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hailse

Petronilla de Meath

Petronilla de Meath (born circa 1300 - 1324) was the maidservant of Dame Alice Kyteler, a fourteenth century Irish noblewoman. She was accused of being an accomplice to witchcraft with her mistress and was flogged and eventually burned at the stake on 3rd November 1324, in Kilkenny, Ireland. She was the first case in Ireland's history of death by fire for the crime of heresy.

The accusations were principally against Dame Alice Kyteler and came from the children of her later husbands by their previous marriages. They were intended to secure Dame Alice's wealth for that branch of the family. Dame Alice escaped to England, and Petronilla's young daughter was taken to England after her mother's death, where she was subsequently raised by Dame Alice.

Petronilla de Meath is honoured in Judy Chicago's feminist art work The Dinner Party.

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