Remember: be nice to your sister or else...
Deep in early modern ballads today, I came across an account of a beauty of a morality tale. It is the story of a rich woman who mocked her poor sister who had just given birth to twins. (There was a belief around at the time that twins had to have been begotten by different fathers.)
But the rich woman got her comuppance. Immediately. She gave birth, all in one go, to 365 children - one, of course, for each day of the year.
It is called The Lamenting Lady, a broadside (the "newspapers" of the day) printed for Henry Gosson about 1620.
Of course it raises the question of how gullible people were then? Did they read it in the way we read stories about Elvis being alive? Or did they read this as "fact"? Probably a bit of both really - just like today. Ihear these faint sounds of "Blue suede shoes..."
UPDATE: (Really shouldn't do "half-asleep blogging") Sorry, forgot the reference: This is from Shaaber, M.A. Some Forerunners of the Newspaper in England 1476-1622, Frank Cass and Co., London, 1966, p. 150, which surprisingly enough is the best source I've found on the subject, even if hardly a recent one.