Witchcraft Collection, unbound manuscripts,1560-1973

Collection Number: 4620

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


Witchcraft collection, unbound manuscripts, 1560-1973.
Collection Number:
3.7 linear ft. (242 items)
Forms of Material:
Documents, broadsides, letters, and other manuscripts.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Documents, broadsides, letters, and other manuscripts concerning witchcraft and witchcraft trials in Europe, mainly in Germany, through the early modern period, with a few documents from New England.
Collection material in English, Dutch, French,German,Latin


When, in the autumn of 1878, George Lincoln Burr -- still a sophomore at Cornell -- was entrusted by Cornell President White with the care of his historical library, the collection was allready well under way. White saw the witch-persecution as a particularly interesting form of fanaticism preceding the Enlightenment. He was a firm secularist, and, since his 1869 speech on “The Battle-Fields of Science,” the promoter of the so-called "conflict thesis" which postulated an intrinsic conflict between science and superstition, "scientific conclusions" and "theological control." In this never ending war of ideas, university libraries were viewed as arsenals. White used historical books and manuscripts in his history classes as early as 1872, and offered them to the curiosity of researchers. The period 1881-1895 proved the most fruitful for the expansion of the collection, with an increasing number of original and complete witch trial records (see for example, box 5, folders 1 and 8). When White was appointed as the first U.S. ambassador to a unified Germany (1897-1902), he found himself in a good position to buy from German booksellers. While witch hunts were seen all across early modern Europe, the epicenter of the phenomenon was Southwestern Germany and Thuringia. The peak years of witch hunts were from the 1560s to the 1670s, with more than 10,000 trials ending in executions. With family money and the proceeds from sales of his book "The History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom" (1896), A. D. White could afford outstanding documents, such as records of the witch-trial of Sister Maria Renata Sänger (or Singerin) von Mossau, charged with bewitching her fellow-nuns, whose execution was the last notorious witch burning in 1749 (box 5, folder 3). Her tragic case undermined the witch-hunt in Europe, and White commented upon it in chapter XVI of his book, "From Diabolism to Hysteria." He paid particular attention to the role played by jurists in fueling or denouncing the repression, for example in Rinteln, where Friedrich von Langenfeld wrote his "Cautio Criminalis" in 1631 (cf. box 4, folder 24), or in Ingolstadt, where the law faculty was particularly active (cf. 4620 Bd. Manuscript 35 ++).
In his effort to build a unique collection for Cornell Library, White could count on Burr, who once described himself jokingly as "a witch-hunter in the book shops." Burr had been captivated by the subject since he read an essay on the history of torture by Henry Charles Lea (1825-1909) at age fifteen. In 1885, while in Trier, he made a paleographic transcription of the trial of Dietrich Flade, ex-rector of the University and chief judge of the electoral court , who opposed the trials and especially the use of torture, and was arrested, tortured, strangled and burned for that reason in 1589 (Box 2, folder 8, and for the trial record, Bd. Manuscripts 4620 21++). Dietrich Flade, "the most eminent of the German victims of the persecution," became an icon to both White and Burr: he was a scholar who earned his fate through his attempt to check rationally and challenge the beliefs of his time. Having improved his paleographic skills in University of Leipzig and at the Ecole des chartes in Paris, Burr even started a doctoral dissertation on Dietrich Flade, and later published an article titled "The Fate of Dietrich Flade" (1891), conceived as a chapter of his never-written "History of Intolerance." In 1900, Burr initiated a correspondence with Joseph Hansen, the director of the Köln Stadtarchiv and a witchcraft historian who stood squarely within the positivist tradition. A Unitarian and a progressive thinker, Burr was convinced that witch hunting was not “the people’s fault,” and that clericalism -- more than "religion" -- bore the main responsibility for persecutions. Until his own death in 1938, he purchased original documents – though at a slower pace – and commissioned transcriptions of German manuscripts for the Cornell Library.


Documents, broadsides, letters, and other manuscripts concerning witchcraft and witchcraft trials in Europe, mainly in Germany, through the early modern period, with a few documents from New England. The unbound manuscripts and letters in the Witchcraft Collection include very interesting letters of George Lincoln Burr and Andrew Dickson White with dealers and with each other, concerning purchases for the collection. The George Lincoln Burr Papers #14-17-22 are another precious source for the history of the Witchcraft collection as a whole, and the purchase of witch trial records in particular.

Bekker, Balthasar, 1634-1698.
Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938.
Faust, d. ca. 1540.
Flade, Dietrich, 1534-1589.
Grandier, Urbain, 1590-1634.
Killigrew, Thomas, 1612-1683.
