65 – Persecutions picture

Physical description:
Black and white reproduction of an old engraving (16th C ?) showing a bound woman being raised on a ladder on to a bonfire.
Museum classification:
Persecution
Information:
The witch finder watches as one of his victims is burnt alive in Amsterdam in 1571. Original text by Cecil Williamson: 'In the burning of a witch one is inclined to think of Joan of Arc, bound to a thick trunk of wood with a large pile of faggots stacked around her. Once the match was set to the brushwood the flames would roar away and the victim would be engulfed in a sea of flame and lose consciousness. A relatively quick death. True the flesh and bones took a long time to cook and roast away to a cinder, but what of that. But with witches that was a different matter. They must be made to suffer. To that end a clever churchman devised a neat trick, that of binding a witch to a ladder, then to hoist her aloft, from where she could gaze down upon the bonfire ready burning to receive her. Then having cast her once into the flames with the long ladder across the heart of the fire, strong men could grasp either end of the ladder and so lift her up and turn her over to burn a little on the other side of her body, and so it went on, and on. A sort of spit roast to ensure prolonged agony.'
Resource:
Picture
Materials:
Paper
The witch finder watches as one of his victims is burnt alive in Amsterdam in 1571. Original text by Cecil Williamson: 'In the burning of a witch one is inclined to think of Joan of Arc, bound to a thick trunk of wood with a large pile of faggots stacked around her. Once the match was set to the brushwood the flames would roar away and the victim would be engulfed in a sea of flame and lose consciousness. A relatively quick death. True the flesh and bones took a long time to cook and roast away to a cinder, but what of that. But with witches that was a different matter. They must be made to suffer. To that end a clever churchman devised a neat trick, that of binding a witch to a ladder, then to hoist her aloft, from where she could gaze down upon the bonfire ready burning to receive her. Then having cast her once into the flames with the long ladder across the heart of the fire, strong men could grasp either end of the ladder and so lift her up and turn her over to burn a little on the other side of her body, and so it went on, and on. A sort of spit roast to ensure prolonged agony.'