Rituals - E43 • Petronilla de Meath, the Wealthy Witch’s Scapegoat

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All right, I am I gotta warn you because when the research team at par cast, lets us know that an episode is going to be frustrating.

When many of our episodes are already frustrating, you got to think it means something.

So I want to warn you, today’s episode will be a little frustrating.


Will try to decide whether young servant took the fall for her wealthy boss or whether she was a willing, Participant in Witchcraft and perhaps both.


It sounds like drama.

It sounds like tricky drama.

And it also sounds like I’m gonna be frustrated, can’t wait.

There’s also a mysterious end to all of it.


But regardless, the name petronia de meath is one, we should all know and maybe she should be a bigger cult figure in the world of rituals.

So maybe we’re doing our part to put her name out there.


Let’s help her climb that ladder.

Welcome to class everybody.

I’m too old to learn.


Hi everyone and welcome to rituals a Spotify original from par cast.

I’m Christine cheaper, and I’m M Schultz every week, we’ll explore the evolution of spiritualism and the Occult through stories practices and the impact on Modern culture.

We are discussing petronia day meath that is as close as we’re going to get to me saying that properly but We are finally putting her name back in the history books, very excited be of service to petronia.


MMM, I’ve heard that this will be an angering episode and I’m ready, I’m feeling hyped up.

I’ve got the energy, so let’s scream about it.

I suppose let’s crack into it.


Here’s a question for you, have you ever ratted someone out?

Say participated in being a narc.

So to speak.

Coming in hot with the questions this week.

I figure you said you had the energy and I said, well, let’s test it.

I feel like if I knew it was going to get Me in trouble.


Then yes, I would tell on somebody because I didn’t want to get burned later by proxy, but I think for the most part, I was very much like, you know what, I’m going to keep my mouth shut because I also I was a kid that I don’t know if I was like as much of a troublemaker.

But anytime I did get in trouble I was so desperate for nobody to rat on me that I think I was like maybe karmically if I don’t ride on them.


Like they’ll have my back like when pro quo?

Yeah, unless you’re doing something like insanely unethical than I usually It will just kind of let people go about their ways and keep my eyes open and my mouth shut.

If, you know I’m saying, I think I’m definitely much more of a tattle-tale than you are and I think that just comes with my rule following nature, maybe, but I know there have been times where you’ve said to me, if your husband calls and says, is Christine with you, I’m going to say, yes, even if I got to protect it, which by the way, maybe say no, because it probably means I’m missing I’ve done something terrible.


This would all say I’ll go.

Why do you ask?

That’s what I’ll say.

Why do you ask?

Yeah, it’s so it’s so funny.

Like your first instinct is like, well I will protect you no matter what you’ve done and I’m like I don’t want to get involved in any sort of know, keep me out of it, you know, I see I’m willing to get into the little drama if it’s like, I feel like, I don’t know why.


I don’t know what my deal is when I was younger.

I was definitely more of a rule follower, but I think it was because it was a combination of having in a helicopter mom and who really knew how to use a guilt gun violence.

She was very good at like if you don’t tell me like she might as well have just like threatened me that everyone I know and love will die.


Like it was a very heavy weight that she’d put on me of like you better tell the truth all the time.

That’s so funny because my mom always said I’m going to lose my green card.

If you do X Y or Z didn’t even matter what it was.

But she did say, I have two strikes on my green card.

You do one more thing and I’m getting shipped out of this country pal, a therapist drawer.


And she used that to her Advantage.


See if that she’s Phil says that and I’m like, Mom, I’m an adult, like, I’m in my 30s.

This doesn’t, it doesn’t hold the same way that it used to this threat, but she did milk.

That if my mom had the ability to use a line like that, I think she would have.


But no, I think because I was so scared to break the rules when I was younger.

I think, by the time I got older, I was like, I’ve already done that, it’s time for something new and so I I was still like a good person like I never really did anything but was to rule Breaky but I certainly wouldn’t rat.