Löher, Hermann, fl. 1676.
Loos, Cornelius, ca. 1546-1595.
Sänger, Maria Renata von Mossau, ca. 1680-1749.
Trithemius von Spanheim, Johannes 1462-1516.
White, Andrew Dickson, 1832-1918.

Witchcraft--New England.
Witchcraft and sex.bib
Trials (Witchcraft)--Germany.
Trials (Witchcraft)--Europe.
Trials (Witchcraft)--United States.
Loudun (France)--Church history--17th century.
Puritans--United States.
Church and state--Catholic Church--History.
Church and state--History.
Women--United States--History.
Sex discrimination against women--Germany--History.
Sex discrimination against women--Europe--History.
Sex discrimination against women--United States--History.
Religion and law.
Demoniac possession.
Manuscripts--Collectors and collecting.


Cite As:
Witchcraft collection, unbound manuscripts, #4620. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


George Lincoln Burr papers, #14-17-22
This guide covers only a small portion of the Witchcraft collection. There is also a large collection of books (ca. 3000 v.) held in the repository, ranging in date from 1487 onward.


Manuscripts and Documents
Box 1 Folder 1
Aa, Jacob van der, 1792-1857
circa 1850
2 leaves
Manuscript copy of his article on Balthasar Bekker in his "Nieuw biographisch... van Nederlandsche dichters" document.
Box 1 Folder 2
An den Teufel
n.d. (17c.)
2 leaves
Manuscript copy of a poem.With manuscript annotation by G.L. Burr and partial transcription by LF
Box 1 Folder 3
Anschütz, Anna, Defendant...
48 leaves
Fragments of trial records, containing accusations of witchcraft against a woman in [Zella-]Mehlis, Thuringia (Germany).
Box 1 Folder 4
Arcanum Arcanorum
9 leaves
Manuscript copy of a Gnostic text.
Box 1 Folder 5
Baer, Joseph and Co., Librarians and Antiquarians in Frankfurt am Main
1 leaf + 2 leaves + 2 leaves + 1 leaf
Letters to George L. Burr, Cornell University [Library], documenting the purchase of documents of witch trial records (concerning Sister Maria Renata Sänger or Singerin as well as Hans Loder's wife, 17th century).
Box 1 Folder 6
Baer, Joseph and Co., Booksellers in Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
1 leaf
Typed letter to A.D. White [then U.S. Ambassador in Berlin] offering him witch trial records for purchase(Bamberg, 1617-31)
Box 1 Folder 7
Basler Buch- und Antiquariatshandlung, Booksellers in Basel (Switzerland)
February 1900
1 leaf and 1 leaf
Two manuscript letters to George L. Burr about the purchase of witch trial records (Alsace, 1607-75), one with envelope
Box 1 Folder 8
Bekker, Baltasar
1 leave + 5 leaves
List of works concerning Bekker, plus a manuscript copy of the poem "Aan aalems vreede schrijver ddomienee Zaalomon val til", signed "Baltasar Bekker" (?)
Box 1 Folder 9
Bekker, Baltasar
1 leaf
Manuscript copy of the poem "Lof Geedight op den Roem der kristenen Geemaaakt door", signed "Baltasar Bekker" (?)
Box 1 Folder 10
Bekker, Baltasar
1 leaf
Manuscript copy of "Bijschriften voorkomende in de gedichten uit het stamboek..."
Box 1 Folder 11
Bekker, Baltasar
2 leaves
Manuscript copy of the poem "Lof Geedight op het euwig evangelium Gemmakt Door Joohannis Vlak prediekant tee Zutven", signed "Baltasar Bekker"; the signature was actually appended by the copyist.
Box 1 Folder 12
Bekker, Baltasar
1 leaf
Manuscript copy of the poem "Lof Geedight over het verklaare van den eerste Brief van Petrus door Doomiene Golieus, prediekant tot hindeloopen" in Dutch, signed "Baltasar Bekker"; the signature was actually appended by the copyist
Box 1 Folder 13
Bekker, Baltasar
2 leaves
Manuscript copy "UItrreksl uit het Kort bericht" [1692], signed "Baltasar Bekker"; the signature was actually appended by the copyist
Box 1 Folder 14
Bekker, Baltasar
2 leaves
Manuscript copy poem "Brief aan zijn huisrouw, Frouk Fullenia" 1691), signed "Baltasar Bekker"; the signature was actually appended by the copyist
Box 1 Folder 15
Braun, Marta, defendant
6 leaves
Partial record of a witch trial against Marta Braun zu Mergentheim, 1628 [copy]. The original document is kept in the Hohenloe-Zentralarchiv (archive of the Hohenloe) in Neuenstein, Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg (Germany), Bestand GA 55
Box 1 Folder 16
"Processus Inquisitorius c[contra] Agnes Brussen, Michel Hoogens [Witwe] zum Grandshagen"
34 leaves
Manuscript record of a witch trial which took place in Treptow (Pomerania). The widow was accused of having song hymns to the devil (trial "in cantationis"). The record includes the testimony of her neighbors, her own inquisition, letters from the local clergy, an order for torture from the Law Faculty of the University of Greifswald, her confession, and the sentence, according to which she was burnt.
