Witch Memorials of Scotland

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The Witch Persecutions of the 15th to 17th century were a horrific time in Scottish history when an estimated 4,000 people were executed as accused witches. Communities were torn apart by accusations of witchcraft, aimed at cunning men and women using traditional remedies to heal the sick; old women who perhaps stood apart from the rest of the population; strangers to the area - or indeed anyone against whom someone might have a grudge. It was a terrifying time with an all-powerful Church and laws influenced by the zealot beliefs of King James VII, amongst several other factors. The way in which the victims of the witch trials are viewed has changed drastically over the centuries, from being viewed as the minions of Satan to people who lost their lives thanks to intolerance. Scotland is now remembering it's so-called witches in a different light, commemorating rather than vilifying them. With talk of a national memorial to Scottish 'witches', Gregor Stewart looks at the local memorials already in existence and the stories they tell.
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Mark hetherington
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
An Excellent Introduction to Scottish witches.
This book is an excellent introduction to some of the true stories behind the witch hunts in early modern Scotland. There are several memorials to those who perished in the witch trials, erected at various points in history, and Stewart uses these as a starting point to relate the stories of some of those involved. It isn't a large book, 96 pages (not 71 as stated on Goodreads) so it doesn't go into great detail but the stories are told in an engaging and readable style and itself serves as a memorial to those executed as witches. I would have liked a list of books for further reading on the subject and maybe more detailed instructions for how to find some of the monuments but these are minor quibbles and didin't spoil my enjoyment of the book in anyway.
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