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The Trial of Tempel Anneke

The Trial of Tempel Anneke: Records of a Witchcraft Trial in Brunswick, Germany, 1663

Edited by Peter Morton
Translated by Barbara Dähms
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 174
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Trial of Tempel Anneke
    Book Description:

    "This is a fascinating and important book." - Moshe Sluhovsky, California State University, Long Beach

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-0233-5
    Subjects: History, Law

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. List of Illustrations
    (pp. xii-xii)
  6. List of Maps
    (pp. xii-xii)
  7. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xlvi)

    Sometime in June of 1663 Anna Roleffes, known locally as Tempel Anneke, of the village of Harxbüttel¹ near the city of Brunswick, was arrested on suspicion of witchcraft and was imprisoned in the municipality of Hagen in Brunswick. The earliest written allegations against her appeared in the summer of 1662, and from these records it seems that there were already at that time official enquiries into her activities. Her ultimate arrest stemmed from the charge that she used sorcery to obtain the return of goods stolen from a roofer, Hans Tiehmann. Following her arrest the court investigated a number of...

  8. The Trial of Tempel Anneke (1663)

    • Document A
      (pp. 3-3)

      [This document records the first known accusations of witchcraft against Tempel Anneke. It was originally filed as Folio 17, but it has been moved here because of its date. The testimony was given in Neubrück, outside of Brunswick, in August, 1662. For a description of the archival material that we are naming Documents A through C, see pp. pp. xxxiv-xxxv of the Introduction.]...

    • Document B
      (pp. 4-5)

      [Like Document A, this document was recorded in Neubrück and indicates official interest in Tempel Anneke prior to her arrest in June, 1663. Originally it was filed as part of Folio 15, but it has been moved here on the basis of its date.]...

    • Document C
      (pp. 6-6)

      [This document records legal action against Hans Tiehmann for hiring Tempel Anneke to perform sorcery. This incident was the origin of the criminal charges against Tempel Anneke. It was originally filed without a cover at the back of the collection.]...

    • Folio 1
      (pp. 7-8)

      [The original of this document is now lost. It records the testimony of the five witnesses who were first called to give evidence against Tempel Anneke following her arrest. For the sources of this document, see pp. xxxiv-xxxv of the Introduction.]...

    • Folio 2
      (pp. 9-13)

      [This folio contains a list of questions about which Tempel Anneke was interrogated on July 1, 1663. (See Folio 3.) The questions were drafted by theSyndicusof the Higher Court based on reports of Tempel Anneke’s activities collected in the period prior to the trial. In accordance with legal practice at the time, the questions were prepared before they were put to Tempel Anneke. For a full description of the original layout of questions and answers in the archival source, see pp. xxxiv-xxxv.]...

    • Folio 3
      (pp. 14-23)

      [This folio contains Tempel Anneke’s answers to the questions drawn up in Folio 2. In the original records, Tempel Anneke’s answers were always recorded in a separate folio without the questions. Here and elsewhere we have reprinted the questions to avoid the need to read back and forth between the folios.]...

    • Folio 4
      (pp. 24-24)

      [This document indicates the commencement of the trial proper. In accordance with the Carolina, the initial evidence recorded in Folio1 to 3 is here determined to be sufficient to proceed to a full criminal investigation. For the background on the Carolina, see pp. xxx-xxxiii of the Introduction.]...

    • Folio 5
      (pp. 25-26)

      [In accordance with the instructions given in Folio 4, the witnesses who gave evidence in Folio 1 are here required to give their testimony under oath. The third witness, Anna Steinmann, failed to appear. The fourth witness in Folio 1, Hennig Roleffes, lived in Wenden, outside Brunswick, and so his sworn testimony is requested from the officials in Neubrück, which was the administrative centre of that district. That letter is recorded in Folio 10, and his sworn testimony is in Folio 18.]...

    • Folio 6
      (pp. 27-31)

      [The instructions in Folio 4 require that after their testimony is given under oath each witness who testified in Folio 1 is to be confronted with Tempel Anneke about the differences between their testimony and hers. This folio records the confrontations of Tempel Anneke with Hans Tiehmann and Autor Bahrensdorff.]...

    • Folio 7
      (pp. 32-35)

      [This folio records the testimony of witnesses who lived on Kaiser Street, where Hans Tiehmann lived, concerning Tempel Anneke’s activities there and the theft of Thiehmann’s goods. Also in this folio, Dorothea Mehrdorff, the wife of Hans Henkelmann, is questioned and confronted with Tempel Anneke concerning the latter’s answers to questions 28 to 33 in Folio 3.]...