Somebody unless it was like super necessary know.

Okay, well based on that are going off that I have another question for you which is would you ever take the fall for someone who broke the law or broke the rules, or have you in them?

Yeah, I have.

But it was like I’m like no, no way, I didn’t do it, don’t fuck me.


All starts, depends on how much trouble I’m getting into.

Like, if I’m just gonna get like scolded, I’m like, okay, I’ll take the heat, like, whatever.

But I mean, if it were like a real problem and like I was gonna get either put in jail or like lose a relationship.

I’m over it now, I wouldn’t.

But there were times in like, yeah, I School were like, I was allowed to go to parties and my friends were, and I would just let them like blame me when their parents caught them later.


Just, like I say, I dragged you out the house.

I don’t care like, things like that.

Oh, it’s like I would take the fall.

If it was gonna be like something I had to just do a quick apology over and then like everyone moved on.

But I don’t know about taking the heat for some new broke a law but I don’t know about that.

Mmm intrigued about you.


I’m taking taking notes over here.

Just in case I ever need to give someone.

If you ever need to tell Blaze.

I did something just to get yourself out of an issue.

I’ll take it.

I’m okay.


I’m not.

I’m a big baby.


I’m sort of like, if I didn’t do it.

I don’t want to get in trouble.

No thanks.

I didn’t do it.

Don’t drag my name through the mud.

I feel like a level of drama that would be caused from getting involved.

That keeps me from either doing it or not doing it.

Yeah, I think it also depends.

I mean, I My child is a baby now but when she’s older, I’m sure I would take the heat.


I mean I’ve watched enough episodes of Law & Order SVU where I know people will protect their children at all costs.

So I imagine I would be more willing to throw myself under the bus so to speak on her behalf.

But, you know, we haven’t gotten there yet.

So that’s nice.

See, I don’t know if I would do that for anyone.


Yeah, but I’m only basing this on all these TV shows where parents do kind of do this.

I don’t know yet, but I imagine it’s interesting.

Like you would do it out of Maternal Instinct and I would just do it because it’s like a Tuesday so so true.


True church or different things cause it I suppose for us so, hmm.


Well, do you know anything about petronia de me?

Thor her boss, Alice, kittler ever heard of him?

No, and I feel bad about it, especially since you frame this early on, as they should be written about more or heard of and history.

And it’s like, oh man, I fell for I just like everyone else and I miss them somehow.


Well, so Alice kittler.

I do know.

That’s the name.

That’s been kind of pass.

Stout through history, whereas petronia ended up kind of getting swept to the Wayside of, that makes.

Yeah, so Alice kittler did make it through that the history books, gotcha, but petronia got kind of left behind.


So I had heard of Alice kittler and just like you, I had no idea about petronia and it’s kind of sad because she made quite a sacrifice.

So let’s get into the Nitty Gritty, shall we?

Yes, please.

All right, so we don’t have too much information about the life of petronia De meath.


But the way she died Is pretty significant to the history of Witchcraft, and trials, pretty classic.

That the way she died.

Is, it was on the record, but not anything else about her life.

That’s pretty standard in these which owns write stories.


So she was actually the first Irish woman to be burned at the stake in November 13. 24 for the crime of heresy.


Oh oh, okay.

So it wasn’t the first execution for heresy but her trial was the first time women practicing witchcraft were treated as an organized group, and that group Group was actually led by petrin has very Rich Vos Alice kittler.

Okay the mob boss of this group.


Apparently the boss, the big boss.

Yeah, big guns Petra.

Nia was a servant of Alice’s in the city of Kilkenny in Ireland, and Alice had first gotten married when she was 17.

And by the time, the year 1316 rolled around Alice was on her fourth marriage, when petronia came to work for her.



So the fourth husband of Alice ended up getting really sick.

He thought that somebody was perhaps poisoning him, okay?

And his kids believe that maybe it was his wife Alice.


So, okay, I see the beginnings of the story now.

