De Lancre, Pierre (1553-1631)

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De Lancre, Pierre (1553-1631)

French judge at witchcraft trials who claimed to have discovered that virtually the entire population (30,000) of a Basque area, including priests, was affected by witchcraft. Born in Bordeaux, De Lancre studied law at Turin and Bohemia and became a lawyer at the Parlement of Bordeaux in 1588. In 1608 he was commissioned by Henry IV to investigate witchcraft in the Basque territories. He actually boasted that as a trial judge he had sentenced 600 to be burned.

His writings include Tableau de l'inconstance des mauvaisanges (1612), L'incredulité et mescréance dusortilé (1622), and Du Sortilege (1627). He died at Loubeur-sur-Garonne in 1631.


Robbins, Rossell Hope. The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. New York: Crown Publishers, 1959.

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De Lancre, Pierre (1553-1631)

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