Box 1 Folder 17
"Acta Inquisitoria Catherinen Büchlers, die sogennante alte Bäckerin zu Grossmühlingen in puncto anno 1689"
128 leaves
Complete manuscript record of a witch trial, Anhalt-Bernburg region, 1688-9, 240 p. in folio sewn into one fascicle. The former baker was accused of adoring the devil and having poisoned a neighbor (trial "in venesicii"). The record includes the testimony of her neighbors, her own inquisition, the fact that she was left to the torturer to be interrogated harshly ("to death if necessary"), two personal interventions from the Prince Carl Wilhelm von Anhalt, and the sentence, according to which she was eventually acquitted in the absence of evidence, and released after almost two years.
Box 1 Folder 18
"Gela Hermann Büder Wittwe zu Rodenbach, Klägerin, Contra die Gemeindte deselbsten und sonderlich [contra] Johannes Krüdelbach und Johann Hansen [von dem] sleigen Ort, Bezüchtigung Zauberei belangend"
29 leaves
Trial record of a witch trial in Rodenbach, Hesse, Germany, 1650. The widow was accused of being a witch by two men of the same village. The document consists of her accusers' statements and her answers. Accompanied by a note by George L. Burr: "This manuscript was bought for the President White Library in the winter 1898-99"
Box 1 Folder 19
Burr, George Lincoln, 1857-1938
15 leaves
Original text of a lecture titled "On the Loos Manuscripts," on witch hunting and the persecution for heresy in Europe ("that strange nightmare that fell upon the world just as it woke from the long sleep of the Middle Ages") delivered by Burr on October 6, 1886, at a meeting of the Historical and Political Science Association; with a full transcription.
Box 2 Folder 1
"Dietrich Flade" [a famous witchcraft trial of the 16th century]
Included are Prof. Carpenter's article from "The Library of Cornell University," no.5 of April 1883, as well as notes.
Box 2 Folder 2
"Discours sur la mort et condemnation de Charles de Franchillon, Baron de Chenevières, exécuté en Place de Grève pour crime de sortilège et de magie le 14 May 1626"
[19th century]
10 leaves
Manuscript copy of a document kept in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Impr. Ln2 4768
Box 2 Folder 3
"Criminal Prozess" against Catarina Drencken, held in Neuerburg, Luxembourg
4 leaves
Fragment of a withcraft trial record: preliminary statement by the prosecutor and testimony of one witness.
Box 2 Folder 4
Ewen, Baron Cecil L'Estrange, 1877-1949
2 leaves and 2 leaves and 2 leaves
Three letters to George Burr by Ewen, the author of "Witch Hunting and Witch Trials: The Indictments for Witchcraft From the Records of 1373 Assizes Held for the Home Circuit A. D. 1559-1736," 1929.
Box 2 Folder 5
Extract Pfarr Protocols, Tennenberg, Germany
2 leaves
Statement by several "witnesses" that a woman named Stolz "turns herself into a wolf, and very often into a bear too"
Box 2 Folder 6
"Grandier est mort"
August 23, 1634 [?]
1 leaf
Autograph letter signed "F," sent from Poitiers. Describes the last days of Urbain Grandier, who was publicly burned in Loudun on August 18, 1634, after being convicted of witchcraft, specifically for his involvement in the Loudun Possessions. The letter reports certain "symptoms" of Grandier's alleged adoration of the Devil.
Box 2 Folder 7
"Inquisition. Acta Contra Hans Fiedler, und Margaretha dessen Eheweib, zu Schönau, wegen verdächtiger Hexerei"
122 leaves
Manuscript containing the preliminary statement, the testimony of seventeen "witnesses," as well as the trial proper of Hans and his wife, who was tortured to death in Schleusingen, Thuringia.
Box 2 Folder 8
"Transcript of the Trial for Witchcraft of Dr. Dietrich Flade of Trier, 1589"
67 leaves
Paleographic transcription made by Burr in 1882 of the minutes of a trial record (Trier Stadtbibliothek Hs. 1533a/171). The Witch trials of Trier (Germany) in the years from 1581 to 1593 led to the death of about three hundred and seventy people, including Judge Dietrich Flade, ex-rector of the university and dean of its law school, who opposed the persecutions and especially the use of torture. He was accused of participation in a sabbat where he had arrived in a silver carriage drawn by four dark horses. The document is mentioned in President White's 1896 book(A History of the Warfare of Science With Theology..., I, p. 357, Rare BL 245 .W58 1896).
