Vocable (All English)

Some dates


1563: Scottish Witchcraft Act 1563. With this act, both the practice of witchcraft and consulting with witches became capital offences. It stayed on Scottish statute books until repealed by the Witchcraft Act 1735.

1597: Publicatio­n of Daemonolog­ie, an anti-witchcraft book written by King James VI of Scotland.

March-October 1597: The “Great” Scottish Witch hunt. Around 400 people were tried for witchcraft and 200 are believed to have been executed.

April 1597: Trial of Margaret Aitken, the great witch of Balwearie. 1661-1662 trials: 660 people were accused of witchcraft.

16th-18th century: close to 4,000 people in Scotland—overwhelmi­ngly women— were tried for witchcraft. Up to two thirds may have been executed.

Witchcraft Act 1735: A Law passed by Parliament which made it a crime for a person to claim that any human being had magical powers or was guilty of practising witchcraft. With this, the law abolished the hunting and execution of witches in Great Britain.

Margaret Aitken was arrested in Fife on April 1597. Under torture, she pled guilty to the charges of witchcraft but managed to save her life by swearing to have the ability to recognise other witches just by looking in their eyes. Accordingl­y, she aided James VI and the courts in identifyin­g numerous ‘witches’. Marion Walker, an active resistor of the witch-hunt, made her admit to falsifying her powers. She was burnt at the stake in August 1597.

statute book book containing the laws passed by a legislatur­e / to repeal to annul, rescind / to try to judge in a court of law / close to nearly / overwhelmi­ngly in a large majority / to pass to adopt, vote in / to claim to declare, assert / to plead guilty to recognise and admit one’s guilt in court / charge accusation / to swear, swore, sworn to promise on your honor or religion / resistor member of the resistance / stake post.

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