List of people executed for witchcraft

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Three people lie on a large fire, watched by several men.
Artistic depiction of the execution by burning of three alleged witches in Baden, Switzerland in 1585

This is a list of people executed for witchcraft, many of whom were executed during organised witch-hunts, particularly from the 15th–18th centuries. Large numbers of people were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe between 1560 and 1630.[1] Until around 1420, witchcraft-related prosecutions in Europe centred on maleficium, the concept of using supernatural powers specifically to harm others. Cases came about from accusations of the use of ritual magic to damage rivals.[1] Up until the early 15th century, there was little association of witchcraft with Satan.[2] From that time organised witch-hunts increased, as did individual accusations of sorcery. The nature of the charges brought changed as more cases were linked to diabolism. Throughout the century, a number of treatises were published that helped to establish a stereotype of the witch, particularly the Satanic connection. During the 16th century, witchcraft prosecutions stabilised and even declined in some areas.[2] Witch-hunts increased again in the 17th century. The witch trials in Early Modern Europe included the Basque witch trials in Spain, the Fulda witch trials in Germany, the North Berwick witch trials in Scotland and the Torsåker witch trials in Sweden.

Witch-hunts also took place during the 17th century in the American colonies. These were particularly common in the colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Haven. The myth of the witch had a strong cultural presence in 17th century New England and, as in Europe, witchcraft was strongly associated with devil-worship.[3] About eighty people were accused of practising witchcraft in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1648-1663. Thirteen women and two men were executed.[4] The Salem witch trials followed in 1692–93, culminating in the executions of 20 people. 5 others died in jail.

It has been estimated that tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies over several hundred years. Although it is not possible to ascertain the exact number, modern scholars estimate around 40–50,000.[A] Common methods of execution for convicted witches were hanging, drowning and burning. Burning was often favoured, particularly in Europe, as it was considered a more painful way to die.[5] Prosecutors in the American colonies generally preferred hanging in cases of witchcraft.[5]

List and images of those executed for witchcraft[edit]

Hypatia was a philosopher in classical Alexandria. Her knowledge of astronomy and mathematics led to suspicion of sorcery and she was flayed alive by a mob of monks. She is considered by scholars such as Soldan and Heppe to have been the first famous woman to be persecuted for witchcraft by the Christians.[6]
Agnes Bernauer, executed in 1435.
Catherine Deshayes aka La Voisin, executed in 1680.
Urbain Grandier, executed in 1634.
Execution of Ann Hibbins on Boston Common, June 19, 1656. Sketch by F.T. Merril, 1886
Giles Corey being crushed to death, 1692
Martha Corey was executed in 1692
The Trial of George Jacobs who was executed in 1692. Painting by Thomkins Matteson, 1855
Agnes Waterhouse was executed in Chelmsford, England in 1566
Name Lifetime Nationality Notes
Adelgrief, Johann AlbrechtJohann Albrecht Adelgrief d. 1636 German Executed after claiming to be a prophet.[7]
Arriens, MarigjeMarigje Arriens ca. 1520–1591 Dutch Burned to death for sorcery
Barthe, AngeleAngéle de la Barthe ca. 1230–1275 French Found guilty of sexual relations with the devil and burned to death.[8]
Bassett, GoodwifeGoodwife Bassett[9] d. 1651 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Fairfield, Connecticut
Bernauer, AgnesAgnes Bernauer ca. 1410–1435 German Convicted of witchcraft and thrown in the Danube to drown, following accusations by her father-in-law Ernest, Duke of Bavaria.
Bien, MergaMerga Bien 1560s–1603 German Convicted as part of the Fulda witch trials and burned to death.
Birgitta, LassesLasses Birgitta d. 1550 Swedish The first woman executed for witchcraft in Sweden; beheaded.
Bishop, BridgetBridget Bishop ca. 1632–1692 English (emigrated to British America) The first person to be tried and executed during the Salem witch trials.[10]
Bonanno, GiovannaGiovanna Bonanno d. 1789 Italian A widow and beggar accused of selling potions and spells intended to kill people to her neighbours. Accused of sorcery and hanged.[11]
Borcke, SidoniaSidonia von Borcke 1548–1620 Pomeranian Confessed to murder and witchcraft under torture; beheaded, corpse burned.
