Boguet, Henri

Henri Boguet (1550-1619) was a French grand judge, lawyer and Demonologist, known for his cruelty and torture. Boguet presided over witch trials in Saint-Claude, Burgundy, France.

Boguet exhibited a preoccupation with lurid accounts of witches' Sabbats and copulations with the Devil. His interrogations focused on these aspects, and he was successful in coercing confessions from his victims. He said he wished that all witches could be united into a single body, so that they all could be executed at once in a single fire. Many of those he condemned were sent to the stake without the mercy of being strangled first. One victim, a woman, struggled so violently that she broke free of the fire three times, and three times Boguet had her thrown back in, until she was burned alive.

He did not hesitate to burn children, declaring that once they were contaminated by the Devil, they could not be reformed.

In 1598, Boguet presided over a famous werewolf case, the Gandillon family, said to shape-shift into howling, ravenous wolves. Boguet tortured them until they confessed to having sex with the Devil. Three family members were convicted, hanged and burned. ( See : The GandillonWerewolves )

Boguet wrote a legal handbook on witchcraft, Discours des Sorciers (1610), which rivaled the Malleus Maleficarum in authority and popularity and went into 12 editions in 20 years.


Article taken from :The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.