    • Folio 8
      (pp. 36-38)

      [In Folio 3 Tempel Anneke answers questions about the accusation made by the publican of Harxbüttel, Hans Harves, that she conjured an injury into his leg. In this folio the officials question Hennig Vaddrian, who was said to have brought the accusation from Harves to Tempel Anneke. Tempel Anneke is then confronted with Vaddrian.]...

    • Folio 9
      (pp. 39-40)

      [Hans Isensee was a school master who boarded at the home of Tempel Anneke. He testifies concerning her activities. Another boarder at the farm, an unnamed shoe mender, could not be found.]...

    • Folio 10
      (pp. 41-44)

      [This folio contains three letters from the court in Brunswick to the officials in Gifhorn, Campen, and Neubrück, asking that certain witnesses in those jurisdictions report to Brunswick to give evidence. These witnesses are Anna Timmerman, who testifies in Folio 14a, Hille Voge, who testifies in Folio 11, and Hennig Roleffes, who testifies in Folio 18. Also in this folio is the reply from Gifhorn.]...

    • Folio 11
      (pp. 46-47)

      [This folio contains the sworn testimony of Hille Voge, High Countess of Lehre, whose name first appears in Folio 2, and her confrontation with Tempel Anneke.]...

    • Folio 12
      (pp. 48-48)

      [Following upon the letter from Brunswick to Campen in Folio 10, this letter from Johann Damm of Campen requests that the court in Brunswick also question Tempel Anneke about a woman from Essenrode. The list of questions appears in Folio 13.]...

    • Folio 13
      (pp. 49-49)

      [These are the questions that Johann Damm of Campen wishes to be put to Tempel Anneke. Her answers are recorded in Folio 21.]...

    • Folio 14a
      (pp. 50-52)

      [This is the testimony of Anna Timmerman, who is first mentioned in Folio 10. Her story forms the basis of much questioning of Tempel Anneke in Folios 21 and 22, and her further testimony is recorded in Folio 39.]...

    • Folio 14b
      (pp. 53-54)

      [This is the reply from Johann Gürn of Neubrück to the letter recorded in Folio 10. Gürn included with this letter the testimonies of Christoff Meinicke, the miller of Neubrück, which is contained in Folio 15, and that of Christoff Rieckmann, contained in Folio 16.]...

    • Folio 15
      (pp. 55-55)

      [This is the testimony of Christoff Meinicke, sent with the letter of Folio 14b. The phrase “put on the wheel” implies that Meinicke was tortured.]...

    • Folio 16
      (pp. 56-56)

      [This is the testimony of Christoff Rieckmann, sent with the letter of Folio 14b.]...

    • Folio 18
      (pp. 57-61)

      [This folio contains the sworn testimony of Hennig Roleffes of Wenden and the record of his confrontation with Tempel Anneke concerning her answers in Folio 3, which were first requested in Folio 10. Roleffes’s testimony is often grammatically convoluted, and it is difficult to make complete sense of some parts of it.]...

    • Folio 19
      (pp. 62-62)

      [This is the testimony of Tempel Anneke’s brother, Heinrich Roleffes of Wenden.]...

    • Folio 20
      (pp. 63-65)

      [This is the sworn testimony of Heinrich Cordes of Wenden, who was first questioned in September, 1662, as recorded in Document B. Following his testimony Tempel Anneke is questioned further about the same events and is confronted with Cordes.]...

    • Folio 21
      (pp. 66-70)

      [Based on the evidence collected in Folios 5 through 20, the Higher Court here formulates a new set of questions upon which to interrogate Tempel Anneke. Her answers appear in Folio 22.]...

    • Folio 22
      (pp. 71-78)

      [These are Tempel Anneke’s replies to the questions in Folio 21. As in Folio 3, the questions do not appear in the original records but are repeated here for convenience.]...

    • Folio 23
      (pp. 80-81)

      [In her answer to question 24 of Folio 21, Tempel Anneke described a number of herbs that she used in her cures. In this document the Stadtphysicus testifies that these herbs could not work naturally in the way she claims.]...

    • Folio 24
      (pp. 82-82)

      [Following the questioning of Tempel Anneke on August 24, the trial records were sent to the legal faculty of the University of Jena for an opinion on the evidence against the accused. On the basis of this judgment the court had the legal authority on which to proceed to torture.]...

    • Folio 25
      (pp. 83-83)

      [On the basis of the legal decision from Jena, the Higher Court here identifies a list of questions from Folios 2 and 21 on which to re-examine Tempel Anneke under threat of torture and under torture if necessary.]...

