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 practicing witchcraft in a witch-hunt that lasted throughout New England from 1647 to 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 40,000–50,000.[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 of people executed for witchcraft[edit]

Name Lifetime Nationality Notes
Johann Albrecht Adelgrief d. 1636 German Executed after claiming to be a prophet.[6]
Marigje Arriens c. 1520–1591 Dutch Burned to death for sorcery.
Goodwife Bassett[7] d. 1651 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Fairfield, Connecticut
Allison Balfour d. 1594 Scottish Executed in Kirkwall
Agnes Bernauer c. 1410–1435 German Convicted of witchcraft and thrown in the Danube to drown, following accusations by her father-in-law Ernest, Duke of Bavaria.
Merga Bien 1560s–1603 German Convicted as part of the Fulda witch trials and burned to death.
Lasses Birgitta d. 1550 Swedish The first woman executed for witchcraft in Sweden; beheaded.
Bridget Bishop c. 1632–1692 English (emigrated to British America) The first person to be tried and executed during the Salem witch trials.[8]
Viola Cantini 1668-1693 Italian Burned to death in May 10, 1693 after caught performing vampirism on her dying son and cursing members of the village.[citation needed]
Sidonia von Borcke 1548–1620 Pomeranian Confessed to murder and witchcraft under torture; beheaded, corpse burned.
Janet Boyman d. 1572 Scottish Executed in 1572 for witchcraft
George Burroughs c. 1650–1692 Colonial American colonist Congregational pastor, executed as part of the Salem witch trials.[9]
Martha Carrier d. 19 Aug 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials; her children had claimed she was a witch.
Anne de Chantraine 1603–1622 French Strangled and then burned at the stake.
Michée Chauderon d. 1652 Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons and was the last person executed for sorcery in Geneva.[10]
Nyzette Cheveron d. 1605 Belgian Confessed to being a witch; was strangled and burned to death.
Elizabeth Clarke c. 1565–1645 English The first woman persecuted by the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins; hanged.
Bridget Cleary c. 1870–1895 County Tipperary, Ireland Unclear; body immolated, possible posthumously.[11]
Giles Corey c. 1611–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Crushed to death for refusing to plea during the Salem witch trials.
Martha Corey 1620s–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Helena Curtens 1722–1738 German One of the last people to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Jean Delvaux d. 1595 Belgian Roman Catholic monk; beheaded
Catherine Deshayes c. 1640–1680 French AKA La Voisin; burned to death following the Affair of the Poisons
Thomas Doughty d. 1578 English Nobleman and explorer accused by Sir Francis Drake of witchcraft, mutiny and treason; beheaded
Mary Eastey 1634–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Anna Eriksdotter 1624–1704 Swedish The last person executed for sorcery in Sweden.
Matteuccia de Francesco d. 1428 Italian Confessed to having flown on the back of a demon; burned to death.
Jeane Gardiner d. 1651 British Executed in Bermuda.
Gilles Garnier d. 1573 French Serial child murderer; convicted of witchcraft and lycanthropy, and burned to death.
Janet, Lady Glamis d. 1537 Scottish Accused of witchcraft by King James V; burned to death.
Ann Glover d. 1688 Irish-born emigrant to Colonial America Last person hanged for witchcraft in Boston.
Peronne Goguillon d. 1679 French Burned to death; one of the last women to be executed for witchcraft in France.
Anna Göldi d. 1782 Swiss Beheaded; known as "the last witch in Switzerland".[citation needed]
Sarah Good 1655–1692 Colonial American colonist One of the first to be convicted in the Salem witch trials.
Urbain Grandier 1590–1634 French Convicted following the Loudun possessions and burned to death.
Goodwife Greensmith[7] d. 1663 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Hartford, Connecticut
Bertrand Guilladot d. 1742 French Priest who confessed to having made a pact with the devil
Mechteld ten Ham d. 1605 Dutch Confessed under torture and was burned to death.
Walpurga Hausmannin d. 1587 German Midwife who confessed to child murder, witchcraft and vampirism; burned to death.
Katharina Henot 1570–1627 German Postmistress; burned to death.
