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Title: A Collection of Rare and Curious Tracts on Witchcraft and the Second Sight - With an Original Essay on Witchcraft
Author: Unknown
Language: English
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  _Original Essay on Witchcraft_.



 Printed by Thomas Webster.



  An Original Essay on Witchcraft,                               5

  News from Scotland,                                           13

  To the Reader,                                                15

  A True Discourse of the Damnable Life of
  Doctor Fian, and Sundry other Witches,
  lately taken in Scotland,                                     17

  Another Account of the Foregoing Transactions,
  from Sir James Melvill's Memoirs,                             36

  Advertisement,                                                40

  Extracts from King James's Daemonologie concerning
  Sorcery and Witchcraft,                                       42

  Notice to the Reader,                                         68

  Answer of a Letter from a Gentleman in Fife,
  to a Nobleman, containing an Account of
  the Barbarous and Illegal Treatment of the
  Witches in Pittenweem,                                        69

  Another Letter concerning the Witches of Pittenweem,          73

  A Just Reproof to the False Reports contained
  in the two Foregoing Letters,                                 79

  A Copy of the Indictment and Precept for
  Summoning the Jury and Witnesses, with
  the Warrant for the Execution, of the
  Witches at Borrowstouness,                                    95

  Trial of Isobel Elliot and others,                           104

  Confession of Helen Taylor,                                  107

  Deposition of Manie Haliburton,                              109

  Declaration of John Kincaid, the Pricker,                    111

  Trial of William Coke and Allison Dick,                      113

  Amount of the Kirk's Share of Expense for
  Burning the said William Coke and Allison
  Dick,                                                        123

  Town's part on the above occasion,                           124

  Account of the Expense of Burning Margaret
  Denham,                                                      125

  Minutes and Proceedings of the Kirk-Session
  of Torryburn, and the Confession of Lillias
  Adie,                                                        129

  Frazer on the Second Sight,                                  147

  The Publisher to the Reader,                                 150

  Short Advertisement to the Reader,                           157

  A Brief Discourse concerning the Second Sight,
  commonly so called,                                          159





 If we wish to form a just estimate of the human character in its
 progress through the various stages of civilization, from ignorance
 and barbarism, to science and refinement, we must search into the
 natural causes that actuate the human mind. The life of man is
 prolonged to a remoter period, but subjected to more casualities, and
 greater vicissitudes of fortune, than most other animals. From these
 causes arises his anxious solicitude about futurity, and an eager
 desire to know his destiny; and thus man becomes the most
 superstitious of all other creatures. In every nation there have been
 multitudes of oracles, augurs, soothsayers, diviners,
 fortune-tellers, witches, sorcerers, &c. whose business has been to
 communicate intelligence respecting futurity, to the rest of mankind.
 If we attend to history, we shall find this theory sufficiently
 confirmed by experience. The most superstitious part of the species
 are soldiers and sailors, who are more exposed to accidents than any
 other class. History is full of the superstitious observances of the
 Roman armies; their regard to omens; the entrails of victims; the
 flight of birds, &c. and there are thousands of brave sailors of the
 present day, who would not sail in the finest ship of the British
 navy, without a horse-shoe were nailed on the main-mast. This passion
 of diving into futurity, naturally produced a number of '_dealers in
 destiny's dark council_,' who soon found it turn out a very lucrative
 profession. From knowing the secrets, it was naturally inferred, that
 they were the favourites of those powers who are supposed to have the
 future happiness of mankind at their disposal. This we apprehend is
 the real source of that power which the priesthood hath ever
 exercised over the human mind. Pleasure and pain are the two great
 principles of human action which has given rise to the good and evil
 principle common to all nations. Those who held communication and
 commerce with the evil principle, are witches, wizzards, sorcerers,
 &c. Although we have various laws and injunctions against witchcraft
 in scripture, yet we are still as much in the dark as ever, as no
 definition is given of it, nor is the particular actions which
 constitute witchcraft enumerated, so as we can say wherein it
 consists. The story of the witch of Endor, is a case that throws more
 light on the subject than any other. But she appears to have acted
 more in the character of one of our second sighted seers, than one of
 our modern witches. According to our notions and ideas of witchcraft
 (as laid down by that _sapient_ monarch James VI.), it is a poor
 ignorant old woman, who, through misery or malice, gives herself to
 the devil, soul and body, and renounces her baptism; for which
 considerations Satan engages to assist her with his power to work a
 number of petty mischiefs on such as she has a spite at; and
 sometimes he advances a little of the '_needful_,' which,
 unfortunately for the poor _old hag_, turns out to be 'naething but
 _sklate stanes_,' and this most unaccountable contract is generally
 sealed by '_carnal copulation_!' And yet, after believing this, we
 call ourselves _rational creatures_, and other animals we term
 _brutes_!! Many people have wondered, how so exalted a personage as
 the devil formerly was in days of yore, should latterly have taken up
 with such low company as our modern witches. He who tempted the very
 fathers of the church in so many various ways; who kept the whole
 priesthood of the Catholic church constantly on the _alert_ with holy
 water, exorcisms, &c. only to keep him in _check_; who often attacked
 Luther and our other reformers, in very ungentlemanly disguises; and
 had even the audacity to insult our covenanted saints, by bellowing
 like a bull, grunting like a pig, or groaning like a dying man. These
 were pranks something worthier of a devil than the tricks played off
 by the witches. Our King James gives the reason, because 'the
 consumation of the world, and our deliverance drawing neere, makes
 Satan so rage the more in his instruments, knowing his kingdom to be
 so neere an end.' James was a little out in his reckoning here, 'the
 consumation of the world' not having taken place as yet, and the
 devil's kingdom turning out to be rather better established than his
 own. So far was it from being near an end, that it was on the
 increase, caused chiefly by the absurd and stupid laws that were
 enacted against it by himself and successors. The devil's kingdom is
 not to be destroyed by acts of parliament and burning of witches;
 these expedients have been tried in vain all over Europe and America,
 without effect; but now, when every person can bewitch with impunity,
 not a witch is to be found; and the devil, though left at large, has
 retreated to the Highlands and islands, where he is seldom seen, even
 by those who have the second sight. The true engines for battering
 the strong holds of Satan, and driving him and his imps into utter
 darkness, are science and philosophy; these are the weapons that have
 compelled him to retrograde movements, after lavishing rivers of holy
 water in vain. Thus the terrific claws of the devil, when seen by the
 distempered eyes of ignorant bigotry, appear to us truly horrible,
 but when viewed through philosophical spectacles, look as harmless as
 the lamb-skin gloves of a fine lady.

 These stories, however, convey a strong likeness of the times in
 which they were acted. In our day, it is almost impossible to
 believe, that human beings could give credit to such gross
 absurdities as we have laid before the public in this little work,
 were the evidence not indubitable. Far less, that judges, lawyers,
 and divines, should unite in murdering such numbers of poor ignorant
 helpless creatures, for such mad chimeras, when it is hard to say,
 whether the poor victim, or the insane judges, were under the greater
 delusion. These wonderful tales of the doings of the devil with the
 witches, are taken from their own confessions, and from their
 _delating_ of one another, as it is called. To us it does not appear
 improbable, but that too many of the poor deluded wretches actually
 imagined themselves to be witches. Nor will this appear so very
 surprizing, if we consider the circumstances of the case. At that
 period, any person who doubted of witchcraft, was looked upon as an
 athiest, and worse than mad; the whole country, from one end to the
 other, was continually ringing with tales of witches, devils, and
 fairies, with such other trash. Is it not then most likely, that
 people should dream about them? and is there any thing unnatural in
 supposing, that they should mistake these dreams for realities? as is
 evidently proved in several cases, and then confess, not the actions
 they really did, but the effects of their own disordered imagination.
 Moreover, when confined for this imaginary crime, they were tortured
 in all manner of ways, deprived of sleep, flung into water, and
 _brodit,_ as they called it, being striped naked and searched for the
 devil's mark, in the most indecent manner. These confessions, after
 they were made, were nothing more than the wild ravings of a
 distempered imagination; and such a tissue of inconsistencies, as no
 person of the present day would listen to. An old woman in the Isle
 of Teree (as related by Mr Frazer, page 165), took in her head that
 she was in heaven no less, and had eat and drank there; and so
 firmly had the poor creature imbibed the notion, that it was with
 some difficulty she could be undeceived. A curious account of a
 pretended meeting with the devil, is given by a gentleman of
 Normandy, in the Memoirs of Literature for November 1711.

 "The pretended meeting, about which those who believe they have been
 at it, relate so many extravagant things, is only in their
 imagination. I own, that some country people, especially shepherds,
 do now and then rub their skin with some narcotick grease or
 ointments, which cast them into a sound sleep, and fill their
 imagination with a thousand visions. When they are thus asleep, they
 fancy they see every thing that was told them concerning the devil's
 meeting, by their fathers, who were also shepherds, or wizards, if
 you will have me to call them so. Whereupon I will inform you of what
 I have been told by a country friend of mine, who pretended to have a
 mind to go to the devil's meeting with his own shepherd, who had the
 reputation of being a great sorcerer. Having frequently urged that
 shepherd to carry him thither, at last he obtained his desire. He
 went to him in the night at the appointed time. The shepherd
 immediately gave him something to grease himself withal. He took the
 grease as if he had a mind to rub his skin with it; but he desired
 that the shepherd's son, who was to go to the devil's meeting with
 his father, should anoint himself first. Which being done, that
 gentleman told the shepherd, that he should be glad to know what
 would become of the young man. Not long after, the young man fell
 fast asleep, and when he awaked, though he had not stirred from that
 place, he gave an account of every thing he thought he had seen at
 the devil's meeting; and even named several persons whom he pretended
 to have seen there. My friend perceived then, that what is commonly
 said of the devil's meeting was a mere fancy. I have told you this
 story, that you may impart it to your brethren, who being prepossest
 with popular errors about witchcraft, do frequently hang and burn
 poor wretches, whose crime does only consist in the weakness of their

 A thousand more instances might be produced to show, that the devil
 hath no meetings any where, but in the perturbed brain of ignorant
 credulity. The history of superstition is however of great use; we
 there see its dangerous influence upon the peace and happiness of
 society--its degrading effects upon the character and manners of
 nations, in morality, literature, jurisprudence, and science.
 Theology seems to have been particularly infected with this
 pestiferous contagion. The clergy were generally in the front rank of
 witch-hunters, and through their influence, the most of them were put
 to death. In places where the minister was inflamed with a _holy
 zeal_ against the devil and his emissaries, such as Pittenweem and
 Torryburn, the parish became a perfect hot-bed for the rearing of
 witches; and so plentiful a crop did it produce, that it appeared
 nothing else could thrive. But in places where the minister had some
 portion of humanity, and a little common sense, the devil very
 rarely set foot on his territories, and witchcraft was not to be
 found. Since the repeal of the statutes against witchcraft, several
 prosecutions have been instituted against witches, who were convicted
 and punished; but it was bewitching silly ignorant people out of
 their money, goods, and common sense, by pretending a knowledge of
 futurity--a power of relieving maladies in man or beast--or procuring
 the affection of some favourite swain to a love-sick maiden. The
 dupes of these impostors do not altogether escape, as they are made
 the laughing stock of their neighbours; and by these means even this
 trade is now nearly annihilated. Happily for our times, the refulgent
 brightness of philosophy and science, hath dispelled these dark
 clouds of benighted superstition, and left us in possession only of
 our natural powers and faculties, which are quite enough.


  News from Scotland:

  _Burned at Edenbrough in Januarie last, 1591_.




  _Published according to the Scottish Copie._





 The manifold untruths which are spred abroad concerning the
 detestable actions and apprehension of those witches whereof this
 historie following truely entreateth, hath caused me to publish the
 same in print, and the rather for that sundrie written coppies are
 lately dispersed thereof, containing that the said witches were first
 discovered by meanes of a poore pedlar travelling to the towne of
 Trenent; and that by a wonderfull manner hee was in a moment conveyed
 at midnight from Scotland to Burdeux in France (being places of no
 small distance), into a merchant's sellar there; and after being sent
 from Burdeux into Scotland by certaine Scottish merchants to the
 King's Majestie, that he discovered those witches, and was the cause
 of their apprehension; with a number of matters miraculous and
 incredible: all which in truth are most false. Nevertheless, to
 satisfie a number of honest mindes, who are desirous to be informed
 of the veritie and truth of their confessions, which for certaintie
 is more stranger than the common reporte runneth, and yet with more
 truth. I have undertaken to publish this short Treatise which
 declareth the true discourse of all that happened, and as well what
 was pretended by those wicked and detestable witches against the
 King's Majestie; as also by what means they wrought the same.

 All which examinations (gentle reader) I have here truly published as
 they were taken and uttered in the presence of the King's Majestie,
 praying thee to accept of it for veritie, the same being so true as
 cannot be reproved.





 God, by his omnipotent power, hath at all times, and daily dooth take
 such care, and is so vigilant for the weale and preservation of his
 owne, that thereby he disappointeth the wicked practices and evil
 intents of all such as by any means whatsoever seeke indirectly to
 conspire any thing contrary to his holy will: Yea, and by the same
 power he hath lately overthrowne and hindered the intentions and
 wicked dealings of a great number of ungodly creatures, no better
 than devils; who suffering themselves to be allured and enticed by
 the Devil whom they served, and unto whom they were privately sworne,
 entered into the detestable art of witchcraft, which they studied and
 practised so long time, that in the ende they had seduced by their
 sorcerie a number of others to be as bad as themselves, dwelling in
 the bounds of Lowthen, which is a principall shire or part of
 Scotland, where the Kinges Majestie useth to make his cheifest
 residence or abode; and to the ende that their detestable wickednesse
 which they prively had pretended against the Kinges Majestie, the
 commonweale of that countrie, with the nobilitie and subjects of the
 same, should come to light. God of his unspeakable goodness did
 reveale and laie it open in verie strange sorte, thereby to make
 known to the world that their actions were contrarie to the lawe of
 God and the naturall affection which we ought generally to beare one
 to another. The manner of the revealing whereof was as followeth.

 Within the towne of Trenent, in the kingdome of Scotland, there
 dwelleth one David Seaton, who being deputie bailiffe in the said
 towne, had a maid called Geillies Duncane, who used secretlie to
 absent and lie forth of her maisters house every other night. This
 Geillies Duncane tooke in hand to helpe all such as were troubled or
 grieved with anie kinde of sickness or infirmitie, and in short space
 did performe many matters most miraculous; which things, forasmuche
 as she began to do them upon a sodaine, having never done the like
 before, made her maister and others to be in great admiration, and
 wondered thereat: by meanes whereof the saide David Seaton had his
 maide in great suspition that shee did not those things by naturall
 and lawfull waies, but rather supposed it to be done by some
 extraordinarie and unlawfull meanes.

 Whereupon her maister began to grow verie inquisitive, and examined
 her which way and by what meanes shee was able to performe matters of
 so great importance; whereat shee gave him no aunswere: nevertheless,
 her maister to the intent that hee might the better trie and finde
 out the truth of the same, did with the help of others torment her
 with the torture of the pilliwinkes upon her fingers, which is a
 griveous torture, and binding or wrinching her head with a cord or
 roape, which is a most cruel torment also, yet would shee not confess
 anie thing; whereupon they suspecting that shee had beene marked by
 the devill (as commonly witches are,) made diligent search about her,
 and found the enemies mark to be in her fore crag, or fore part of
 her throate; which being found, shee confessed that all her doings
 was done by the wicked allurements and entisements of the devil, and
 that shee did them by witchcraft.

 After this her confession, shee was committed to prison, where shee
 continued a season, where immediately shee accused these persons
 following to bee notorious witches, and caused them forthwith to be
 apprehended, one after another, viz. Agnes Sampson, the eldest witche
 of them all, dwelling in Haddington; Agnes Tompson of Edenbrough;
 Doctor Fian, alias John Cuningham, master of the schoole at Saltpans
 in Lowthian, of whose life and strange acts you shall heare more
 largely in the end of this discourse.

 These were by the saide Geillies Duncane accused, as also George
 Motts' wife, dwelling in Lowthian; Robert Grierson, skipper; and
 Jannet Blandilands; with the potters wife of Seaton; the smith at the
 Brigge Hallies, with innumerable others in those parts, and dwelling
 in those bounds aforesaid, of whom some are alreadie executed, the
 rest remaine in prison to receive the doome of judgement at the
 Kinges Majesties will and pleasure.

 The saide Geillies Duncane also caused Ewphame Mecalrean to bee
 apprehended, who conspired and performed the death of her godfather,
 and who used her art upon a gentleman, being one of the Lordes and
 Justices of the Session, for bearing good-will to her daughter. Shee
 also caused to be apprehended one Barbara Naper, for bewitching to
 death Archbalde lait Earle of Angus, who languished to death by
 witchcraft, and yet the same was not suspected; but that he died of
 so strange a disease as the phisition knewe not how to cure or
 remedie the same. But of all other the said witches, these two last
 before recited, were reputed for as civil honest women as anie that
 dwelled within the cittie of Edenbrough, before they were
 apprehended. Many other besides were taken dwelling in Lieth, who are
 detayned in prison until his Majesties further will and pleasure be
 knowne; of whose wicked dooings you shall particularly heare, which
 was as followeth.

