A Time Line of Witch Trial History

Circa 672-735 Bede wrote History of English, a history of Christianity in England. His book is referred to in the Malleus Maleficarum.

Circa 900 Canon Episcopi.

1233 First Papal ordinance directly dealing with witchcraft, Bull by Pope Gregory IX (Ugolino, Count of Segni), to Conrad of Marburg, bidding him to proceed against the Luciferians. July 30 of that year, Conrad of Marburg murdered on the highway in pursuit of his duties.

1258 Bull by Pope Alexander IV (Rinaldo Conti), to Franciscan Inquisitors, bidding them refrain from judging any cases of witchcraft unless there was some very strong reason to suppose that heretical practice could also be amply proved.

1431 May 30, Joan of Arc burned at the stake in Rouen.

1459 The horrors of Vlad Dracula, The Impaler.

1484 December 9 The Bull of Innocent VIII, decreeing Inquisitors Sprenger and Kramer, authors of Malleus Maleficarum, rights to "be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment, and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance, in every way as if the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, yea, even the persons and their crimes in this kind were named and particularly designated in Our letters."

Circa 1485 Inquisitor of Como.

1486 Maximilian I, Emperor of Germany and King of the Romans signs papers in Brussels giving permission to Sprenger and Kramer to carry out their duties, and commanding cooperation with them.

1493-1541 Paracelsus. Physician who claimed that everything he learned came from an old witch.

1515-1588 Weyer, Johan. Born in Brabant (Belgium). German physician. Believed most witches were melancholy mentally disturbed old women, incapable of harm. Believed that the belief in witchcraft was caused by the devil. In 1563 wrote De Praestigiis Daemonum. Was forced out of Netherlands by the Catholic Governor, Duke of Alba. His book was denounced by Jean Bodin.

1529-1596 or 1530-1590 Bodin, Jean. French Judge. In 1580 writes De la Demonomanie des Sorciers. Claims that those who denied the existence of witches were themselves witches.

1530-1616 Remy, Nicholas. French Lawyer fighting against witches. In 1595 writes Demonaltry and sites 128 cases.

1566 The Chelmesford witches.

1566-1625 King James VI of Scotland aka James I of England.

1584 Publication of The Discoverie of Witchcraft, by Reginald Scot, suggesting that maybe witches don't really exist.

1590-1591The North Berwick Witches.

1604-1611 The blood secret of Countess Elizabeth Bathori of Transylvania.

1608 Publication of Compendium Maleficarum, by Francesco Maria Guazzo.

1628 July 24 Letter written by Johannes Junius to his daughter before his execution for witchcraft.

1657 March, Jennette Huart and others strangled and burned as witches in Sugny, Belgium. Read about it in in French or in English.

1645-1692 The New England witch trials, including that of Margaret Jones.

1663-1728 Mather, Cotton defends the trials and executions in New England. In 1689 writes Memorable Providence Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions.

1692 Salem Witch Trials: 5 hung on July 19, August19 five were hung, on September 22 another 8 (a dog was also executed.)

1782 Last witch burned in Europe.

1782 Anna Goeldi, hanged at Glaris in Switzerland, June 17, 1782.

1792 The last trial and judicial execution in Europe itself was probably that of two aged beldames, Satanists, who were burned at the stake in Poland, 1793,the year of the Second Partition, during reign of Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowski.

1920 Joan of Arc declared a saint.

1929 Montague Summers writes introductions for old books used for Inquisition (available from Dover), praising their works.

Today Old people, mostly women, are being killed as witches in South Africa.

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