A discovery in Tuscany might indicate an incident where a witch was killed in Tuscany: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2041671/800-year-old-remains-witch-discovered-graveyard-Tuscany-Italy.html#ixzz1Z6Q83H34
They found “the 800 year old remains of what archaeologists believe was a witch from the Middle Ages after seven nails were found driven through her jaw bone . . . “ The evidence isn’t conclusive, but it is surely suggestive.
I have ancestors who were both accused witches, and the accuser of witches in the Salem trials 350 years ago in the late 1600s. That fear of witchcraft seems to have been widespread during that era. What’s interesting is that it was far more widespread then than in the Middle Ages. In fact, nobody was accused of witchcraft in Wales in the 13th century, and there is essentially no mention of it in the historical record.
“The development of witch trials and the witch craze is seen has developed slowly throughout Christianity’s domination of Europe. These range from Augustine of Hippo’s belief that witches were impossible to Thomas Aquinas’ belief that demons attempt to corrupt humans. Common historical theory has it that a witch craze exploded in the 15th century and spread like wildfire across the continent.
“All witch trials and witch hunts were contained by English common law. A witch was first defined in 1542. There were accusations prior to this date, but such accusations were not recognised legally. This was then revoked in 1547 and then re-instated in a new guise in 1563. The English crime of witchcraft was not demonological (an alliance between man and the devil) but maleficious (of having mysterious powers).
It is clear that as these trials, even those of Matthew Hopkins, were bound by English law. This meant that torture could not be used as an interrogation method. Furthermore, the prosecutor in the trial had to provide material evidence to prove their case. In addition, the accused would be allowed to provide eight “compurgators” who would testify as to the accused good character.”
Read more at Suite101: Most English Witch Hunts Failed | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/most-english-witch-hunts-failed-a359588#ixzz1ZCOyXfXx
A new book states, however, that because of the tradition of druidry in Wales, “it was a relative haven for paranormal practices, sparing the pointy-hatted pagans from hanging, drowning and other unhappy endings. In “Pembrokeshire Witches and Wizards,” author Brian John claims the Welsh druidic tradition lent a tolerance to the cause of witchcraft which still persists. ‘Only three witches in Wales went to trial, in 1656,’ says John. ‘And that was at an English court in Chester.’” http://www.celticattic.com/contact_us/the_celts/celtic_nations/wales/legends_of_long_ago.htm
An article from the BBC supports this position: “Stories about witches are found all over the world – during the 16th and 17th centuries a “witch craze” in Europe saw over 100,000 people, mainly women, accused of witchcraft and executed by secular government and the church. Yet there were relatively few witch trials in Wales, with only five Welsh witches being executed for their supposed crimes. With great reliance placed on the power of the wise man or the wise woman, witchcraft in Wales had long been connected to healing . . .
“Witchcraft comes into the historical record in 1594,” comments historian Richard Suggett, “when Gwen ferch Ellis from Bettws is indicted and subsequently executed for witchcraft. It’s the first recorded instance of what, I suppose, you can call black witchcraft. She was a healer but for some reason she was persuaded by another woman, called Jane Conway, to leave a charm at Gloddaeth, the home of Sir Thomas Mostyn, a sworn enemy of Jane Conway.” Gwen was convicted of murder by witchcraft and duly hung. There were many other accusations of witchcraft – but proving them was another matter. Most of the women spent brief periods in prison before being released when the case against them collapsed.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/waleshistory/2010/03/welsh_witches.html
“There are historical records for 228 executions for witchcraft between 1000 and 1684 in England. This is approximately one guilty verdict every three years. Witch trials peaked in the country between 1550 and 1650; with most occurring during the English Civil War. This means whole decades went by without witch trials in the Kingdom. Marc Carlson has brought together incomplete records of trials in England. The Home Circuit saw 456 trials, Essex saw 290, York 117, Norfolk 15 and the Western Circuit 52. We know that only 23.9 percent of trials in the home circuit ended in conviction. 23 out of 267 trials in Essex ended with guilty verdicts while Norfolk saw no successful convictions. Meanwhile, in the West Country there were 7 convictions, with one overturned on appeal. There are no statistics for York.” http://www.suite101.com/content/most-english-witch-hunts-failed-a359588
This site goes even further and state that “not a single witch lost their life in Wales.”
Carlson, Marc, 2004, Witches and Witchtrials in England, the Channel Islands, Ireland and Scotland, Tulsa University(link)
Burr, George L, ed, 1898-1912, The Witch Persecution at Wurzburg, Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania (link)
Garland, Anna, 2003, The Great Witch Hunt: The Persecution of Witches in England, 1550-1660, Auckland University Law Review (link)