Key Figures in the Bamberg Witch-hunt


Neytard von Thungen

  • Predecessor of von Aschhausen 
  • Initiated the first persecutions 
1 of 7

Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen

  • Appointed Prince Bishop of Bamberg in 1609
  • Invited Jesuits to settle in Bamberg and founded catholic schools
  • Sent unco-operative priests to his Priest Vaults
  • Issused an ordinance where anyone foudn practising magic would be severly punished
2 of 7

George II Fuchs von Dornheim

  • Successor of von Aschhausen 
  • Elected as prince-bishop in 1623
  • Effectively removed any opposition to witch-hunting
  • Keen supporter of witch trials
  • Was known as witch-bishop
  • Champion of counter-reformation
  • Took personal responsibility in investigations and hired people to assist him
  • Dr Ernst Vasolt, his legal advisor, acted as his interrogator
  • Frederick Forner was his vicar general 
  • Had a witch-prison built
  • Believed the closer he came to the devil, the more violent he would become 
  • Obedience was central to a well-functioning society 
  • Downfall as prince bishop in 1632
3 of 7

John Junius

  • Was the Mayor of Bamberg
  • Experienced brutal torture
  • Wife executed as witch and this implicayed him by association
  • Letter smuggled out of prison to his daughter details his torture and persecution
  • Decided to confess
4 of 7

Frederick Forner

  • Vicar general to von Dornheim
  • Strong advocate for counter-reformation
  • Relentlessly persued suspected witches
  • Viewed calvansim as detestable
  • Witches and protestants undermine social and political order
  • Made connections between man's disobedience, sin, idolatry and witchcraft
5 of 7

Emperor Ferdinand II

  • Witch-hunts fell in steep decline due to his influence
  • Became involved when Bamberg councillor, Georg Heinrich Flock was accused
  • He wrote to von Dornheim to stop the trial of Dorothea Flock
  • Ferdinand wrote again to von Dornheim and criticised him for continuing the trials 
  • Announced he was to punish those responsible for the trials
6 of 7

Georg Wilhelm Dumler

  • Former administrator of St Martins Church in Bamberg
  • Wrote a letter to the emperor to convince him to stop the trials 
  • In his letter stated:
  •     Several hundred had suffered due to torture
  •     Never legitimate and sufficient proof to find people guilty
  •     His wife had been taken to a witch-prison and as a result of torture had a miscarriage
  •     Cases should be heard in civil courts, not behind closed doors
7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all The Witch Craze in Britain, Europe and North America, c1580-c1750 resources »