Adrienne d'Heur 1585–1646 French Burned to death.
Ann Hibbins 1656 Colonial American colonist The fourth person executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony; hanged on Boston Common
Janet Horne d. 1727 Scottish Last British person to be executed for sorcery; burned to death.[citation needed]
Elin i Horsnäs d. 1611 Swedish Beheaded after her second trial for witchcraft.
Elizabeth Howe 1635–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
George Jacobs 1620–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Mary Johnson c. 1648 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Hartford, Connecticut
Margaret 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
Märet Jonsdotter 1644–1672 Swedish Beheaded
Johannes Junius 1573–1628 German Tortured, burned to death during the Bamberg witch trials
Ursula Kemp c. 1525–1582 English Confessed to witchcraft and hanged.
Mrs. Kendall[7] c. 1650 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Goodwife Knapp[12] d. 1653 Colonial American colonist Hanged at Fairfield, Connecticut.
Anna Koldings d. 1590 Danish Burned to death.
Kolgrim c. d. 1407 Colonial Norwegian (Greenlandic Norse) Burned to death.
Christenze Kruckow 1558–1621 Danish Noblewoman who confessed to cursing the marital bed of a rival; beheaded.
Alice Lake[7] 1620 – c. 1650 Colonial American colonist Wife of Henry Lake; hanged in Massachusetts.
Leatherlips 1732–1810 Native American Native American leader who was sentenced to death for witchcraft and executed with a tomahawk.[13]
Rebecca Lemp d. 1590 German One of 32 women convicted of witchcraft in a witch hunt in Nördlingen, burnt at the stake.[14]
Anne Løset d. 1679 Norwegian Burned to death.
Laurien Magee 1689-1710 Irish Burnt at the stake as part of the Islandmagee witch trial.[15]
Susannah Martin 1621–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Executed during the Salem witch trials.
Malin Matsdotter 1613–1676 Swedish Burned to death.
Petronilla de Meath c. 1300–1324 Irish Burned to death.
Rebecca Nurse 1621–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Alice Nutter 1612 English Hanged during Pendle witches hunt
Lisbeth Nypan c. 1610–1670 Norwegian Cunning woman accused of making people sick to earn money; burned to death.
Ruth Osborne 1680–1751 English Murdered by an unruly mob during a "trial by ducking".
Paisley witches d. 1697 Scottish Also known as the Bargarran witches, the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.[16]
Anne Palles 1619–1693 Danish The last person officially executed for witchcraft in Denmark; beheaded.
Pappenheimer Family d. 1600 German Tortured and burned to death.
Alice Parker d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Mary Parker d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Maria Pauer 1730s–1750 Austrian Last person executed for witchcraft in Austria; beheaded.
Anne Pedersdotter d. 1590 Norwegian Burned to death.
Pendle witches d. 1612 English
Elisabeth Plainacher 1513–1583 Austrian Only person to be executed for witchcraft in Vienna; burned to death.
Polissena of San Macario d. 1571 Italian Burned to death.
John Proctor c. 1632–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Ann Pudeator d. 1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Marketta Punasuomalainen 1600s–1658 Finnish Cunning woman, burned to death.
Wilmot Redd 1600s–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Elspeth Reoch d. 1616 Scottish Executed in Kirkwall
Catherine Repond 1662–1731 Swiss Strangled and burned to death.
Isabella Rigby d. 1666 English Believed to be the last person hanged for witchcraft in Lancashire.[citation needed]
Jòn Rögnvaldsson d. 1625 Icelandic Burned to death.
Maria Renata Saenger von Mossau 1680–1749 German One of the last to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Agnes Sampson d. 1591 Scottish Midwife, garrotted and burned to death during the North Berwick witch trials.
Soulmother of Küssnacht d. 1577 Swiss Burned to death.
Gyde Spandemager d. 1543 Danish Burned to death.
Maren Spliid c. 1600–1641 Danish Burned to death.
Stedelen d. c. 1400 Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons; burned to death.
Agnes Waterhouse c. 1503–1566 English The first woman executed for witchcraft in England; hanged.
