Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Demonology and Witchcraft - "Less we forget"
Written and compiled by George Knowles
Rheinbach cloth merchant “Hermann Löher” delivered a unique testimony to
the early modern “Witch Hunts” in the Rhineland, in his 1676 book “Wemütige
Klage der pious unsuccessful”. As a court clerk, he was initially
involved in the Rheinbach Witch Hunts in the surrounding area until he himself
came under suspicion of witchcraft and had to flee. In
his portrayal, he not only gives insights into persecution mechanisms, but also
into the tensions that prevailed among the persecutors. These
descriptions are unique in that they do not try to gloss-over anything, but
reveal the psychological pressure and unscrupulous attitude of persecution
Löher was born in 1595 in Münstereifel (today Bad Münstereifel) as the eldest
child of cloth merchant Gerhard Löher. Since 1601 the family lived in
Rheinbach. After the death of his father
from 1625 Hermann led the business with wool and linen towels alone.
In 1631 he was admitted to the seven-member panel of
the Schöffen at the High Court. Only a
few families were deemed eligible for the Schöffenamt reserve, and they formed
the upper class of Rheinbach’s ruling elite.
the Thirty Years’ War, the Rheinbachers had until then lived a peaceful life.
Even the witch-hunt, which demanded ever more victims
in the Rhineland from 1626, had never touched the city before. But
this was now different, because in early May 1631 the first witch trial in
Rheinbach against a maid service opened. Rheinbach’s
mayor Heinrich Degenhardt Schall von Bell appointed the notorious Bonn lawyer “Dr. Franz
Buirmann” as the so-called “witch
commissar” opening a floodgate of witchcraft persecutions. These
were trained lawyers from the Kurkölnische high
courts, which should be consulted by the judicial courts as legal advisors in
second victim of the trials was a poor old woman named Grete Hardt. But
the third process victim was the 60-year-old cloth trader Christina Böffgens,
widow of the former mayor of Rheinbach Pieter Böffgens. Franz
Buirmann continued to torture her despite her steadfast innocent claims until
she died of the torture. Immediately, the
witch commissar summoned the present aldermen and persuaded them that the devil
himself had broken the “stubborn witch” so that she could not betray her
the trial of Christina Böffgens had aroused Löher’s indignation, so it
became clear to him in the fourth trial that allegations and suspicions against
the suspect were controlled by Buirmann and his Rheinbach clients.
This fourth victim was Hilger Lirtz, a former mayor
and alderman. He was tortured for 24
hours until he collapsed and confessed everything his tormentors wanted to hear.
The juror Jan Bewel was psychologically broken by
these events, because Lirtz was his father-in-law, and he had tried in vain to
avert his arrest and torture. Also other
aldermen were now put under pressure by Buirmann. He
persuaded the jury to issue him a blank warrant and shortly thereafter arrested
Anna Kemmerling, the wife of alderman Gotthart Peller. Peller’s
vociferous protests did not help. His
wife also had to die.
lawsuits against Christina Böffgens, Hilger Lirtz and Anna Kemmerling show that
the allegations were sustained by a group of Rheinbach citizens more interested
in overthrowing the ruling families power of authority.
Löher portrays how the interrogations and tortures
directed and intervened with so as to provide “confessions” to those who
wanted to get rid of them. Mercilessly,
any resistance within the present group of aldermen were cleared out of the way.
As an example, the oldest lawyer Herbert Lapp himself
was executed. Lapp had dared to
contradict another demand from Buirmann for a blanket authority. That
was the death sentence for him and his wife. So
it was only a matter of time until the pursuers were interested in the other “witch-friendly-patrons”
among the aldermen. In fact, the rumor
soon surfaced that Löher’s wife was also a Witch. With
bribes Löher succeeded to buy backing from the bailiff, but it was only a
1632 the Kurkölnische pursuit stopped. But in various places the witch-hunts
began again in 1636. Now, the pursuers
look for the remaining aldermen to strike at: Schöffe Gotthart Peller had
already passed away, but Hermann Löher and Richard Gertzen were still in
office. Hermann Löher had realized the
danger he was in when rumours about him surfaced again in the summer of 1636, he
fled with his wife and younger children to Amsterdam on 03rd August 1636, where
there was no extradition. Richard Gertzen
also relocated to Amsterdam. Thus, five
years after the beginning of the Witches’ fires in Rheinbach and the
surrounding areas, one of the seven layoffs at the Rheinbach court had been
executed, one mentally broken, one had died after the execution of his wife, and
two had fled.
his remaining cash, Löher managed to open a new business in his new home, but
his previous economic success was denied him.
In 1662 his wife Kunigunde died. Löher
remarried a few years later to Catharina Henrix Geel, who was also a German.
Yet to be added
and compiled by George Knowles ©
12th November 2020
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
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 Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar and Totem Animals) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Unicorn / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat / Rats / Unicorn
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
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
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered 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, Elders and Others)
Pioneers: Founders, Elders, Leaders and Others
Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Allan Bennett - the Ven. Ananda Metteyya / Allan Kardec (Spiritism) / Alphonsus de Spina / Amber K / Ann Moura / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Balthasar Bekker / Biddy Early / Barbara Vickers / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christopher Penczak / Christina Oakley Harrington / Cornelius Loos / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Donald Michael Kraig / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edain McCoy / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Frederick McLaren Adams - Feraferia / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Hermann Löher / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Heinrich Kramer / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / Ivo Domínguez Jr. / Jack Whiteside Parsons - Rocket Science and Magick / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jean Bodin / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johann Weyer / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / Johann Georg Fuchs von Dornheim - the “Hexenbrenner” (witch burner) / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph “Bearwalker” Wilson / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Lady Gwen Thompson - and "The Rede of the Wiccae" / Lambert Daneau / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Lodovico Maria Sinistrari / Ludwig Lavater / Madeline Montalban and the Order of the Morning Star / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Michael Howard and the UK "Cauldron Magazine" / Margaret St. Clair - the “Sign of the Labrys” / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Martin Antoine Del Rio / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Michael A. Aquino - and The Temple of Set / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Olivia Durdin-Robertson - co-founder of the Fellowship of Isis / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Paul Foster Case and the “Builders of the Adytum” mystery school / Peter Binsfeld / Philip Heselton / Raven Grimassi / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Richard Baxter / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Rossell Hope Robbins / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / 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 and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / Walter Ernest Butler / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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