 This aforesaide Agnes Sampson, which was the elder witche, was taken
 and brought to Haliriud House before the Kinges Majestie, and sundrie
 other of the nobilitie of Scotland, where shee was straytly examined;
 but all the persuasions which the Kinges Majestie used to her, with
 the rest of his councell, might not provoke or induce her to confess
 any thing, but stoode stiffley in the deniall of all that was layde
 to her charge; whereupon they caused her to be conveyed away unto
 prison, there to receive such torture as hath been lately provided
 for witches in that countrie; and for as muche as by due examination
 of witchcraft and witches in Scotland, it hath lately beene founde
 that the devill dooth generally marke them with a privie marke, by
 reason the witches have confessed themselves, that the devill doth
 licke them with his tong in some privie part of their bodie, before
 he dooth receive them to bee his servants, which marke commonlie is
 given them under the haire in some part of their bodie, whereby it
 may not easily be found out or seene, although they bee searched; and
 generally so long as the marke is not seene to those which search
 them, so long the parties which have the marke will never confess
 anie thing. Therefore by special commandment this Agnes Sampson had
 all her haire shaven off, n each part of her bodie, and her head
 thrawane with a rope according to the custome of that countrie, being
 a payne most grieveous, which they continued almost an hower, during
 which time shee would not confess anie thing untill the divel's marke
 was founde upon her privities, then shee immediately confessed
 whatsoever was demaunded of her, and justifiying those persons
 aforesaide to be notorious witches.

 _Item_, the said Agnes Sampson was after brought againe before the
 Kinges Majestie and his councell, and being examined of the meeting
 and detestable dealings of those witches, shee confessed, that upon
 the night of Allhallow Even last, shee was accompanied as well with
 the persons aforesaide, as also with a great many other witches, to
 the number of two hundreth, and that all they together went to sea,
 each one in a riddle or cive, and went into the same very
 substantially, with flaggons of wine, making merrie and drinking by
 the way in the same riddles or cives, to the Kirke of North Barrick
 in Lowthian, and that after they had landed, tooke hands on the lande
 and daunced this reill or short daunce, singing all with one voice,

    _Commer goe ye before, commer goe ye,
    Gif ye will not goe before, commer let me._

 At which time shee confessed, that this Geillies Duncane did goe
 before them playing this reill or daunce, uppon a small trumpe,
 called a Jewes trumpe, untill they entred into the Kirke of North

 These confessions made the Kinge in a wonderfull admiration, and sent
 for the saide Geillie Duncane, who upon the like trumpe did play the
 saide daunce before the Kinges Majestie, who in respect of the
 strangeness of these matters, tooke great delight to be present at
 their examinations.

 _Item_, the said Agnes Sampson confessed, that the devill, being then
 at North Barricke Kirke attending their coming, in the habit or
 likeness of a man, and seeing that they tarried over long, hee at
 their coming enjoined them all to a pennance, which was, that they
 should kiss his buttockes, in sign of duty to him; which being put
 over the pulpit bare, every one did as he had enjoined them: and
 having made his ungodly exhortations, wherein he did greatly inveigh
 against the Kinge of Scotland, he received their oathes for their
 good and true service towards him, and departed; which done, they
 returned to sea, and so home again.

 At which time the witches demaunded of the devill why he did beare
 such hatred to the Kinge? Who answered, by reason the Kinge is the
 greatest enemie hee hath in the world.[1] All which their confessions
 and depositions are still extant upon record.

   [1] James, who boasted that he was born in 'the purest church on
   earth,' and whose courtiers called him 'the Childe of God,' was no
   doubt highly gratified at this declaration of the devil's hatred,
   'because he was his greatest enemie on earth.' This was such a piece
   of flattery as suited the meridian of the monarch's intellects. ED.

 _Item_, the saide Agnes Sampson confessed before the Kinges Majestie
 sundrie things, which were so miraculous and strange, as that his
 Majestie saide they were all extreme liars; whereat shee answered,
 shee would not wish his Majestie to suppose her words to be false,
 but rather to believe them, in that shee would discover such matters
 unto him as his Majestie should not anie way doubt of.

 And thereupon taking his Majestie a little aside, shee declared unto
 him the verie wordes which passed between the Kinges Majestie and his
 Queene at Upslo in Norway the first night of marriage, with the
 answere ech to other; whereat the Kinges Majestie wondered greatly,
 and swore by the living God, that he believed all the devills in hell
 could not have discovered the same, acknowledging her words to be
 most true, and therefore gave the more credit to the rest that is
 before declared.

 Touching this Agnes Sampson, shee is the onlie woman who by the
 devill's perswasion should have intended and put in execution the
 Kinges Majesties death in this manner.

 Shee confessed that shee tooke a blacke toade, and did hang the same
 up by the heeles three daies, and collected and gathered the venome
 it dropped and fell from it in ane oister shell, and kept the same
 venome close covered, untill shee should obtaine anie part or peece
 of foule linnen cloth that had appertained to the Kinges Majestie, as
 shirt, handkercher, napkin, or anie other thing, which shee practised
 to obtaine by meanes of one John Kers, who being attendant in his
 Majesties chamber, desired him for old acquaintance between them, to
 help her to one or a peece of such a cloth as is aforesaide, which
 thing the saide John Kers denyed to helpe her to, saying he coulde
 not helpe her unto it.

 And the saide Agnes Sampson by her depositions since her
 apprehension, saith, that if shee had obtayned anie one peece of
 linnen cloth which the Kinge had worne and fowlede, shee had
 bewitched him to death, and put him to such extraordinarie paines, as
 if he had been lying upon sharp thornes and endes of needles.

 Moreover shee confessed, that at the time when his Majestie was in
 Denmarke, shee being accompanied by the parties before speciallie
 named, tooke a cat and christened it, and afterwarde bounde to each
 part of that cat, the cheefest part of a dead man, and several joynts
 of his bodie; and that in the night following, the saide cat was
 convayed into the middest of the sea by all the witches, sayling in
 their riddles or cives, as is aforesaid, and so left the saide cat
 right before the towne of Lieth in Scotland. This doone, there did
 arise such a tempest in the sea, as a greater hath not beene seene;
 which tempest was the cause of the perishing of a boat or vessel
 coming over from the towne of Brunt Islande to the towne of Lieth,
 wherein was sundrie jewelles and rich giftes, which should have been
 presented to the now Queene of Scotland at her Majesties coming to

 Againe it is confessed, that the said christened cat was the cause
 that the Kinges Majesties shippe at his coming forth of Denmarke had
 a contrarie winde to the rest of his shippes then being in his
 companie, which thing was most strange and true as the Kinges
 Majestie acknowlegeth, for when the rest of the shippes had a faire
 and good winde, then was the winde contrarie and altogether against
 his Majestie; and further, the sayde witche declared, that his
 Majestie had never come safely from the sea, if his faith had not
 prevayled above their intentions.[2]

   [2] It no doubt required the penetration of a witch to discover the
   strength of James's faith, which prevailed against their
   incantations, and saved him from perishing at sea. Those who
   conducted the examination of the witches, no doubt knew well enough
   how to extract this little piece of delicate flattery from the hags,
   so gratifying to the palate of their master. ED.

 Moreover, the saide witches being demaunded how the divell would use
 them when he was in their companie, they confessed, that when the
 divel did recyeve theme for his serventes, and that they had vowed
 themselves unto him, then he woulde carnally use them, albeit to
 their little pleasure, in respect to his colde nature,[3] and would
 doe the like at sundrie other times.

   [3] In the records of the kirk-session of Torryburn, in Fifeshire, so
   late as 1703, is the confession of one Lillias Eddie, a supposed
   witch, who immediately after she had been initiated in the infernal
   mysteries, was taken behind a stook, it (being harvest time), and
   carressed by the devil. She likewise complains that his embraces were
   cold and unsatisfactory. The gross indelicacy of such stories are
   only to be equalled by their absurdity. What a picture does it
   present to readers of the present day, of the manners of that age,
   when such topics could be gravely discussed by the King in

 As touching the aforesaide Doctor Fian, alias John Cunningham, the
 examination of his actes since his apprehension, declareth the great
 subteltie of the divell, and therefore maketh thinges to appeare the
 more miraculous; for being apprehended by the accusation of the saide
 Geillies Duncane aforesaide, who confessed he was their register, and
 that there was not one man suffered to come to the divel's readinges
 but onlie hee, the saide Doctor was taken and imprisoned, and used
 with the accustomed paine provided for those offences, inflicted upon
 the rest as is aforesaide.

 _First_, by thrawing of his head with a rope, whereat he would
 confess nothing.

 _Secondly_, hee was persuaded by faire meanes to confesse his
 follies, but that would prevail as little.

 _Lastly_, hee was put to the most severe and cruell paine in the
 worlde, called the bootes, who, after he had received three strokes,
 being inquired if hee would confess his damnable actes and wicked
 life, his toong would not serve him to speake, in respect whereof the
 rest of the witches willed to searche his toong, under which was
 found two pinnes thurst up into the heade; whereupon the witches did
 say, now is the charm stinted, and shewed, that those charmed pinnes
 were the cause he could not confesse any thing: then was he
 immediately released of the bootes, brought before the King, his
 confession was taken, and his own hand willingly set thereunto, which
 contained as followeth:

 _First_, that at the generall meetinges of those witches, he was
 always present,--that he was clarke to all those that were in
 subjection to the divel's service, bearing the name of witches,--that
 always hee did take their oathes for their true service to the divel,
 and that he wrote for them such matters as the divel still pleased to
 command him.

 _Item_, hee confessed that by his witchcraft hee did bewitch a
 gentleman dwelling neare to the Saltpans, where the said Doctor kept
 schoole, only for being enamoured of a gentlewoman whome he loved
 himself; by meanes of which his sorcery, witchcraft, and divelish
 practices, hee caused the said gentleman that once in xxiiii howers
 he fell into a lunacy and madness, and so continued one whole hower
 together; and for the veritie of the same, he caused the gentleman
 to be brought before the Kinges Majestie, which was upon the xxiiii
 day of December last, and being in his Majesties chamber, suddenly
 hee gave a great scritch, and fell into madness, sometime bending
 himself, and sometime capering so directly up, that his heade did
 touch the seeling of the chamber, to the great admiration of his
 Majestie and others then present; so that all the gentlemen in the
 chamber were not able to hold him, untill they called in more helpe,
 who together bound him hand and foot; and suffering the said
 gentleman to lie still until his furie were past, hee within an hower
 came againe to himselfe, when being demaunded by the Kinges Majestie
 what he saw or did all that while, answered, that he had been in a
 sounde sleepe.

 _Item_, the saide Doctor did also confesse, that hee had used meanes
 sundrie times to obtaine his purpose and wicked intent of the same
 gentlewoman, and seeing himselfe disappointed of his intention, hee
 determined by all wayes hee might to obtaine the same, trusting by
 conjuring, witchraft, and sorcerie, to obtaine it in this manner.

 It happened this gentlewoman being unmarried, had a brother who went
 to schoole with the saide Doctor, and calling the saide scholler to
 him, demaunded if hee did lie with his sister, who answered he did,
 by meanes whereof he thought to obtain his purpose, and therefore
 secretly promised to teach him without stripes, so he woulde obtaine
 for him three hairs of his sister's privitees, at such time as hee
 should spie best occasion for it; which the youth promised
 faithfully to performe, and vowed speedily to put it in practice,
 taking a piece of conjured paper of his maister to lap them in when
 hee had gotten them; and thereupon the boy practised nightly to
 obtaine his maister's purpose, especially when his sister was asleep.

 But God, who knoweth the secret of all harts, and revealeth all
 wicked and ungodly practices, would not suffer the intents of this
 divelish Doctor to come to that purpose which hee supposed it woulde,
 and therefore to declaire that hee was heavily offended with his
 wicked intent, did so work by the gentlewoman's own meanes, that in
 the ende the same was discovered and brought to light; for shee being
 one night asleep, and her brother in bed with her, sodainly cried out
 to her mother, declaring that her brother woulde not suffer her to
 sleepe; whereupon, her mother having a quicke capacitie, did
 vehemently suspect _Doctor Fian's_ intention, by reason shee was a
 witch of herself, and therefore presently arose, and was very
 inquisitive of the boy to understand his intent, and the better to
 know the same, did beat him with sundrie stripes, whereby hee
 discovered the truth unto her.

 The mother, therefore, being well practised in witchcraft, did thinke
 it most convenient to meete with the Doctor in his owne arte, and
 thereupon took the paper from the boy wherein hee would have put the
 same haires, and went to a yong heyfer which never had borne calf,
 nor gone unto the bull, and with a paire of sheeres clipped off three
 haires from the udder of the cow, and wrapt them in the same paper,
 which shee again delivered to the boy, then willing him to give the
 same to his saide maister, which hee immediately did.

 The schoole maister, so soone as he did recieve them, thinking them
 indeede to be the maids haires, went straight and wrought his arte
 upon them: But the Doctor had no sooner done his intent to them, but
 presently the hayfer cow, whose haires they were indeede, came unto
 the door of the church wherein the schoole maister was, into the
 which the hayfer went, and made towards the schoole maister, leaping
 and dancing upon him, and following him forth of the church, and to
 what place soever he went, to the great admiration of all the
 townsmen of Saltpans, and many others who did behold the same.

 The report whereof made all men imagine that hee did worke it by the
 divel, without whome it coulde never have been so sufficiently
 effected; and thereupon the name of the saide Doctor Fian (who was
 but a young man), began to grow common among the people of Scotland,
 that he was secretly nominated for a notable conjurer.

 All which, although in the beginning he denied, and woulde not
 confesse, yet having felt the paine of the bootes,[4] (and the charme
 stinted as aforesaide) hee confessed all the aforesaide to be most
 true, without producing any witnesses to justifie the same; and
 thereupon before the Kings Majestie hee subscribed the sayd
 confessione with his owne hande, which for truth remaineth upon
 record in Scotland.

   [4] We have no doubt that the bootes were a most efficacious engine
   to procure a confession, and the Doctor would most likely have
   confessed that he had the moon in his pocket by the same means. ED.

 After that the depositions and examinations of the sayd Doctor Fian,
 alias Cuningham, was taken, as alreddie is declared, with his own
 hand willingly set thereunto, hee was by the maister of the prison
 commited to ward, and appointed to a chamber by himselfe, where
 foresaking his wicked wayes, acknowledging his most ungodly life,
 shewing that hee had too much followed the allurements and
 enticements of Sathan, and fondly practised his conclusions by
 conjuring, witchcraft, inchantment, sorcerie, and such like, he
 renounced the divel and all his wicked workes, vowed to lead the lyfe
 of a Christian, and seemed newly converted towards God.

 The morrow after, upon conference had with him, hee granted that the
 divel had appeared unto him in the night before, appareled all in
 blacke, with a white wande in his hande; and that the divel demanded
 of him if hee woulde continue his faithfull service, according to his
 first oath and promise made to that effect. Whome (as hee then
 saide), hee utterly renounced to his face, and said unto him in this
 manner, avoide, Satan, avoide, for I have listened too much unto
 thee, and by the same thou hast undone me, in respect whereof I
 utterly forsake thee: To whome the divel answered, that once ere thou
 die thou shalt bee mine; and with that (as hee sayd), the divel
 brake the white wande, and immediately vanished forth of his sight.

 Thus all the daie this Doctor Fian continued verie solitarie, and
 seemed to have a care of his owne soule, and would call upon God,
 shewing himselfe penitent for his wicked lyfe; nevertheless, the same
 night hee found such meanes that he stole the key of the prison doore
 and chamber in which he was, which in the night he opened and fled
 awaie to the Saltpans, where he was alwayes resident, and first
 apprehended. Of whose sodaine departure when the Kings Majestie had
 intelligence, hee presently caused dilligent inquirie to be made for
 his apprehension; and for the better effecting thereof, hee sent
 public proclamations into all parts of his land to the same effect.
 By meanes of whose hot and harde pursuite he was again taken and
 brought to prison; and then being called before the Kings Highness,
 he was reexamined as well touching his departure, as also touching
 all that had before happened.

 But this Doctor, notwithstanding that his owne confession appeareth
 remaining in recorde under his owne hande writting, and the same
 thereunto fixed in the presence of the Kings Majestie and sundrie of
 his councill, yet did he utterly denie the same.

 Thereupon the Kings Majestie percieving his stubborne willfullness,
 concieved and imagined that in the time of his absence hee had
 entered into newe conference and league with the _divell_ his
 maister; and that hee had beene again newely marked, for the which
 he was narrowly searched, but it coulde not in anie waie be founde;
 yet for more tryal of him to make him confesse, he was commanded to
 have a most strange torment, which was done in this manner following.

 His nails upon all his fingers were riven and pulled off with an
 instrument called in Scottich a Turkas, which in England we call a
 payre of pincers, and under everie nayle there was thrust in thro
 needels over even up to the heads. At all which torments
 notwithstanding the Doctor never shronke anie whit, neither would he
 then confesse it the sooner for all the tortures inflicted upon him.

 Then was hee with all convenient speede, by commandment, convaied
 againe to the torment of the bootes, wherein hee continued a long
 time, and did abide so many blows in them, that his legges were
 crusht and beaten together as small as might bee, and the bones and
 flesh so bruised, that the blood and marrow spouted forth in great
 abundance, whereby they were made unserviceable for ever. And
 notwithstanding all these grievous paines and cruel torments hee
 woulde not confesse anie thing, so deeply had the _divel_ entered
 into his hart, that hee utterly denied that which he before avouched,
 and would saie nothing thereunto but this, that what hee had done and
 sayde before, was only done and sayde for fear of paynes which he had

 Upon great consideration, therefore, taken by the Kings Majestie and
 his councell, as well for the due execution of justice upon such
 detestable malefactors, as also for examples sake, to remayne a
 terrour to all others hereafter that shall attempt to deale in the
 lyke wicked and ungodlye actions, as witchcraft, sorcerie,
 cunjuration, and such lyke, the saide Doctor Fian was soon after
 arraigned, condemned, and adjudged by the law to die, and then to be
 burned according to the lawe of that lande provided in that behalfe.
 Whereupon he was put into a carte, and being first stranguled, hee
 was immediately put into a great fire, being readie provided for that
 purpose, and there burned in the Castile Hill of Edenbrough, on a
 Saterdaie in the ende of Januarie last past, 1591.

