Dame Alice Kyteler - Ireland's First Condemned Witch
Tuesday 25th, January 2022
Dame Alice Kyteler being the daughter of a Flemish family of merchants who settled in the 13th century in Kilkenny, Ireland. Alice grew up to be a successful innkeeper and moneylender.

Alice's trouble started to stem from that fact that she had outlived not one, not two, not even three but four husbands, William Outlawe (merchant and moneylender), Adam le Blund (moneylender), Richard de Valle (landlord) and Sir John le Poer and in turn Alice inherited a large amount of fortune over time as she outlived each of her husbands.

Alice and Adam le Blund in 1302 were accused of the murder of William Outlawe but due to Alice's local power she was able to shake off the accusations.

Then in 1324 when her then husband Sir John le Poer suddenly fell sick and he expressed the suspicion that he was being poisoned. Rumours started to do the rounds and there was talk that Alice was involved in satanic rituals. Following Sir John le Poer's death, Alice's children and those of her previous marriages collectively accused her of sorcery.

This unfortunately led to a witch hunt, this was a precursor to the well known witch hunts or trails that took place in Europe between roughly the 1500's until 1660 approximately. Richard de Ledrede who was the bishop of Ossory was the one responsible for initiating the witch hunt of Alice which had many different underlying reasons as to why she was targeted.

Alice called upon her powerful friends that had helped her shake the previous accusations of murder, to have the bishop, Ledrede jailed and integrated for 17 days after which Ledrede wrote to the Chancellor of Ireland Roger Utlagh and it's also speculated that he may have written to Alice's brother-in-law demanding her arrest.

The proceedings were delayed by the chancellor which allowed Alice to flee to Roger Utlagh. Ledrede accused Utlagh of harbouring heretics, but a commission cleared him of any wrongdoing. Alice took this time as an opportunity to leave the country for what is assumed England were Alice wasn't heard from or seen of again.

After Alice had fled a number of her associates were arrested and one of the named, Petronilla de Midia confessed to witchcraft which Petronilla blamed she did on behalf of her employer, Dame Alice Kyteler. Pentronilla was flogged and burned to death at the stake on the 3rd of November 1324.

Dame Alice Kyteler is widely believed to be the first person in Ireland to be condemned as a witch.
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