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List of people executed for witchcraft
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List of people executed for witchcraft

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 CE. Large numbers of people were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe between 1560 and 1630.[1] Until around 1420, witchcraft-related prosecutions in Europe centred around 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.[2] Throughout the century, a number of treatises were published that helped to establish a stereotype of the witch, particularly the Satanic connection.[2] 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 Tors ker 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 3, culminating in the executions of 19 people.

Tens of thousands of people were executed for witchcraft in Europe and the American colonies. Although it is not possible to ascertain the exact number, modern scholars estimate around 40 50,000. 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

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, 1855Agnes Waterhouse was executed in Chelmsford, England in 1566

Name Lifetime Nationality Notes
German Executed after claiming to be a prophet.[6]
Dutch Burned to death for sorcery.
French Found guilty of sexual relations with the devil and burned to death.[7]
[8] British American colonist at Fairfield, Connecticut
German Convicted of witchcraft and thrown in the Danube to drown, following accusations by her father-in-law Ernest, Duke of Bavaria.
German Convicted as part of the Fulda witch trials and burned to death.
Swedish The first woman executed for witchcraft in Sweden; beheaded.
English (emigrated to British America) The first person to be tried and executed during the Salem witch trials.[9]
Italian A widow and beggar who sold to her neighbours potions and spells intended to kill people. Accused of sorcery and hanged to death.[10]
Pomeranian Confessed to murder and witchcraft under torture; beheaded and burned.
British American colonist Congregational pastor, executed as part of the Salem witch trials.[11]
British/American Hanged during the Salem witch trials, her children confessed she was a witch.
French Burned to death.
Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons and was the last person executed for sorcery in Geneva.[12]
Belgian Confessed to being a witch; was strangled and burned to death.
English The first woman persecuted by the Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins; hanged to death.
English (emigrated to British America) Crushed to death for refusing to plea during the Salem witch trials.
English (emigrated to British America) Hanged to death during the Salem witch trials.
German One of the last people to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Belgian Roman Catholic monk; beheaded.
French aka La Voisin. Burned to death following the Affair of the Poisons.
English Nobleman and explorer accused by Sir Francis Drake of witchcraft, mutiny and treason. Executed by beheading.
English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Swedish The last person to be executed for sorcery in Sweden.
Italian Confessed to having flown on the back of a demon; burned to death.
British Executed in Bermuda.
French Serial child murderer; convicted of witchcraft and lycanthropy, and burned to death.
Scottish Accused of witchcraft by King James V; burned to death.
Irish (emigrated to British America) Last person to be hanged for witchcraft in Boston.
French Burned to death; one of the last women to be executed for witchcraft in France.
Swiss Beheaded; "the last witch in Switzerland.
British American colonist One of the first to be convicted in the Salem witch trials.
French Convicted following the Loudun possessions and burned to death.
[8] British American colonist at Hartford, Connecticut
[8] British American colonist at Hartford, Connecticut
French Priest who confessed to having made a pact with the devil.
Dutch Confessed under torture and was burned to death.
Austrian Midwife who confessed to child murder, witchcraft and vampirism; burned to death.
German Postmaster; burned to death.
French Burned to death.
British American colonist The fourth person executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony, hanged on Boston Common
Scottish Last British person to be executed for sorcery; burned to death.
Swedish Beheaded after her second trial for witchcraft.
English (emigrated to English America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Mary Johnson British American colonist executed at Hartford, Connecticut
British American colonist The first person to be executed for witchcraft in Massachusetts Bay Colony, hanged
Swedish Beheaded.
German Tortured and then burned to death during the Bamberg witch trials.
English Confessed to witchcraft and was hanged.
[8] British American colonist of Cambridge, MA
[8] British American colonist at Hartford, Connecticut
Danish Burned to death.
Greenlandic Burned to death.
Danish Noblewoman who confessed to cursing the marital bed of a rival; beheaded.
[8] British American colonist Wife of Henry Lake, from Dorchester, Ma
Native American Native American leader who was sentenced to death for witchcraft and executed with a tomahawk.[13]
English (emigrated to British America) Executed during the Salem witch trials.
Swedish Burned to death.
Irish Burned to death.
English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials
Norwegian Cunning woman accused of making people sick to earn money, burned to death.
Scottish Also known as the Bargarran witches, the last mass execution for witchcraft in western Europe.[14]
Danish The last person to be officially executed for witchcraft in Denmark; beheaded.
German Tortured and burned to death.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Austrian The last person to be executed for witchcraft in Austria; beheaded.
Norwegian Burned to death.
English
Austrian The only person to be executed for witchcraft Vienna; burned to death.
Italian Burned to death.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Finnish Cunning woman, burned to death.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
Swiss Strangled and burned to death.
Icelandic Burned to death.
German One of the last to be executed for witchcraft in Germany.
Scottish Midwife, garrotted and burned to death during the North Berwick witch trials.
Swiss Burned to death.
Danish Burned to death.
Danish Burned to death.
Swiss Confessed under torture to summoning demons; burned to death.
English The first woman executed for witchcraft in England; hanged.
Scottish Strangled and burned to death.
English (emigrated to British America) Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
British American colonist Hanged during the Salem witch trials.
English A mother and two daughters, the daughters were hanged.
English Alice Samuel and her family, hanged.
British American colonist The first person recorded to have been executed for witchcraft in the American colonies, hanged.
Polish Burned to death.
Swedish Beheaded.
Swedish Beheaded.

Notes

References

Footnotes

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