 The rest of the witches which are not yet executed, remayne in prison
 till farther triall and knowledge of his Majesties pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

 This strange discourse before recited, may perhaps give some occasion
 of doubt to such as shall happen to reade the same, and thereby
 conjecture that the Kings Majestie would hazzarde himselfe in the
 presence of such notorious witches, least thereby might have ensued
 great danger to his person and the general state of the land, which
 thing in truth might wel have beene feared. But to answer generally
 to such let this suffice; that first it is well known that the King
 is the child and servant of God, and they but the servants to the
 devil; he is the Lord's anointed, and they but vesseles of God's
 wrath; hee is a true Christian, and trusteth in God; they worse than
 infidels, for they only trust in the divel, who daily serve them,
 till hee have brought them to utter destruction. But hereby it
 seemeth that his Highness carried a magnanimous and undaunted mind,
 not feared with their inchantments, but resolute in this, that so
 long as God is with him hee feareth not who is against him; and
 trulie, the whole scope of this Treatise dooth so plainlie laie open
 the wonderfull Providence of the Almightie, that if hee had not been
 defended by his omnipotence and power, his Highness had never
 returned alive in his voiage from Denmarke, so there is no doubt but
 God woulde as well defend him on the land as on the sea, where they
 pretended their damnable practice.






 _Extracted from_ SIR JAMES MELVIL'S _Memoirs_, page 388, octavo

 About this time many witches were taken in Lothian, who deposed
 concerning some design of the Earl of Bothwell's against his
 Majesty's person. Which coming to the said Earl's ears, he entered in
 ward within the Castle of Edinburgh, desiring to be tried, alledging
 that the devil, who was a liar from the beginning, ought not to be
 credited, nor yet the witches, his sworn servants. Especially a
 renowned midwife called Amy Simson affirmed, that she, in company
 with nine other witches, being convened in the night beside
 Prestonpans, the devil their master being present, standing in the
 midst of them, a body of wax, shapen and made by the said Amy Simson,
 wrapped within a linnen cloth, was first delivered to the devil; who,
 after he had pronounced his verdict, delivered the said picture to
 Amy Simson, and she to her next neighbour, and so every one round
 about, saying, _This is King_ James VI. _ordered to be consumed at
 the instance of a nobleman_, Francis Earl Bothwell. Afterward again
 at their meeting by night in the kirk of North Berwick, where the
 devil, clad in a black gown, with a black hat upon his head, preached
 unto a great number of them out of the pulpit, having light candles
 round about him.

 The effect of his language was to know what hurt they had done; how
 many they had gained to their opinion since the last meeting; what
 success the melting of the picture had, and such other vain things.
 And because an old silly poor ploughman, called Gray Meilt, chanced
 to say, that nothing ailed the King yet, God be thanked, the devil
 gave him a great blow. Thus divers among them entred in reasoning,
 marvelling that all their devilry could do no harm to the King, as it
 had done to divers others. The devil answered, _il est un homme de
 Dieu_, certainly he is a man of God, and does no wrong wittingly, but
 he is inclined to all Godliness, justice, and vertue, therefore God
 hath preserved him in the midst of many dangers.[5] Now, after that
 the devil had ended his admonitions, he came down out of the pulpit,
 and caused all the company come kiss his arse; which they said was
 cold like ice, his body hard like iron, as they thought who handled
 him, his face was terrible, his nose like the beak of an eagle, great
 burning eyes, his hands and his legs were hoary, with claws upon his
 hands and feet like the griffin;--he spoke with a low voice.

   [5] It was certainly very kind in the devil thus to vouch for James's
   being 'a man of God, and one who did no wrong wittingly, but was
   inclined to all Godliness, Justice, and Virtue.' This is a most
   excellent character. But posterity are inclined to be of Earl
   Bothwell's opinion, that the devil is a liar, and ought not to be
   credited. ED.

 The tricks and tragedies he played then among so many men and women
 in this country, will hardly get credit by posterity; the history
 whereof, with their whole depositions, was written by Mr James
 Carmichael, minister of Haddington.[6] Among other things, some of
 them did shew, that there was a westland man, called Richard Graham,
 who had a familiar spirit, the which Richard they said could both do
 and tell many things, chiefly against the Earl of Bothwell. Whereupon
 the said Richard Graham was apprehended and brought to Edinburgh;
 and, being examined before his Majesty, I being present, he granted
 that he had a familiar spirit which shewed him sundrie things, but he
 denied that he was a witch, or had any frequentation with them. But
 when it was answered again, how that Amy Simson had declared, that he
 caused the Earl of Bothwell address him to her, he granted that to be
 true, and that the Earl of Bothwell had knowledge of him by Effe
 Machalloun and Barbary Napier, Edinburgh women. Whereupon he was sent
 for by the Earl Bothwell, who required his help to cause the Kings
 Majesty his master to like well of him. And to that effect he gave
 the said Earl some drug or herb, willing him at some convenient time
 to touch therewith his Majesty's face. Which being done by the said
 Earl ineffectually, he dealt again with the said Richard to get his
 Majesty wrecked, as Richard alledged; who said, he could not do such
 things himself, but that a notable midwife, who was a witch, called
 Amy Simson, could bring any such purpose to pass. Thus far the said
 Richard Graham affirmed divers times before the council;
 nevertheless, he was burnt with the said Simson, and many other
 witches. This Richard alledged, that it was certain what is reported
 of the fairies, and that spirits may take a form, and be seen, though
 not felt.

   [6] This probably is the author of the foregoing 'True Discourse.'


 From the foregoing '_True Discourse_,' it will be seen what an active
 part James took in the examination of Doctor Fian and the other
 witches. From this source he most probably collected those materials
 which he has wrought up into a _Daemonologie_, a work which no doubt
 contributed to obtain for him from the English bishops, the
 appelation of '_the British Solomon_.' In this work he appears to be
 more intimately acquainted with the internal polity of the _Devil's_
 kingdom, than he was with his own. The kingdom of _Sathan_ was then
 in its zenith of power; but, like other states and kingdoms, it has
 sunk into great weakness and debility. The '_horn'd diel_,' who could
 then make the greatest personages shake in their shoes, cannot now
 frighten a child; and the '_roaring lion_,' who used to be going
 about seeking whom he might devour, must surely be a better
 housekeeper than formerly, as he is never seen abroad, even by an old

 From the _Daemonologie_ we have made copious extracts, that our
 readers may have an idea of the days of '_langsyne_,' when there was
 plenty of _diels_, _witches_, _fairies_, _and water kelpies_, all
 over the country. Those, therefore, who are anxious to know how
 affairs are managed in the '_kingdom of darkness_,' and can rely on
 the word of a king for the truth of it, will be here amply gratified.

 So, courteous reader, I bid thee farewell,







 _The First Entresse and Prentiship of them that give themselves to

 The persons that give themselves to witchcraft, are of two sorts,
 rich and of better accompt, poore and of baser degree. These two
 degrees answere to the passions in them, which the divell uses as
 meanes to entice them to his service; for such of them as are in
 great miserie and povertie, he allures to follow him, by promising
 unto them great riches and worldly commoditie. Such as though rich,
 yet burne in a desperate desire of revenge, he allures them by
 promises to get their turne satisfied to their hearts contentment. It
 is to be noted now, that that olde and craftie enemie of ours
 assailes none, though touched with any of these two extremities,
 except he first finde an entresse ready for him, either by the great
 ignorance of the person he deales with, joyned with an evill life, or
 else by their carelessnesse and contempt of God. And finding them in
 an utter despaire, he prepares the way by feeding them craftely in
 their humour, and filling them further and further with despaire,
 while hee finde the time proper to discover himself unto them. At
 which time, either upon their walking solitarie in the fieldes, or
 else lying pausing in their bed, but alwaies without the company of
 any other, hee, either by a voyce, or in likenesse of a man, inquires
 of them what troubles them, and promiseth them a suddaine and
 certaine way of remedie, upon condition, on the other part, that they
 follow his advise, and doe such things as he will require of them.
 Their mindes being prepared beforehand, they easily agree unto that
 demand of his, and syne sets another tryist where they may meete
 againe. At which time, before hee proceede any further with them, hee
 first perswades them to addict themselves to his service, which being
 easily obtained, he then discovers what he is unto them, makes them
 to renounce their God and baptisme directly, and gives them his marke
 upon some secret place of their bodie, which remaines soare unhealed
 while his next meeting with them, and thereafter ever insensible,
 howsoever it be nipped or pricked by any, as is daily prooved, to
 give them a proofe thereby, that as in that doing he could hurt and
 heale them, so all their ill and well doing thereafter must depend
 upon him; and, besides that, the intolerable dolour that they feele
 in that place where he hath marked them, serves to waken them, and
 not to let them rest, while their next meeting againe; fearing lest
 otherwaies they might either forget him, being as new prentises, and
 not well enough founded yet in that fiendly follie; or else
 remembering of that horrible promise they made him at their last
 meeting, they might skunner at the same, and presse to call it backe.
 At their third meetinge, hee makes a shew to be carefull to performe
 his promises, either by teaching them waies how to get themselves
 revenged, if they be of that sort, or else by teaching them lessons
 how by most vile and unlawfull meanes they may obtaine gaine and
 worldly commoditie, if they be of the other sort.

       *       *       *       *       *

 _The Witches actions divided into two parts--The actions proper to
   their own persons--The forme of their Conventions and adoring of
   their Master._

 Their actions may be divided into two parts; the actions of their
 owne persons, and the actions proceeding from them towards any other;
 and this division being well understood, will easily resolve what is
 possible to them to doe. For although all that they confesse is no
 lie upon their part, yet doubtlesly, in my opinion, a part of it is
 not indeede according as they take it to be, for the divell illudes
 the senses of these schollers of his in many things.

 To the effect that they may performe such services of their false
 master as he employs them in, the devill, as God's ape, counterfeits
 in his servants this service and forme of adoration that God
 prescribed and made his servants to practise; for as the servants of
 God publikely use to conveene for serving of him, so makes he them in
 great numbers to conveene (though publikely they dare not), for his
 service. As none conveenes to the adoration and worshipping of God,
 except they be marked with his seale, the sacrament of baptisme; so
 none serves Satan, and conveenes to the adoring of him, that are not
 marked with that marke whereof I alreadie spake. As the minister sent
 by God teacheth plainely at the time of their publike conventions,
 how to serve him in spirit and trewth, so that unclean spirit, in his
 owne person, teacheth his disciples at the time of their conveening,
 how to worke all kind of mischiefe, and craves coumpt of all their
 horrible and detestable proceedings passed for advancement of his
 service: Yea, that hee may the more vilely counterfeit and scorne
 God, he oft times makes his slaves to conveene in these very places
 which are destinate and ordained for the conveening of the servants
 of God, (I meane by churches.) But this farre which I have yet said,
 I not onely take it to be trew in their opinions, but even so to be
 indeed; for the forme that he used in counterfeiting God amongst the
 Gentiles, makes me so to think; as God spake by his oracles, spake he
 not so by his? As God had as well bloodie sacrifices, as others
 without blood, had not he the like? As God had churches sanctified to
 his service, with altars, priests, sacrifices, ceremonies, and
 prayers, had he not the like polluted to his service? As God gave
 responses by _Urim_ and _Thummim_, gave he not his responses by the
 intralles of beasts, by the singing of fowles, and by their actions
 in the aire? As God by visions, dreames, and extasies, revealed what
 was to come, and what was his will unto his servants, used hee not
 the like meanes to forewarne his slaves of things to come? Yea, even
 as God loved cleanenesse, hated vice and impuritie, and appointed
 punishments therefore, used he not the like, (though falsly I grant,
 and but in eschewing the lesse inconvenience, to draw them upon a
 greater), yet dissimulated he not, I say, so farre as to appoint his
 priests to keepe their bodies cleane and undefiled, before their
 asking responses of him? And fained he not God, to be a protectour of
 every vertue, and a just revenger of the contrarie? This reason then
 mooves me, that as he is that same divell, and as crafty now as he
 was then, so will he not spare as pertly in these actions that I have
 spoken of concerning the witches' persons; but further, witches oft
 times confesse, not only his conveening in the church with them, but
 his occupying of the pulpit: Yea, their forme of adoration to be the
 kissing of his hinder parts, which, though it seeme ridiculous, yet
 may it likewise be trew, seeing we reade that in Calicute he appeared
 in forme of a goat-bucke, hath publikely that unhonest homage done
 unto him by every one of the people. So ambitious is he, and greedy
 of honour, (which procured his fall) that he will even imitate God in
 that part where it is said, that Moyses could see but the _hinder
 parts of God for the brightnesse of his glory_.

       *       *       *       *       *

 _What are the wayes possible whereby the Witches may transport
   themselves to places farre distant?--And what are impossible and
   meere illusions of Satan?_

 PHI.--But by what way say they, or thinke yee it possible, they can
 come to these unlawfull conventions?[7]

   [7] The Daemonologie is written by way of dialogue, in which
   Philomathes and Epistemon reason the matter.

 EPI.--There is the thing which I esteeme their senses to be deluded
 in, and though they lie not in confessing of it, because they thinke
 it to be trew, yet not to be so in substance or effect; for they say,
 that by divers meanes they may conveene, either to the adoring of
 their master, or to the putting in practise any service of his
 committed unto their charge; one way is naturall, which is naturall
 riding, going, or sailing, at what houre their master comes and
 advertises them; and this way may be easily beleeved; another way is
 somewhat more strange, and yet it is possible to bee trew, which is,
 by being caried by the force of the spirit, which is their conducter,
 either above the earth, or above the sea, swiftly to the place where
 they are to meet; which I am perswaded to bee likewise possible, in
 respect, that as Habakkuk was carried by the angel in that forme to
 the den where Daniel lay, so I thinke the divell will be readie to
 imitate God as well in that as in other things; which is much more
 possible to him to doe, being a spirit, then to a mighty wind, being
 but a naturall meteore to transport from one place to another a
 solide body, as is commonly and daily seene in practise; but in this
 violent forme they cannot be caried but a short bounds, agreeing with
 the space that they may retain their breath, for if it were longer,
 their breath could not remain unextinguished, their body being caried
 in such a violent and forcible manner; as by example, if one fall off
 a small height, his life is but in perill, according to the hard or
 soft lighting; but if one fall from an high and stay rocke, his
 breath will be forcibly banished from the body before he can win to
 the earth, as is oft seene by experience; and in this transporting
 they say themselves, that they are invisible to any other, except
 amongst themselves, which may also be possible in my opinion; for if
 the devill may forme what kinde of impressions he pleases in the
 aire, why may he not farre easilier thicken and obscure so the aire
 that is next about them, by contracting it straite together, that the
 beames of any other man's eyes cannot pierce throw the same to see
 them? But the third way of their comming to their conventions is that
 wherein I thinke them deluded; for some of them say, that being
 transformed in the likenesse of a little beast or foule, they will
 come and pierce through whatsoever house or church, though all
 ordinarie passages be closed, by whatsoever open the aire may enter
 in at; and some say, that their bodies lying still, as in an extasie,
 their spirits will be ravished out of their bodies, and caried to
 such places; and for verifying thereof, will give evident tokens, as
 well by witnesses that have seene their body lying senseless in the
 mean time, as by naming persons with whom they met, and giving tokens
 what purpose was amongst them, whom otherwise they could not have
 known; for this forme of journeying they affirme to use most, when
 they are transported from one countrey to another.

 PHI.--But the reasons that moove me to thinke that these are meere
 illusions, are these--first, for them that are transformed in
 likenesse of beasts or foules, can enter through so narrow passages,
 although I may easily beleeve that the divell could by his
 workmanship upon the aire, make them appeare to be in such formes,
 either to themselves, or to others; yet how can he contract a solide
 body within so little room? I think it is directly contrary to
 itselfe; for to be made so little, and yet not diminished; to be so
 straitly drawn together, and yet feele no paine, I thinke it is so
 contrary to the qualitie of a naturall bodie, and so like to the
 little transubstantiate god in the Papists masse, that I can never
 beleeve it. So to have a quantitie, is so proper to a solide body,
 that as all philosophers conclude, it cannot be any more without one,
 then a spirit can have one; for when Peter came out of the prison,
 and the doores all locked, it was not by any contracting of his body
 in so little roome, but by the giving place of the doore, though
 unespied by the gaylors; and yet is there no comparison, when this is
 done, betwixt the power of God and of the divel. As to their forme of
 extasie and spirituall transporting, it is certaine the soules going
 out of the body, is the onely definition of naturall death; and who
 are once dead, God forbid we should thinke that it should lie in the
 power of all the divels in hell to restore them to their life again,
 although he can put his owne spirit in a dead body, for that is the
 office properly belonging to God; and, besides that, the soule once
 parting from the body, cannot wander any longer in the world, but to
 the owne resting place must it goe immediately, abiding the
 conjunction of the body again at the latter day. And what Christ or
 the prophets did miraculously in this case, it can in no Christian
 man's opinion be made common with the divel. As for any tokens that
 they give for proving of this, it is very possible to the divel's
 craft to perswade them to these meanes; for he being a spirit, may he
 not so ravish their thoughts, and dull their senses, that their body
 lying as dead, he may object to their spirits, as it were in a
 dreame, and represent such formes of persons, of places, and other
 circumstances, as he pleases to illude them with? Yea, that he may
 deceive them with the greater efficacie, may he not, at the same
 instant, by fellow angels of his, illude such other persons so in
 that same fashion, with whom hee makes them to beleeve that they
 mette, that all their reports and tokens, though severally examined,
 may every one agree with another? And that whatsoever actions, either
 in hurting men or beasts, or whatsoever other thing that they falsly
 imagine at that time to have done, may by himselfe or his marrowes at
 that same time be done indeed; so as if they would give for a token
 of their being ravished at the death of such a person within so short
 a space thereafter, whom they beleeve to have poisoned or witched at
 that instant, might he not at that same houre have smitten that same
 person, by the permission of God, to the farther deceiving of them,
 and to moove others to beleeve them? And this is surely the likelyest
 way, and most according to reason, which my judgement can finde out
 in this and whatsoever other unnatural points of their confession.