Box 2 Folder 9
"Fragen... Contra Elsa Misseler"
circa 1630
2 leaves
Summary of a trial record [Hexenprozess in Flamersheim, Germany]
Box 2 Folder 10
Furman, Gabriel, 1800-1854
64 pages
Contains the manuscript of an essay, "American Legends, Ghost Stories, and Witchcraft" written by Judge Furman of Brooklyn in 1825.
Box 2 Folder 11
Furman, Gabriel, 1800-1854
undated [circa 1820]
"American Superstitions"
17 sets of notes.
Box 3 Folder 1
[Litigation concerning the payment of court costs in Tennenberg]
18 leaves
Concerns Hanswolf Gasserstedt's payment of court costs for his wife, Judith Rommelmann, who had been banished for witchcraft.
Box 3 Folder 2
Gause, Anna, defendant
18 leaves
Partial transcript and notes on the manuscript of a trial. Defendant was Anna Gause, the 70-year-old widow of Klaus Zauman, accused of being a witch and strangled.
Related Materials: Complete record, call number: 4620 Bd. Manuscript. 25 ++
Box 3 Folder 3
Der Geistliche Doktor Faust: Eine Citation
8 leaves
Partial transcript of esoteric notes.
Box 3 Folder 4
Godard, George Seymour, 1865-1936 [State Librarian of Connecticut]
Typed list, with the letter of transmittal signed by Godard.
List of material on witchcraft in the Connecticut State Library (31 articles)
Box 3 Folder 5
Good, William
September 13, 1710
Autograph letter signed to the Honourable Commitee. Document concerning "the destruction of [his] poor family" since Good's wife, Sarah, was executed in Salem in July 1692 "upon the account of supposed witchcraft"; also mentioned are "a sucking child [who] died in prison before the mother's execution" and another "child of four of five years old [who] was in prison seven or eight months and being chained in the dungeon was so hardly terrified that she [now] has no reason to govern herself." Included are two letters from the secretary of the Essex Intitute, 1913, as well as an auction catalog, in which the letter is described, sale item # 805.
Box 3 Folder 6
[Greiess, Eva, defendant]: "Zwischen Domminus Wilhlem Kurfürstlich Herrschaft Neuerburg... und Feminus Eva"
2 leaves
Autograph document signed. Advice of the Luxembourg authorities, in the name of the Grand-Duke, reporting the torture, confession, and execution by "strangulation by naked hands" of an alleged witch. With partial transcription and translation.
Box 3 Folder 7
Hall, Ralph, defendant
4 leaves
Autograph document [copy by Judge Gabriel Furman]. One of the two copies of the bill of indictement for the trial of Ralph Hall and his wife, annotated by Furman, according to whom this was "the only trial for that offence in [the state of New York]."
Box 3 Folder 8
Halle Antiquariat
2 leaves
Autograph letter signed from a German bookseller to Burr. Offers him "Protokolle von Hexenprocessen zu Flammersheim...aus den Jahren 1629-30" for purchase.
Box 3 Folder 9
Happe, Hans
Partial transcription and bibliographic description of Happe's treaty on alchemy, call number: 4620 Bd. Manuscript 77
Box 3 Folder 10
Harrisson, Katherine, of Hartford,Connecticut
7 leaves
Copy of trial records made by Burr, with his annotations.
Box 3 Folder 11
Hencke, Barbara, defendant [Luxembourg]
2 leaves
Judicial order for the torture of "Barbara, Beclagtin und Behaeftin," on the charge of witchcraft.
Box 3 Folder 12
Henot, Katharina
18 leaves
Photostat copies of records of a famous witchcraft trial that took place in Cologne, with a letter from Dr. Hansen, Historisches Archiv, Köln, to Burr.
Box 3 Folder 13
[Hexenprozess, Luxembourg]
Fragment of a trial record
Box 3 Folder 14
"Criminal Acta über Agnes Hinterreger und seiner Kinder [Christian, Thomas, und Einhard] in Crimine Maior de Anno 1687"
50 leaves
Incomplete record of a witchcraft trial held in Carinthia, Austria
Box 3 Folder 15
James I, King of England
4 leaves
Tolbooth speech as to witchcraft [copy]. Copy made by Lucy Dreicker in 1929. Attached is a letter requesting payment from Burr.
