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1763: Marie-Josephte Corriveau, Quebec murderess

April 18th, 2008 Headsman

On this date in 1763, a young woman shuffled off this mortal coil and into Quebecois folklore.

She’d made the mistake of outliving two husbands, and was convicted (with her father) of having been the instrument of their demise. Gibbeted after her death — a punishment not used in France, but Quebec had been captured by the English in the French and Indian War — her corpse became a figure of ghost stories and popular superstition, haunting passersby and playing poltergeist.

But why take it from me? Here’s the unhappy fate of Madame Corriveau, in puppet theater.

Or a stylish graphic novel-style cartoon.

Devotees of the written word can get their fill in two 19th century texts available free from Google Books: a passage in Maple Leaves, and a historical novel in which she figures as a character, The Golden Dog. Her French Wikipedia page is here.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 18th Century,Arts and Literature,Canada,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,England,Execution,Gibbeted,Hanged,History,Murder,Occupation and Colonialism,Popular Culture,Public Executions,Quebec,The Supernatural,Witchcraft,Women

3 thoughts on “1763: Marie-Josephte Corriveau, Quebec murderess”

  1. James says:

    Ah, La Corriveau–she was a cousin of mine… granted we weren’t close since she is my second cousin 8 times removed, but still. It is nice to be related to a legend, I think!

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