Remy (1530 - 1616)
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Nicholas Remy was
one of a number of French magistrates who gained notoriety as ‘inquisitors’
and ruthless ‘witch-hunters’. Remy was the author of Daemonolatreiae (Demonolatry)
first published in Lyons in 1595. This
was one of a chain of books written in the wake of the infamous Malleus
Hammer of Witches) of 1486,
intended to inflame the witchcraft delusion.
The Daemonolatreiae was reprinted several times, translated into
German and eventually replaced the Malleus Maleficarum as the most
recognized handbook of witch-hunters in Europe.
Remy’s claim to fame as an expert ‘witch-hunter’ is made on the
book’s title page, in which he boasts to have personally condemned and burned
Remy was born in
1530? at Charmes in the Départment des Vosges, Lorraine. His
family has long been known in the Province and came from a branch of the ancient
House of St. Remegio of Chalons sue Marne in 1254.
One ancestor Pierre Remy of Lorraine had been a Treasurer for Charles IV,
King of France from 1322 to 1328. His
father Gérard Remy was the Provost of Charmes, while his uncle was Lieutenant
General of Vosges. With a family tradition of lawyers, it was only natural for
Remy himself to enter the legal profession.
While studying law at the University of Toulouse, he met and studied with
another notorious ‘witch-hunter’ Jean Bodin.
After finishing his studies at Toulouse in 1563, Remy spent the next few years practicing law in Paris. In 1566 he inherited the ‘Manor of Rosieres’ from his mother, which had belonged to her mother the ‘Marchioness de Busancy’. In 1570 on the retirement of his uncle, Remy left Paris to take up his position as Lieutenant General of Vosges, at the sametime he was appointed by the Church to serve the Inquisition at tribunals in Alsace. There he gained his first hands-on experience at prosecuting and condemning witches. In 1575 he was appointed Privy Counsellor and Secretary to his Royal Highness the Grand Duke of Lorraine. At about this time Remy married, first to N. Pouletier about whom little is known, then to Anne Marchand his second wife and started a family. He is thought to have fathered at least seven children.
By 1581 Remy had been made State Attorney of Lorraine and
Sheriff of the Court of Nancy, from where he started on his reign of terror, his
“Purge of Witches”. One
incident in particular seems to have triggared his intense hatered of witches.
A year later in 1582 his eldest son was supposedly killed in a street
accident after being cursed by an old beggar woman, one who Remy had earlier
refused to give alms. He
successfully prosecuted the woman as a witch for alledgily bewitching his son,
and had her put to death by burning. Over
the next 10 years from 1582 – 1592 Remy alledges with pride that he condemned
another 900 witches to a similar fate.
a Roman Catholic and did his work with the blessings of the Church, utterly believing in what he was doing.
He saw every ‘witch’ as an agent of the devil that needed to be
exterminated, and considered it justice done when they burned at the stake. According
to Remy, the Devil could appear in the shape of a black man or animal, one that
liked to part take in Black Masses. The
demons could also have sexual relationships with women, and in cases were they
did not agree, would rape them. He
became a blood Inquisitor and coldly boasted of the torture he forced on witches
to make them confess.
He quickly gained a
fearsome reputation due to the methods he used, his hatred against those
accused of witchcraft was such, that he even had children of 6 or 7 stripped and
scourged while they walked around the stake used to burn their parents.
His imagination in the use of cruelty knew no bounds, and earned him the
nickname of the ‘Torquemada of Lorraine’.
Despite his growing evil
reputation, on the 09th August 1583 Remy
was enobled as “Seigneur de Rosieres-en-Blois et du Breuil”, by
‘letters patent’ of the Grand Duke of Lorraine, this was verified on the 06th
March 1584. As a nobleman, this
gave Remy the right to bear a ‘Coat of Arms’, which he had emblazoned with
the motto: Semper Fidelus
In 1591 Remy was
elevated to Attorney General of Lorraine, in which position he was able to
influence and override local magistrates who he thought were too lenient in
their dealings with witches, thus maintaining his hatred for witches and his
reputation as a cruel and
fanatic witch hunter. When an
outbreak of the plague entered the province of Nancy in 1592
Remy retired from office and moved to the country.
There he wrote his infamous book Daemonolatreiae, based on his ten
year campaign against witchcraft.
The book is
devided into three sections, the first section is a study of Satanism, in which
he decribes satanic pacts, and the feasting, dancing and sexual orgies that took
place at the witches sabbats. He
goes on to describe how the devil drew people into his service, first with
cajoling and promises of wealth, love and power.
If that did not draw people to him, the devil would then resort to
threats of disaster and horrible death. The
second section of the book is an account of the witches activities, with much
ado about their sex lives. The
third section contains notes and case details of his many trials.
While he claims to have condemned 900 witches, he cites only 128 cases
here, however his figures and the names he gives cannot be authenticated, for
most of the trial records of that period have been lost.
Speculation has it that Remy may have borrowed the records to compile his
book and failed to return them?
end of his life Remy wrote another book the Historie of Lorraine,
a small treatise about Rene II (1474-1508), which was published posthumously at
Pont a Mausson in 1617, but this gained little historical merit.
His only success was his Daemonolatreiae,
which was immensely popular in his day, and went through 8 editions including
two translations into German. Together
with the works of his contemporary Jean Bodin, to some extent Remy’s book
replaced the infamous Malleus
Maleficarum as a
leading authoritative guide to witch-hunting.
While he was responsible for the lives of so many innocent victims of witchcraft, and his book continued to influence the lives of others. Remy lived out the rest of his own life in the comfort of his estate, where he continued in the service of the Grand Duke of Lorraine. There he died in 1612, still secure in the righteousness of his murderous career as a ‘witch-hunter’.
Let not his name disappear in vain,
let history record his shame,
and let it be marked in Red.
The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology - by
Rossell Hope Robbins
The Encyclopedia of Witches &Witchcraft - by Rosemary Ellen Guiley.
and compiled 01st April 2007, 15:30:08 © George Knowles
Written and compiled 01st April 2007, 15:30:08 © George Knowles
Best wishes and Blessed Be
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Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
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Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
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- Pentacle / Marks
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Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders and Elders)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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