Lyons, Pierre Rigaud, 1610.
3 parts in 1 volume 8vo [172 x 117 mm] of: (24) pp., 550pp., (2); (8) (of which intermediate title, epistle, and 2 bl.), 93 pp; (3) pp. (intermediate title, epistle), 32 pp., (64) pp. (the last 2 bl.). Tear at the lower corner of p. 211 with few letters affected, slight waterstains. Contemporary limp vellum, flat spine with handwritten title, handwritten title on the lower edge. Contemporary binding.
“Very rare and most complete edition” (with the second one which is in every way similar) of this rare and sought-after book. On his copy St. de Guaita added this note “Among the most ferocious demonologists of his time, H. Boguet is distinguished by his naive atrocity coupled with an imperturbable silliness… His Instruction has long been an authority in the Parliaments and bailiwicks.” (Caillet, I, 1322).
The latter was one of the most famous demonologists, appointed grand judge of Saint-Claude in Franche-Comté, a position that allowed him to preside over several dozen witchcraft trials and to execute 28 so-called wizards or witches.
“What explains the rarity of Boguet’s book is that the members of the family of this singular magistrate spent a long time buying up copies en masse. In turn, Boguet was condemned to the fire… and by his own people…
Boguet’s book had immense authority, and the Parliaments studied this golden book of the little judge of Saint Claude like a manual… who made his country a desert. There never was a more scrupulously exterminating judge…’ Stanilas de Guaita.” (Caillet)
“Henri Boguet, born in Dole, towards the middle or end of the sixteenth century, and a great judge of the Land of St Oyan de Joux, known as St Claude, in Burgundy. His works have long been used as a code of torture to persecute the unfortunate accused of witchcraft.
It is said that he was in turn burned for the crime of witchcraft.” (Caillet)
Third enlarged edition of one of the rarest and most famous works on witchcraft. This book, the result of his own experience, is a very complete manual of legal procedure supported by numerous examples.
This edition, the most complete, together with the “Six advis”, is the most sought-after. Yve-Plessis, 851.
A very famous demonologist, he is the author of the Discours exécrable des Sorciers (1603), reprinted twelve times in twenty years. The first ten editions cover the period 1602-1610, which also corresponds to one of the first periods of organized persecution in Franche-Comté (1603-1614), favored by princely legislation (edict of the Archdukes in 1604), parliamentary legislation (repressive publication of 1608), and the participation of the population. The first repression actually began in 1598, originated in the jurisdiction of Boguet and lasted four years.
In Instruction pour un juge, he addresses a Comtois judge in Salins in 70 articles which deal with the type of intervention to be carried out in the sorcery. This part of the work had a considerable influence on all the magistrates of the time. The judges consulted it, the Parliament had it in its library.
In Six advis…, written in 1608, very tangible accusations are discussed.
Although he was opposed to the automatic use of torture and cruelty in interrogations, Boguet nevertheless wanted to lump all acts of witchcraft together in order to eradicate it.
Boquet was also one of the first to judge nine cases of lycanthropy (werewolves) in Saint-Claude.
His wisdom, knowledge and fairness were praised, and some compared him to a new Hercules.
His reputation as a ferocious burner lasted for centuries until Dom Benoit and L. Duparchy in 1892 re-established the truth. Of the 1500 victims attributed to him, he left, after a trial against Françoise Secrétain, about forty witches to perish atrociously on the stake, forgetting to grant them the benefit of retentum.
A double legend claims that, like Nicolas Rémy, Boguet ended up on the stake and that his family bought back most of the copies of his Discourse underhandedly.
Today Rossell Hope Robbins suggests that some of his relatives had a secret sympathy for witchcraft.
A precious copy in contemporary limp vellum binding from the Ballemant library with seventeenth century ex libris.