On October 2, 1576, Boniface Lasse, a judge in Lapurdi in the Northern Basque Country, ordered the execution of a woman from the town of Uztaritze, Marie de Chorropique, who was prosecuted for witchcraft. In particular, Chorropique was accused of committing infanticide and using children’s bodies to prepare magical potions. The judge condemned her to be hanged and burned. Besides Chorropique, another forty Basque women were accused of witchcraft and burned to death too. Thirty four years later, in 1610, the case of those Basque women went to trial and a new judge validated and reaffirmed the decision of the previous judge. In the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Protestant and Catholic churches alike hunted and persecuted alleged witches, who were accused of serving the Antichrist.

Cooking_witches 2

Engraving of two witches preparing a potion

Check out Begoña Echeverria’s historical novel The Hammer of Witches, which will immerse you into early seventeenth-century problems, religious and spiritual issues, and court procedures concerning witchcraft in the Basque Country.


Every Friday we look into our Basque archives for interesting historic events that happened on the same day.