Aug 292008

From The Telegraph (UK):

“Anna Goeldi was executed in 1782 after she was convicted of poisoning the eight-year-old daughter of a family she was working for, causing her to have convulsions and spit pins.”

(Please note that the BBC has a somewhat different version of this story:

“She found work (in the Swiss canton of Glarus) with Jakob Tschudi, the magistrate and a rising political figure.

We know from records of the time that Anna Goeldi was tall, generously proportioned, with dark hair, brown eyes, and a rosy complexion. These attributes were not lost on her employer.

All went well to begin with, until one morning one of the Tschudi children found a needle in her milk.

Two days later needles appeared in the bread as well and suspicion fell upon Anna.”

Despite her protestations of innocence, she was sacked by the Tschudis, accused of witchcraft, tortured, and finally executed.

Not in the Middle Ages, but in 1782, at the height of Europe’s so-called Age of Enlightenment.”)”

In any case, according to the Telegraph story,

“(T)he parliament of the Swiss canton of Glarus has decided to pardon Goeldi as a victim of “judicial murder”.The Glarus government said the Protestant Council, which conducted the trial, had decided in advance that Goeldi was guilty and ordered the execution despite there being no death penalty for non-lethal poisoning.

(Her employer) was thought to be having an affair with Goeldi and if it had become common knowledge his reputation would have been seriously tarnished.”

You can learn more at the Anna Goldi Museum.

 August 29, 2008  Posted by on August 29, 2008

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