       *       *       *       *       *

 _Witches actions towards others--Why there are more Women of that
   Craft then Men--What things are possible to them to effectuate by the
   power of their Master--What is the surest remedy of the harmes done
   by them._

 PHI.--FORSOOTH your opinion in this seems to cary most reason with
 it; and since ye have ended then the actions belonging properly to
 their owne persons, say forward now to their actions used towards

 EPI.--In their actions used towards others, three things ought to be
 considered; first, the manner of their consulting thereupon; next,
 their part as instruments; and, last, their master's part, who puts
 the same in execution. As to their consultations thereupon, they use
 them oftest in the churches, where they conveene for adoring; at
 which time their master enquiring at them what they would be at,
 every one of them propones unto him what wicked turne they would have
 done, either for obtaining of riches, or for revenging them upon any
 whom they have malice at; who granting their demaund, as no doubt
 willingly he will, since it is to doe evill, hee teacheth them the
 meanes whereby they may doe the same. As for little trifling turnes
 that women have adoe with, he causeth them to joynt dead corpses, and
 to make powders thereof, mixing such other things thereamongst as he
 gives unto them.

 PHI.--But before ye goe further, permit me, I pray you, to interrupt
 you one word, which ye have put me in memorie of by speaking of
 women; What can be the cause that there are twentie women given to
 that craft where there is one man?

 EPI.--The reason is easie, for as that sexe is frailer than man is,
 so is it easier to be intrapped in these grosse snares of the divell,
 as was over-well prooved to be trew, by the serpent's deceiving of
 Eve at the beginning, which makes him the homelier with that sexe

 PHI.--Returne now where ye left.

 EPI.--To some others at these times he teacheth how to make pictures
 of waxe or clay, that by the roasting thereof, the persons that they
 beare the name of may be continually melted or dried away by
 continuall sicknesse. To some he gives such stones or pouders as will
 helpe to cure or cast on diseases; and to some hee teacheth kindes of
 uncouth poysons, which mediciners understand not; not that any of
 these meanes which he teacheth them (except the poysons, which are
 composed of things naturall), can of themselves helpe any thing to
 these turnes that they are employed in, but onely being God's ape, as
 well in that, as in all other things. Even as God by his sacraments,
 which are earthly of themselves, workes a heavenly effect, though no
 waves by any cooperation in them; and as Christ by clay and spettle
 wrought together, _opened the eyes of the blinde man_, suppose there
 was no vertue in that which he outwardly applied, so the divel will
 have his outward meanes to be shewes as it were of his doing, which
 hath no part or cooperation in his turnes with him, how farre that
 ever the ignorants be abused in the contrarie. And as to the effects
 of these two former parts, TO WIT, the consultations and the outward
 meanes, they are so wonderfull, as I dare not alledge any of them
 without joyning a sufficient reason of the possibilitie thereof; for
 leaving all the small trifles among wives, and to speake of the
 principall points of their craft, for the common trifles thereof,
 they can doe without converting well enough by themselves, these
 principall points, I say, are these--they can make men or women to
 love or hate other, which may be very possible to the divel to
 effectuate, seeing he being a subtile spirit, knowes well enough how
 to perswade the corrupted affection of them whom God will permit him
 to deal with,--they can lay the sicknesse of one upon another, which
 likewise is very possible unto him; for since by God's permission he
 laide sicknesse upon Job, why may he not farre easilier lay it upon
 any other? For as an old practitian, hee knowes well enough what
 humour domines most in any of us, and as a spirit he can subtillie
 waken up the same, making it peccant, or to abound, as hee thinkes
 meet, for troubling of us, when God will so permit him. And for the
 taking off of it, no doubt he will be glad to relieve such of present
 paine as he may thinke by these meanes to perswade to be catched in
 his everlasting snares and fetters. They can bewitch and take the
 life of men or women, by roasting of the pictures, as I spake of
 before, which likewise is verie possible to their master to performe;
 for although that instrument of waxe have no vertue in that turne
 doing, yet may he not very well, even by the same measure that his
 conjured slaves melts that waxe at the fire, may he not, I say, at
 these same times, subtily as a spirit, so weaken and scatter the
 spirits of life of the patient, as may make him on the one part, for
 faintnesse, to sweat out the humour of his bodie, and on the other
 part, for the not concurrence of these spirits, which causes his
 digestion, so debilitate his stomacke, that this humour radicall
 continually, sweating out on the one part, and no new good sucke
 being put in the place thereof, for lacke of digestion on the other,
 he at last shall vanish away, even as his picture will doe at the
 fire? And that knavish and cunning workeman, by troubling him onely
 at sometimes, makes a proportion so neere betwixt the working of the
 one and the other, that both shall end as it were at one time. They
 can raise stormes and tempests in the aire, either upon sea or land,
 though not universally, but in such a particular place and prescribed
 bounds, as God will permit them so to trouble. Which likewise is very
 easy to be discerned from any other naturall tempests that are
 meteores, in respect of the sudden and violent raising thereof,
 together with the short induring of the same. And this is likewise
 very possible to their master to doe, hee having such affinitie with
 the aire, as being a spirit, and having such power of the forming and
 mooving thereof; for in the Scripture, that stile of the _prince of
 the aire_, is given unto him. They can make folkes to become
 phrenticque or maniacque, which likewise is very possible to their
 master to doe, since they are but naturall sicknesses, and so he may
 lay on these kindes as well as any others. They can make spirits
 either to follow and trouble persons, or haunt certaine houses, and
 affray oftentimes the inhabitants, as hath been knowne to be done by
 our witches at this time. And likewise, they can make some to bee
 possessed with spirits, and so to become very demoniacques; and this
 last sort is very possible likewise to the divel their master to doe,
 since he may easily send his owne angels to trouble in what forme he
 pleases any whom God will permit him so to use.

 PHI.--But will God permit these wicked instruments, by the power of
 the devill their master, to trouble by any of these meanes any that
 beleeve in him?

 EPI.--No doubt, for there are three kindes of folkes whom God will
 permit so to be tempted or troubled; the wicked for their horrible
 sinnes, to punish them in the like measure; the godly that are
 sleeping in any great sinnes or infirmities, and weaknesse in faith,
 to waken them up the faster by such an uncouth forme; and even some
 of the best, that their patience may be tried before the world, as
 Job's was. For why may not God use any kinde of extraordinarie
 punishment, when it pleases him, as well as the ordinarie rods of
 sicknesse or other adversities?

 PHI.--Who then may be free from these devilish practises?

 EPI.--No man ought to presume so farre as to promise any impunitie to
 himselfe; for God hath before all beginnings, preordinated as well
 the particular sorts of plagues, as of benefites, for every man,
 which in the owne time he ordaines them to be visited with; and yet
 ought we not to be the more afraide for that, of any thing that the
 divell and his wicked instruments can doe against us, for we daily
 fight against the divell in a hundreth other wayes; and therefore, as
 a valiant captaine affraies no more being at the combate, nor stayes
 from his purpose for the rummishing shot of a canon, nor the small
 clacke of a pistolet, suppose he be not certaine what may light upon
 him; even so ought we boldly to goe forward in fighting against the
 divell, without any great terrour for these his rarest weapons, nor
 for the ordinary, whereof we have daily the proofe.

 PHI.--Is it not lawfull then, by the helpe of some other witch, to
 cure the disease that is casten on by that craft?

 EPI.--No wayes lawfull, for it is an axiome of theologie, that we are
 not to doe evil, that good maie come of it.

 PHI.--How then may these diseases be lawfully cured?

 EPI.--Only by earnest prayer unto God, by amendment of their lives,
 and by sharpe pursuing every one, according to his calling of these
 instruments of Satan, whose punishment to the death will be a
 salutarie sacrifice for the patient. And this is not onely the
 lawfull way, but likewise the most sure; for by the devil's meanes
 _can never the devill be casten out_, as Christ sayth; and when such
 a cure is used, it may well serve for a short time, but at the last
 it will doubtlesly tend to the utter perdition of the patient, both
 in body and soule.

 _What sort of Folkes are least or most subject to receive harm by
   Witchcraft--What power they have to harme the Magistrate, and upon
   what respects they have any power in prison--And to what end may or
   will the Devill appeare to them therein--Upon what respects the
   Devill appeares in sundry shapes to sundry of them at any time._

 PHI.--But who dare take upon him to punish them, if no man can be
 sure to be free from their unnatural invasions?

 EPI.--Wee ought not the more of that restraine from vertue, that the
 way whereby we clime thereunto be straight and perillous; but,
 besides that, as there is no kinde of persons so subject to receive
 harme of them, as these that are of infirme and weake faith, so have
 they so small power over none, as over such as zealously and
 earnestly pursue them.

 PHI.--Then they are like the pest which smites these sickarest that
 flies it farthest?

 EPI.--It is even so with them, for neither is it able to them to use
 any false cure upon a patient, except the patient first beleeve in
 their power, and so hazard the tinsell of his owne soule, nor yet can
 they have lesse power to hurt any, nor such as contemne most their
 doings, so being it comes of faith, and not of any vaine arrogancie
 in themselves.

 PHI.--But what is their power against the Magistrate?

 EPI.--Lesse or greater, according as he deales with them; for if hee
 be slothfull towards them, God is very able to make them instruments
 to waken and punish his sloth; but if he be the contrary, hee,
 according to the just law of God, and allowable law of all nations,
 will be diligent in examining and punishing of them, God will not
 permit their master to trouble or hinder so good a worke.

 PHI.--But fra they be once in hands and firmance, have they any
 further power in their craft?

 EPI.--That is according to the forme of their detention; if they be
 but apprehended and deteined by any private person, upon other
 private respects, their power no doubt, either in escaping, or in
 doing hurt, is no lesse nor ever it was before; but if, on the other
 part, their apprehending and detention be by the lawfull magistrate,
 upon the just respects of their guiltinesse in that craft, their
 power is then no greater than before that ever they medled with their
 master; for where God begins justly to strike by his lawfull
 lieutenants, it is not in the devil's power to defraud or bereave him
 of the office, or effect of his powerful and revenging scepter.

 PHI.--But will never their master come to visite them fra they be
 once apprehended and put in firmance?

 EPI.--That is according to the estate that these miserable wretches
 are in, for if they be obstinate in still denying, he will not spare,
 when hee findes time to speake with them, either if he finde them in
 any comfort, to fill them more and more with the vaine hope of some
 manner of reliefe, or else if he finde them in a deepe despaire, by
 all meanes to augment the same, and to perswade them by some
 extraordinarie meanes to put themselves downe, which very commonly
 they doe; but if they be penitent and confesse, God will not permit
 him to trouble them any more with his presence and allurements.

 PHI.--It is not good using his counsell I see then; but I would
 earnestly know, when he appeares to them in prison, what formes uses
 he then to take?

 EPI.--Divers formes, even as hee uses to doe at other times unto
 them; but ordinarily in such a forme as they agree upon among
 themselves; or, if they be but prentises, according to the qualitie
 of their circles or conjurations: yet to these capped creatures he
 appeares as he pleases, and as he findes meetest for their humours;
 for even at their publicke conventions, hee appeares to divers of
 them in divers formes, as we have found by the difference of their
 confessions in that point; for he deluding them with vaine
 impressions in the aire, makes himselfe to seeme more terrible to the
 grosser sort, that they may thereby be mooved to feare and reverence
 him the more, and lesse monstrous and uncouth like againe to the
 craftier sort, lest otherwise they might sturre and skunner at his

 PHI.--How can he then be felt, as they confesse they have done, if
 his body be but of aire?

 EPI.--I heare little of that amongst their confessions, yet may he
 make himselfe palpable, either by assuming any dead bodie, and using
 the ministerie thereof, or else by deluding as well their sense of
 feeling as seeing, which is not impossible to him to doe, since all
 our senses, as wee are so weake, and even by ordinarie sicknesses,
 will be oftentimes deluded.

 PHI.--But I would speere one word further yet concerning his
 appearing to them in prison, which is this, may any other that
 chances to be present at that time in the prison see him as well as

 EPI.--Sometimes they will, and sometimes not, as it pleases God.

 _Of the Tryall and Punishment of Witches--What sort of Accusation
   ought to be admitted against them--What is the cause of the
   increasing so farre of their number in this age._

 PHI.--Then to make an end of our conference, since I see it drawes
 late, what forme of punishment thinke yee merit these witches?

 EPI.--They ought to be put to death according to the law of God, the
 civill and imperial law, and municipall law of all Christian nations.

 PHI.--But what kinde of death I pray you?

 EPI.--It is commonly used by fire, but that is an indifferent thing
 to be used in every countrey, according to the law or custome

 PHI.--But ought no sexe, age, nor ranke, to be exempted?

 EPI.--None at all, (being so used by the lawfull magistrate), for it
 is the highest point of idolatry wherein no exception is admitted by
 the law of God.

 PHI.--Then barnes may not be spared?

 EPI.--Yea, not a haire the lesse of my conclusion, for they are not
 that capable of reason as to practise such things; and for any being
 in company, and not reveiling thereof, their less and ignorant age
 will no doubt excuse them.

 PHI.--I see ye condemne them all that are of the counsell of such

 EPI.--No doubt the consulters, trusters in, overseers, interteiners,
 or stirrers up of these craftes folkes, are equally guiltie with
 themselves that are the practisers.

 PHI.--Whether may the prince then, or supreme magistrate, spare or
 oversee any that are guilty of that craft, upon some great respects
 knowen to him?

 EPI.--The prince or magistrate, for further trials cause, may
 continue the punishing of them such a certaine space as he thinkes
 convenient, but in the end to spare the life, and not to strike when
 God bids strike, and so severely punish in so odious a fault and
 treason against God, it is not onely unlawfull, but doubtlesse no
 lesse sinne in that magistrate, nor it was in Saules sparing of Agag;
 and so comparable to the sinne of witchcraft itselfe, as Samuel
 alledged at that time.

 PHI.--Surely then, I think since this crime ought to be so severely
 punished, judges ought to beware to condemne any but such as they are
 sure are guiltie, neither should the clattering report of a carling
 serve in so weightie a case.

 EPI.--Judges ought indeede to beware whom they condemne, for it is as
 great a crime (as Solomon saith), to condemne the innocent as to let
 the guilty escape free, neither ought the report of any one infamous
 person be admitted for a sufficient proof which can stand of no law.

 PHI.--And what may a number of guilty persons confessions worke
 against one that is accused?

 EPI.--The assise must serve for interpretour of our law in that
 respect, but in my opinion, since in a matter of treason against the
 prince, barnes or wives, or never so diffamed persons, may of our
 law serve for sufficient witnesses and proofes, I thinke surely that
 by a farre greater reason such witnesses may be sufficient in matters
 of high treason against God; for who but witches can be prooves, and
 so witnesses of the doings of witches?

 PHI.--Indeed, I trow they will be loath to put any honest man upon
 their counsell; but what if they accuse folke to have been present at
 their imaginar conventions in the spirit, when their bodies lye
 senseless, as ye have said?

 EPI.--I thinke they are not a haire the less guiltie; for the divell
 durst never have borrowed their shadow or similitude to that turne,
 if their consent had not beene at it; and the consent in these turnes
 is death of the lawe.

 PHI.--Then Samuel was a witch, for the divell resembled his shape,
 and played his person in giving response to Saul.

 EPI.--Samuel was dead as well before that, and so none could slaunder
 him with medling in that unlawful arte; for the cause why, as I take
 it, that God will not permit Satan to use the shapes of similitudes
 of any innocent persons at such unlawfull times is, that God will not
 permit that any innocent persons shall be slandered with that vile
 defection, for then the divell would finde waies anew to calumniate
 the best; and this we have in proofe by them that are carried with
 the _pharie_, who never see the shadowes of any in that court but of
 them that thereafter are tryed to have beene brethren and sisters of
 that craft. And this was likewise prooved by the confession of a
 young lasse troubled with spirits, laid on her by witchcraft; that
 although she saw the shapes of divers men and women troubling her,
 and naming the persons whom these shadowes represent; yet never one
 of them are founde to be innocent, but all clearely tryed to be most
 guiltie, and the most part of them confessing the same. And, besides
 that, I thinke it hath beene seldome heard tell of, that any whom
 persons guiltie of that crime accused, as having knowen them to be
 their marrows by eye-sight, and not by hearesay, but such as were so
 accused of witchcraft, could not be clearely tried upon them, were at
 the least publikely knowen to be of a very evill life and reputation;
 so jealous is God of the fame of them that are innocent in such
 causes. And, besides that, there are two other good helps that may be
 used for their triall; the one is, the finding of their marke, and
 the trying the insensibleness thereof; the other is their fleeting on
 the water, for as in a secret murther, if the dead carkasse be at any
 time thereafter handled by the murtherer, it will gush out of bloud,
 as if the bloud were crying to the heaven for revenge of the
 murtherer, God having appointed that secret supernaturall signe for
 triall of that secret unnatural crime, so it appeares that God hath
 appointed (for a supernatural signe of the monstrous impietie of
 witches), that the water shall refuse to receive them in her bosome
 that have shaken off them the sacred water of baptisme, and wilfully
 refused the benefitie thereof. No, not so much as their eyes are able
 to shed teares (threaten and torture them as ye please), while first
 they repent, (God not permitting them to dissemble their obstinacie
 in so horrible a crime) albeit the women kind especially, be able
 otherwayes to shed teares at every light occasion when they will,
 yea, although it were dissemblingly like the crocodiles.

 PHI.--Well, wee have made this conference to last as long as leisure
 would permit; and to conclude then, since I am to take my leave of
 you, I pray God to purge this countrey of these divellish practises,
 for they were never so rife in these parts as they are now.

