Sunday, 7 March 2010

"WITCHCRAFT IN SCOTLAND"

We are all aware that Witchcraft was very real in the early Centuries in England, Women were either drowned or burnt to the stake after being accused of being a Witch, the funny thing was (not for them off course) if they died they were "innocent" if they survived after being dunked they were Witches? obviously a very real and terrifying ordeal for everyone around that period.It got to the stage that if one person did not like the other they were reported as being a Witch and were subjected to these bazaar tortures so it must have been pretty awful worrying if you were going to be next!
Surprising to me it happened in Scotland and here are my discoveries on Witchcraft in Scotland .


Between 1479 and 1722 more than 4000 men and women were burnt as Witches in Scotland, of that number 300 were executed on Castlehill in Edinburgh, during the reign of James IV of Scotland.
In this period Witchcraft was evident all over the World it seemed like an epidemic had happened and the World had to be rid of those people, it culminated from religious reformation worldwide.
In 1640 The Scott's Assembly warned Ministers to be careful of people being "charmed" and taken in.
People were accused of being under the "Devils spell" willingly while satisfying their own wicked ways. identified trying to establish if the individual made a pact with the devil. As always the people accused were poor, disliked, and never received a fair trial,(what's new) 

Witch Hunters were employed to "rake out the witches" to be subjected to the tortures which lay ahead.
Torture was used in Scotland, however unlike the English the authorities in Scotland accepted  a confession under torture,( tell me who wouldn't have admitted it under that pain?)
One way of identifying if they were witches was if they had the devils mark, usually moles, scars or other skin blemishes all humans have on their body, there were supposedly made by the devils teeth?
Pins were used by the Witchfinder, if the blemishes produced no pain after being pricked or did not bleed, then they were the devils mark!

The Witch Hunters were paid on commision so needles to say many people innocent or not were murdered for them to gain money.
In the late 1700's an elderly lady who was eccentric was tried for being a witch in Edinburgh, very near to were Princess Street Gardens are now, this formed part of the defences for Edinburgh in the early 1400's
This old lady would be found muttering to herself, and acting strange around people therefore someone in their wisdom thought she must be a witch! she was trussed up by toes and fingers, dunked into the loch and as I said earlier if she drowned she was innocent? if she floated she was guilty? air pockets in her gown made her float to the top of the Loch hence it was discovered she was indeed a witch? she was carried back up to Edinburgh Castle, strangled then burnt to the stake as so many people before her?

After a few Years when only the poor were deemed witches it climbed the higher classes, then Royalty was involved,in 1590 the Berwick witches story included sorcery, politics and treason.
When the Bailie of Tranent accused a female servant of witchcraft it all kicked off, he personally tortured her with thumbscrews after it was discovered she had the "devils mark"  naturally the pain made her confess however she implicated many others, amongst the accused were a doctor, a Lords daughter , a teacher and a midwife.
Also implicated were Royal claims to the throne, he was arrested put into prison but managed to escape, only to be caught again. Tortured he still did not admit to being a witch and claimed his innocence throughout his ordeal., this was put down to heavy influence by the devil himself.
Burning on the stake the Teacher still professed his innocence. All of the people implicated were put to death regardless of innocence being proved.

BESSIE DUNLOP  tried for witchcraft in 1756 accused of having  a meeting with a man who died 29 years previous?

ISOBEL YOUNG  burnt to the stake in 1600 for making people ill???


JAMES YOUNG  accused in 1608 of  meeting the devil and casting a spell on a farmers crops?

Can you imagine, what would happen nowadays? blemishes on the skin means u are in league with the devil, lol im having plastic surgery, it goes to show, Humans are fearful of the paranormal and in the above cases it went to the extreme.

12 comments:

  1. You see now why I keep preaching to everyone how blessed we are? We think we have it bad, and we get this "Poor Old Me Attitude." Once again and thousands of times over 'WE ARE BLESSED!" Great writing Billy.

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  2. Now days people openly practice witchcraft as a form of religion :) and God help us if blemishes get us burned at the stake! A lot of people would be in trouble! Great post!

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  3. Crazy times!

    I love history, and the whole witch burning must have been horribly scary.

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  4. You may not believe me but in Africa witchcraft is a reality, South Africa yeah it exists big time... Personally I didn't believe in it but now I see it's just another way the devil works.

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  5. @souldose

    off course I believe you dear, and am aware it still exists :) thanks, nice to have u here :)

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  6. Wow, William...this was quite a tale and I am sure it is true. Since in Salem, Ma. it was always told that witches lived there. But I always thought there were bad witches and good ones, too. Guess it's just me, wanting it to be true. Great write! Helen H. (mum, to you.)

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  7. Very interesting story about witch craft. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment. Scotland is one place I hope to travel too one of these days...lots of family ancestors for Great Britain and I love the history. My husband lived in Scotland for a couple of years 1976-1978, Edinburg was one of his favorite cities. I know he would love to visit again and take me with him!

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  8. @Anonymous
    Thank you Sandra and Mom Helen :)

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  9. there were witch crafts in my village when I was young, it looks real...
    thank you for sharing part of your interests with us.
    Happy Monday!

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