that it was not troublesome nor great in cariage, but that it might be hidden in a small room, he proceeded to the execution of sundry most hainous and vilde murders, for if any person displeased him, he would incontinent thirst for reuenge, and no sooner should they or any of theirs walke abroad in the feeldes or about the Cittie, but in the shape of a Woolfe he would presentlye incounter them, and neuer rest till he had pluct out their throates and teare their ioyntes a sunder : And after he had gotten a taste heerof, he tooke such pleasure and delight in shedding of blood, that he would night and day walke the Feelds, and work extreame cruelties. And sundry times he would goe through the Streetes of Collin, Bedbur, and Cperadt, in comely habit, and very ciuilly as one well knowen to all the inhabitants therabout, & oftentimes was he saluted of those whose feendes and children he had buchered, though nothing suspected for the smae. In these places, I say, he would walke vp & down, and if he could spye either Maide, Wife or childe, that his eyes liked or his hart lusted after, he would waite their issuing out of ye Cittie or town, if he could by any meanes get them alone, he would in the feeldes rauishe them, and after in his Wooluishe likenes cruelly murder them : yea often it came to passe that as he walked abroad in the feeldes, if he chaunste to spye a companye of maydens playing together, or else a milking of their Kine, in his Woolusihe shape he would incontinent runne among them, and while the rest escaped by flight, he would be sure to laye holde of one, and after his filthy lust filfilled, he would murder he presentlye, beside, if he had liked or knowne any of them, looke who he had a minde vnto, her he would pursue, whether she were before or behinde, and take her from the rest, for such was his swiftnes of foot while he continued a woolf : that he would outrunne the swiftest greyhound in that Countrye : and so muche he had practised this wickednes, that ye whoel Prouince was feared by the cruelty of this bloody and deuouring Woolfe. Thus continuing his diuelishe and damnable deedes within the compas of fewe yeeres, he had murdered thirteene yong Children, and two goodly yong women bigge with Child, tearing the Children out of their wombes, in the most bloody and sauedge sorte, and after eate their hartes panting hotte and rawe, which he accounted dainty morsells & best agreeing to his Appetite.
Moreour he vsed many times to kill Lambes and Kiddes and such like beastes, feeding on the same most vsually raw and bloody, as if he had beene a naturall Woolfe indeed, so that all men mistrusted nothing lesse then this his diuelish Sorcerie.
He had at that tiem liuing a faire yong Damosell to his Daughter, after whom he also lusted most vnnaturallye, and cruellye committed most wicked inceste with her, a most groce and vilde sinne, far surmounting Adultrye or Fornication, though the least of the three dooth driue the soule inot hell fier, except hartye repentance, and not altogither so wickedlye giuen, who was called by the name of commendacions of all those that knewe her : And such was his inordinate lust and filthye desire toward her, that he begat a Childe by her, dayly vsing her as his Concubine, but as an insaciate and filthy beast, giuen ouer to woork euil, with greedines he also lay by as the wickednes of his hart lead him : Moreour being on a time sent for to a Gossip of his there to make merry and good cheere, ere he thence departed he so wunne the woman by his faire and flattering speech, and so much preuailed, yt ere he departed the house : he lay by here and euer after had her companye at his commaund, this woman had to name Katherine Trompin, a woman of tall and comely stature of exceeding good fauour and one that was well esteemed among her neighbours. But his lewde and inordinary lust bing not satisfied with the company of many Concubines, nor his wicked fancye contented with the beauty of any woman, at length the deuill sent vnto him a wicke dspirit in the similitude and likenes of a woman, so faire of face and comelye of personage, that she resembled rather some heavenly Helfin then any mortall creature, so farre her beauty exceeded the choisest sorte of women, and with her as with his harts delight, he kept company the space of seuen yeeres, though in the end she proued and was found indeed no other then a she Deuil, notwithstanding, this lewd sinne of lecherye did not any thing asswage his cruell and bloody minde, but continuing an insatiable bloodsucker, so great was the ioye he took therin, that he accouted no day spent in the pleasure wherin he had not shed some blood not respecting so much who he did murder, as how to murder and destroy them, as the matter ensuing dooth manifest, which may stand for a speciall note of a cruell and hart hart. For hauing a proper youth to his sonne, begotten in the flower and strength of his age, the firste fruite of his bodye, in whome he took such ioye, that he did commonly call him his Hartes ease, yet so farre his delight in murder exceeded the ioye he took in his only Sonne, that thirsting ater his blood, on a time he intice him into the feeldes, and from thence into a Forrest hard by, where making excuse to stay about the necessaries of nature, while the yong man went on forward, incontinent in the shape and likeness of a Woolfe he encountred his owne Sonne, and there most cruelly slewe him, which doon, he presently eat the brains out of his head as a most sauerie and dainty delycious meane to staunch his greedye apetite : the most monstrous act that euer man heard off, for neuer was knowen a wretch from nature so far degenerate.