Yeah, we see the pattern emerge, pretty quickly.

We’ve done this story enough times.

Also, I’m sure that somehow the other three husbands will get brought into this.


Did they all also conveniently die?

Die or something.

Well, they had all passed away.

So, you know, on the one hand, it was the 1300s, but on the other hand house is a which, obviously, perhaps she knew how to use poisons.

We don’t know.

But back then if you knew how to make or use poisons, it probably meant.


You also practiced Witchcraft.

And so, this was all kind of lumped together.

So, when else is husband died, as I said her previous three husbands had also died.

She started being investigated by a bishop for her possible.

Use of poison.

And sorcery.


Aha okay, got ya.

And this is where things start to go.

Let’s say off the rails.


So this bishop became obsessed with trying to take Alice down for being a witch.

Reminds me of that Keanu movie John Wick, where he’s trying to avenge his wife’s death and sorry spoilers but you know it’s like just this like single-minded Mission tunnel vision tunnel vision, trying to take Alice down Essentially, take Alice tone.


He spent a huge amount of time, trying to convince the higher-ups at the church that she needed to be arrested and tried.

But the problem was Alice was well known and had a lot of influence in town.

And so the higher-ups at the church stopped him and they stopped him to the point that they even got him arrested.


So that hello just leave Alice alone and stop going after her.

Oh my God.

That says a lot.

If the church is like 40 keeping this woman alive and she’s not a wedge out of jail.

Yeah, exactly.

And so, when he was arrested to kind of keep him away from Alice, she actually had the opportunity.


It gave her enough time to escape Ireland.

And so, she’s yeah, that.

Okay, got it.

This guy is like the NG about he is on a mission.



But the bishop was not going to be stopped by a little something called geographical distance because he was convinced there was which he Behavior happening in Alice’s home.



And since he now couldn’t get Alice because she had fled the country, he turned to the other folks in her Circle including her servant petronia de meath.

Oh okay, yeah, yeah.

And this is where the story becomes tragic.


Pretty tragic.


Petronia spilled all the beans.

Oh I bet those beans were not even the truth by the way.

Something tells me these beans were spilled under duress under duress.

You might say yeah.

Well, hmm, I think you’re on to something up next, petronia demuth tells all to the bishop about Alice kittler and her group of witches, but it comes at the greatest cost.


And by the way, whatever happened to Alice, well, I don’t like where it’s heading, but I think we’re about to find out.

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We are now at the point where petronia has been In for a quick recap here, where in the early 1300s, there is this wealthy well-connected woman, named Alice kittler, and the local.

Bishop was convinced, Alice was a witch who was practicing rituals in her home with a group of other women.


The bishop tried over and over to arrest Alice and at first even he was put in jail, he was arrested to keep him away from Alice but finally the church sort of caved and said, okay fine you can arrest Alice, you clearly have it in your mind that this is going to Happen, no matter what, so they finally gave him the go-ahead.


And by this point she had fled Ireland.

So it was like, he was so close and nope, he missed his chance.

He instead, arrested, 10 others, who were allegedly associated with Alice’s witchcraft including her servant.


Petra, nyada me, who is a subject of today’s episode?

This guy really is just like upsettingly.

I would say I don’t know about being a stalker but certainly is So riddled with angst over this person that is now just willing to just go after Associates.


Yeah, it’s like give it up.

Find a hobby.

Learn to crochet a fight, a different hobby actually.

Because this hobby is not it.

Yeah, it’s really toxic.

You know, while her boss was a fugitive petronella.

Was put on trial in June 13 24 as the leader of the witches.


Sort of like took else’s place in this horrible grand scheme of things.


Like if you were so obsessed with a Alice, like what made you decide that, this random person was the leader of the group or just tell you, okay?

It’s thought the bishop might have labeled her the leader because she was an unwed mother and who better to take the fall.


Then somebody who is in unfortunate circumstances and probably has enough on their plate already, but why not make them the target?

Yeah, it was very, very easy to do.