Burroughs, GeorgeGeorge Burroughs ca. 1650–1692 Colonial American colonist Congregational pastor, executed as part of the Salem witch trials.[12]
Carrier, MarthaMartha Carrier d. 19 Aug 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials; her children had claimed she was a witch.
Chantraine, AnneAnne de Chantraine 1605–1622 French Burned to death.
Chauderon, MichéeMichée Chauderon d. 1652 Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons and was the last person executed for sorcery in Geneva.[13]
Cheveron, NyzetteNyzette Cheveron d. 1605 Belgian Confessed to being a witch; was strangled and burned to death.
Clarke, ElizabethElizabeth Clarke ca. 1565–1645 English The first woman persecuted by the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins; hanged.
Cleary, BridgetBridget Cleary ca. 1870-1895 County Tipperary, Ireland, UK Unclear; body immolated, possible posthumously.[14]
Corey, GilesGiles Corey ca. 1611–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Crushed to death for refusing to plea during the Salem witch trials.
Corey, MarthaMartha Corey 1620s–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Curtens, HelenaHelena Curtens 1722–1738 German One of the last people to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Delvaux, JeanJean Delvaux d. 1595 Belgian Roman Catholic monk; beheaded
Deshayes, CatherineCatherine Deshayes ca. 1640–1680 French AKA La Voisin; burned to death following the Affair of the Poisons
Doughty, ThomasThomas Doughty d. 1578 English Nobleman and explorer accused by Sir Francis Drake of witchcraft, mutiny and treason; beheaded
Eastey, MaryMary Eastey 1634–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Eriksdotter, AnnaAnna Eriksdotter 1624–1704 Swedish The last person executed for sorcery in Sweden.
Francesco, MatteucciaMatteuccia de Francesco d. 1428 Italian Confessed to having flown on the back of a demon; burned to death.
Gardiner, JeaneJeane Gardiner d. 1651 British Executed in Bermuda.
Garnier, GillesGilles Garnier d. 1573 French Serial child murderer; convicted of witchcraft and lycanthropy, and burned to death.
Glamis, JanetJanet, Lady Glamis d. 1537 Scottish Accused of witchcraft by King James V; burned to death.
Glover, AnnAnn Glover d. 1688 Irish-born emigrant to Colonial America Last person hanged for witchcraft in Boston.
Goguillon, PeronnePeronne Goguillon d. 1679 French Burned to death; one of the last women to be executed for witchcraft in France.
Göldi, AnnaAnna Göldi d. 1782 Swiss Beheaded; known as "the last witch in Switzerland".[citation needed]
Good, SarahSarah Good 1655–1692 Colonial American colonist One of the first to be convicted in the Salem witch trials.
Grandier, UrbainUrbain Grandier 1590–1634 French Convicted following the Loudun possessions and burned to death.
Greensmith, GoodwifeGoodwife Greensmith[9] d. 1663 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Hartford, Connecticut
Guilladot, BertrandBertrand Guilladot d. 1742 French Priest who confessed to having made a pact with the devil
Ham, MechteldMechteld ten Ham d. 1605 Dutch Confessed under torture and was burned to death.
Hausmannin, WalpurgaWalpurga Hausmannin d. 1587 German Midwife who confessed to child murder, witchcraft and vampirism; burned to death.
Henot, KatharinaKatharina Henot 1570–1627 German Postmistress; burned to death.
Heur, AdrienneAdrienne d'Heur 1585–1646 French Burned to death.
Hibbins, AnnAnn Hibbins 1656 Colonial American colonist The fourth person executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony; hanged on Boston Common
Horne, JanetJanet Horne d. 1727 Scottish Last British person to be executed for sorcery; burned to death.[citation needed]
Horsnas, ElinElin i Horsnäs d. 1611 Swedish Beheaded after her second trial for witchcraft.
Howe, ElizabethElizabeth Howe 1635–1692 English (emigrated to English America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Hypatia 370–415 Alexandrian Stripped and torn to pieces by a Christian mob.[6]
Jacobs, GeorgeGeorge Jacobs 1620–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Mary Johnson ca.1648 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Hartford, Connecticut
Jones, MargaretMargaret Jones 1648 Colonial American colonist The first person to be executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony; hanged.
