1) The verb to forspeak is on record from <i>c.</i>1440 meaning to bewitch or charm but the single use of ‘forespoken’ noted is dated 1895 (OED).

An earlier Yorkshire reference occurs in a testimony of 1567 from a visitation of the diocese of York. The claim is made there that a certain Robert Garmann was commonly reputed to be a wiseman who had healed beastes beinge forspoken. The words he used to ‘break the spell’ were God and sancta charytie blysse the beast. A much later reference is undated but likely to be c.1840 at the latest. It occurs in the accounts of a farmer from South Crosland near Huddersfield who was also noted as a cow-doctor: When Cattle is forspoken Catch her waters then get a new Pipkin never been used put the waters therein then Get some Glass shave both horns a little of then Cut some hair from between her horns and Tail end then get 9 Clogg nails 9 pins never used put all together into the pipkin then as near the full Moon as Possable at twelve O Clock at Night make the doors then set the Pipkin with the above in it on a good red fire and sit with it till all be boiled away and no Smook from it then take it off and when Cold scrape all the black in the pot and nails etc on to some paper then put all in as small a parcil as you can turning each end Contrary way and if any body come to the door don’t open nor speak when doing this then in the morning take the parcel and a Gimblet big enough and go to a live Oaktree and bore a hole and put the parcel in and make a peg for it and put it in and drive it up with a hammer and then Get a egg and break the small end and put tarr in when emptied and give it to the Cow next morning keep warm and give Aird water to drink a time or two till well .

dates 1567 1840

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