When all of a sudden, poor woman is clearly unloved Enough by men, that she is a she Also, she’s a mother.


Oh my gosh.

But she’s by herself since she had must be sinning.

Oh gosh, Alison her group of witches had been charged with abandoning, the church appropriating rituals from the church for their own nefarious reasons, including getting rid of people they didn’t like, AKA Alice’s for husbands, and they were also accused of animal sacrifices making potions and casting spells.


Meanwhile, petronia is taking the fall for Alice as the leader.

She sort of the impromptu leader of the group, according to the bishop even, Though, it’s just because she’s an unwed mother and because Alice isn’t there to take the fall great as we know from previous episodes, in order to get someone to admit to Witchcraft, there was, there’s no better way to say it.


Some disgusting abuse that took place to elicit.

These confessions.

Yeah, and I have a feeling.

This is just a every run-of-the-mill.

Witchcraft story.


We’re the same things about to happen.

Pretty much the bishop had petronia repeatedly tortured She was whipped and beaten until she confessed to the charges.


I mentioned earlier, petronia admitted that Alice was in fact, the leader of the group and that Alice was the most powerful with sorcery than any of the others.

Again, I know this is obvious but keep in mind she is quote unquote confessing all this under duress because it’s what they want to hear.


So yeah.

Also, I wonder if she was even saying like, oh, Alice is the strongest of all of us because Alice wasn’t there and she was trying to protect everybody.

It’s sort of like she’s not Here.

Why not throw the blame back on her at the problem, to begin with the one that you were targeting to begin with?

You were already so obsessed with her.


Please go keep seeking out the person who fled.

So all of us can be safe.

At least.

Leave us out of it, you know?


What truly what did we do to you, besides knowing her wrong place?

Wrong time.

Do you think Alice even knows that this is happening like she fled and like did any of this information?


Get back to her?

But I wonder I do because I mean, obviously it was not the case where you Just check some on Snapchat story and be like, oh shit, I can’t believe what’s happening over there so bad.

Like who knows?

Maybe she went away and just never knew what she had sort of inadvertently caused here.


I wonder if she ever even knew that she would be written in history books but like her random assistant back home like sacrificed probably her life for Alice and Alice has no idea and she’s going to go down in history for it.

Yeah, yeah.


Yeah, pretty wild.

So petronia also said that Alice and the other witches were in cahoots with demons specifically with one demon named Robin, son of art.

Okay, you know, that’s very specific.

I’m sure that took a lot of coercion to get that out of her.



Robin this demon was known to take the form of a cat or a black dog.

But usually was a tall man who had quote carnal knowledge of Alice kittler yikes.

I don’t like that.


And petronia said, yes, the group did perform sacrifices to the demons again, this is just what they wanted to hear out of her.


Cannot be said enough times the demons also.

Apparently, according to this quote unquote confession, advise them on making magical, candles and ointments using animal and human parts.

So really writing ceiling her own fate but there’s really no other option at this point.


I mean, we’ve talked about this, it’s like a lose-lose situation.

And it also like all it does is she’s just trying to save her neck but she’s also inadvertently like carrying on the stereotypes of what witchcraft looks like this.

But she obviously that’s not her fault.

Like she’s being like tortured.

And she’s just saying, whatever comes to her mind, but I used to wonder like, why do people have these stereotypes of witches?


And it’s like, well, they were beating people and whipping people until they would just say anything and all that stuff.

It’s just, I feel so bad.

This poor woman did absolutely nothing and is now the sudden just having to write a narrative to save.

Own skin.


Right at the center of this mess, even though they had taken in these 10 people associated with Alice, there was never anything.



Like it’s not like they found evidence like they found human parts in her house, or it just was like, oh we blame Alice for this and she’s not here.

So let’s just get these 10 people and then beat them until they confess.

I mean, it sounds like they knew that she had four husbands and they all got sick and that was their only proof also she could have just had some really bad luck and was like in love four times and all of them died way early and now you’re just like bringing that up to like either re-traumatize her.


