Jeanne de Brigue #OnThisDay

image credit Rosie Hopkins

On 29th of October 1390 the first witch trial is believed to be held at Le Châtelet in Paris, in 1390, and ended with the execution of Jeanne de Brigue. She was condemned by Jean de Folleville, the Provost of Paris, to be burned at the Place du Marché aux Pourceaux. She died 1391 in Paris.

The Witch trials in France are poorly documented, mainly because a lot of the documents of former witch trials have not been preserved, and no number can therefore be given for the executions of witch trials in France or the true extent of them.

Another account states that on August 9, 1390, two women, Margot de la Barre and Marion la Droiturière , were sentenced by the judges of the Châtelet in Paris to the pillory and then to be burned at the stake. 

More information here: French “Witches” (14th–16th Centuries)

Démonomanie des sorciers Bodin 1580

Peronne Goguillon has been referred to as the last woman to be executed for witchcraft in France in 1678. The 1682 Edict of Louis XIV of France described witchcraft as fraudulent magic, a definition which did not as such prevent witch trials, but made it more difficult to convict people of witchcraft.

A few witch trials were conducted in France during the 18th century, some of which resulted in death sentences for men. The execution of an alleged male sorcerer in Bordeaux in 1718 has traditionally been referred to as the last. However, a donkey-driver was in fact executed for this crime in Paris in 1724.

The last witch trial resulting in an execution in France was likely that of Louis Debaraz, who was executed in Lyon in 1745. He was executed as the last of several men implicated in the Lyon witch trials in 1743–1745, in which several men were charged with making a Devil’s pact in order to find hidden treasures, following the case of Bertrand Guilladot. As late as 1768, a woman was tried and convicted of witchcraft in France, but she was only given a fine.

See also:

the memorial stone set in the ground for those executed for witchcraft in Orkney
Orkney’s memorial at the top of Clay Loan Kirkwall

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