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Maren Splids executed for witchcraft

9 November 1641 Maren Splids was burned at the stake in Ribe. She had the day before been found guilty of Witchcraft. Maren was not the typical witch, as she was wealthy and respected, but also a fiery temperament. She was married to master tailor and restaurateur Lauritz Splids who was a talented man.

The prosecutor was Didrik Tailor who claimed three men had come to him at night. He recognized one as Maren Splids . The women had fixated him and puffed him in the throat after which Didrik got sick. A blob of vomit appears to be only evidence, as it was felt this was not natural.

The supreme authority in Ribe was called together including bailiff Albert Skeel, however , the case was dropped due to lack of evidence. Didrik was apparently willing to do anything to get Maren convicted and in 1639 he had managed to gather six charges, all among the city's poorest citizens. This time Didrik even contacted the King, Christian the fourth, who was a keen participant in witch persecutions in Denmark. Maren was again acquitted, but the new sheriff and the king contested the case to the Supreme Court, where the King himself sat as a judge and declared the judgment null and void. Maren was taken to blåtårn in Copenhagen where she confessed under torture and informed against 6 other women, which in turn then informed against other women. One of them also ended at the stake, Anne Thomas's daughter, the rest were rescued.

So on the 9 November, Maren was given half a jug of mead and had a heap of gunpowder strapped on to her back to hasten death after which she was burned at the stake.


Memorial plaque for Maren Splids on the thouse she lived in
Memorial plaque for Maren Splids on the thouse she lived in