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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Check out Gregor's other Beul Aithris title Ghosts of Scotland click here