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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2005, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
Charm spells trouble for enemies
The Navenby witch bottle
The potion would have been mixed in a witches' bottle
Archivists in Cornwall have uncovered a rather unpalatable spell which is said to help repel one's enemies.

The recipe was found among a small collection of deeds, leases and other papers held at Cornwall Record Office.

The spell, which dates from around 1700, involves heating a pint of urine then adding salt and three new nails and keeping it warm for up to ten days.

The spell has been released as part of the Archive Awareness Campaign, which aims to promote archives across the UK.

Similar spells have been found in wall cavities and attics across the country.

'Wonderfully personal'

The charm, created for Cornishwoman Thamson Leverton, is said to repel "your private enemies (who) will never after have any power upon you either in your body or goods".

Tamsin Mallett, principal archivist at Cornwall Record Office, said: "This little charm is a lovely example of some of the wonderfully personal items held in archives.

"Archives really are all about human life.

"Thamson Leverton obviously wanted something to ward off her enemies and someone created this for her. I wonder if it worked?"

The full text of the spell:

"...take about a pint of your own urine and make it almost scalding hot then Emptie it into a stone Jugg with a Narrow Mouth. Then put into it so much white salt as you can take up with the Thumb and two forefingers of your left hand and three new nails with their points downwards their points being first made very sharp, then stop the mouth of the Jugg very close with a piece of Tough Cley [clay] and bind a piece of Leather firm over the stop, then put the Jugg into warm embers and keep him there 9 or 10 days and nights following so that it go not stark cold all that meantime day nor night and your private Enemies will Never after have any power upon you either in your Body or Goods so be it."

Names for a laugh...
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