Stearne was known at various times as the witch–hunter, and "witch pricker". A family man and land owner from Lawshall near Bury Street Edmunds, Stearne was 10 years older than Hopkins. He met Hopkins in Manningtree and appointed him as his assistant.
Of these 4 had died in prison prior to the trial and 15 or 16 were subsequently hanged.
Nine who had been convicted of conjuring spirits were reprieved.