[93]           Though not on par with physicians, midwives were requested by the Church to get a certificate, give an oath and pay a fee, as far back as the 16th century.

 

      The midwife’s oath ensured her loyalty to the Church and in fact, made her a Church-informer, regarding the parish’s morals. Besides helping in childbirth, the midwife was also expected to perform Baptism in emergency cases, when a baby would not survive.

 

      Interestingly, the midwife’s oath also included the promise that she would “not use any kind of sorcery or incantation in the time of the travail of any woman.” (One wonders if at any other period of history the midwife was also a witch.)

The actual testimonial that was submitted to the church by Marjery Hewitt on November 3rd, 1689, when she sought a midwifery license.  
Written by Ruth Legh, while the other testifying women - probably illiterate - had to leave their marks.

If you were a birthing woman, would you mind being aided by a witch?

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