The Dymock Curse, Gloucestershire

In 1892, a lead tablet that was inscribed with a curse was found in a cupboard of a large house. The cursive was in 17th century script and the name (of who the curse was for) was written backwards, The name was Sarah Ellis.

The tablet has some complex designs on it to represent good & evil spirits of the moon, which also included the numbers that astrologically represent the moon; 369.

In the actual worded curse, it adds the names of 8 demons, these being Hasmodait, Acteus, Magalesius, Ormenus, Leius, Nicon, Minon, Zeper make this person to banish away from this place and Country, amen. To my desire amen’

It is not really known who this particular Sarah Ellis was but there was talk of one such local woman who killed herself over a curse and as suicides burials were, back in the day, she is said to have been buried at a crossroads with a stake through her heart. There is a cross called Ellis Cross on the boundaries between the village of Dymock and Oxenhall.

Where the curse table was found, it is believed it wasn't there originally as the building was built later on so whoever bought it there, is not known. The Thackwell family lived in the building in the 19th century but it seems they are not connected with the curse tablet.

Looking at local parish records does show 2 Sarah Ellis' but both went on to marry with no ill effects from the curse tablet. Maybe it could've been a spurned lover to either of the Sarah's or their husbands? We do not know.

You can see the curse tablet in the Gloucester Folk Museum.

The Dymock Curse, Gloucestershire
folklore The Dymock Curse, Gloucestershire