The Witches of Fife: Witch-Hunting in a Scottish Shire, 1560-1710
alongside the coast of Fife, in villages like Culross and Pittenweem, historical past documents that a few girls have been done as witches. however, the truth of what occurred the evening that Janet Cornfoot was once lynched at Pittenweem is tough to understand as one sits through the harbour observing the fishing boats dump their capture and the excitement boats emerging with the tide. How may possibly humans do that to an outdated lady? Why used to be no-one ever delivered to justice? And why might an individual guard one of these lynching? the duty of the historian is to attempt to make occasions some time past come alive and appear much less unusual. the main points of the witch-hunt are attention-grabbing. a few of the anecdotes are unusual. the fashionable reader unearths it difficult to visualize disorder being blamed at the malevolence of a beggar girl denied charity, or the commercial failure of a sea voyage being attributed to the village hag, now not undesirable climate. Witch-hunting used to be regarding principles, values, attitudes and political occasions. It was once a sophisticated procedure, regarding spiritual and civil specialists, village tensions and the fears of the elite. The witch-hunt in Scotland additionally happened at a time whilst one of many major agendas used to be the production of a righteous or godly society. for this reason, spiritual experts had keep an eye on over facets of people's lives which appear as unusual to us this present day as ideals approximately magic or witchcraft. It was once no longer unintended that the witch-hunt in Scotland, and particularly in Fife, must have occurred at the present. This e-book tells the tale of what happened over a interval of a century and a part, and gives a few clarification as to why it happened.
Charged. cook dinner, Annals of Pittenweem, forty nine. A caution used to be issued, whole with the truth that these chanced on to blame must do penance, throughout the Inverkeithing hunt. Dunfermline Presbytery CH2\105\1, 271. forty three. STACUPR, 23. forty four. RPC second ser. vol. three, 489–490, 532. PA 11\9\134v. forty five. cook dinner, Annals of Pittenweem, forty nine. forty six. Larner, Enemies of God, 15. forty seven. William Forbes, The Institutes of the legislations of Scotland, Edinburgh (1730), vol. II, 33. Forbes turns out to were mentioning his knowing of.
Than the truth that established upon the information we at the moment have those shires had a considerably various adventure throughout the time of the witch-hunts. This turns into noticeable after we give some thought to the chronological trend of the Haddington witch-hunt (see Graph three on p. 235). The geographic distribution is way tougher to envision. one of many problems is the truth that Haddington is the identify of a parish and a burgh in addition to the shire. This makes it tough to figure out no matter if a reference.
Brutal remedy to sleep deprivation, from ‘swimming’ a witch to an inquisitorial approach during which actual damage was once utilized in order to obtain a confession. for instance, to come to the thing ‘Torture’, Robbins contrasts Scotland, the place witches have been tortured, with England the place they weren't. but a couple of pages later he makes use of the word ‘commonest tortures’ in connection with England, then modifies it with the interjection – ‘perhaps indignities is a greater observe’ – sooner than cataloguing those as.
instances, sleep deprivation. there's powerful proof that a few have been searched via witch-prickers to be able to look for the mark the satan supposedly put on their our bodies. there's, despite the fact that, no facts that any of these in Fife accused of witchcraft ever underwent judicial torture. whereas the trend and form of the witch-hunt in Fife essentially urged that we might now not locate this in each case, it really is nonetheless startling given the well known position that judicial torture has had in explaining the severity.
without delay quoted. 10. Ibid., 114. Kirkcaldy KS. eleven. Statistical Account for Scotland, 808. Kirkcaldy KS documents September 24, 1633. 12. ‘Trial’, 115–116. thirteen. Statistical Account, 810. Kirkcaldy KS. 14. Kirkcaldy KS. This incident isn't recorded in both the Statistical Account or the Pamphlet. Who acknowledged what approximately whom does develop into complicated. Tensions in the kinfolk are glaring. this can have additionally been an try and discredit Janet Saunders as a witness opposed to William Coke. 15.