|This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2013)|
Dame Alice Kyteler (1280 – later than 1325), was a woman who was the earliest person accused and condemned for witchcraft in Ireland. She fled the country, but her servant Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake on November 3, 1324.
She was married four times, to William Outlaw, Adam le Blund, Richard de Valle and finally Sir John le Poer. In 1302 she and her second husband were briefly accused of killing her first husband. Kyteler also incurred local resentment because of her involvement in moneylending. When her fourth husband John le Poer became sick in 1324, he expressed the suspicion that he was being poisoned. After his death, the children of le Poer and of her previous three husbands accused her of using poison and sorcery against their fathers and of favouring her first-born son William Outlaw. In addition, she and her followers were accused of denying the faith, sacrificing animals to demons and blasphemy.
The case was brought in 1324 before the then Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, an English Franciscan friar. The bishop wrote to the Chancellor of Ireland, Roger Utlagh (Outlaw), to have her arrested but this rebounded on him, the Chancellor being her first brother-in-law. In fact de Ledrede himself was jailed by Sir Arnold le Poer, the Seneschal of Kilkenny, her fourth brother-in-law. John Darcy, the Lord Chief Justice travelled to Kilkenny to investigate the events and vindicated the Bishop, who again attempted to have Dame Alice arrested.
After some months of stalemate, one of her servants, Petronella de Meath, was tortured, and confessed to witchcraft, implicating Kyteler. After this, Kyteler was condemned. She fled the country, presumably to the Kingdom of England. She appears no further in contemporary records. The Bishop continued to pursue her lower-class followers, bringing charges of witchcraft against them. Petronella de Meath was flogged and burned at the stake on November 3, 1324. Her daughter apparently joined Kyteler in England. Kyteler's son William Outlaw was also accused inter alia, of heresy, usury, perjury, adultery, and clericide. After "recanting", William escaped relatively lightly, being ordered to hear three masses a day for a year and to feed the poor.
This case appears to contain the first recorded claim of a witch lying with her incubus. Annales Hiberniae state that Ricardus Ledered, episcopus Ossoriensis, citavit Aliciam Ketil, ut se purgaret de heretica pravitate; quae magiae convicta est, nam certo comprobatum est, quendam demonem incubum (nomine Robin Artisson) concubuisse cum ea ... i.e. that Kyteler had intercourse with the demon named Robin Artisson.
||The topic of this article may not meet Wikipedia's general notability guideline. (December 2013)|
The Stone, a novel about the times of Alice Kyteler was published in 2008 written by Kilkenny woman Claire Nolan. "THE STONE" - The Musical, a stage production based on Nolan's book, with music and lyrics by Jason Paul Ryan and Tom Bolger was premiered in Kilkenny during 2011.
Robin Morgan wrote a novel, The Burning Time (Melville House, 2006 ISBN 978-1-933633-00-8) about Alice Kyteler's struggles with the Roman Catholic Church. She assumes that Dame Alice was the leader of a traditional coven of traditional witches.
- Davidson, Sharon, and John O. Ward, trans. The Sorcery Trial of Alice Kyteler: A Contemporary Account (1324). Asheville, N.C.: Pegasus Press, 2004.
- Wright, Thomas, ed. A Contemporary Narrative of the Proceedings Against Dame Alice Kyteler, Prosecuted for Sorcery in 1324, by Richard de Ledrede, Bishop of Ossory. London: The Camden Society, 1843.
- Irish Witchcraft and Demonology, by St. John D. Seymour, B.D. (1913). Chapter 2: "Dame Alice Kyteler, the Sorceress of Kilkenny."
- Curran, Bob. A Bewitched Land: Ireland’s Witches. Dublin: O'Brien, 2005.
- Great Events from History: The Middle Ages - Lady Alive Kyteler Found Guilty of Witchcraft
- Alice Kyteler, convicted witch