I’d heard a little about a work called “An Elizabethan Devil Worshipper’s Prayer Book” sold at auction in the Twenties, via Montague Summers. I hadn’t seen the original Maggs Brothers catalog entry until yesterday. It begins as such:
This most extraordinary manuscript contains the words and directions for invoking and exorcising certain demons namely, Vercan, Maymon, Suth, Samax, Sarabotres, Mediac or Modiac, and Arcan. Crude coloured representations of the demons are given. Vercan, who was apparently the most powerful of the demons, is invoked or exorcized in thirteen prayers… Mostly he is shown as a kind of human-monster, with a grotesque human face, horns on his head, hairy body, and bird’s feet; twice he appears with three heads, once riding on a bear. The “invocator” is shown together with Vercan in several drawings; always he is surrounded by a magic circle.
It goes into more detail about the spirits, which are shared with other sources. For example, Sarabotes appears in other sources as a spirit of Venus, but I have yet to see another source describing him as “a green-bodied demon with sceptre, riding a roe.” Much of the rest, such as the part about John Dee, seems to be the catalog writer grasping at straws.
Nonetheless, I think this is interesting, as it illustrates similar operations to that in the Hockley Clavis and the Folger manuscript – individual rites to particular spirits – but it features an entirely different cast of characters. It’s a reminder, once again, of how much of the substance of Western magic has really come down through printed works.