 EPI.--I pray God that so be too; but the causes are over manifest
 that make them to be so rife; for the great wickedness of the people
 on the one hand, procures this horrible defection, whereby God justly
 punisheth sinne by a greater iniquitie; and on the other part, the
 consummation of the world and our deliverance drawing neere, makes
 Satan to rage the more in his instruments, knowing his kingdome to be
 so neere an end.--And so farewell for this time.




  OF A



  Gentleman in Fife,





  To which is added,

  _An Account of the Horrid and Barbarous Murder,
    in a Letter from a Gentleman in Fife to his Friend
    in Edinburgh, February 5th, 1705._


 The two following Tracts give an account of the witches of Pittenweem
 in 1705. The first is a concise relation of facts, in which the
 minister and magistrates are placed in no very favourable point of
 view. The second is an answer to the first, and seems chiefly
 intended to obviate the charges that are preferred against the
 minister and baillies, but in our opinion with no great success, as
 the principal facts are admitted, and the only defence set up is,
 that the women were in reality witches. We have given this author's
 story in his own words, with such of his remarks as bear upon the
 narrative of the other pamphlet, which is all that is necessary at
 the present day.







 I reckon myself very much honoured by your Lordship's letter,
 desiring me to write you an account of that horrible murder committed
 in Pittenweem. I doubt not, but by this time, your Lordship has seen
 the gentleman's letter to his friend thereanent; I refer you to it,
 the author thereof being so well informed, and so ingenous, that I'll
 assure you, there is nothing in it but what is generally talked and
 believed to be true.

 All I can contribute to your Lordship's further information, shall be
 by way of a brief narrative of the minister and baillies
 unwarrantable imprisoning, and barbarous treating of the poor women.

 I need not write your Lordship a character of Patrick Morton, being
 now sufficiently known for a cheat.

 It was upon his accusation allennarly the minister and baillies
 imprisoned these poor women, and set a guard of drunken fellows about
 them, who by pinching and pricking some of them with pins and
 elsions, kept them from sleep for several days and nights together,
 the marks whereof were seen by severals a month thereafter. This
 cruel usage made some of them learn to be so wise as acknowledge
 every question that was asked them; whereby they found the minister
 and baillies well pleased, and themselves better treated.

 Notwithstanding of all this, some of the more foolish continued, as
 the minister said, hardened in the devil's service, such as White,
 Jack, Wallace, Patrick, and others; all which, save the first, were
 ordered to the stocks, where they lay for several weeks.

 All this while Patrick Morton's melancholly fancy (to give it no
 harsher term), being too much encouraged by severals, and
 particularly by the minister's reading to him the case of
 Barrgarran's daughter, continued roving after a wonderful manner,
 accusing for his tormentors some of the most considerable mens' wives
 in the town, but such as the minister and baillies durst not venture
 to imprison.--By this your Lordship may see, it was only the weakest
 that went to the walls.

 My Lord Rothes, accompanied with several gentlemen of good sense and
 reputation, came to Pittenweem, where finding these poor womens'
 confessions no wise satisfying, and Patrick Morton a cheat, informed
 the privy council thereof, who sent an order to send Patrick over to
 them. This turn being given, and Patrick finding that things were not
 likely to go so favourably with him as he before fancied, began to
 draw to his breeches, and in a short time recovered his former
 health, in which he still continues. By this time the baillies began
 to be as earnest in emptying their prisons, as ever they were forward
 in filling them; so after a long and serious deliberation, they set
 them at liberty: but that their last step might be as illegal as
 their first, obliged each of them to pay the town-officer the sum of
 8 lib. Scots; to pay which, some of them were forced to sell some
 linnen they had reserved for their dead shirts and wynding sheets.

 I beg your Lordship's further patience a little to read these few
 following observations: _Obs. 1st_, The baillies and minister sent
 and brought several of these women from places without their
 jurisdiction--one from Anstruther, and another from the country at
 six miles distance.

 _Obs. 2d_, What good could the minister propose to Patrick Morton by
 reading to him the book intituled the case of Barrgarran's daughter?

 _Obs. 3d_, After so much injustice done to these poor women, the
 baillies and minister obliged them to pay the town-officer eight
 pound Scots, is worthy of your Lordship and the rest of the Lords of
 the privy council's considerations; and it would be the height of
 charity to fall on a method to oblige the minister and baillies to
 refound it seven-fold.

 _Obs. 4th_, One Thomas Brown, the only man accused by Patrick Morton,
 and imprisoned by the minister and baillies, after a great deal of
 hunger and hardship, died in prison, so as this poor woman's murder
 was not the first, neither will it be the last, unless by severe
 punishments prevented.

 _Obs. 5th_, The baillies in a manner justified these two murthers, by
 not allowing them Christian burial, but burying them like dogs,
 scarce covering them from the ravens.

 _Obs. 6th_, You may wonder why all along I should say the minister
 and baillies? The reason is, because during all this narrative he
 exercised more of the civil authority than any of the baillies, and
 so continues to do, as you may see by the following late instance.

 The baillies of Pittenweem being conveened before the Lords of Privy
 Council on the 14th or 15th of February, I am informed gave in to
 them a subscribed account of the murther; and to justify themselves,
 assert they had imprisoned several of the murtherers before they left
 Pittenweem. It is very true they did so, but they were not long from
 the town when the minister set them at liberty. This, I think, is
 exercising the office of a civil magistrate: perhaps the minister may
 say he did it by the magistrates' order left behind them; then I
 think the magistrates were mightily in the wrong to give in to the
 Lords of the privy council an account they knew to be false.

 My Lord, this is not the tenth part of what may be said upon this
 subject, I hope some other person will be more particular.

  I am,
  My LORD,
  Your Lordship's
  Most humble servant.






 _Letter from a Gentleman in Fife to his Friend in Edinburgh_.

 I doubt not of your being exceedingly surprized with this short and
 just account I give you of a most barbarous murder committed in
 Pittenweem the 30th of January last. One Peter Morton, a blacksmith
 in that town, after a long sickness, pretended that witches were
 tormenting him--that he did see them and know them--and, from time to
 time, as he declared such and such women to be witches, they were by
 order of the magistrates and minister of Pittenweem, apprehended as
 such, to a very considerable number, and put into prison. This man,
 by his odd postures and fits, which seemed to be very surprizing at
 first, wrought himself into such a credit with the people of that
 place, that unless the Earl of Rothes, our sheriff, had discovered
 his villany, and discouraged that practice, God knows how fatal it
 might have proved to many honest families of good credit and
 respect. Sir, however, at first many were deceived, yet now all men
 of sense are ashamed for giving any credit to such a person; but how
 hard it is to root out bad principles once espoused by the rabble,
 and how dangerous a thing it is to be at their mercy, will appear by
 the tragical account I give you of one of these poor women, Janet

 After she was committed prisoner to the tolbooth, upon a suspicion of
 her being a witch, she was well guarded with a number of men, who, by
 pinching her, and pricking her with pins, kept her from sleep many
 days and nights, threatening her with present death, unless she would
 confess herself guilty of witchcraft; which at last she did. This
 report spreading abroad, made people curious to converse with her
 upon the subject, who found themselves exceedingly disappointed. The
 Viscount of Primrose being in Fife occasionally, inclined to satisfy
 his curiosity in this matter, the Earl of Kellie, my Lord Lyon, the
 Laird of Scotstarvat, and the Laird of Randerston, were with his
 Lordship in Pittenweem. Three of the number went to the tolbooth and
 discoursed with her, to whom she said, that all that she had
 confessed, either of herself or her neighbours, were lies, and cried
 out, _God forgive the minister_, and said, that he had beat her one
 day with his staff when she was telling him the truth. They asked her
 how she came to say any thing that was not true; she cryed out,
 _alas, alas, I behoved to say so, to please the minister and
 baillies_; and, in the mean time, she begged for Christ's sake not
 to tell that she had said so, else she would be murdered. Another
 time, when the Laird of Glenagies and Mr Bruce of Kinross, were
 telling her, she needed not deny what they were asking her, for she
 had confessed as much as would infallibly burn her; she cried out,
 _God forbid!_ and to one of the two she said, that from which he
 might rationally conclude, she insinuate she had assurance from the
 minister her life should not be taken.

 A little before harvest, Mr Ker of Kippilaw, a writer to the signet,
 being in Pittenweem, Mr Robert Cook, advocate, went with him to
 prison to see this poor woman; Mr Cook, among other questions, asked
 her, if she had not renounced her baptism to the devil; she answered,
 she never renounced her baptism but to the minister. These were her
 words, what she meant by them I know not. The minister having got
 account of this from Mr Cook, he sent for her, and in presence of Mr
 Cook and Mr Ker in the church, he threatened her very severely, and
 commanded the keeper to put her into some prison by herself under the
 steeple, least (as he said) she should pervert those who had
 confessed. The keeper put her into a prison in which was a low
 window, out of which it was obvious that any body could make an
 escape; and, accordingly, she made her escape that night.

 Next day when they missed her, they made a very slight search for
 her, and promised ten pound Scots to any body that would bring her
 back. Mr Gordon, minister at Leuchars, hearing she was in his
 parish, eight miles distant from Pittenweem, caused apprehend her,
 and sent her prisoner, under custody of two men, on the 30th of
 January, to Mr Cowper, minister of Pittenweem, without giving any
 notice to the magistrates of the place. When she came to Mr Cowper,
 she asked him if he had any thing to say to her? he answered, No. She
 could get lodging in no house but with one Nicolas Lawson, one of the
 women that had been called witches.--Some say a baillie put her

 The rabble hearing she was in town, went to Mr Cowper, and asked him
 what they should do with her? he told them he was not concerned, they
 might do what they pleased with her. They took encouragement from
 this to fall upon the poor woman, those of the minister's family
 going along with them, as I hear; they fell upon the poor creature
 immediately, and beat her unmercifully, tying her so hard with a
 rope, that she was almost strangled; they dragged her through the
 streets, and alongst the shore, by the heels. A baillie, hearing of a
 rabble near his stair, came out upon them, which made them
 immediately disappear. But the magistrates, though met together, not
 taking care to put her into close custody for her safety, the rabble
 gathered again immediately, and stretched a rope betwixt a ship and
 the shore, to a great height, to which they tied her fast; after
 which they swinged her to and fro, from one side to another, in the
 mean time throwing stones at her from all corners, until they were
 weary; then they loosed her, and with a mighty swing threw her upon
 the hard sands, all about being ready in the mean time to receive
 her with stones and staves, with which they beat her most cruelly.
 Her daughter, in the time of her mother's agony, though she knew of
 it, durst not adventure to appear, lest the rabble had used her after
 the same manner, being in a house, in great concern and terror, out
 of natural affection for her mother, (about which the author was
 misinformed in the first edition.) They laid a heavy door upon her,
 with which they prest her so sore, that she cried out, to let her up
 for Christ's sake, and she would tell the truth. But when they did
 let her up, what she said could not satisfy them, and therefore, they
 again laid on the door, and with a heavy weight of stones on it,
 prest her to death; and to be sure it was so, they called a man with
 a horse and a sledge, and made him drive over her corpse backward and
 forward several times. When they were sure she was killed outright,
 they dragged her miserable carcase to Nicolas Lawson's house, where
 they first found her.

 There was a motion made to treat Nicolas Lawson after the same manner
 immediately; but some of them being wearied with three hours sport,
 as they called it, said it would be better to delay her for another
 day's divertisement; and so they all went off.

 It is said that Mr Cowper, in a letter to Mr Gordon, gave some rise
 to all this; and Mr Cowper, to vindicate himself, wrote to Mr Gordon,
 whose return says, if he were not going to Edinburgh, he would give
 him a double of his letter. It's strange he sent him not the
 principal. In the postscript, he assures him, he shall conceal it to

 'Tis certain, that Mr Cowper, preaching the Lord's day immediately
 after, in Pittenweem, took no notice of the murder, which at least
 makes him guilty of sinful silence. Neither did Mr Gordon, in his
 letter to Mr Cowper, make any regret for it; and this some construe
 to be a justifying of the horrid wickedness in both.

 We are perswaded the government will examine this affair to the
 bottom, and lay little stress upon what the magistrates or minister
 of Pittenweem will say to smooth over the matter, seeing it's very
 well known, that either of them could have quashed the rabble, and
 prevented that murder, if they had appeared zealous against it.

 I am sorry I have no better news to tell you, God deliver us from
 those principles that tend to such practices.

  I am,
  Your humble servant.







 About the month of March last year, one Beatrix Laing, a woman of
 very bad fame, who had formerly been under process for using charms,
 and refusing to be reconciled to her neighbours, was debarred from
 the Lord's table, came to one Patrick Morton, a blacksmith, desiring
 him to make some nails, which he refused to do, because otherwise
 employed at that time. Upon which she went off muttering some
 threatening expressions. A little after, the said Patrick Morton,
 with another person in company, carrying some fish by the said
 Beatrix Laing's door, they saw a vessel with water placed at the
 door, with a burning coal in it. Upon which he was presently strucken
 with an impression that it was a charm designed against him, and upon
 this a little after he sickened. In this sickness he languished for a
 long time; physicians that saw him, could not understand his
 distemper, yet tried various medicines, till at length his trouble
 increased, and he began to be seized with some unusual fits, which
 made them give over. He forbore all this while any accusation of the
 person whom he all along suspected for his trouble, at least he made
 no mention of it to the minister, who frequently visited him while
 under it. But his trouble still increasing, he at length began to
 drop some apprehensions of the cause of it. Upon which Beatrix Laing
 was called, and by the magistrates, in the said Patrick Morton's
 father's house, examined in presence of a great multitude of people,
 and owned, that she had placed that vessel with water, and the coal
 in it, there; but at that time would give no account of the reason of
 it. Being dismissed by the magistrates, she went home, and that same
 night, when she was challenged by Katharine Marshal, in her own
 house, before Nicolas Lawson, about the lad's trouble, she answered,
 that he might blame his own ill tongue for what had befallen him, and
 that it was an evil spirit that was troubling him; which was in her
 face maintained by the said persons next day, in presence of the
 magistrates. Then the boy began to complain of her tormenting him,
 and fell into grievous fits of trouble upon her entering the house.
 Upon all which she being imprisoned, after some time did acknowledge
 to magistrates and minister, in presence of many witnesses, without
 threat or torture, (of which we shall speak more afterwards) that she
 was displeased with Patrick Morton for his refusing to make some
 nails; that she designed to be avenged upon him for it; and that she
 used that charm of the coal in the water against him; and that she
 renounced her baptism, entered into a compact with the devil some
 twelve years before; condescending upon time, place, and her
 inducements to engage in his service; and that she, with Nicholas
 Lawson, had made a wax picture to torment him, and put pins in it;
 which the said Nicolas likewise confessed afterwards, and so
 justified the boy's account of the rise of his trouble.

 After this the boy's trouble daily increased, in which there were
 many strange things; first his belly, for some time, then his breast,
 frequently heaved up to a prodigious height, and instantly went off
 again, by a blowing at the mouth like a bellows; frequently he cried
 out that such persons as he named were pinching him in his arms,
 breast, or some other places of his body, his hands lying all the
 while above the clothes, at a distance from one another, in the view
 of many of the spectators; and when they looked the places of which
 he complained, they saw distinctly the print of nails. Again, he was
 frequently cast into swooning fits, became insensible, which was
 tried by exquisite pinching the more sensible parts of his body, of
 which he complained afterwards when he came out of the fits, though
 he took no notice of them, nor felt them, in the time while he was in
 these fits. The strongest who essayed to lift his head from the
 pillow, were not able to move it, though both his feet and head were
 perfectly free of the bed, which was exactly tried: Yea, sometimes
 while the trunk of his body and his head were thus rigid and could
 not be raised from the pillow, his legs were loose, and any might
 move them as they pleased. Sometimes these fits were not so great as
 at other times, and then, or when he was falling in, or coming out of
 them, several persons lifted him with little difficulty; but when he
 was in the depth of the fit, the strongest that essayed it could not
 raise him up. Again, when any of the women whom he accused touched
 him, and sometimes on their coming into the room he fell into
 grievous fits of trouble, and cried out, that such a person was
 tormenting him, condescending on their names; and this he did very
 frequently, before multitudes of people of different ranks, ready to
 attest the same. And commonly such care was taken to prevent his
 having any notice, either of the womens' entry, or which of them was
 there, that there was no place left for any rational suspicion of
 trick or cheat in the matter. He was carefully hoodwinked with
 several plies of cloth--the women were brought in with the utmost
 secrecy--innocent persons present in the room laid their hands on
 him, but yet he never shewed the least concern, save when the accused
 persons touched him. Several times gentlemen that seemed jealous that
 there was somewhat of an imposture in the case, were allowed and
 invited to make the nicest trial, and found it hold. Several pitiful
 cavils have been used about this, and other instances of the boy's
 trouble, which proceed either from ignorance of the circumstances of
 matter of fact, or gross inadvertency in not observing the several
 variations of the boy's case; which, had they been considered, they
 would have been so far from giving any countenance to the conclusion
 aimed at by these objectors, that they would strongly have enforced a
 conviction of something preter-natural in the case.

 The author then proceeds to give an account of Janet Corphat, the
 woman who was murdered. She was a person of very bad fame, who of a
 long time was reputed a witch, frequently used charms, and was wont
 commonly to threaten persons who disobliged her, and such
 consequences sometimes followed, as made her the terror of many, both
 of the town and country, which might be verified by particular
 instances, if it were necessary. She was not at first delated by
 Patrick Morton, though afterwards he complained of her as one of his
 tormentors; but she, with several others, being in company with the
 devil, whereof Isabel Adam was one, in pursuance of a quarrel which
 Beatrix Laing, formerly mentioned, had with one Alexander M'Grigor, a
 fisher in the town, made an attempt to murder the said M'Grigor in
 bed; which was prevented by his awakening and wrestling against them.
 This attempt was acknowledged by Isabel Adam, of whose confession a
 more full account shall be given afterwards, who had been taken up on
 that man's delation, and some other informations against her, and not
 on the lad's. As likewise, the said Janet was accused by Nicolas
 Lawson, another person present at that attempt; and Nicolas accused
 her of being at another meeting in the Loan of Pittenweem; at both
 which meetings they confessed the devil was present.--All which she
 herself afterwards freely confessed.