Long time he continued this vilde and villanous life, sometime in the likenes of a Woolfe, sometime in the habit of a man, sometime in the Townes and Citties, and sometimes in the Woods and thickettes to them adioyning, whereas the duche coppye maketh mention, he on a time mette with two men and one woman, whom he greatly desired to murder, and the better to bring his diuelish purpose to effect, doubting by them to be ouermatched and knowing one of them by name, he vsed this pollicie to bring them to their end. In subtill sorte he conuayed himselfe far before them in their way and craftely couched out of their sight, but as soone as they approached neere the place where he lay, he called one of them by his name, the partye hearing him selfe called once or twice by his name, supposing it was some familiar freend that in iesting sorte stood out of his sight, went from his companye towarde the place from whence the voice proceeded, of purpose to see who it was, but he was no sooner entered within the danger of this transformed man, but incontinent he was murdered in ye place, the rest of his company staying for him, expecting still his returne, but finding his stay ouer long : the other man lefte the woman, and went to looke him, by which means the second man was also murdered, the woman then seeing neither of both returne againe, in hart suspected that some euill had fan vpon them, and therefore with all the power she had, she sought to saue her selfe by flight, though it nothing preuailed, for good soule she was also soone ouertake by this light footed Wolfe, whom when he had first deflowered, he after most cruelly murdered, then men were after found mangled in the wood, but the womans body was neuer after seene, for she the caitife had most rauenoulye deoured, whose fleshe he esteemed both sweet and dainty in taste.
Thus this damn able Stubbe Peeter liued the tearme of fiue and twenty yeeres, unsuspected to be Author of so many cruell and vnnaturall murders, in which time he had destroyed and spoyled an vnknowed number of Men, Women, and Children, sheepe, Lambes, and Goates : and other Catttell, for when he could not through the warines of people drawe men, Women, or Children in his danger, then like a cruell and tirannous beast he would woorke his cruelty on brut beasts in most sauadge sort, and did act more mischeefe and cruelty then would be credible, although high Germany hath been forced to taste the trueth thereof.
By which meanes the inhabitantes of Colling, Bedbur and Cperadt, seeing themselues so greeuously endaungered, palgued, and molested by this greedy & cruel Woolfe, who wrought continuall harme and mischeefe, insomuch that few or none durst trauell to or from those places without good prouision of defence, and all for feare of this deuouring and fierce woolf, for oftentimes the Inhabitants found the Armes & legges of dead Men, Women, and Children, scattered vp and down the feelds to their great greefe and vexation of hart, knowing the same to be doone by that strange and cruell Woolfe, whome by no meanes they could take or ouercome, so that if any man or woman mist their Childe, they were out of hope euer to see it again aliue, mistrusting straight that the Woolfe had destroyed it.
And heere is to be noted a most strange thing which setteth foorth the great power and mercifull prouidence of God to ye comfort of eache Christian hart. There were not long agoe certain small Children playing in a Medowe together hard by ye town, where also some sotre of kine were feeding, many of them hauing yong calues sucking upon the : and sodainly among these Children comes this vilde Woolfe running and caught a prittie fine Girle by the choller, with intent to pull out her throat, bu tsuch was ye will of God, that he could not pearce the choller of the Childes coate, being high and very well stiffened & close claspt about her neck, and therwithall the sodaine great crye of the rest of the childre which escaped, so amazed the cattell feeding by, that being fearfull to be robbed of their young, they altogether came running against the Woolfe with such force that he was presently compelled to let oge his holde and to run away to escape ye danger of their hornes, by which meanes the Childe was preserued from death, and God be thanked reamians liuing at this day.
And that this thing is true, Maister Tice Artine a Brewer dwelling at Puddlewharfe, in London, beeing a man of that Country borne, and one of good reputation and account, is able to iustifie, who is neere Kinsman to this Childe, and hath from thence twice reciued Letters conserning the same, and for that the firste Letter did rather drive him into wondering at the act then yeelding credit therunto, he had shortlye after at request of his writing another letter sent him, wherby he was more fully satisfied, and diuers other persons of great credit in London hath in like sorte receiued letters from their freends to the like effect.
Likewise in the townes of Germany aforesaid continuall praier was vsed vnto god that it would please hime to deliuer the from the danger of this greedy Woolfe.
