Normandy produced the largest known collection of male witches anywhere in Western Europe. From 1564 to 1660, the judicial records of the Norman Parlement at Rouen (almost 90 percent complete between 1585 and 1630, the peak years of recorded witch trials in Normandy and across Western Europe, generally) reveal that almost three-fourths of its 380 recorded witchcraft defendants were men. Approximately two-thirds of the 100 people whom the Rouen Parlement condemned to death for witchcraft were men; men virtually monopolized Norman witchcraft cases after 1630, providing its final defendants long after Louis XIV supposedly decriminalized witchcraft in 1682.
Shepherds accounted for over one-fifth of all male witches in Normandy, using a variety of magical methods either to sicken or to cure livestock. The most frequently mentioned malevolent substance used by shepherds was toad venom; their most powerful benevolent magic required stolen consecrated Hosts. Two other occupational groups were also overrepresented among Norman witchcraft suspects: clergymen (prominent from 1598 until the 1640′s) and blacksmiths, who practiced illicit forms of veterinary medicine. Normandy experienced no witchcraft panics, but rather a steady trickle of witch trials every year. The Witches’ Sabbat was well known before 1600, but apparently never led to multiple denunications and trials. After 1590, the Rouen Parlement became more severe than Paris in judging accused witches.
“Toads and Eucharists: The Male Witches of Normandy, 1564-1660“, by William Monter, French Historical Studies, Vol.20, No.4, pp. 563-595.