The exhibition Manor Life

sonderskov.dk

The exhibition Manor Life

Portrait of Christian IV and Queen Anna Cathrine

Christian IV gave cause to a considerable rise in the number of trials on charges of

sorcery, when he issued an “Order for Sorcerers and those contributing” in 1617. In

the following years the number of cases of sorcery and procedures culminated in

Jutland. The above portrait of Christian IV and his queen is from 1611. Reproduced

from a painting at Rosenborg Castle.

Sorcery and procedures

Tradition commanded that the squire stood up for his subjects and defended them.

Concurrently the squire was responsible for law and order on his estate. The diverse

expectations might prove to become a severe test of his loyalties.

In the year of 1617 Christian IV issued an “Order for Sorcerers and those

contributing”. All persons in authority including the nobility were hereby ordered to

pursue sorcerers, if they themselves wanted to avoid punishment as contributors.

Three years later two subjects to the squire of Soenderskov and Estrup were

denounced for sorcery.

The squire, Thomas Juel, chose to arrest and charge the denounced persons, Karen

Anderskone of Vittrup and the cook Kirsten Joergens of Estrup Village.

Jutlandish Law ordered that someone charged with sorcery should defend him or

herself by tribunal. That meant that the accused should find 12 or better 24 men of

unblemished reputation, who would swear the person concerned free of sorcery.

The two women did not achieve that. Then Thomas Juel the asked Karen, if she

would “spit at the evil spirit” in the presense of good people, but that she declined.

Probably she considered her cause to be lost in advance. Or did she feared the dark

powers so much, that she did not dare? Malt District Court as well as the noble

judges in Viborg sentenced the women to death on the stake.

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