And although they had practiced all the meanes that men could deuise to take the rauenous beast, yet vntill the Lord had determined his fall, they could not in any way preuaile : notwithstanding they daylye continued their purpose, and daylye sought to intrap him, and for that intent continually maintained great mastyes and Dogges of muche strength to hunt & chase the beast whersoeuer they could finde him. In the end it pleased God as they were in readines and prouided to meete with him, that they shoud espye him in his wooluishe likenes, at what time they beset him round about, and moste circumspectlye set their Dogges of muche strength to hunt & chase the beast whersoeuer they could finde him. In the end it pleased God as they were in readines and prouided to meete with him, that they should espye him in his wooluishe likenes, at what time they beset him round about, and moste circumspectlye set their Dogges vpon him, in such sort that there was no means to escape, at which aduantage they neuer could get him before, but as the Lord deliuered Goliah into ye handes of Dauid, so was this Woolfe brought in danger of these men, who seeing as I saide before no way to secape the imminent danger, being hardly pursued at the heeles presently he slipt his girdle from about him, wherby the sahpe of a Woolfe cleane auoided, and he appeered presently in his true shape & likeness, hauing inhis hand a staffe as one walking toward the Cittie, but the hunters whose eyes was stedfastly bent vpon the beast, and seeing him in the same place metamorphosed contrary to their expectation : it wrought a wonderfull amazement in their mindes, and had it not beene that they knewe the man soone as they sawe him, they had surely taken the same to haue beene some Deuill in a mans likenes, but for as much as they knewe him to be an auncient dweller in the Towne, they came vnto him, and talking with him they brought him by communication home to his owne house, and finding him to be the man indeede, and no delusion or phantasticall motion, they had him incontinent before the Maiestrates to be examined.
Thus being apprehended, he was shortly after put to the racke in the Towne of Bedbur, but fearing the torture, he volluntarilye confessed his while life, and made knowen the villanies which he had committed for the space of xxv.yeeres, also he cofessed how by Sorcery he procured of the Deuill a Girdle, which beeing put on, he forthwith became a Woolfe, which Girdle at his apprehension he confest he cast it off in a certain Vallye and there left it, whcih when the Maiestrates heard, they sent to the Vallye for it, but at their comming found nothing at al, for it may be supposed that it was gone to the deuil from whence it came, so that it was not to be found. For the Deuil hauing brought the wretch to al the shame he could, left him to indure the torments which his deedes deserued.
After he had some space beene imprisoned, the maiestrates fround out throught due examination of the matter, that his daughter Stubbe Beell and his Gossip Katherine Trompin, were both accessarye to diuers murders committed, who for the same as also for their leaud life otherwise committed, was arraigned, and with Stubbe Peeter condempned, and their seuerall Iudgementes pronounced the 28 of October 1589, in this manor, that is to saye : Stubbe Peeter as principall mallefactor, was iudged first to haue his body laide on a wheele, and with red hotte burning pincers in ten seueral places to haue the flesh puld off from the bones, after that his legges and Armes to be broken with a woodden Axe or Hatchet, afterward to haue his head strook from his body, then to haue his carkasse burnde to Ashes.
Also his Daughter and his Gossip were iudged to be burned quicke to Ashes, the same time and day with the carkasse of the aforesaid Stubbe Peeter. And on the 31. of the same moneth, they suffered death accordingly in the won of Bedbur in the presence of many peeres & princes of Germany.
Thus Gentle Reader haue I set down the true discourse of this wicked man Stub Peeter, which I desire to be a warning to all Sorcerers and Witches, which vnlawfully followe their owne diuelish imagination to the vtter ruine and destruction of their soules eternally, from which wicked and damnable practice, I beseech God keepe all good men, and from the crueltye of their wicked hartes. Amen.
After the execution, there was by the aduice of the Maiestrates of the town of Bedbur a high pole sut vp and stronglye framed, which first went throught ye wheel wheron he was broken, whereunto also it wsa fastened, after that a little aboue the Wheele the likenes of a Woolfe was framed in the wood, to shewe unto all men the shape wherin he executed those cruelties. Ouer that on the top of the stake the sorcerers head it selfe was set vp, and round about the Wheele there hung as it were sixteen peeces of wood about a yarde in length which represented the sixteene persons that was perfectly knowen to be murdered by him.
And the same ordained to stand there for a continuall monument to all insu-
ing ages, what murders by Stub Peeter
was committed, with the or-
der of his Iudgement, as
this picture doth more
Witnesses that this is
With diuers others that haue seen the same.