 The manner of this woman's confession was very remarkable.--After she
 had obstinately some while denied, and with a subtility beyond what
 might be expected from one of her education, shifted all questions
 put to her, she, with Isobel Adam aforesaid, being brought to the
 house where the tormented lad lay, and he discovering her at her
 entry into the room, notwithstanding the utmost precaution was used
 to conceal it from him, and he falling into grievous fits of trouble,
 did cry out of her as one of his tormentors; at which she was so
 stunned, that instantly she fell a trembling. The magistrates and
 minister observing her in such a confusion, asked if she was willing
 to commune with them, in reference to the matters whereof she had
 been accused; she declaring herself willing, went with them to
 another place, and when desired to be ingenuous, she again fell a
 trembling, and said she would confess all, but was afraid the devil
 would tear the soul out of her body if she did, and said, if you will
 pray, and cause all good folk pray for me, I will confess, and she
 then desired the minister to pray; and, after prayer, confessed she
 was bodily present at both the meetings aforesaid with the devil and
 the witches, and gave a circumstantiat account of the renounciation
 of her baptism, naming time, place, and inducements which led her to
 it, and the shape the devil appeared to her in.--She likewise told
 the reason of their attempt to murder M'Grigor was, that he did not
 hire a house which belonged to Beatrix Laing.

 Again, on a Thursday, after she had been hearing sermon, she desired
 to speak with the minister, and sent one to acquaint him with this
 desire; on which he went to her, and she, before several witnesses,
 renewed her former confession, and condescended on all the persons
 the other confessing witches had accused, as being present at the two
 foresaid meetings; adding withal, that there were others present whom
 she knew not. This confession she renewed before the presbytery, in
 presence of a great many country gentleman, and other spectators; as
 likewise in the face of a numerous congregation on the Lord's day.

 It is owned, that when Beatrix Laing and Nicolas Lawson were first
 imprisoned, they were ill used by some of the guard, without the
 knowledge of magistrates or minister, of which the women made
 complaint to the minister, whereof he presently acquainted the
 magistrates, who, with the minister, went to the prison, and
 threatened the guard if they offered the least disturbance to persons
 in custody. And the minister, on the Lord's day thereafter, took
 occasion in sermon to discover the wickedness of that practice, as
 being against the light of nature, Scripture, and the just laws of
 the land. After this, we heard of no more disturbances they met with.
 Now, it was not till after this precaution used to prevent their
 trouble, that Janet Corphat was imprisoned; and, from the time of her
 imprisonment, till the time that she confessed, which was some ten
 or twelve days, she was not in company with the rest, nor with the
 guard, save one or two days, but was alone in a separate prison, and
 nothing to disturb her.

 Now, it is remarkable, that neither of these persons who were ill
 used, of which Janet Corphat was none, did ever make any
 acknowledgement to these persons who used them ill, nor till some
 days after they were quite freed of this trouble. And when they did
 confess, it was to magistrates and minister, whom they owned to be
 careful to preserve them from such abuses; nor did magistrates or
 minister ever use any threatening to extort a confession, or any
 other argument, but what the gospel requires to be made use of to
 bring impenitent sinners to a confession of their sins.[8]

   [8] We should like to know what threatenings the gospel requires
   ministers to make use of to such impenitent sinners as will not
   confess sins they could not commit. ED.

 The author of the letter tells us, 'she was put in a low prison, out
 of which it was obvious that any body could make an escape, and
 accordingly she made her escape that night.' Here are but two
 assertions, and both of them false, for the prison was the second
 story, and her escape was by breaking an old iron grate in the
 window; nor was it that night after that she broke the prison, for it
 was on Friday these gentlemen discoursed her, and on the Lord's day
 at night she broke the prison.[9]

   [9] This just reprover begins very fairly by wilfully perverting his
   opponent's language, 'a prison with a low window,' he makes 'a low
   prison.' We very much suspect the minister himself had a hand in this

 Here follows the author of the 'Just Reproofs' way of telling the
 story of the barbarous and cruel murder of Janet Corphat. She came to
 town under cloud of night with two men, and went straight to an inn
 where her daughter was serving. After some stay there, the two men
 brought her to the minister's house, who was visiting a sick child of
 one James Cook, a present bailie, where his servant came to him with
 Mr Gordon's letter; and, as soon as he had perused it, he bid his
 servant go tell them, he would have nothing to do with her, but since
 they had brought her to the town, let them take her to the
 magistrates; which answer, two men then present, have attested under
 their hands. On this, the men brought her to Bailie Cook's house,
 where the minister was, and the men meeting him coming down stairs,
 pressed him to take her off their hands, which he refused to do, but
 called the two next magistrates, and advised them instantly to set
 her off safe out of the town. On which the two bailies sent for their
 officer immediately, and the minister went off straight to his own
 house, and saw no appearance of a rabble, nor did hear of it, till
 the rabble had gone a considerable length; and after a little, he
 heard that the woman was got safe out of their hands, and the rabble
 dissipate, and he knew nothing of her death till the next morning.

 When the officer came to the magistrates, they, on deliberation among
 themselves, resolved to imprison her till the next morning; and
 accordingly ordered their officer to do it. And as the officer was
 executing the magistrates' orders, the rabble gathered upon them,
 attacked the officer, and took the woman from him, with which, it is
 said, he did not acquaint the magistrates, that they might have taken
 other measures for the woman's safety.

 This rabble did not flow from the inclinations of the people of the
 place, which is evident from the peaceable and safe residence two
 confessing witches had for two months time in the place since they
 were set at liberty, but from an unhappy occasional concourse of a
 great many strangers, some Englishmen, some from Orkney, and other
 parts, who were forward in it, and have since taken guilt on them by
 their flight.

 As to the assertion with regard to those of Mr Cowper's family going
 along with the rabble, Mr Cowper urged to have his servants examined
 among the first, and they have declared before the magistrates, that
 they stole out in a clandestine way, that their master might not know
 of it, and he indeed knew nothing of it, and they returned very
 quickly and made no stay; nor do any of the witnesses examined
 insinuate any accusation of their having the least accession to any
 injury she met with, nor were they any other way concerned, than by
 looking on a short while with some hundreds of other spectators.

 Again, it is said, 'that they first found her at Nicolas Lawson's
 house, and that she was killed out-right when they dragged her there
 again,' is as ill grounded as the rest of our author's assertions;
 for they found her not at Nicolas Lawson's house, and some of the
 persons examined have declared, that after she was brought to that
 door, she arose and put on head cloaths, and called to Nicolas Lawson
 to let her in; which, if she had done, she in all appearance had met
 with no more disturbance; but after this, we hear _that some few of
 the rabble stole up secretly and murdered her_.

 The author of the Second Letter accuses the minister of encouraging
 Patrick Morton in carrying on the cheat, by reading to him the case
 of Bargarran's daughter. In answer to which, we shall give a short,
 but candid, account of matter of fact. In the month of May last, the
 minister, with a preacher, and a great many other people, attending
 all night in the room where Patrick Morton lay, and he lying
 meanwhile in a swooning fit, which was then tried by exquisite
 pinching, the minister and probationer falling into some discourse
 about Bargarran's daughter, took out the book, and for their own
 satisfaction, read only two sentences, and stopt. Several weeks
 after, when the minister was again attending in the night time, the
 lad being insensible, the minister, for his own diversion, read the
 preface, and some part of the process, against the witches, but had
 no reason to think he heard any thing, but on the contrary. And it is
 to be observed, when the committee of the privy council did
 accurately examine the boy in reference to this story, he still
 declared he never heard any thing of Bargarran's daughter's case

 What he says of 'their obliging them to pay eight pound Scots to the
 town-officer,' is in many ways false. It is false that they were
 ordered by the magistrates to pay such a sum. It is false that they
 paid all alike. It is also untruth that any of them gave what they
 had provided for their winding sheets. Nicolas Lawson, one of the
 confessing witches, her husband voluntarily gave a small piece of
 unbleached linen to the officer for his fees; and this is all the
 ground for the story of their winding-sheets.

 The author of the Just Reproof then proceeds to give an account of
 Mrs White and Isobel Adam. The woman brought from Anstruther was a
 Mrs White, an inhabitant of Pittenweem, who, through fear of being
 apprehended, fled thither to her daughter's house. This woman, whose
 cause is now warmly espoused by some, with no advantage to their
 reputation, and who is now insisting against the magistrates in a
 process for wrongous imprisonment, has been for many years a person
 of very bad fame. Some eighteen years ago, she pursued a woman before
 the session, in Mr Bruce the late Episcopal incumbents time, for
 calling her a witch, and succumbing in the probation. Mr Bruce urged
 her to be reconciled with the woman,--she obstinately refused,--using
 most Unchristian and revengeful expressions, which are to be seen in
 the session-register. Since the revolution, she desired admission to
 the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which was then denied her,
 because she still refused to be reconciled to that woman. Her
 scandalous carriage in refusing to cohabit with her husband to this
 day, who is a sober honest man, is generally known. This woman being
 accused by the boy as one of his tormentors, and delated by two
 confessing witches, and other presumptions of her guilt, the
 magistrates one morning sent their officer to the magistrates of
 Anstruther, desiring them on these grounds to send Mrs White to them,
 and the grounds of her imprisonment were sent in write to her, in her
 daughter Mrs Lindsay's house; and she being brought to Pittenweem,
 the two women which delated her, were confronted with her, in
 presence of the magistrates, a great many gentlemen and ministers,
 where they did accuse her to her face, and charged her particularly
 with being at a meeting in the Loan with the devil and the witches,
 and gave some binding tokens to convince her. By all which it
 appears, how little ground there is to accuse the magistrates for
 invading their neighbours jurisdiction, or load the minister with any
 concernment in the matter.

 As to the other instance of one brought to Pittenweem at six miles
 distance, this was the young woman Isobel Adam. About the middle of
 May, one Alexander M'Grigor delated her for an attempt to murder him
 in his own house in the night-time, with several others whom he knew
 not; and there being some surmises of other presumptions of
 witchcraft against her, the minister hearing she was occasionally in
 the town, called for her, and advised her, before her father, if
 innocent, to take proper measures for her own vindication, which she
 undertook to do, and promised to return for that end on
 advertisement, which her father engaged to give. The noise about her
 still increasing, her father was desired, according to promise, to
 call her to the place, which he declined, growing jealous of her
 guilt; on which the minister advertised her, but in case she refused,
 a letter was sent to be delivered to the gentleman on whose ground
 she lived, desiring him to send her. So soon as the advertisement was
 given, she came voluntarily to her father's house in Pittenweem, and
 so there was no occasion for force.

 When she came, she confessed her converse with the devil at Thomas
 Adamson's house, on the first day of January 1704; she was confronted
 with M'Grigor, and he accused her of the above mentioned attempt on
 him, which she then refused; on which she was imprisoned, and the two
 following days, she did with tears, and more than ordinary concern,
 make a free and large confession.

 She said Beatrix Laing aforesaid, a confessing witch, had been
 dealing with her to engage in her service, which she refused; and
 that some time thereafter, this Beatrix came for her, and desired her
 to go along to her house; when she came there, they sat down at the
 fire, and she saw a man in black cloaths, with a hat on his head,
 sitting at the table; and Beatrix said to her, since you will not
 engage with me, here is a gentleman that will see you; whereupon he
 told her, he knew she was discontented with her lot, and if she would
 serve him, he promised she should want for nothing; to which she
 yielded to serve him, and he came forward and kissed her; and she
 said, he was fearsome like, and his eyes sparkled like candles, on
 which she knew he was the devil.

 Again, she told, that being employed to spin in Thomas Adamson's
 house in Pittenweem, while she was lying awake in her bed in the
 night time, the devil appearing to her, where she did expressly
 renounce her baptism to the devil, by putting her hand on her head,
 and the other to her feet, the other maid lying in the bed with her
 being at the time asleep, as the maid declared before the session.
 About a fortnight after this, Beatrix Laing came to visit her, and
 asked her, if she had met with the gentleman? She answered she had,
 and also engaged with him, on which Beatrix said, I have then got my
 work wrought, and went away. And she confessed, she came to that
 meeting at M'Grigor's with the devil and several witches, viz.
 Beatrix Laing, Nicolas Lawson, Janet Corphat, Thomas Brown, and
 several others she knew not, designing to murder M'Grigor; but since
 the man awakened and prayed to God for himself, they could not do it.
 She confessed also converse with the devil at other times. All which
 is in her two confessions, signed by the magistrates, and transmitted
 to Edinburgh. Now, we desire to know what the author of this letter
 can quarrel in the magistrates or minister's conduct in this matter.

 As for what he says 'about the magistrates and minister refounded the
 imprisoned womens' money seven-fold.' We find this author very
 charitable on other mens' purses, but when the magistrates and
 minister design to bestow their charity, they will choose more
 deserving objects. And the Lords of Her Majesty's privy counsel
 understands themselves better than to take their measures as to what
 is just from the daring prescriptions of this author.

 What he says about Thomas Brown is also false, he was accused by the
 lad, and delated by three confessing witches, as being accessory to
 the attempt on M'Grigor. It is false he was starved, for his daughter
 brought him his diets punctually. Our author's fears of more murders
 are altogether groundless, and we appeal to all men of candour,
 whether this author's impudent and unjust accusation against
 magistrates and minister of murdering Thomas Brown, deserves not
 severer punishment than any thing he can charge them with.

 He again tells us, "the bailies justified the murder, by denying
 Christian burial." The bailies gave no order thereabout. As for
 Thomas Brown, his son-in-law, with some others, buried him. Our
 author by his next may prove, that Janet Corphat, a woman that had so
 frequently and so solemnly confessed the renounciation of her baptism
 to the devil, deserved Christian burial.






 _Copy of the Indytment._

 Annaple Thomsone, widow in Borrowstownes,

 Margaret Pringle, relict of the deceast John Campbell sive-wright
 there, &c.

 Yee, and ilk ane of yow ar indytted and accwsed, that where,
 notwithstanding, be the law of God, particularlie sett down in the 20
 chapter of Leviticus, and eighteen chap. of Dewtronomie, and be the
 lawes and actes of parliament of this kingdome, and constant practiq;
 thereof, particularlie be the 73 act, 29 parliament Q. Marie, the
 cryme of witchcraft is declaired to be ane horreid, abominable and
 capitall cryme, punishable with the paines of death and confiscatiown
 of moveables. Never the less it is of veritie, that you have
 comitted, and ar gwyltie of the said cryme of witchcraft, in swa far
 ye have entered in pactiown with the devill, the enemie of your
 salvatiown, and have renownced our Blissed Lord and Savior, and your
 baptizme, and have given your selffes, both soulles and bodies to the
 devil, and have bein severall mettings with the devill, and swndrie
 wyth witches in diverse places; and particularlie, ye the said
 Annaple Thomsone had a metting with the devill the tyme of your
 weidowhood, befoer yow was maried to your last husband, in your
 cwming betwixt Linlithgow and Borrowstownes, where the devil, in the
 lyknes of ane black man, told yow, that you wis ane poore puddled
 bodie, and had ane evill lyiff, and difficultie to win throw the
 world; and promesed, iff yee wald followe him, and go alongst with
 him, yow should never want, bot have ane better lyiff: and, abowt
 fyve wekes therefter, the devill appeired to yow when yow wis goeing
 to the coal-hill abowt sevin a clock in the morning. Having renewed
 his former tentatiown, you did condeschend thereto, and declared
 yowrselff content to follow him, and becwm his servant; wherewpon the
 devill threw yow to the grownd, and had carnal copwlatiown with yow;
 and ye, and each persone of yow, wis at several mettings with the
 devill in the Linkes of Borrowstowness, and in the howss of yow
 Bessie Vickar, and ye did eatt and drink with the devill, and with on
 another, and with witches in hir howss in the night tyme; and the
 devill and the said Wm Craw browght the ale which ye drank, extending
 to abowt sevin gallons, from the howss of Elizabeth Hamilton; and yow
 the said Annaple had ane other metting abowt fyve wekes ago, when you
 wis goeing to the coal-hill of Grange, and he inveitted yow to go
 alongest and drink with him in the Grange-pannes; and yow the said
 Margaret Pringil have bein ane witch thir many yeeres bygane; hath
 renowncid yowr baptisme, and becwm the devill's servant, and promeis
 to follow him; and the devill had carnall copwlatiown with yow, and
 tuik you by the right hand, whereby it was, for eight dayes,
 grevowslie pained; but having it twitched of new againe, it
 imediatlie becam haill: and yow the said Margaret Hamilton has bein
 the devill's servant these eight or nyne yeres bygane; and he appered
 and conversed with yow at the toun-well of Borrowstownes, and several
 tymes in yowr awin howss, and drank severall choppens of ale with
 you, and thereafter had carnall copwlatiown with yow; and the devill
 gave yow ane fyve merk peice of gold, whilk a lyttil efter becam ane
 sklaitt stone; and yow the said Margaret Hamilton, relict of James
 Pollwart, has bein ane witch, and the devil's servant thertie yeres
 since, haith renowncid yowr baptizme as said is, and has had carnall
 copwlatiown with the devill in the lyknes of ane man, bot he removed
 from yow in the lyknes of ane black dowg: and ye, and ilk ane of yow
 wis at ane metting with the devill and wther witches at the Croce of
 Murestaine above Kinneil, upon the threttein of October last, where
 yow all danced, and the devill acted the pyiper, and where yow
 endevored to have distroyed Androw Mitchell, sone to John Mitchell,
 elder in Dean of Kinneill.

