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.
”De Jutische Lowboog” In 1416 a section concerning sorcery was added to the Jutlandish Law. The paragraph ordered that a person charged with sorcery should defend him or herself by tribunal. The Jutlandish Law applied to Jutland and Funen till it was replaced by the Danish Law in 1683. The Jutlandish Law remained valid in the Duchy of Slesvig till the year of 1900. That is why the specimen displayed, bound in parchment, ”Das Jütische Lowbuch” from 1717 is in the German language. On the cover the title is by hand spelled ”De Jutische Lowboog”, however. The book originates from the Estrup Manor. Prayer for sorcery In Denmark the last execution for sorcery took place in 1693, but the fear of sorcerers and sorceresses and the smear campaigns against them did not cease then. The prayer book from about 1725 displayed published by the vicar Hans Jacob Hvalsoe thus includes a “prayer for sorcery”. The book comes from the farm Mosegaard (which means “Bog Farm”) south of Estrup. The farm was built in the late 17 th century by Eskild Hansen on a plot of land parcelled out from Estrup. Eskild Hansen was son of a Soenderskov tenant farmer.