Thomas Weir 1599–1670 Scottish Strangled and burned to death.
Sarah Wildes 1627–1692 English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
John Willard c. 1672–1692 Colonial American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Witches of Belvoir d. 1618 English A mother and two daughters, the daughters were hanged.
Witches of Warboys d. 1593 English Alice Samuel and her family; hanged.
Alse Young c. 1600–1647 Colonial American colonist The first person recorded to have been executed for witchcraft in the American colonies; hanged.
Barbara Zdunk 1769–1811 Polish Burned to death.
Anna Zippel d. 1676 Swedish Beheaded for abducting children.
Antti Tokoi d.1682 Finnish Accused and convicted of witchcraft, blasphemy, disgracing priests and healing.[citation needed]
Brita Zippel d. 1676 Swedish Beheaded for sorcery.
Mima Renard d. 1692 French Brazilian Prostitute, was accused by popular belief to bewitch men; burned to death.
Maria da Conceição d. 1798 Brazilian Accused and convicted of witchcraft to produce medicines and potions to attract men.
Ursulina de Jesus d. 1754 Brazilian Accused of removing her husband's virility to avoid having children; burned to death.
Zhang Liang d. 646 Chinese Accused of witchcraft and treason; executed.
Franziska Soder d. 1606, 8 October Rheinfelden, Swiss Burned as a witch. Her husband paid 320 Gulden as "confiscation" to the Gentlemen' Chamber in Rheinfelden.[17]

Images[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ According to Kors & Peters, modern scholars place the number of executions for witchcraft at no greater than 50,000.[18] According to Merriman, some estimates are higher.[19] 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.[20] Barstow adjusted Levack's estimate to account for lost records, estimating 100,000 deaths.[21] Hutton argues that Levack's estimate had already been adjusted for these, and revises the figure to approximately 40,000.[22]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b Levack, p. 204
  2. ^ a b Levack, p. 205
  3. ^ Hall, P. 4
  4. ^ Fradin, Judith Bloom, Dennis Brindell Fradin. The Salem Witch Trials. Marshall Cavendish. 2008, pg. 15
  5. ^ a b Stack, p. 20
  6. ^ Ripley, George; Dana, Charles Anderson (1859). The New American Cyclopaedia. D. Appleton and Company. p. 122.
  7. ^ a b c d Jewett, Clarence F. The memorial history of Boston: including Suffolk County, Massachusetts. 1630-1880. Vol 2. Ticknor and Company, 1881. pp. 138-141
  8. ^ Upham, Caroline E. (2003). Salem Witchcraft in Outline. Kessinger Publishing. p. 88. ISBN 0-7661-3900-X.
  9. ^ Burr, George Lincoln (2003). Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases 1648 to 1706. Kessinger Publishing. p. 215. ISBN 0-7661-5773-3.
  10. ^ Lea, Henry Charles (2004). Materials Toward a History of Witchcraft. Kessinger Publishing. p. 1118. ISBN 0-7661-8359-9.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ Profile of Goodwife Knapp
  13. ^ Carpenter, William Henry; Arthur, Timothy Shay (1854). The History of Ohio: From its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. Lippincott, Grambo & Co. p. 209.
  14. ^ Guiley, Rosemary Ellen (2008). "Lemp, Rebecca (d. 1590)". The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca (3rd ed.). New York: Facts On File. p. 206. ISBN 978-1-4381-2684-5.
  15. ^ Islandmagee witch trial
  16. ^ Burns, William E. (2003), Witch hunts in Europe and America: an encyclopedia, Greenwood Publishing Group, p. 3, ISBN 978-0-313-32142-9
  17. ^ Schaeppi, Kathrin. (2000). Reunion: Schaeppi of Horgen: Family Chronicle. Basel: Gremper. Aus der Gemeindechronik Alte Bürgergeschlechter: Soder. p. 164.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Merriman, Scott A. (2007). Religion and the law in America, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 527. ISBN 1-85109-863-1.
  20. ^ Levack
  21. ^ Barstow
  22. ^ Hutton
Sources