ABSALON, ANNA PEDERSDOTTER (?–1590). The victim of perhaps the single most famous witchcraft accusation made in Scandinavia, Anna was the wife of the Lutheran minister and famous scholar Absalon Pedersen Beyer. The charges against her arose mainly out of popular opposition to the attempts by Absalon and other Protestant clergy to remove holy images from the churches of Bergen, Sweden, in accordance with Lutheran teachings.
Because the clergymen themselves were too highly placed for their efforts to be resisted directly, opposition focused on Anna. She was first acquitted of charges in 1575, but more accusations arose years later. She was tried again and executed in 1590. Her trial later became the basis for a play and then the film by Carl Theodore Dreyer, Day of Wrath.