Box 3 Folder 16
Keiner, Osanna, defendant
18 leaves
Two documents relating to her trail for witchcraft: one describing the "great tumult" which took place in her cell and was supposedly caused by supernatural beings, and the other attributing her death under torture to strangulation by the devil.
Box 3 Folder 17
Killigrew, Thomas, 1612-1683
1 l.
"The Copye of a Letter Written by Mr. Thomas Killigrew." Contemporary manuscript copy of a well-known account of the possession of the nuns of Loudun, composed as a letter by the future dramatist Thomas Killigrew, then aged 23, during his tour of France.
Related Materials: Other manuscript copies are Bodleian Library, Ashmole manuscript 800, art. iii, ff. 21-27r, Magdalene College, Cambridge, Pepys Library 2099(3), ff. 10r-25v, and the British Library, Add. manuscript 27402, ff. 69r-71v. Source: J. Lough and D.E.L. Crane, "Thomas Killigrew and the possessed nuns of Loudon: the text of a letter of 1635," Durham University Journal, v.78, no.2, 1986, p. 259-68.
Box 3 Folder 18
"De Klinkende bel"
3 leaves
Copy of a Dutch poem composed in 1662.
Box 3 Folder 19
Knooulton or Knowlton, Thomas, and others: Deposition against Rachel Clinton for Practice of Witchcraft
1 l.
One of the few remaining accounts of a witch hunt before the trials of 1692-1693. From the Phillips Collection (Harbin Papers), with a full transcription. "It demonstrates that neighborood suspicion of Rachel Clinton long antedated her trial in connection with the Salem outbreak" (John Putnam Demos, Entertaining Satan, 1983, p. 20. The author observes that the heading on this document, "Witchcraft 1687," is in a separate hand and was probably added at some later time.)
Box 3 Folder 20
Kort-bondige... beschryving van Moses, in het boek der Scheppinge
4 leaves
Manuscript review of an article, by Johannes Roman, Boekverkooper.
Box 3 Folder 21
Krämer, Margaretha, defendant
55 ll.
[Trial for Witchcraft in Suhl, Germany]. Various documents relating to the trial of a widow accused of being a witch ("der Hexerey wegen"), who confessed before being tortured, was sentenced to death by fire -- sentenced commuted to death by decapitation by the Duke Moritz von Sachsen-Zeitz, Administrator des Stifts Naumburg, after she showed repentance (rescriptum.)
Related Materials: Complementary source: Bundesarchiv Koblenz, FSg.2/1-F Film Nr. 39 Suhl.
Box 3 Folder 22
K[rist?], Bekker's portrait]
1 l.
Copy of a short notice issued in the "Nederlansch Archief"
Box 3 Folder 23
Kühn, Sebastian
1 l.
"Dass den vier Herrn Geistlichen und dem Kirchner zu Schleusingen der Herr Ambtschreiber Sebastian Bentzinger 2 fl[orins] 5 g[ulden] 3 d[ucats] von Irmel Wagnerin zu Breitenbach... entrichtet und bezahlt [die ich richtig bekommen habe]." Sebastian Kühn certifies to the payment to himself, as well as to four other clergymen or sacristans, of a sum taken from the estate of Irmel Wagnerin, who had been executed for witchcraft after examination by those "skilled theologicians [periti]".
Box 4 Folder 1
"[Prozess] gegen die Witwe Lamkers, Maria, zu Neuerburg [Luxemburg], Lasters Zauberey halber"
circa 1630
2 leaves
Deposition against Maria Lamkers made by the city attorney "ex officio."
Box 4 Folder 2
Laubardemont, Jean de, 1590-1653, to Cardinal de Richelieu
1 leaf
Account by Laubardemont [a Capuchin monk and Richelieu's agent] of the successful exorcism of the Ursuline Prioress of Loudun, one year after the execution of Urbain Grandier. A fifth demon has been expelled from the body of the nun, leaving the name "Joseph" on her left hand.
Box 4 Folder 3
Lea, Henry Charles, 1825-1909
undaetd [circa 1880]
79 leaves
Transcriptions of clippings collected by Lea, which he lent to Burr for copying (1889). Includes "Russian Witches," "Strange French Stories," "Superstition in Western Kentucky," "Pennsylvania Witchcraft: A Curious Case in Dauphin County," "Mojave Indians Sacrifice a Squaw accused of Witchcraft," etc. Burr worked to complete the manuscript of Lea's "Materials for a Study of Witchcraft."
Box 4 Folder 4
Leitschuh, Dr. Friedrich, to Joseph Baer and Co., forwarded to George L. Burr
2 leaves
Concerns his offer to sell the documents of the witch trial of Sister Maria Renata Sänger and Hans Loder's wife [cf. these names below.]
