‹‹‹ prev (38)

(40) next ›››

iiiiserable victims suffered at the stake in tlie ' Playfield' of Forfar."
Their trials, he says, are extant ; and we give an extract from the
confessions of one of the misguided creatures then accused, to shew
the pitch of halhicination to which their own minds must have been
driven, and as a specimen of the materials which went to make up a
confession of witchcraft. One Helen Guthrie confessed, "that, at the
first of these meetings (of witches), Andrew Watson, Marion Kinde,
Elspat Alexander, Isobel Schyrie, and herself, went up to the kirk-
Avall, about the farthereast dore, and raised a young bairne unbaptised,
and took several pieces thereoff, at the feet and hands, part of the
head, and part of the buttocks, and they made a pye thereof, that they
might eate of it, that by this means they might never make a confes-
sion of their witchcraft." Eespecting another meeting she confessed,
that " it was at midnight when they danced together awhyle, and then
went to Mary Einde's house, and sat down together about the table,
the devil being present at the head of it ; and that some of them went
to Jon Beinny's house, he being a, brewer, and brought ale from hence,
and uthers to Alex. Heigh's house, and brought acqueavitse from hence,
and thus made themselves merrie ; and that the devil made much of
them all, and especiallie of Marion Einde." Of course, with abundance
of " ale" and " acqueavitae," it was graceful in his Satanic Majesty to
preside, and not at all unnatural that such ignorant persons, after liberal
libations, should imagine themselves angel, demon, or witch, as their im-
aginations might suggest. But to proceed : The dark gloomy reigns and
dire persecutions of Charles IL, and James II. of England and VII. of
Scotland,followed the military usurpation of Monk,as that had succeeded
the Commonwealth. The only circumstance recorded of Dundee during
this period refers to a visit of the notorious John Graham of Claverhouse,
who obtained from James IL a grant of the estate of Dudhope,
with the constableship of Dundee, and, two years after, was created
Viscount of Dundee. In a dispute with the Provost and Magistrates
about his jurisdictions as a judge, he determined on taking vengeance
on the town ; and, rallying his dependants and a body of Highland re-
tainers, commenced his march into it. His design, however, was frus-
trated by Mrs Maxwell of Tealing, who, suspecting his intentions, sent
forward a messenger to apprize the authorities of his approach. En-
raged at this defeat, he desired his vassals to fire the Eottenrow or
Hilltown, and instantly the whole suburb was in a blaze ; the pro-
prietors looking on without being able to avert the ruin that was

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence