Maren Spliid was notably accused of practicing witchcraft during the 1600s, in Denmark. This was during an era of globally widespread persecution of people from Europe to the Colonial American Colonies, and for those accused in Denmark, it was a time of poorly recorded trials. Spliid’s trial was probably the most “known,” among those in Denmark who stood accused of witchcraft. Could you be a descendent of this notable woman?
The Accusations and Trials
Sometime in 1637, a business competitor of Maren’s husband accused Maren of witchcraft. The man claimed that she and two other witches showed up to his home in the middle of the night while he slept. He accused the witches of holding him down while Maren Spliid “blew into his mouth.” This, he claimed, resulted in him becoming sick. Fortunately for Maren, she was acquitted in the first trial accusing her of witchcraft.
Unfortunately for Maren, the man who accused her wasn’t satisfied with the trial’s outcome, and he took his claims directly to the King of Denmark, who agreed with him. They reopened the case, and brought Maren back to trial over accusations of witchcraft. This second trial did not end in her favor, and she was ultimately put to death. A bag of gunpowder was tied to her back, and she was tied to a wooden ladder. Maren Spliid was executed by burning, as the ladder was tossed into a raging fire. The year was around 1641. She was only around 40-years-old at the time of her death.
Did Maren Spliid have a family?
At the time of her trial, Maren Spliid was married to well-to-do tailor named Lauritz Spliid. Together, the two were a sort of power couple for the era, residing in Ribe, Jutland. There do not appear to be any documents indicating that Lauritz and Maren had children, though it is still possible that they did. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no proven descendance from this accused witch.