Box 4 Folder 5
Leonhardtz, Hupritch, d. 1621, defendant
circa 1621
20 leaves
"Verbal [confrontation] zwischen Heinrich Stein aus Oberweis [in Luxemburg], formal Clergen, und Hupricht Leonhardtz aus Oberweis Lasters Zauberei halber inquirirt [ = subject to an Inquisition trial for witchcraft]."
Box 4 Folder 6
"Lijst der werken van B. Bekker..."
2 leaves
Besides Bekker's own works, the list enumerates some 170 titles.
Box 4 Folder 7
Sentença de Maria Antonia de Liveyra [contemporary copy] Trial Record (fragments)
circa 1710
10 leaves
Report of the trial of an alleged witch who was engaged in treating kinds of human and animal diseases, using grimaces and magical signs, and pretending to "swallow the illness." She confessed to all the charges against her and was burnt.
Box 4 Folder 8
Loder, Hans, defendant
2 leaves
Nine fragments of a trial record held in Arnstein, all addressed to the Prince-Bishop of Würtzburg.
Box 4 Folder 9
Luxenburger, Johann, and Sesaner, Friedrich of Luttum (Germany), "Dreiforcher Höllenzwang"
8 leaves and 1 sketch
Manuscript copy of a "Höllenzwang" or book of magic containing invocations and charms intended to compel the demons to do one's will. It draws its inspiration from Dr. Faust's Wunder-Buch (1501) and includes several drawings.
Box 4 Folder 10
Margareth of Körperich-Neuerburg (Luxembourg), defendant
2 leaves
Her confession that she was led to become a witch by her grandmother at age 4.
Box 4 Folder 11
Mafteah Shelomo/Clavicula Salomonis/Book of the Key of Solomon
2 leaves
A German short copy of one of the most famous books of magic.
Box 4 Folder 12
Marg[a]reta Martin of Löwenberg (Schlesien, Germany), defendant
2 leaves
Order to torture this woman, who was accused of magical practices and sexual intercourse with the devil, followed by a report of her unexplained death.
Box 4 Folder 13
Massachussets [Colony] Courts, Essex County -- Salem Witch Trials
1 leaf (2 copies -- facsimiles)
Letter from Judge William Stoughton to George Corwin, the sheriff of Essex County, ordering the execution of Bridgett Bishop, who was convicted of witchcraft, plus answering letter of Corwin confirming that the execution was completed.
Copy from the Massachusetts State Archives.
Box 4 Folder 14
Miller, Johannes, Anglican minister
2 leaves
Answer to the questions posed by Governor Joseph Dudley of New York (text in Latin).
Box 4 Folder 15
Nederlandse hervorkomde kerk...
2 leaves
Copy of an article on Bekker.
Box 4 Folder 16
Negen deelen voor en tegen B[altasar] Bekker
2 leaves and 3 leaves
List of pamphlets [1691-99] relating to the "Bekker controversy" (the furor over De Betoverde Veereld, a pamphlet published in 1691 in which Bekker attacked witch-hunting.)
Box 4 Folder 17
New York State University in Binghamton
2 leaves
Printed program for the conference "Witchcraft and the Occult in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance" organized by the Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies.
Box 4 Folder 18
Nicholson. J.W., to Burr
2 leaves
Informs Burr that he has "a facsimile copy" of the trial of Grace Sherwood.
Box 4 Folder 19
Novelles voor en tegen B[altasar] Bekker
2 leaves
List of 117 titles of pamphlets about Bekker (1691-1692).
Box 4 Folder 20
Nürnbergische Theologen Ainhellige Antwort über etliche Puncten, die Unhulden [=demonic creatures] betreffent auff die Supplication des Raths zu Weisenburg... wie sie sich mit iren Hexen und Unhulden verhalden sollen, und was in Göttlichen heiliger Schrifft davon gegründet sey"
16 leaves
Report and recommendations on the matter of witchcraft and witch persecution, written by six pastors from Nuremberg at the request of the local authorities in Weisenburg, 30 miles below Nuremberg.
Related Materials: G.L. Burr, "The Literature of Wichcraft," in Papers of the American Historical Association, 1889, p. 61.
Box 4 Folder 21
Onder het Monument von B. Bekker staat alz vogt
1 leaf
Inscription on Bekker's monument in Amsterdam, and list of portraits of him.
Box 4 Folder 22
Pennsylvania Gazette
4 leaves
Copy made by Judge Gabriel Furman of an article issued on October 22, 1730 and dealing with a trial for witchcraft.