 _Precept_ qra _Witches, and the Witnesses and Assyissers, 1679_.

 ---- Cochran of Barbbachlay, Richard Elphinstown of ----, Saindelands
 of Hilderstown, ---- Cornwal of Bonhard, Robert Hamilton of Dechmont,
 baillzie of the regallitie of Borrowstownes, Sir John Harper advocat,
 Mr William Dundas, and Mr John Prestowne advocats, commissioners of
 justiciarie, speciallie constitwte, nominat, and appoynted by the
 lordes off his majestie's most honowrable privie cownsell for the
 tryall and jwdging of the persones after namit; To our lovitts ----
 messengers, macers, and officers of cowrt, owr shirriffs in that
 pairt, conjunctlie and severallie, speciallie constitwte, greitting:
 For sameikillais the ---- day of ----is appoynted by ws for the
 trying and judging off Anabill Thomson widow in Borrowstownes,
 Margaret Pringle relict of the decist John Campbell sive-wright ther,
 Margaret Hamilton relict of the deceist James Pollwart ther, Wm. Craw
 indweller ther, Bessie Viccar relict of the deceist James Pennie
 indweller ther, and Margarett Hamilton relict of the deceist Thomas
 Mitchell, who are apprehendit and imprisoned in the tolbuith of
 Borrowstownes, as suspect gwilty of the abominable cryme of
 witchcraft, by entering into pactiown with the devill, renwncing
 their baptism and comitting of _malificies_: Wherefoir nescessary it
 is, that the saides persons should be summonded to wnderlye the lawe
 for the samen, and that witness and assyssers should be cited against
 them, to the effect, and under the paines efter specifiet. HEREFOIR,
 this precept sein, we chairge you passe, and in owr soveraigne lordes
 name and authority, and owrs, comand and chairge the saides persones
 above compleaned upon, to compeir befoir ws, or any three of us (who
 are by our said commissiown declaired to be a quorum), within the
 said tolbuith of Borrowstownes, the nyneteen day of December nixt, in
 the howr of cawse, ther to wnderlye the lawe, for the crymes above
 specifiet, and that under the paines contained in the new acts of
 parliament: And sicklyik, summon, wairne and chairge ane assyse of
 honest and famous persones, not exceeding the number of fortie-five,
 togither with such witnesses who best know the veritie of the
 persones above compleaned upon ther gwiltynes, to compeir befoir us,
 day and place foirsaid, in the howr of cawse, the persones of[10]
 witness, to bear leall and soothfast witnessing in the premiss, and
 the inqueist to passe upon the assyse each persone, under the paine
 of ane hundreth merks, according to justice, ais ye will answer to us
 therwpon: the whilk to doe commits to you, conjunctlie and severalie,
 our fwll power, be thir our lettres, delyvering them be you dewllie
 execut and indorset againe to the beirer. Given under our hands at
 Borrowstownes, the twentie-nynt day of November, ane thousande six
 hunder and seventie nyne yeirs.

   [10] This word is interlined, and the word inqueist scored out.

  (_Sic Subscribitur_)


 _Ane List of the Persones to be warned to passe upon the Assyse for
   Judging the Witches in Borrowstownes._

 _Barronie of Carridin._

  Robert Ballendin elder in Northbank,
  Alex. Brown in Bonhard,
  John Irwyne there,
  James Lamb there,
  George Storie in Mure-edge,
  Thomas Knox wiver in Littill Carridin,
  John Meldrum ther,
  George Yowng in Murrayes,
  John Brown oversman ther,
  George Smyth ther,
  John Robertsone in Bonhard-panns,
  John Daviesone ther,
  John Pooll ther.

 _Town of Borrowstownes._

  George Bennet,
  James Cassilles elder, skipper,
  Alex. Drysdaill skipper,
  James Hardie glover,
  Alex. Randie baxter
  Richard Carss,
  James Hamilton elder,
  James Hwtton baxter,
  Andrew Hamilton,
  Thomas Downie,
  James Mwngill wiver,
  Rob. Downie.

 _Barronie of Kinneill._

  George Gib in Kinneil Carss,
  Alex. Gib in Inneraven,
  John Glen ther
  John Baird ther
  James Dobbie in Nether Kinneil,
  Patrick Hardie ther,
  John Dick in Woodheid,
  John Wilson in Over Kinneil,
  James Thomson ther,
  James Lithgow in Balderstown,
  John Hardie, maltman in Burrowstown,
  James Thomson ther.

 _Barronie of Pollmont._

  James Burn of Clerkstoun,
  James Monteth of Myln-hall,
  Alex. Whyte in Hill,
  Patrick Ballanden of Parkend,
  John Mairschell in Whyteside,
  Andrew Johnstown in Pollmont,
  David Ballanden in Redding,
  James Gaff ther,
  George Mureheid ther,
  William Rwchat of Ruch-haugh,
  John Grintown in Gillstown Loanfoote,
  Henry Taylor in Whyteside,
  John Purgat of Bruchtown Crag.

 _Order and Warrand for Burning the Witches of Borrowstownes, Dec. 19,

 Forsameikle as Annabil Thomson widdow in Borrowstownes, Margaret
 Pringle relict of the deceast John Campbell ther, Margaret Hamiltown
 relict of the deceast James Pollwart ther, William Craw indweller
 ther, Bessie Wicker relict of the deceast James Pennie ther, and
 Margaret Hamiltown relict of the deceast Thomas Mitchell ther,
 prisoners in the tolbuith of Borrowstownes, are found guiltie be ane
 assyse, of the abominable cryme of witchcraft committed be them, in
 maner mentioned in their dittayes, and are decerned and adjudged be
 us under subscryvers (commissioners of justiciary speciallie
 appoynted to this effect) to be taken to the west end of
 Borrowstownes, the ordinar place of execution ther, upon Tuesday the
 twentie-third day of December current, betwixt two and four a clock
 in the efternoon, and ther to be wirried at a steack till they be
 dead, and there-efter to have their bodies burnt to ashes. These
 therefoir require and command the baylie principal off the regalitie
 of Borrowstownes, and his deputts, to see the said sentance and doom
 put to dew execution in all poynts, as yee will be answerable. Given
 under our hands at Borrowstownes the nynteenth day of December 1679





 _Records of Justiciary, September 13, 1678._

 In 1678, Isobel Elliot and nine other women were tried for witchcraft
 in one day. The articles of indictment against all of them were
 pretty much the same. Those exhibited against Isobel Elliot were as
 follows: That about two years ago she staid at home from the _kirk_
 at the desire of her mistress, who was a witch, when the devil had a
 meeting with the prisoner, her mistress, and two other witches; that
 he kissed the prisoner, baptized her on the face _with an waff of his
 hand like a dewing_, and offered to lie with her, but forbore because
 she was with child; that after she was kirked the devil often met
 her, and had _carnal copulation_ with her. The prisoner and the other
 nine miserable women underwent all the legal forms incident to their
 unhappy situation among that deluded and barbarous people. They had
 been prosecuted by his Majesty's Advocate; they judicially
 acknowledged their guilt, were convicted by the jury, condemned by
 the judges, and burned by the executioner,--_for having had carnal
 copulation with the devil_!!!

















 JUL 8, 1649.

 Being the Sabbath day, Mr Samuel Dowglas, preaching at Eymouth, after
 sermon, Helen Tailzear desyred to speik with the said Mr Samuell, who
 coming to hir, thair being also present Samuel Lauder and George
 Halliday, she confessed these particularis, viz. _first_, at
 Candilmas bygon two yeirs, scho cam into Isobell Brown's hous, quhair
 the divill was sitting in the liknes of a gentill man at the tabill
 drinking with Isobell Brown, who took hir in his armes without any
 moir speiking at that tyme.

 _Secondlie_, Scho declairs, that after shee cam to Isobell Brown's
 hous * * * * * whair the divill was in the same likness as befor, and
 layd his hand upon hir head, and sayd, you sall be on of myne so long
 as you live. And that he gave hir two dolleris, and when shoe cam
 home they wer butt twa stanes.

 _Thirdlie_, Shee declairs, that shee was at ane meiting with Isobell
 Brown, Alison Cairns, Margaret Dobson, and Beatrix Young, and that
 thai went all along to William Burnettis hous, he lying sick, and
 that coming to the hous, Margaret Dobson was in the liknes of ane
 black hen, and went in at the chimley head, and Beatrix Young in the
 liknes of a litill foall, and that hirself was in the liknes of ane
 litill quhelp; Isobell Brown wes in hir owin liknes, with a long
 tail'd courtshaw upon hir head, and Allison Cairns wes in hir owin
 liknes; and that Isobell Brown desired her to go into William
 Burnettis bot shee refuissed, quhairupon Isobell Brown did stryk her
 * * * * * on the back.

 _Fourtlie_, Shee declairs that Marioun Robisson wes ane witch, and
 that shee was William Burnit's death.

  (Signed) MR SAMUEL DOUGLAS, _Minister
  at Coldinghame_.





  _At Dirltoun, June, 1649._

 Compeirit Menie Halliburton, prissoner within the Castle, suspect of
 the cryme of witchcraft, delaitit guiltie be Agnes Clerkson, lait
 sufferer for the said cryme; as also be Patrik Watsone, spouse to the
 said Menie, who lykewisse sufferit thairfoir, and confessit, that
 auchtein yeir syne, or thairby, hir dochter being seik, scho first
 sent for Patrik Chrystison in Aberledie, to cum and cure hir dochter,
 and he refuising, went hirself for him, who refused to cure hir; and
 within * * * days after came the devill in liknes of a man into hir
 hous, calling himself a physition, and said to her, that he had good
 salves (and namelie oylispek), whairwith he would cure hir dochter;
 and aggreing with him for some of his salves quhilk he gave hir, shee
 gave him two Inglis shillings. He then departed, and promised to come
 agane within eight dayis, whilk accordinglie he did, bot or he went
 away the first tyme, shee gave him milk and breid; and Patrik
 Watsone coming in, he sent for a pynt of ale; bot at his second
 coming he stayit all night, and upon the morne airlie (Patrick being
 furth), in cam the divill and lay doun with hir, scho being yitt in
 bed, and had carnal copulatioun with hir, his nature being cald. He
 desyrit hir to renunce Chryst and hir baptisme, and become his
 servant, quhilk scho did. And sayis, that hir dochter had the wyte of
 all hir wickit wissing, and wissing she had nevir beene borne.

 This deposition was renewed in all the particulars by the said Menie,
 in the foresaid place, on Sunday the first of July, 1649, before
 Alexander Levingston of Saltcoatts, James Borthwick chamberlane,
 James Lawder, John Stalker baillie, Wm. Dalzell, and Mr John M'Ghie,
 minister at Dirltoun.

 (Signed) J. MAKGHIE.
          ALEX. LEVINGSTOUN, _witness_.
          JA. BORTHWICK.
          JAMES LAUDER.
          JOHN STALKER.
          W. DALZELL.


 JUNE, 1649.

 The whilk day, in presence of Alex. Levingston of Saltcoattis, James
 Borthwick chalmerlain of Dirltoun, John Stalker baillie thairof,
 James Foirman in Drem, Mr James Achieson in North-Berwick, and
 William Dalzell notar, Patrick Watson in West Fenton, and Menie
 Haliburtoun his spous, bruitted and long suspect of witchcraft, _of
 thair awin frie will uncompellit_, heiring that I John Kincaid under
 subscryvand wes in the toune of Dirltoune, and had some skill and
 dexterity in trying of the divillis marke in the personis of such as
 wer suspect to be witches, came to the broad hall in the Castell of
 Dirltoune, and desyred me the said John Kincaid to use my tryall of
 thame as I had done on utheris, whilk when I had done, I found the
 divillis marke upon the bak syde of the said Patrik Watsone, a
 littill under the point of his left shoulder, and upon the left syde
 of the said Menie Halyburtoun hir neck a littill above her left
 shoulder, whairof thay wer not sensible, neither cam furth thairof
 any bloode after I had tryed the samin as exactlie as ever I did any
 uthers. This I testifie to be of veritie upon my credit and
 conscience. In witnes quhairof, I have subscryvit thir presentis with
 my hand, day and place forsaid, befoir ther witnesses above

  J. K.

          ALEX. LEVINGSTOUN, _witness_.
          JA. BORTHWICK, _witness_.
          JOHN STALKER, _witness_.
          JAMES FORMAN, _witness_.
          JA. ACHESONE, _witness_.
          W. DALZELL, _witness_.


 _Extracted from the Minutes of the Kirk-Session of Kirkaldy, A. D.

  _September 6th, 1633._

 The which day, compeared Alison Dick, challenged upon some speeches
 uttered by her against William Coke, tending to witchcraft,--denied
 the samyne.

     1. Compeared Alexander Savage, Andrew Nicol, and George Tillie,
     who being admitted and sworn, deponed as follows: The said
     Alexander Savage, that he heard the said Alison Dick say to her
     husband William Coke, 'Thou has put down many ships; it had been
     gude for the people of Kirkaldie, that they had knit a stone
     about thy neck and drowned thee.'

     2. Andrew Nicol deponed, that he heard the said Alison say to
     him, 'Thou has gotten the woman's song laid, as thou promised;
     thou art over-long living; it had been gude for the women of
     Kirkaldy, that thou had been dead long since. I shall cause all
     the world wonder upon thee.'

     3. George Tillie deponed, that he heard her say to him, 'It had
     been gude for the women of Kirkaldy, to put him to death; and
     that he had died seven years since.'

 Also compeared Jean Adamson, Kathrine Spens, Marion Meason, Isobel
 Murison, Alison Kelloch, who being admitted and sworn, deponed as

     4. Jean Adamson deponed, that she heard Alison Dick say to her
     husband William Coke, 'Thief! Thief! what is this that I have
     been doing? keeping the thretty years from meikle evil doing.
     Many pretty men has thou putten down both in ships and boats;
     thou has gotten the woman's song laid now. Let honest men puddle
     and work as they like, if they please not thee well, they shall
     not have meikle to the fore when they die.'

     5. Kathrine Spens deponed, that she heard her say to him, 'Common
     thief, I have hindered thee from many ill turns doing, both to
     ships and boats.'

     6. Marion Meason deponed, that she heard her say, 'Common thief,
     mony ill turn have I hindered thee from doing thir thretty
     years; mony ships and boats has thou put down; and when I would
     have halden the string to have saved one man, thou wald not.'

     7. Isobel Murison deponed, that she heard her say to him, 'Thief,
     thief, I have keeped thee from doing many ill turnes. Thou has
     now laid the woman's song.'

 _September 24th, 1633._

     8. Compeared Janet Allan, relict of umquhile John Duncan fisher,
     deponed, that Alison Dick came in upon a certain time to her
     house, when she was lying in of a bairn, and craved some sour
     bakes; and she denying to give her any, the said Alison said,
     your bairns shall beg yet, (as they do.) And her husband being
     angry at her, reproved her; and she abused him in language; and
     when he strak her, she said, that she should cause him rue it;
     and she hoped to see the powarts bigg in his hair; and within
     half a year he was casten away, and his boat, and perished.

     9. Janet Sauders, daughter-in-law to the said William Coke and
     Alison Dick, deponed, that William Coke came in to her, and she
     being weeping, he demanded the cause of it, she answered, it was
     for her husband. The said William said, What ails thee? Thou wilt
     get thy gudman again, but ye will get him both naked and bare;
     and whereas there was no word of him for a long time before, he
     came home within two days thereafter, naked and bare as he said;
     the ship wherein he was being casten away.

     4, 10. Jean Adamson deponed, that when her gudman sailed with
     David Robertson, the said David having sent him home with a ship
     to come for Scotland, there was a long time that there was no
     word of that ship; so that David Robertson coming home, and the
     other ship not come, nor no word from her, he said he would never
     see her. The said Alison Dick came in to her, (she with her
     bairns being weeping), and said, What ails ye Jean to weep? She
     answered, We have all good cause to weep for my husband, whom we
     will never see more. The said Alison said, hold your tongue, your
     gudman and all the company are well enough; they are in Norway
     loading their ship with timber to come home, they will be here
     shortly. And so it fell out in every point as she said.

     5, 11. Kathrine Spens deponed, that William Coke came in to her,
     after that his wife had spoken so much evil to him, and said,
     Kathrine, my wife has spoken meikle ill of me this day, but I
     said nothing to her again. If I had spoken two words to her the
     last time she was in the steeple, she would never have gotten out
     of it.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Minutes of 24th September, ordains Mr James Miller to ride to
     Preston for the man that tries the witches. The expence to be
     paid by the Town and Session.

 _September 8th,_

     12. Compeared Isobel Hay, spouse to Alexander Law, against Alison
     Dick, who being sworn, deponed, that she having come in to her
     house, her husband being newly sailed, she craved some money of
     her, which she refused, and boasted her. The said Alison said, It
     shall gang wair geats; and that same voyage, her husband had
     great loss. And thereafter, the said Alison came in to her house,
     she being furth, and took her sister by the hand, and since that
     time, the maiden had never been in her right wits.

     13. William Bervie declared, that Robert Whyt having once
     stricken William Coke, Alison Dick his wife, came to the said
     Robert, and said, Wherefore have ye stricken my husband? I shall
     cause you rue it. The said Robert replying, What sayest thou? I
     shall give you as much--you witch. She answered, 'Witches take
     the wit and the grace from you;' and that same night, he was
     bereft of his wits.

