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 Petronilla de Meath

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Faerielass
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PostSubject: Petronilla de Meath   Fri May 04, 2012 10:29 pm

Petronilla de Meath (c. 1300 – 1324) was the maidservant of Dame Alice Kyteler, a fourteenth century Irish noblewoman. After the death of Kyteler's fourth husband, Kyteler was accused of practicing witchcraft and Petronilla was accused of being her accomplice. Petronilla was tortured and forced to proclaim that she and Kyteler were guilty of witchcraft. Petronilla was then flogged and eventually burned at the stake on 3 November 1324, in Kilkenny, Ireland. She was the first case in Ireland's history of death by fire for the crime of heresy.

The accusations were principally against Dame Alice Kyteler and came from the children of her late husbands by their previous marriages. They were intended to secure Dame Alice's wealth for that branch of the family. Kyteler escaped to England, and Petronilla's young daughter was taken to England after her mother's death, where she was subsequently raised by Kyteler.

Petronilla de Meath is honoured in Judy Chicago's feminist art work The Dinner Party.
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