Box 4 Folder 23
Picken, Magdalen, of Neuerburg (Luxembourg), defendant
4 leaves
The first examination and testimony of seven other convicted witches who had accused Magdalen of being one of them.
Box 4 Folder 24
Pollman, Anna, defendant
143 leaves
"Untersuchungsprotokoll gegen die Ehefrau des Juergen Pollmann, Anna, geboren Nolte, in Rinteln, wegen Zauberei." With notes by G.L. Burr
Box 4 Folder 25
Prütinger, Cunz, defendant
2 leaves
Order for examination by torture issued by the office of the Chancellor of the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg and Würzburg.
Box 5 Folder 1
Reinhard, Ursula, defendant
208 leaves
Original documents from the trials of all three accused witches, that took place in Waltershausen in Thuringia, Germany. The first 106 leaves are sewn together in one fascicle and concern only Ursula Reinhard, who was tortured and burned. Followed by 93 loose leaves relating also to her trial, the rest is about subsequent trials of women accused by Ursula, Judith Rommelmann (2 leaves), and Caspar Hess' wife (7 leaves). With a note by G.L. Burr.
Box 5 Folder 2
Rosenthal, Ludwig
May 1900
1 leaf
Postcard offering for sale "a very interesting and exceedingly rare" booklet on witchcraft. Pencilled on the card is a note by G.L. Burr indicating that the book was not ordered for Cornell Library due to the price.
Box 5 Folder 3
Sänger or Singerin, Maria Renata, defendant
35 leaves
Autograph document signed, containing: "Ratione Corporis Delicti," a brief of the case against her (leaves numbered 1-3). Three lists of questions to be asked of her (leaves numbered 4-6). Part of her examination and confession, dated February 5, 1749, and signed in her hand "Soror Maria Renata Sengerin de Mossau" (leaf numbered 7). Legal briefs discussing her alleged crimes, plus accounts of her secular trial and execution (leaves numbered 8-13). Sister Maria Renata von Mossau was a Bavarian nun at the convent of Unterzell, who was executed for heresy, witch craft, apostasy and satanism, one of the last people executed for these charges in Europe, in Würzburg in June 1749.
Related Materials: Complementary sources about Maria Renata's examination are to be found at the Staatsarchiv in Würzburg with the signature HV manuscripts f. 20, f. 225, f. 267 and f. 1569 . See Anton Memminger, Das verhexte Kloster : nach den Akten dargestellt, Würzburg, 1904, call number: Witchcraft BF 1583 .Z7 1749c; and "Die Praemonstratenserchorfrau Renata Singer von Mossau und ihre Sippe," in "Beiträge zur Geschichte des Bistums Regensburg 39 (2005)," Festschrift Paul Mai, p. 165-178.
Box 5 Folder 4
Schlott, defendant
4 leaves
AM Deposition for witchcraft against one Schlott, who was secretary for the convent of Unterzell, near Würzburg.
Box 5 Folder 5
[1] Seebauer or Seebawer, K., defendant; [2] Bussbacher, Margaretha, defendant; [3] Schuster, Barbara, defendant; Eismennin, Margaretha, defendant; [4] Schneiderin, Anna, Staudtin, Anna and Magdhalena Stüberich [mother and daugher], Ottilia Dehinn, Claus Winckelmann, all from Hangenweisheim in Franconia, defendants; [5] Kühnen, defendant; [6] Künnen, Reygers, defendant; and [7] Gröling, Margaretha, defendant
1615-30, 1905
11 leaves + 8 leaves + 4 leaves + 2 leaves + 2 leaves+ 10 leaves + 10 leaves
This set of manuscripts bound together contains the records of seven distinct trial records, numbered 1-7 in this catalog. The first record contains the testimony of the witnesses, and an account of the procedure of Frau Seebauer's trial and execution for witchcraft in 1629, with a short annotation by G.L. Burr ("bought for the President White's Library in September 1905") as well as two letters in German from bookseller and antiquarian Emil Hirsch from Munich, the first about this acquisition, and the second about other manuscripts documenting the history of witch-hunt in Franconia, for sale (August and September 1905). The remaining six records concern witchcraft trials that also took place in Franconia in the years 1615-1630 (2-7 in this catalog) including the last defendant's "Gut und peinliche Aussag" (statement under torture)
Box 5 Folder 6
Seublin, Agnes, defendant
12 leaves
Six documents and a postscript scrap belonging to the trial of this Seublin of Warmbronn, near Stuttgart.
