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Noble Christenze Axlesdatter Kruckow executed for witchcraft

The only nobility executed for witchcraft was Christenze, who was convicted in the early 1580s . As a young woman she came to Nakkebølle among the wealthy and distinguished Eiler Brockenhuus and his wife Bertha Friis. She needed more experience with housekeeping and gregarious conduct, which was not uncommon in high society.

Bertha died at the age of 33 in 1582 and Christenze had possibly hoped that she could follow her as Eilers wife. However that didn’t happen cause, Eiler married the 20 -year-old Anne Bille. Over the next 12 years , Anne gave birth to no less than 17 children, none of which survived. Anne's cousin had just given birth to a son who died shortly after birth and the cousin thought the child was bewitched. Anne wanted to examine it witchcraft was to blame. Her attention was at first directed on Åse Lauridsen who confessed to having "measured" the length of the bed in preparation of the spell. 2 other witches (helpers) should furthermore have attended, but Christenze was said to be the mind behind the plot.

Johanne Jensen who was sorceress was interrogated and she claimed that Christenze had helped casting a spell on Anne . Johanne was burned at the stake but Chistenzes brother filed a lawsuit, claiming that the measuring of the bed, was just because he wanted a bed of the same size. Christenze was saved and faced no further charges. She moved to Aalborg.

Aalborg was some years later plagued by witchcraft. It was reported that cats and pigs could talk and suffered from unexplained illnesses. A group of sorceresses were condemned and burned, but before they were executed they had pointed out Christenze. Stories, accusations and circumstantial evidence were toppled forward. The priest thought Christenze had poisoned his wife, because of a row over bilge water. Peder Poulsen had seen Christenze near the sorceress’ house where he had seen some women give birth to a troll. Soren Tømmermand thought she had cast a spell on him after he was attacked by a maniac with a knife. Soren Lauritzen had received 9 wafers as a remedy for the cold sick.

Christenze admitted to having measured the bed, had quarrelled with the minister's wife and given wafers to Søren. She was found guilty and the sentence upheld by King Christian the forth. Christenze was beheaded by sword in 1621. This was counted as an honest execution and so she was allowed to be buried and could possibly even go to heaven.

Beheading by sword was considered an "honest" execution