Katherine Jonesdochter d. 1616 Scottish Strangled; burned to death at Scalloway
Jonsdotter, MäretMäret Jonsdotter 1644–1672 Swedish Beheaded
Junius, JohannesJohannes Junius 1573–1628 German Tortured, burned to death during the Bamberg witch trials
Kemp, UrsulaUrsula Kemp ca. 1525–1582 English Confessed to witchcraft and hanged.
Kendall, Mrs.Mrs. Kendall[9] ca.1650 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Knapp, GoodwifeGoodwife Knapp[15] d. 1653 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Fairfield, Connecticut.
Koldings, AnnaAnna Koldings d. 1590 Danish Burned to death.
KolgrimKolgrim ca. d. 1407 Greenlandic Burned to death.
Kruckow, ChristenzeChristenze Kruckow 1558–1621 Danish Noblewoman who confessed to cursing the marital bed of a rival; beheaded.
Lake, AliceAlice Lake[9] 1620 - ca. 1650 Colonial American colonist Wife of Henry Lake; hanged in Massachusetts.
LeatherlipsLeatherlips 1732–1810 Native American Native American leader who was sentenced to death for witchcraft and executed with a tomahawk.[16]
Magee, LaurienLaurien Magee 1689-1710 Irish Burnt at the stake as part of the Islandmagee witch trial.[17]
Martin, SusannahSusannah Martin 1621–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Executed during the Salem witch trials.
Matsdotter, MalinMalin Matsdotter 1613–1676 Swedish Burned to death.
Meath, PetronillaPetronilla de Meath ca. 1300–1324 Irish Burned to death.
Nurse, RebeccaRebecca Nurse 1621–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Nypan, LisbethLisbeth Nypan ca. 1610–1670 Norwegian Cunning woman accused of making people sick to earn money; burned to death.
Osborne, RuthRuth Osborne 1680–1751 English Murdered by an unruly mob during a "trial by ducking".
Paisley witchesPaisley witches d. 1697 Scottish Also known as the Bargarran witches, the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.[18]
Palles, AnneAnne Palles 1619–1693 Danish The last person officially executed for witchcraft in Denmark; beheaded.
Pappenheimer familyPappenheimer Family d. 1600 German Tortured and burned to death.
Parker, AliceAlice Parker d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Parker, MaryMary Parker d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Pauer, MariaMaria Pauer 1730s–1750 Austrian Last person executed for witchcraft in Austria; beheaded.
Pedersdotter, AnneAnne Pedersdotter d. 1590 Norwegian Burned to death.
Pendle witchesPendle witches d. 1612 English
Plainacher, ElisabethElisabeth Plainacher 1513–1583 Austrian Only person to be executed for witchcraft in Vienna; burned to death.
PolissenaPolissena of San Macario d. 1571 Italian Burned to death.
Proctor, JohnJohn Proctor ca. 1632–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Pudeator, AnnAnn Pudeator d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Punasuomalainen, MarkettaMarketta Punasuomalainen 1600s–1658 Finnish Cunning woman, burned to death.
Redd, WilmotWilmot Redd 1600s–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Repond, CatherineCatherine Repond 1662–1731 Swiss Strangled and burned to death.
Rognvaldsson, JonJòn Rögnvaldsson d. 1625 Icelandic Burned to death.
Saenger von Mossau, Maria RenataMaria Renata Saenger von Mossau 1680–1749 German One of the last to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Sampson, AgnesAgnes Sampson d. 1591 Scottish Midwife, garrotted and burned to death during the North Berwick witch trials.
SoulmotherSoulmother of Küssnacht d. 1577 Swiss Burned to death.
Spandemager, GydeGyde Spandemager d. 1543 Danish Burned to death.
Spliid, MarenMaren Spliid ca. 1600–1641 Danish Burned to death.
StedelenStedelen d. ca. 1400 Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons; burned to death.
Waterhouse, AgnesAgnes Waterhouse ca. 1503–1566 English The first woman executed for witchcraft in England; hanged.
Weir, ThomasThomas Weir 1599–1670 Scottish Strangled and burned to death.