If she were there to hear it or like maybe this bishop like wanted to be with her and she fled like we have no idea what her side of the story is.

But it seems like nothing witchy was happening that they have really no concrete evidence to have even started this.

Now, there wasn’t, I mean, the only thing that they had was that allegedly, her fourth husband had said, he thought someone was poisoning.



And so I’m sure that set into motion all sorts of opinions and if his kids thought she was up to no good, I’m sure.

Once he died, they probably took that and ran with it.

But you also have Tim really, her first wedding was at age 17.


So like she was very young chicken with and then like, who knows how old the men were?

I mean, you know, a lot of times were those massive age gaps.

So it’s I mean obviously unfair to say, wow her partner’s all died so she must be In carnal relations with a demon like it’s just nice stretch but big leap.


Yeah, here we are.

I guess.


And then there was the big reveal petronia commented on the deaths of Alice’s for husbands.

Oh, okay!

Hey, okay, so we were ready for this conversation.

Yes, she confirmed that magic was used to make them sign over their fortunes to Alice or her son and then they were killed.


Oh, and under the law evidence gained under torture was a lie Loud.

So they took all this, of course and said, well she said it happened and petronia was convicted.

Despite once again, being forced to say all of this, I mean all they had to say was, oh did Alice kill all her husband’s with magic?


And she just had to say yes.

And that was enough to say look, she confessed to all this and she admitted what was going on.

It’s just very tragic.

He can’t even think of a worse.

Lose-lose situation of either die.

Die by being tortured or be tortured until you say something, and then you’ll probably be killed anyone then get killed right?


So, just die or die, it’s a very horrible cycle that we’ve seen over and over again in these stories.

Yeah, well, petronia, like I said, was convicted based on this evidence that they had gained during torture, but again, that was admissible.

So she was convicted and unfortunately petronia was burned at the stake in Kilkenny in November of 1324.


Very tragic end.


Coming up the legacy of petronia is constantly overshadowed by Alice kittler, but what became of the wealthy, which of Kilkenny would love to know.


Petronia de Mis execution, in November 13, 24 made her.

The first person in Irish history to be executed for the crime of heresy, her trial also became the template for more future witch trials, great and executions, great across Europe and America for centuries.


So almost a domino effect here.

Hmm it’s not clear.

What happened to the others in the group that were also arrested.

And what’s even sadder is that most people refer to the story as the I love Dame Alice kittler and they leave Petronas name out of it, so she’s got half and not even recognized for that sacrifice.


I mean, you even said that you had heard of Alice Kessler, but you never heard of petronia and Patrick is the one that went through all the suffering.

Exactly, exactly.

It’s been written.

That Al’s kittler has been called quote and evil.

Sorceress a temptress, a gold digger or a victim of the battle between church and state, which should be fair, I don’t disagree.


Clearly, she was being targeted and put through the ringer as well.

But if we’re being honest, petronia was the one who took the heat for Alice to be any of those things and ended up.


The ultimate price.

Pretty much.


So, for what it’s worth, this episode is dedicated to petronia the sacrifice, she made on behalf of her wealthy boss and to top it off.


This is going to be an unsatisfying ending but we have no idea what happened to Alice killer.

It’s a mystery.

Oh my gosh.

Wow, it’s so then it really makes me wonder if she ever heard about what happened.

Yeah, if she even came back from Ireland, And or I guess I’ll just never know.


It’s also interesting to think maybe she did hear what was going on.

And for obvious reasons said, well, I’m staying away from that mess, like I don’t blame her for if she wanted to start a new life or change identities.

That’s not something.

I would be surprised by I think we probably want to do the same thing.


I don’t blame her either.

I just, I wonder if she lived a life with or without guilt or with her without knowledge of what came from the people who knew her like to just leave an elf God’s really?

I don’t wish that guilt on her, but I also feel like petronia at least deserves for her to know what happened.