    • Folio 26
      (pp. 84-94)

      [In this folio are Tempel Anneke’s answers under the threat of torture to the questions identified in Folio 25.]...

    • Folio 27
      (pp. 95-97)

      [The court here formulates a set of questions about which to interrogate Tempel Anneke under torture.]...

    • Folio 28
      (pp. 98-105)

      [In this folio Tempel Anneke answers the questions in Folio 27 under the first full application of torture. Here she confesses fully to the crime of witchcraft.]...

    • Folio 29
      (pp. 106-111)

      [According to the Carolina, confessions obtained under torture can be used as the basis of a judgment in criminal law only if they are repeated “voluntarily,” that is, without torture. Thus the questions in Folio 27 are presented to Tempel Anneke once again but without the presence of the executioner.]...

    • Folio 30
      (pp. 112-112)

      [In this document the court formulates a set of questions concerning the details of Tempel Anneke’s alleged relations with the Devil.]...

    • Folio 31
      (pp. 113-116)

      [Here Tempel Anneke answers the questions formulated in Folio 30.]...

    • Folio 32
      (pp. 117-118)

      [This folio contains a further set of questions, focusing more closely on the pact with the Devil.]...

    • Folio 33
      (pp. 119-123)

      [There are two parts to the proceedings recorded here. First, Tempel Anneke answers the questions formulated in Folio 32. After the interrogation, the court searches for the witch’s mark, which Tempel Anneke confessed to having received from the Devil in Folio 31.]...

    • Folio 34
      (pp. 124-126)

      [This document contains copies of letters sent to Gifhorn, and to Thune in the district of Neubrück, in which the court seeks confirmation of aspects of Tempel Anneke’s confessions in Folio 28.]...

    • Folio 35
      (pp. 127-127)

      [This is a reply received from Gifhorn to the letter contained in Folio 34.]...

    • Folio 36
      (pp. 128-129)

      [This folio contains the testimony of Ernst Poppe in reply to the questions formulated in Folio 34.]...

    • Folio 37
      (pp. 130-130)

      [This folio contains the report from Gifhorn that was promised in Folio 35.]...

    • Folio 38
      (pp. 131-132)

      [This document is a draft copy of the first part of Folio 34. It appears without a cover, address, or date.]...

    • Folio 39
      (pp. 133-135)

      [This is the testimony of Anna Timmerman, which was attached to the report from Gifhorn in Folio 37.]...

    • Folio 40
      (pp. 136-137)

      [Here the mother and brother of Jürgen Roleffes are questioned concerning his alleged bewitching by Tempel Anneke, first mentioned in Folio 2. The late date of this document may be because the interrogation of Jürgen’s mother, Magdalena Bösken, followed a decree by the cathedral chapter of St. Blasius. This decree may have been required because she lived within the legal jurisdiction of the church.]...

    • Folio 41
      (pp. 138-139)

      [This document is the statement of the final confession to be obtained from Tempel Anneke. It is drafted by theSyndicus, Johann Baumgarten, and it is based on the decision received from the University of Jena contained in Folio 42.]...

    • Folio 42
      (pp. 140-141)

      [This is the second decision received from the legal faculty of the University of Jena. The faculty finds Tempel Anneke guilty of a set of specific accusations, on the basis of which the court in Brunswick formulates its final judgment.]...

    • Folio 43
      (pp. 142-145)

      [This folio contains Tempel Anneke’s final confession to the accusations formulated in Folio 41.]...

    • Folio 44
      (pp. 148-149)

      [This is the final judgment of the Higher Court, based on Tempel Anneke’s confession in Folio 43, drafted and signed by Johann Baumgarten.]...

    • Folio 45
      (pp. 150-151)

      [In accordance with the Carolina, a convicted criminal is required to make a last formal confession, called theUrgicht, on the day of the execution. This confession would have been read out at a public hearing just prior to the execution. See p. xxxiii of the Introduction.]...

    • Supplementary Civic Records
      (pp. 152-156)

      [This section contains translations of additional archival documents related to the trial. For the background of these documents see pp. xxxvii-xxxviii of the Introduction.]...

  9. Appendices

    • Appendix A. Glossary of Latin Terms
      (pp. 158-162)
    • Appendix B. Index of Herbs and Medicinal Ingredients
      (pp. 163-165)
  10. References
    (pp. 166-169)
  11. Sources
    (pp. 170-170)
  12. Index of People and Places
    (pp. 171-174)