Box 5 Folder 7
Spingel, Sunna, defendant
1 leaf
Autograph document signed, related to a witchcraft trial held in Neuerburg, Luxembourg
Box 5 Folder 8
Stein, Susanne, defendant
6 August-20 November 1627
4 leaves and 31 leaves and 1 leaf and 34 leaves
"Advice" on behalf of the authorities of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and indictment and complete transcript of the trial held in Neuerburg, Luxembourg. With annotations by G.L. Burr, 1887
Box 5 Folder 9
Stübler, Magdalena, defendant
32 leaves
Transcript of her witchcraft trial held at Leonberg, in Bavaria.
Box 6 Folder 1
Taylor, G
May 23,1926
1 leaf
Autograph letter signed to Cornell Prof. Adams, regarding a witchcraft case, as well as the "Dark Lady" of Shakespeares' Sonnets.
Box 6 Folder 2
Trithemius, Johannes
Early 17th century
6 leaves and 38 leaves
Collection of "conjurations" or formulas of exorcism attributed to the Abbot of Spannheim, magician Trithemius (1462-1516), whose work on sorcery contained the first record of the famous folk story Dr. Faustus.
Box 6 Folder 3
Wahrhafte und Umständige Nachricht von dem Zufahl, so das Jungfräulichen Closter Unterzell des Heiligen Canonischen Praemontatenser Ordens im Jahr 1749 Betroffen Hat.
23 leaves
An account of Sister Maria Renata Sänger's (or Singerin's) career from the time she entered the cloister to her trial and execution for witchcraft.
Related Materials: See Box 5, Folder 3.
Box 6 Folder 4
Wallys or Wallis, Mary, defendant
March 1656
23 leaves
Relation by Sir Richard Onsley, a clerk, who himself "had it from his credible neighbors", of a woman named Mary Wallis from Guilford, Kent, England, who was accused of having bewitched her grandson Nicholas. Contains the testimonies of villagers "[who] seemed to be sober well-bred country people." With a transcription made by William R. Johnson in 1978.
Related Materials: See C. L'Estrange Ewen, Witch hunting and witch trials; the indictments for witchcraft from the records of 1373 assizes held for the Home Circuit A.D. 1559-1736. London: K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1929. Olin Library BF1581 .E94 W8 1971.
Box 6 Folder 5
Weitluft, Nicolaus or Nicholaus, defendant
46 leaves + 4 leaves
Partial records containing a statement of the accusation, and a report of his examination, largely under torture, as well as of the interrogation of his accuser, beggar-boy named "Zacherlen," by the Inquisitors of the free city of Schwäbisch-Gmünd (in what is now Württemberg, Germany). The record documents the patterns of persecution, and the different strategies chosen by men and women indicted for witchcraft: in this case, Nicholaus protests that he is innocent until he is tortured and admits that indeed he has devoted himself to the devil, who visited his bedroom and turned it into a magic garden, etc.; he then retracts his confession; afterwards he admits that he is a witch, yet with the caveat that he was not really possessed. In the same "volume" is a detached leaf with the heading "Einnemen / Handlelohn." This is a record of a transfer of properties from one tenant to another, with no connection to the court trial record, except that the landlord may have been the same free city of Gmünd.
Box 6 Folder 6
Wendel, Regina, defendant
13 leaves
Four documents from the hearings of 8 year old orphan girl named Regina Wendel, who was supposedly under the influence of the devil. Includes a report of the preliminary hearing, the examination of the defendant and witnesses, and a final decision made by a judge of Öttingen (Bavaria), who acquitted her.
Box 6 Folder 7
Weyer, Lehna, Defendant
2 leaves
Advice given by the Luxembourg [Lutzemburg] government officials for the torture and execution of a woman who was deprived of her possessions and burned after strangulation "wegen bekannten Zauberlaster und Zauberthaten."
Box 6 Folder 8
White, Andrew Dickson
September 30, 1899
4 leaves
Typewritten letter signed to Proffessor [sic] George L. Burr, Cornell University, discussing the contents and purchase of the records of the witchcraft trial of Maria Renata Sänger of Unterzell/Mossau.
Box 6 Folder 9
White, Andrew Dickson
February 10, 1900
1 leaf
Typewritten letter signed to Professor George L. Burr, Cornell University, discussing the purchase of witchcraft trial records (Bamberg?).
Box 6 Folder 10
Wick, Johann Jacob, 1522-1588
[circa 1560-1588]
4 notebooks, 63 leaves
Extracts made in 1888 by future historians George L. Burr and Earl Barnes [who would receive his M.S. from Cornell in 1891] from the compilation of manuscripts and print known as "Wickiana," 24 volumes kept in the Zürich Zentralbibliothek. With annotations and descriptions of illustrations by Burr.
Box 7
George Lincoln Burr catalog cards and slips
Box 8-9
Rossell Hope Robbins Encyclopedia of Witchcraft illustrations