Godfrey (or Gaufridi) (d. 1611)
A priest of Provence, France, who was accused of seducing
several women, one of them a nun. To save herself the nun asserted
that Godfrey had bewitched her. Arrested and imprisoned,
Godfrey was tortured until he confessed that he was a
magician and that he had, through his breathing and other enchantments,
corrupted the woman and several more. He was
even induced, in his extreme agony, to speak of his presence
at the witches’ Sabbat and to give a long description of it.
After these confessions had been extorted from the priest,
the Parliament of Aix-en-Provence condemned him. On April
30, 1611, Godfrey was burned alive as guilty of magic, sorcery,
impiety, and abominable lust. This horrible affair gave rise to
an adventure related by the abbé of Papon
‘‘The process contained many depositions upon the power
of the demons. Several witnesses protested that after being
anointed with a magic oil, Godfrey transported himself to the
Sabbat, and afterwards returned to his chamber down the shaft
of the chimney. One day, when these depositions had been
read to the Parliament, and the imagination of the judges excited
by a long recital of supernatural events, there was heard in
the chimney an extraordinary noise, which suddenly terminated
with the apparition of a tall black man. The judges thought
it was the devil come to the rescue of his disciple, and fled away
swiftly, with the exception of a councillor Thorton, their reporter,
who finding himself entangled in his desk, could not follow
them. Terrified by what he saw, with trembling body and staring
eyes, and repeatedly making the sign of the cross, he in his
turn affrighted the pretended demon, who was at a loss to understand
the magistrate’s perturbation. Recovering from the
embarrassment he made himself known, and proved to be a
chimney sweeper who, after having swept the chimney of the
Messieurs des Comptes, whose chimneys joined those of the
Tournelle, had by mistake descended into the chamber of the
(For further details, see entry on Louis Gaufridi, the name
by which the notorious priest is better known.)