The Trial of Tempel Anneke

The Trial of Tempel Anneke

  1. What seems to have been the social status of the participants in this trial?

Tempel Anneke was an old widowed woman who depended on her son and the community at large. Given that her mother was a medicine expert she had to impact that knowledge to her daughter so as to carry on the trade after she was gone. This was what happened to Anneke. After the death of her husband, she had to result to traditional herb expert and a natural healer to the people of her community. Thus, Anneke ascribed her role of a healer by virtual of being born in a family that exercised this practice. For this, she was valued for healing his neighbor’s children, animals as well as recovering the lost item. Therefore, one can conclusively say that Anneke belongs to the lowest social status in her community. She was a poor widow who succumbed to jealousy of the people that she helped (Swenson, 2009).

In the 17th century, the courts were very powerful, and judges were held in high esteem in the community. This is as a result of being the only arbiter of disputes and other atrocities in the society. Therefore, the role of the judge to Anneke was among the top and earned his a higher social class. Also, the judges at the time were well-educated individual and had enormous wealth got throughout their career. The trial, troubling and execution of Anneke by the Brunswick court attest to the powers that are exercised by the judges (Morton and Dahms, 2006).

The community where Anneke lived is no difference to her. All members of the community found value to Anneke’s services. This talks much of the economic condition of the majority of Brunswick. For instance, Anneke accusers and prosecution witnesses are poor people who are driven by malice for not getting enough of Anneke magics (Morton and Dahms, 2006). They have no major role in the society except they are mothers, fathers and practiced small-scale husbandry. Thus, this situation made people to sought cures from unlikely sources.

  1. Whose testimony do you think carried the most weight against Tempel Anneke, and why?

According to the record of the trial, it is evident that Brunswick community is considered magic and sorcery as very harmful and dangerous practices (Morton and Dahms, 2006). For this reason, the laws outlawed the habit and reacted swiftly to punish offered by death. Nonetheless, a suspect of sorcery and magic had to be proven beyond reasonable doubt that he or she practices the offense before persecution. This was what happened to Anneke. She was the worst witness of her case because she agreed and confessed that she performed harmful magic and was an aid to Satan (Kelly, 2014).

According to the Carolina, a person was never executed without his or her confession confirming of the accusation details. First and foremost the court relied on confession to determine the guilt of the suspect. Then the court requires two dependable eyewitnesses that could confirm the accusation. Hans Kohler for Vollbuttel was equally a dangerous witness to Anneke’s case in that he testified that he was a victim of a negative sorcery performed to harm him and his family (Morton and Dahms, 2006). Thus, Kohler evident put the blame to Anneke and enables a confirmation of a guilty sentence that was punishable by death.


  1. Explain how Tempel Anneke’s character contributed to the suspicion that she was a witch.

In the 17th century, people perceived to be witches were stereotyped in a specific manner. For example, it was agreed that a witch must be a person old enough to understand the practice (Morton and Dahms, 2006). Thus, it was typical then that all witches were old men and women. Anneke fit well to this stereotype as she was an aged woman. Moreover, for an individual to be accused of being a witch she or he must have been using concoctions to heals. This was synonymous among all witchcraft to heal or harm people and animal using weird staffs.  Furthermore, it is a character of witch to belong to the lower social class in a community. Thus, people have an agreed notion that a witch must be a poor individual and who lives in a shanty house. Anneke situation put her close to the characterization of being a witch. For her, she was a widow who depended on her son and her meager business.

Anneke side businesses also made people suspect her of being a witch. She had a fortune telling trade where she informed her customers of their future (Morton and Dahms, 2006). This practice is commonly known to be practiced by witch and sorcerers. Also, because Anneke was a woman and engaged in such other thing as fortune telling people would most certain accuse her of being a witch? Thus, aged women were also susceptible of being called a witch because of their look and deeds.

  1. What kind of person does she seem to have been?

Anneke was just an ordinary women going about her shores to cater for her needs. She is a woman who has been marriage and had a son. Furthermore, he relates well with her neighbors and offers her intellect to help them in their day to day activities. In the trial, Anneke reveals that she does not have the pedigrees of being a witch. She can avoid leading question that was intended to incriminate her for wrongdoing (Morton and Dahms, 2006). Though she sometimes expresses anger which is normal to a man she is recorded to have been harming people for her gain as well as for punishing her detractors. And lastly, she agreed to engage in witchcraft knowing too well what awaited her. Anneke was a mother and got well with her clients unless when she failed to deliver on their expectation. This is why she was taken to court to face charges of being a witch.

  1. What was her role in the village?

Anneke was a medicine woman. She used herbs and concoctions to relieve people of their pain. For instance, people always sought her services while knowing too well that Christianity does not allow the use magic and sorcery. In this case, Anneke was a respected traditional healer. Also, she was an arbiter because she could solve disputes arising from the theft of animals and properties. For example, she could help people find back their properties as well as identify the perpetrators (Morton and Dahms, 2006). Also, as aged women, she was of value to the community to pass on oral tradition from her generation to the next. Nonetheless, she was not allowed to do this as she was perceived to be too dangerous to the Christian society. Her village members doubted her vicious practices even though she could attend church and do all other thing accustomed to her.

  1. What kind of relationship did she have with the other villagers?

Anneke did have a cordial relationship with her neighbors. It is worth to note that she helped one of her fellow citizen retrieve his pewter silverware that had been pilfered (Morton and Dahms, 2006). She also had a fortune telling business signifying that she did relate well with the people of her village. Further, her folk medicine practice helped her grieving village when she could heal the sick. However, the villagers feared her very much, and this resulted in her arrest. The only people that she helped heal are her village mate and their cattle’s, but they hated her for failing to honor most of her promises.

  1. What role, if any, did her gender seem to play in the trial proceedings?

In the early medieval times, women were the only people that were accused of being witchcrafts. This is not because men did not participate in the vice, but because women were not tolerated that much in the society (Morton and Dahms, 2006). The society assumed that because women are weak, they are more likely than men to be ensnared by the devil. Therefore, the main reason that only women were being tried for being witch is because of their gender.



Kelly (2014). Temple Anneke. Retrieved from

Morton, P. A. and Dahms, B. (2006). The trial of temple Anneke: Records of a witch trail I Brunswick, Germany, 1663. Toronto, University of Toronto.

Swenson, D. 92009). Society, spirituality, and the sacred: A social scientific introduction. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


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