Remy, Nicholas

Remy, Nicholas (1530-1612)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Born about 1530, at Charmes in Lorraine, France, Nicholas Remy was the son of Gérard Remy, Provost of Charmes. Nicholas studied law at the University of Toulouse, where Jean Bodin taught. As a child he watched various trials of people accused of witchcraft. At the age of thirty-three, Remy went to work in Paris.

Seven years later, in 1570, he left to become Lieutenant General of Vosges, succeeding his uncle. At age forty-five, Remy became Privy Councilor to Duke Charles III of Lorraine and, nine years later, added the title of Seigneur de Rosières-en-Blois et du Breuil. At sixty-one he became Attorney General of Lorraine.

Influenced by having witnessed witch trials as a child, Remy began a campaign of his own. In 1582, his oldest son had died shortly after Remy denied alms to an old beggar woman. Remy believed the woman used witchcraft to cause his son's death, so he prosecuted her. In his book Demonolatreiae Libri Tres, published in Lyons in 1595, Remy claimed to have condemned 900 witches to death by burning; he names 128 of his victims.

His book, Demonolatreiae, was a conglomeration of court records, anecdotes, and personal impressions. He wrote it at a time when he was living in the country, having left the city to avoid the plague. The work is roughly divided into three sections, the first dealing with Satanism, the second with the sexual activities of witches, the third outlining his conclusions.

Robbins, Rossell Hope: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology. Crown, 1959.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.