Louis Gaufridi

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Godfrey (or Gaufridi) (d. 1611)

A priest of Provence, France, who was accused of seducing several women, one of them a nun. To save herself the nun asserted that Godfrey had bewitched her. Arrested and imprisoned, Godfrey was tortured until he confessed that he was a magician and that he had, through his breathing and other enchantments, corrupted the woman and several more. He was even induced, in his extreme agony, to speak of his presence at the witches' Sabbat and to give a long description of it.

After these confessions had been extorted from the priest, the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence condemned him. On April 30, 1611, Godfrey was burned alive as guilty of magic, sorcery, impiety, and abominable lust. This horrible affair gave rise to an adventure related by the abbé of Papon:

"The process contained many depositions upon the power of the demons. Several witnesses protested that after being anointed with a magic oil, Godfrey transported himself to the Sabbat, and afterwards returned to his chamber down the shaft of the chimney. One day, when these depositions had been read to the Parliament, and the imagination of the judges excited by a long recital of supernatural events, there was heard in the chimney an extraordinary noise, which suddenly terminated with the apparition of a tall black man. The judges thought it was the devil come to the rescue of his disciple, and fled away swiftly, with the exception of a councillor Thorton, their reporter, who finding himself entangled in his desk, could not follow them. Terrified by what he saw, with trembling body and staring eyes, and repeatedly making the sign of the cross, he in his turn affrighted the pretended demon, who was at a loss to understand the magistrate's perturbation. Recovering from the embarrassment he made himself known, and proved to be a chimney sweeper who, after having swept the chimney of the Messieurs des Comptes, whose chimneys joined those of the Tournelle, had by mistake descended into the chamber of the Parliament."

(For further details, see entry on Louis Gaufridi, the name by which the notorious priest is better known.)

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Gaufridi, Louis (Jean Baptiste) (d. 1611)

French priest burned as a sorcerer at Aix-en-Provence in 1611. He was a cure at Marseilles, where his personality and manners gained him a footing in high society. He became friendly with a 14-year-old girl, Madeleine de Demandolx, who had attended the Ursuline convent school at Aix for two years. Madeleine fell in love with the personable 34-year-old Gaufridi, who was already much in demand as a confessor by the women of the district.

After some gossip, Madeleine entered a convent in 1607, where she confessed to intimacies with Gaufridi. About two years later, Madeleine exhibited convulsive fits and claimed visions of devils. After an unsuccessful exorcism, her symptoms spread to other nuns at the convent. The girls were removed and examined by other exorcists. Madeleine accused Gaufridi of obscene bewitchment. Gaufridi attempted to clear his name, appealing to the bishop of Marseilles and the pope.

In 1611 the Parliament at Aix held a trial at which Madeleine was a star witness, exhibiting demoniacal possession and affirming her lascivious desire for Gaufridi. Meanwhile the unfortunate priest had spent a year chained in an underground dungeon with rats. Three devil's marks were said to have been found on his body. After torture he confessed to magic, sorcery, and fornication but later retracted his confession. He was sentenced to be burned alive on a slow fire. Before this was carried out, he was tortured so horribly that he was willing to confess to any atrocityeven eating roasted babies! Before being burned, he was dragged through the streets.

(See also Urbain Grandier ; Loudun, Nuns of ; Louviers, Nuns of )

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Godfrey, (Sir) Daniel (Eyers) [ Dan Godfrey] (b London, 1868; d Bournemouth, 1939). Eng. conductor (son, grandson, and nephew of military bandmasters). Cond. military bands 1890, opera in S. Africa 1891–2. Engaged at Bournemouth in 1893 to form municipal orch. to give sym. concerts in the Winter Gardens. These he cond. until 1934, introducing many new works to Brit. audiences and making the concerts a particular forum for the f.ps. of works by Brit. composers. Knighted 1922. See Bournemouth Symphony Orch.