Wildes, SarahSarah Wildes 1627–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Willard, JohnJohn Willard ca. 1672–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Witches of BelvoirWitches of Belvoir d. 1618 English A mother and two daughters, the daughters were hanged.
Witches of WarboysWitches of Warboys d. 1593 English Alice Samuel and her family; hanged.
Young, AlseAlse Young ca. 1600–1647 Colonial American colonist The first person recorded to have been executed for witchcraft in the American colonies; hanged.
Zdunk, BarbaraBarbara Zdunk 1769–1811 Polish Burned to death.
Zippel, AnnaAnna Zippel d. 1676 Swedish Beheaded.[why?]
Zippel, BritaBrita Zippel d. 1676 Swedish Beheaded.[why?]
Renard, MimaMima Renard d. 1692 French Brazilian Prostitute, was accused by popular to bewitch men; burned to death.
da Conceição, MariaMaria da Conceição d. 1798 Brazilian Accused and convicted of witchcraft to produce medicines and potions to attract men.
de Jesus, UrsulinaUrsulina de Jesus d. 1754 Brazilian Accused of removing her husband's virility to avoid having children; burned to death.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Kors & Peters, modern scholars place the number of executions for witchcraft at no greater than 50,000.[19] According to Merriman, some estimates are higher.[20] Levack multiplied the number of known European witch trials by the average rate of conviction and execution, to arrive at a figure of around 60,000 deaths.[21] Barstow adjusted Levack's estimate to account for lost records, estimating 100,000 deaths.[22] Hutton argues that Levack's estimate had already been adjusted for these, and revises the figure to approximately 40,000.[23]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b Levack, p. 204
  2. ^ a b Levack, p. 205
  3. ^ Hall, P. 4
  4. ^ Fraden, Judith Bloom, Dennis Brindell Fraden. The Salem Witch Trials. Marshall Cavendish. 2008, pg. 15
  5. ^ a b Stack, p. 20
  6. ^ a b K.M. Sheard (2011), "Hypatia", Llewellyn's Complete Book of Names for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Druids, Heathens, Mages, Shamans & Independent Thinkers of All Sorts who are Curious about Names from Every Place and Every Time, pp. 285–86, ISBN 9780738723686 
  7. ^ Ripley, George; Dana, Charles Anderson (1859). The New American Cyclopaedia. D. Appleton and Company. p. 122. 
  8. ^ Russell, Jeffrey Burton (1984). Witchcraft in the Middle Ages. Cornell University Press. p. 164. ISBN 0-8014-9289-0. 
  9. ^ a b c d Jewett, Clarence F. The memorial history of Boston: including Suffolk County, Massachusetts. 1630-1880. Ticknor and Company, 1881. pp. 138-141
  10. ^ Upham, Caroline E. (2003). Salem Witchcraft in Outline. Kessinger Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 0-7661-3900-X. 
  11. ^ Fiume, Giovanna (2001). "The Old Vinegar Lady". In Levack, Brian P. New Perspectives on Witchcraft, Magic, and Demonology: Witchcraft in the Modern World. Taylor & Francis. pp. 261–283. ISBN 0-8153-3670-5. 
  12. ^ Burr, George Lincoln (2003). Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648 to 1706. Kessinger Publishing. p. 215. ISBN 0-7661-5773-3. 
  13. ^ Lea, Henry Charles (2004). Materials Toward a History of Witchcraft. Kessinger Publishing. p. 1118. ISBN 0-7661-8359-9. 
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Profile of Goodwife Knapp
  16. ^ Carpenter, William Henry; Arthur, Timothy Shay (1854). The History of Ohio: From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. p. 209. 
  17. ^ Islandmagee witch trial
  18. ^ Burns, William E. (2003), Witch hunts in Europe and America: an encyclopedia, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-313-32142-9 
  19. ^ Kors, Alan Charles; Peters, Edward (2001). Witchcraft in Europe, 400-1700: a documentary history. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 17. ISBN 0-8122-1751-9. 
  20. ^ Merriman, Scott A. (2007). Religion and the law in America, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 527. ISBN 1-85109-863-1. 
  21. ^ Levack
  22. ^ Barstow
  23. ^ Hutton
Sources