Yeah, yeah, you’d think.

So yeah.

Well em.

That’s a story of Petra.

Nia and do you think Alice and petronia and the rest of them were actually practicing witchcraft, or do you think this was just kind of a targeted attack by the church?

I mean, maybe there’s truly, no proof that they were practicing witchcraft.


So, I mean, it’s really just, I have no idea.

Yes, or no, I guess, but But no I feel like it was definitely just a targeted attack.

I would love to know the story behind the bishop analysis history.

Like were they together or something?


And the bishop wanted more or Alice was interested or was he just like hounding her because he wanted attention and from her and she wasn’t offering it to him or like where did he get such a passion for trying to get her you know taking care of I mean as a bishop he wouldn’t Been in a position to be romantically involved with a woman.


So I imagined yet he was chasing her down.

I feel like he was, yeah, I feel like he was not following his own rules at some point, maybe he was using that energy towards something different and it was just trying to attack her.

Yeah, I don’t know what I mean, we said earlier.


But if the only evidence they had was that her husband’s died, one of them said that, maybe he thought he was being poisoned.

Hmm, I mean, in that case, like maybe this story would have just turned into like, A good old-fashioned, True Crime Scene, are you thinking about the same thing?

I was thinking, what if along somebody?


And I’m not, this is all just conjecture but maybe somebody did Kill the husbands and it was just outright murder or poison and not witchcraft so to speak.


Maybe the bishop didn’t know which then wouldn’t involve all ten of the other people in the household it just doesn’t add up but it’s pretty tragic.


Yeah, I was gonna say maybe the bishop did know and then tried to like avenge him or I mean there could have been any sort He could have also just like Matt liked her.

Oh you know like it could have been any story.

So knows he could have been bored and doesn’t know how to crochet and found this hobby instead which is so sad.

He could have been a man and a time where the patriarchy was even worse than now.


So like he just felt like it I guess.

So there’s no way to know.

No I don’t think they were practicing Witchcraft and if they were I don’t think they successfully killed a man or four because of it and I don’t think they deserved any of this despite what they were.


Doing or what they were practicing.

So you know exactly end of the day, it’s tragic no matter what, if Alice killed her husband, it was like on her own.

I think if there was her committing murder, the still Falls, more into a true crime situation and say, yeah, that’s craft, got tossled up.


I think maybe because if she poisoned him, they just ran with the word poison and turn it into potion and just decided them witchcraft was involved.

Who knows?


And, and like, again, we don’t even have any proof that she killed her.

Ends it just like we don’t even have proof of that.


So it’s project no matter what.

Yeah, well on that note, then that would probably indicate that petronia took the fall for her boss, which is just extra sad because she really had no choice.

It was sort of wrong place.

Wrong time wrong position like the worst collateral damage that you could be.


Yeah, really sad.

And to think she was like a mother and oh yeah we you said it already but I wonder if Alice knows that.

All these people got involved in her mess.

It was even her mess to begin with and her narrative.

Everyone just got sucked in it was very yeah.


Yeah, very sad.


Thanks so much for listening.

We’ll be back next week with another great episode information.

On today’s episode came from head stuff, Brooklyn Museum and accused British which has throughout history by Willow winch.

Mmm, remember to follow rituals on Spotify to get a brand new episode every week and you can listen to this and all other episodes of rituals for free exclusively on Spotify.


And if you like the show, follow at Park asked on Facebook and Instagram and at Park.

Network on Twitter.

You can find me at the M Schultz and you can find me a text and Schieffer.

Thanks again for listening and we will see you next week Rachel’s is executive produced by Max Cutler.

And as a Spotify original from par cast, it was created by Max Cutler sound design by Kristin Acevedo with associate.


Sound design by Jamie Ryan research by Sapphire Williams fact-checking by Hayley Milliken.

It’s produced by Kristen Acevedo and Jonathan Ratliff with production assistants by Ron Shapiro.

We’re your house, Christine cheaper and M Schultz.


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