Dame Alice Kyteler The Sorceress Of Kilkenny A Halloween Story (by dorameulman)
A Halloween Story
Dame Alice Kyteler born in 1280 was a wealthy woman of Anglo-Norman descent whose family settled in Kilkenny Ireland. She outlived 4 husbands all were wealthy leaving Alice their entire estate making her one of the wealthiest people in Kilkenny. If the gossip was to be believed, Alice was also the most wicked in Ireland. She turned her large home in the center of Kilkenny town into a very successful Inn and it’s still open to this day www.kytelersinn.com/dame-alice-kyteler.asp. On the death of her last husband, Sir John le Poer, Alice’s step-children accused her of using poison and sorcery to kill him. They brought their case before the Bishop of Ossory, Richard de Ledrede, in 1324 in the hope that their step-mother would be arrested and they would gain her fortune.
In those medieval times, for one to be found guilty of witchcraft was a most serious offense and one that carried the sentence of death. Dame Alice and her disciples were condemned to be whipped through the streets, tied at the back of a horse and cart after which Alice, as chief priestess and instigator would be burned to the stake. Alice’s wealthy family arranged her released from the dungeons beneath Kilkenny Castle and freed from the sentence of death that hung over her.
Her hand-maiden, Petronella of Meath wasn’t so lucky. To placate the howling mob that had gathered around the huge bonfire in front of the Tholsel, in the centre of Kilkenny, Petronella would be sacrificed in place of Alice. Already badly shaken from the whippings, she confessed her guilt to everything she was charged with. She told them it was at Dame Alice’s instigation she had denied that Jesus Christ was the son of God; also that she had called up demons and received responses from them and performed many abominations of the flesh. She rightly claimed that Dame Alice’s demonic powers by far exceeded her own and she begged for mercy. Petronella of Meath, was burned alive at the stake before a brutalised, chanting mob, as she screamed in vain for her mistress to come to her aid. But Dame Alice had begun a new life in far off London, never again to set foot in her native Kilkenny.
I love the fence above and the mural behind. I’m assuming that’s the unfortunate Petronella of Meath being burned at the stake. I had to get my camera up high above the height of the fence to capture the mural behind, giving the impression that she’s laying on top of the fence which would be her bon fire of death.
Happy Halloween ^_^