About 380 years ago a women was shot dead after apparently surfing in Newbury small town in middle England with a river running through it..
The ‘surfing’ “Witch of Newbury” – A Most Certain, Strange, and True Discovery of a VVitch 1643” makes an interesting story. Was she riding standing waves? Was she sup’ing on the river? Why was she shot?
The descriptions from soldiers and their commanders are pretty obviously of a woman surfing, even doing tricks on her board. Interesting…Until they shot her…
“…this womans kind to stand upon the board, turning and winding it which way she pleased, making it pastime to her, as little thinking who perceived her tricks, or that she did imagine that they were the last she ever should show, as we have heard the swan sing before her death, so did this divellish woman, as after plainly it appeared make sport before her death”
“ one of them by chance in clambering up a tree… espied on the river being there adjacent, a tall, lean, slender woman, as he supposed, to his amazement, and great terreur treading of the water with her feet, with as much ease and firmnesses as if one could walk or trample on the earth, wherewith his softly calls, and beckened to his fellows to behold it.. this could be no little amazement unto them you may think to see a woman dance upon the water, nor could all their sights be deluded, though perhaps one might but coming nearer to the shore, they could perceive there was a plank or deale overshadowed with a little shallow water that she stood upon, the which did beare her up, anon rode by some of the Commanders who were eye witnesses, as well as they, and were as much astonished as they could be, still too and fro she fleeted on the water, the boord standing firm bout upright, indeed I have both heard and read of many that in tempests and on rivers by casualty have been shipwracked, or cast over board, where catching empty barrels, rudders, boards, or planks have made good shift by the assisting providence of God to get on shore, but not in this womans kind to stand upon the board, turning and winding it which way she pleased, making it pastime to her, as little thinking who perceived her tricks, or that she did imagine that they were the last she ever should show, as we have heard the swan sing before her death, so did this divellish woman, as after plainly it appeared make sport before her death,”
“…one soldier climbed a tree and noticed what appeared to be a woman walking on water. The soldier called to the other soldiers, and together they went to get a better look at the woman. Upon closer inspection, they realized that the woman was in fact on a piece of wood, but she was standing on it and maneuvering it in such a way to warrant suspicion, so once she reached the shore the commanders ordered for her to be obtained.
When they asked her what she was and she gave no answer, the commanders decided to have their two best marksmen shoot the woman. Bam! But she had not died. She had caught the bullets with her hands, put them in her mouth and chewed them, laughing loudly all the while. Enraged by this, one soldier stuck the muzzle of his gun right against her breast and fired, only for the bullet to bounce off of the witch and almost strike him dead. Realizing that guns were not working, a soldier with a sword tried to stab her, only to fail in killing her for a third time, resulting in more laughter from the witch and more rage from the soldiers. Finally, one calm and rational soldier exclaimed that “drawing blood from forth the veines that crosse the temples of the head” would “quell the force of Witchcraft.” Upon merely hearing this, the woman realized that she had lost her power and began to cry, roar, moan, and tear her hair out before finally speaking: “and is it come to passe, that I must dye?”