List of ‘Scots witches’ published online for first time The monument to Maggie Wall, who was killed in 1657 for being a witch, in Dunning, Perthshire. Picture: Contributed Published: 11:16 Updated: 13:27 Sunday 30 October 2016 Share this article Sign Up To Our Daily Newsletter Sign up School Summer Holidays Can Be Fun For Parents Too The relationship-building power of a summer spent together. Read More Brought To You By Cadbury 0 HAVE YOUR SAY The historic pages of a 350-year-old book used to record the names of those accused of witchcraft in Scotland have been published online for the first time. The Names of Witches in Scotland, 1658 collection, digitised from original records held by the Wellcome Library, holds the names of both women and men who were accused of witchcraft during a period of Scottish history in which persecution of supposed witches was rife. The names listed have been published online for the first time. Picture: SWNS Along with the names and towns of these accused, there are also notes of confession. About a Helene Minhead of Irongray, Dumfries, it is written: “Her Confessione Is In The Hands Of Mr. Patrike Cuamlait Minister At Irongray”. Youth Urban Games coming to Glasgow! Promoted by Scottish Canals READ MORE – Five of Scotland’s infamous witchcraft trials Other notes give small insights into the lives of those accused. Jon Gilchreist and Robert Semple from Dumbarton are recorded as sailors. It’s also recorded that the spouse of Agnes Watsone of Dumbarton is “umquhile” (deceased). And, mysteriously, a James Lerile of Alloway, Ayr, is noted as “clenged”, in other words cleaned or made clean. While it’s unclear what James’ fate was, it likely meant banishment or death. The passing of the Scottish Witchcraft Act in 1563 made witchcraft, or consulting with witches, capital crimes in Scotland. It is estimated that between 3,000 and 5,000 women were publicly accused of being witches in 16th and 17th century Scotland, a much higher number than neighbouring England. As revealed in these records, some men were also accused of witchcraft during this period. However, the number of women persecuted was far larger. ’Like’ The Scotsman on Facebook for regular updates The outbreak of witch-hunting in the years 1658-1662, the period in which this list of names was created, is generally seen to represent the high water mark of persecution of accused witches in Scotland. But these people were not actual witches. Rather, people accused of being a witch were in many cases healers, part of a tradition of folk medicine. Their treatments sometimes helped poor communities but accusations of witchcraft could crop up if they didn’t work. The names have been published by Ancestry, who specialise in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry Senior Content Manager Miriam Silverman

Read more at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *