An account of the most remarkable Trials and Exe-
cutions which took place in Scotland for above 300
years, against the persons who suffered for Witch-
craft, Adultery, Fornication, &c. &c.
Thomas Aikenhead for denying the Trinity, and the authority of
the Scriptures and for maintaing the Eternity of the world, was found
guilty and sentenced " To be taken to the Gallow-fee on the 8th of
January, 1697, between the hours of two and four in the afternoon,
and to be hanged, his body to be buried at the foot of the gallows and
his moveable estate to be forfeited' ?Mercy was asleep a well as Jus-
tice and Science; so the dreadful sentence was executed !
John Ogilvie, Jesuit, was tried in 1615 before the Magistrates of
Glasgow, specially appointed for saying of Mass, acknowledging the
Pope to be Judge in controversies of religion and decl ning to answer
certain Questions put by his Majesty's Commissioners, concerning the
Pope's power to excommunicate, King's the murder of a King excom-
municated and deposed by the Pope and subject' s being absolved
from the allegiance due to Such a King. He was found guilty, and
sentenced to be taken immediately from the Court to the place of exe-
cution, and there to be hanged and quartered. He was hanged that
same afternoon but the quartering was dispensed with.
Alison Pearson in Byre hills, Fifeshire, accused of witchcraft, was
brought to trial in May, 1588, she was convicted and condemned,
strangled and burned.
Janet Grant and Janet Clark, were convicted of witchcraft, in Au-
Agnes Samson of Keith, was accused of assembling at. North Berwick
in 1590, with 6 men and 90 women, all witches and of having raised
storms, and kissed the devil's a?e. She was burned.
Euphan M'Calzeane was tried for witchcraft in 1591, the was a lady
possessed of a considerable estate in her own right. She was the
daughter of Thomas M Calzeane Lord Chitoshallone of the Senators
of the College of Justice; she was burned alive, and her estate confis-
Patrick Lawrie was tried for witchcraft in 1605; he was burned alive.
Margaret Wallace was tried for witchcraft in 1620, and she was
strangled and burned.
Isobel Young in East Barns, was tried in 1629, for having by en-
chantment, stopped a mill 29 years before; she was strangled & burned.
Alex. Hamilton was convicted on his own confession, in 1630, of
having had many meetings with the devil, from whom he once receiv-
ed a severe drubbing for not keeping an appointment.
In 1697, in the shire of Renfrew, 24'persons male and female; were
accused of witchcraft, and seven of them was convicted and commit-
ted to the flames in one day.
John-Neil was tried for witchcraft in 1631, and the usual sentence
Janet Brown and others was tried in 1649 for having a meeting with
the devil, and of renouncing her bilotism. The prisoner, and two
other women, were convicted, condemned, and executeed in one day
The last person who was prosecuted before the Lords of Justiciary
for witchcraft was Elspeth Rule, who was tried before Lord Anstru-
thers at the Dumtries Circuit, on the 3d of May, 1709, she was burned
on the cheek, and banished Scotland for life.
The last person who was brought to the stake in Scotland was con-
demned by Capt. David Ross, Sheriff-depute of Sutherland, in 1722.
The devil has never been seen in Scotland since.
John Guthrie was prosecuted for the crime of notorious adultery; in
1617, when he was sentenced to be taken to the Cross of Edinburgh,
and hanged on a gibbet till he be dead ; and he appears to have been
carried to immediate execution.
Patrick Robertson and Marion Kempt, were accused of adulterous
commerce with each other. they were convicted on their own con-
fession, on the 18th December 1627, and were sentenced to be hanged
on a gibbet at the Castle-hill.
John Murdoch and Janet Douglas both married persons, were tried
in 1699, for one act of adultery. The libel was restricted., and they were
banished for life.
The last person that was tried in Scotland for adultery, was the Rev.
Mr. Nisbet of the Established Church of Scotland. He was a minister
in Invernesshire, and was tried in 1762, and sentenced to be banished
This law with regard to adultery, still remains in force in Scotland.
Christopher Jameson and Margaret Little were tried and found guil-
ty of fornication with each other in 1653, and ordained to pay L.40
Scots, and in case of refusal to be Kept prisoners for eight days, and to
be fed on bread and small drink, and next market day to stand an hour
bareheaded on the pillory.
John muir, printer, Princes Street.
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