     14. Janet Whyt, daughter to the said Robert, compearing, affirmed
     the said dittay to be true upon her oath. And added, that she
     went to the said Alison, and reproved her, laying the wyt of her
     father's sickness upon her. Let him pay me then, and he will be
     better; but if he pay me not, he will be worse; for there is none
     that does me wrong, but I go to my god and complains upon them,
     and within 24 hours I will get amends of them. The said Janet
     Whyt declared, that Alison Dick said to her servant, Agnes
     Fairlie, I have gotten a grip of your gudwife's thigh; I shall
     get a grip of her leg next; the said Janet having burnt her thigh
     before with lint: and thereafter she has taken such a pain in her
     leg, that she can get no remedy for it. Whilk the said Agnes
     Fairlie deponed upon her great oath to be true.

     15. Alison Dick herself declared, that David Paterson, skipper,
     having struck William Coke her husband, and drawn him by the
     feet, and compelled him to bear his gear aboard, the said William
     cursed the said David, and that voyage he was taken by the
     Dunkirkers. Also, at another time thereafter, he compelled him to
     bear his gear aboard, and a captain's who was with him, and when
     the captain would have paid him, the said David would not suffer
     him; but he himself gave him what he liked. The said William
     cursed the said David very vehemently; and at that time he
     himself perished, his ship, and all his company, except two or
     three. Also she declared, that when his own son sailed in David
     Whyt's ship, and gave not his father his bonnallie,[11] the said
     William said, What? Is he sailed, and given me nothing? The devil
     be with him; if ever he come home again, he shall come home naked
     and bare; and so it fell out. For John Whyt, who had that ship
     freighted to Norway, and another wherein himself was, declared,
     that they had very foul weather; and the ship wherein the said
     young William Coke was, perished; and he saved all the men in the
     ship wherein he was himself. And albeit the storm increased two
     days before the perishing of the said ship, and six days after,
     yet the two hours space in which they were saving the men, it was
     so calm in that part of the sea, that they rowed from one ship to
     the other with two oars, and the sea was all troublesome about
     them. And the said William Coke the younger, was the first man
     that came a shipboard.

       [11] His farewell cup.

       *       *       *       *       *

     _Paction._--The same day, Alison Dick being demanded by Mr James
     Simson, minister, when, and how, she fell in covenant with the
     devil? She answered, her husband mony times urged her, and she
     yielded only two or three years since. The manner was thus--He
     gave her, soul and body, quick and quidder full to the devil, and
     bade her do so. But she in her heart said, God guide me. And then
     she said to him, I shall do any thing that ye bid me: and so she
     gave herself to the devil in the foresaid words.--This she
     confessed about four hours at even, freely, without compulsion,
     before Mr James Simson, minister, William Tennent, baillie,
     Robert French, town-clerk, Mr John Malcolme, schoolmaster,
     William Craig, and me, the said Mr James Miller, writer hereof.

 _October 15th._

     16. The which day, compeared Christian Ronaldson, against Alison
     Dick, who, in her presence being sworn, deponed, that she having
     set an house to the said Alison, and when the gudman came home he
     was angry, and said, he would not have the devil to dwell above
     him in the closs; and he went and struck up the door, and put
     forth the chimney that she put in it. And thereafter, Alison came
     to the said Christian, and chopped upon her shoulder, and said to
     her, Christie, your gudman is going to sail, and he has ane stock
     among his hands, but ere long, his stock shall be as short as
     mine. And so it fell out, for he was casten away in David Whyt's
     ship, and saved nothing.

 _October 22d._

     17. Compeared Merjory Marshall, against Alison Dick, who being
     sworn, deponed, that Alison having brought her gudman's cloaths
     once from the Castle-haven,[12] she offered her 12d for her
     labour, who would not have it; and she said to her, Alison, there
     is not many of them. She answered, they shall be fewer the next
     time; and the next voyage he was cast away in David Whyt's ship.

       [12] Probably Ravenscraig Castle, at the east end of Pathhead.

     18. Compeared also Kathrine Wilson, who being sworn, deponed,
     that she and Janet Whyt being sliding together, Alison Dick came
     to them, and asked silver from Janet Whyt, who would give her
     none, but fled her company into the said Kathrine's house, and
     she followed, and she gave her a piece bread, and Janet Whyt bade
     her give her a plack also, and she should pay her again. And when
     she got it, she said, Is this all that she gives me? If she had
     given me a groat, it would have vantaged her a thousand punds.
     This is your doing, evil tidings come upon you. And she went down
     the closs, and pissed at their meal-cellar door; and after that,
     they had never meal in that cellar, (they being meal makers.) And
     thereafter they bought a horse at 40 lib., and the horse never
     carried a load to them but two, but died in the _batts, louping
     to death_, so that every body said that he was witched.

 _October 29th._

     19. Euphen Boswell being sworn, deponed, that her gudman being to
     sail to the East country, loaden with salt, the said Alison Dick
     having born some of the salt aboard, she came to her and craved
     money from her, who gave her meat, but would give her no money,
     saying to her, Alison, my gudman has paid you himself, and
     therefore, I will give you nothing. She replied, Will ye give me
     nothing? I hope in God it will be better sharp (cheaper) sold nor
     it was bought: and so it fell out, for the ship sailed upon the
     morn, and the day after that, she sank, salt and all, except the
     men, who were saved by another ship that was near by them.

     20. Thomas Mustard being sworn, deponed, that James Wilson going
     once to sail, Alison Dick came to him, and desyred silver from
     him, he would give her none; she abused him with language, and he
     struck her; she said to him, that that hand should do him little
     good that voyage; and within two days after, his hand swelled as
     great as a pint-stoup, so that he could get little or nothing
     done with it. The next time also when he was to sail, the said
     Alison went betwixt him and the boat; and he said, Yon same witch
     thief is going betwixt me and the boat, I must have blood of her;
     and he went and struck her, and bled her, and she cursed him and
     banned him; and that same voyage, he being in Caithness, standing
     upon the shore cleithing a tow, and a boy with him, the sea came
     and took him away, and he died; and the boy was well enough.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Desires Mr Robert Douglas[13] to go to the Archbishop with this
     process, to get his approbation thereto, who takes upon him to do
     the same.

       [13] Who preached the famous coronation sermon of Charles II. at
       Scone, January 1st 1651.

     _Minute of November 19th._--5s. given for a load of coals to
       Alison Dick;--14s. for her entertainment this week bygone, being
       this day, with her husband William Coke, burnt for witchcraft.

 _In the minute of 17th December, there is a particular account of the
 Town and Session's extraordinary Debursements for William Coke and
 Alison Dick, Witches._

  _In primis._--To Mr James Miller, when
                he went to Prestowne for
                a man to try them, 47s.      £2  7

      _Item._--To the man of Culross,
               (the executioner) when he
               went away the first time,
               12s.                           0 12

      _Item._--For coals for the witches,
               24s.                           1  4

      _Item._--In purchasing the commission,  9  3

      _Item._--For one to go to Finmouth
               for the laird to sit upon
               their assise as judge,         0  6

      _Item._--For harden to be jumps to
               them,                          3 10

      _Item._--For making of them,            0  8

    Summa for the kirk's part               £17  1 Scots.

     _The Town's part of Expenses Debursed extraordinarily upon
     William Coke and Alison Dick._

  _In primis._--For ten loads of coals to
                burn them, 5 merks,         £3  6  8

       _Item._--For a tar barrel, 14s.       0 14  0

       _Item._--For towes,                   0  6  0

       _Item._--To him that brought the
                executioner,                 2 18  0

       _Item._--To the executioner for
                his pains,                   8 14  0

       _Item._--For his expenses here,       0 16  4

       _Item._--For one to go to Finmouth
                for the laird,               0  6  0
       Summa town's part,                  £17  1  0 Scots.
           Both,                            34 11  0

     _The following account is a voucher of a payment made by
       Alexander Louddon, a factor on the estate of Burncastle, the
       proprietor being then a minor and infant. It is entered in the
       factor's books thus:_

       *       *       *       *       *

     Mair for Margarit Dunhome the time sche was in prison, and was
     put to death, 065: 14: 4.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Count gifin out be Alexander Louddon in Lylstoun, in ye yeir of
     God 1649 yeiris, for Margrit Dollmoune in Burncastell.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Item, in ye first, to Wm. Currie and Andrew Gray for the watching
     of hir ye space of 30 days, inde ilk day, xxx sh inde

  xlv lib Scotts

     Item mair to Jon Kinked; for brodding of her[14]

       [14] See his declaration, page 111.

  vi lib Scotts

     Mair for meat and drink and wyne to him and his man

  iiij lib Scotts

     Mair for cloth to hir

  iij lib Scotts

     Mair for twa tare treis

  xl sh Scotts

     Item mair for twa treis, and ye making of them to the warkmen

  iij lib Scotts

     Item to ye hangman in Hadingtoun, and fetchin of him, thrie
     dollores for his pens, is

  iiij lib xiiii sh

     Item mair for meit and drink and wyne for his intertinge

  iii lib Scotts

     Item mair fer ane man and twa horss, for ye fetcheing of him, and
     taking of him hame agane

  xl sh Scotts

     Mair to hir for meit and drink ilk ane day, iiij sh the space of
     xxx dayes, is

  vi lib Scotts

     Item mair to ye twa officers for yr fie ilk day sex shilline
     aught pennes, is

  x lib Scotts

     Summa is iiij scoir xii lib xiiij sh



     Takin of this above written soume twentie-seaven pundis Scotis
     qlk the said umql Margrit Dinham had of her ain.

      92: 14: --
      27: --: --
      65: 14: --














  _Torry, June 30th, 1704._


 The session being called, _pro re nata_, upon a flagrant rumour, that
 Jean Bizet, wife to James Tanochie, had been molested by Satan, and
 had complained of some particular person of the devil's instruments
 in that trouble that she lay under. Whereupon the minister ordered
 the officer to cite the said Jean Bizet, also Lilias Adie and Janet
 Whyte, whom she was said to complain of; and also to cite Mary
 Wilson, who is said to have taken the charm by stroking up her head;
 and also, he ordered the officer to cite Tanochie's daughter, with
 James Tanochie, James Whyte and his wife, Helen Anderson, and Mary
 Nielson, who are said to know something of the circumstances of that

     _1mo_, Jean Bizet being called, compeared not, upon which the
     officer is ordered to cite her to the next.

     _2do_, There being a public report that Janet Whyte should have
     threatened James Tanochie's family with a mischief, but
     particularly his wife, before this befell; the said Janet was
     called, and interrogate, if ever she threatened James Tanochie's
     wife, she declares, that she never threatened any such thing, nor
     thought so. Moreover, she said, that James his wife would not say
     so, otherwise she would lay down her head upon a scaffold. She
     said, that she was not at her since she took that distemper, and
     saw her not since, but saw her on the Monday before, and her
     husband's daughter, and Jean Archibald in Culross; but upon the
     morrow the woman was troubled. James White being called,
     declared, that Jean Bizet was in a distemper upon Tuesday the
     13th day of June, in Helen Anderson's house, betwixt 9 and 10 at
     night, and seemed drunk.

     _3tio_, That she drank not a gill in that house, but before she
     came to Helen's house, she was about half an hour in Mary

     _4to_, She seemed to be strangely distempered, and he heard her
     say, Agnes, beware lest Lilias Adie come upon you and your child.

     _2d_, She said to Mary Nielson, Lilias Adie thinks to use me as
     she used your sister.

     _3tio_, She complained upon Mary Wilson, but none saw the said
     Mary; as she went home, she cryed, _now, now, Jenny, I'll be
     felled now, there three blew doublets_, frequently, and wringing
     her hands. _Note_--She got a considerable sleep in Helen

     _5to_, As she went home, he had let her go, and she not only
     went freely, but did run violently, without stumbling in the
     least, the breadth of Torry Park, and he had difficulty to
     overtake her, notwithstanding there was both a dyke and furrows
     in the way.

     _6to_, He declared, that he heard that the next day she was no

     _7no_, He declared, that on the Monday before, Janet Whyte said
     to him, before James Alexander in Drumfin, that she would make
     Jean Bizet forethink what she had done to her in not paying her
     two barrels of ale which she sold her, on this purpose she could
     not get the maltman payed.

     _3tio_, Helen Anderson being called, declared, that Jean Bizet
     was in her house, out of Mary Wilson's, about 5 or 6 at night the
     foresaid day, and she seemed to be strangely distempered. _2dly_,
     Her eyes raised, and could drink none. _3tio_, Ater she had
     sleeped from 6 to near 9, and when she awaked, she cryed, _by God
     he is going to take me! by Christ he is going to take me! O Lilly
     with her blew doublet! O Mary, Mary Wilson!_ repeating _Christ
     keep me!_ Upon which Helen said to her husband, did you ever see
     her in this condition? He answered, never in my life, but she is
     too much taken up with that company, but let me to her, I shall
     ding the devil out of her. For this she appeals to James Tanochie
     and his son, She and James Whyte declares both, that they are
     clear to depone the same.

 Agnes Henderson, wife to James Whyte, called, compeared, declared,
 that she was sent for to James Tanochie's wife the day foresaid, who
 was in a great trouble, and never saw her in the like. _2d_, That she
 sleept a while, and when she awoke, she cryed, _O God! O Christ!
 there is Lily coming to take me, and three blew doublets! O Mary
 Wilson keep me, she is coming!_ She adds, that Jean was in Mary
 Wilson's before she came to Helen Anderson's, and she said, that she
 desired her to go home, for Lilly will take you and the child both.
 She heard her say to Mary Wilson, it was not to you that she did
 evil, but to your sister, what aileth her at me, I never did her any
 ill. And as she went home, she seemed raised, but went and spak very
 well, and she went with her, she heard her speak often of Lilly by
 the way, that she was coming to take her. And she adds, that as she
 came first into the Newmiln, that she looked and spoke as heartsomely
 as ever she saw her, and seemed no way disordered; and having carried
 one of James Whyte's children from the Newmiln to James's house. And,
 on the next day, being Wednesday, she went to see how she was, and
 found her complaining of a sore head, and in a sweat, and she seemed
 not right; and she says, she is clear to depone what she has

 Mary Nielson being called in, said, that when Jean Bizet came to her
 mistress Helen Anderson her house, she was not within, but she was
 within when she awoke out of her sleep. _2d_, She heard her say, _O
 God! O Christ Jesus keep me!_ _3tio_, She heard her say, _O keep me!
 keep me! there she is coming, Lilly Adie with her blew doublet!_
 _4to_, _O Mary Wilson! O Mary Wilson!_ _5to_, She said, as she went
 away out of the house, she did no ill to you, but to your sister. She
 is clear to depone all this.

 Jean Bizet being called in, declares, that on the foresaid Tuesday,
 she came to the Newmiln in the forenoon, carrying James Whyte's son
 on her back from the Craigmiln, and James Whyte was with her. _2d_,
 She came first to Helen Anderson her house, and her husband being
 upon business, she went to Helen Tilloch her house. _3tio_, She went
 to Mary Wilson's house, where Lott Nicol, with Isobel Harlay, were
 drinking in the room next to the door, and she went by them to the
 room, where Mary Wilson filled a pint of ale and desired her to drink
 of it. She took a drink, but did not drink beyond a gill of it; and
 Helen Tilloch, and Jean Tilloch, came in and drank the rest, with
 many others. _4to_, She could scarcely have been a quarter of an hour
 there, and that she returned to Helen Anderson her house immediately.

 Mary Wilson called, said, when Jean Bizet came to her house, she
 called for a choppin of ale, and stayed until that was drunk, and
 another was filled, and a part of that was drunk. _2d_, There was
 none but Helen Tilloch and Jean Bizet, and herself, at the drinking
 of that ale. _3tio_, Euphan Nicol came in, and she took a drink of
 it. _4to_, She declares, that Jean Tilloch was not within the door
 then. _5to_, Robert Nicol and Catharine Mitchell, and Margaret
 Nicol, sister to Robert Nicol, were drinking at the fire-side. _6to_,
 She declares, that she seemeed no ways disordered with drink, nor any
 other way. _7no_, She went up to her on Thursday afternoon, and she
 found her lying on her bed, and straked her head, and whether she was
 immediately the better of it, or not, she knew not; but she left her
 sitting at the fire-side with her child on her knee.

 Jean Bizet says, Jean Tilloch was really there. _2d_, She says it was
 Friday afternoon before she settled.

 _Torryburn, 29th July, 1704.--After Prayer, Sederunt, Minister and

 Lillias Adie being accused of witchcraft by Jean Neilson, who is
 dreadfully tormented, the said Lillias was incarcerate by Bailie
 Williamson about ten of the night upon the 28th of July.

 Lillias being exhorted to declare the truth, and nothing but truth,
 she replied, what I am to say shall be as true as the sun is in the

 Being interrogate if she was in compact with the devil, she replied,
 I am in compact with the devil, and have been so since before the
 second burning of the witches in this place. She further declared,
 that the first time she met with the devil was at the Gollet, between
 Torryburn and Newmilne, in the harvest, before the sun set, where he
 trysted to meet her the day after, which tryst she kept, and the
 devil took her to a stook side, and caused her renounce her baptism;
 the ceremony he used was, he put one hand on the crown of her head,
 and the other on the soles of her feet, with her own consent, and
 caused her say all was the devil's betwixt the crown of her head and
 the soles of her feet; and there the devil lay with her carnally; and
 that his skin was cold, and his colour black and pale, he had a hat
 on his head, and his feet was cloven like the feet of a stirk, as she
 observed when he went from her.

 The next time she saw him was at a meeting at the Barnrods, to which
 she was summoned by Grissel Anderson in Newmilne, about Martinmas,
 their number was about twenty or thirty, whereof none are now living
 but herself. She adds, it was a moon-light night, and they danced
 some time before the devil came on a ponny, with a hat on his head,
 and they clapt their hands and cryed, _there our Prince, there our
 Prince_, with whom they danced about an hour.

 The next time was at a meeting at the back of Patrick Sands his
 house, in Valleyfield, where the devil came with a cap which covered
 his ears and neck;--they had no moonlight. Being interrogate if they
 had any light, she replied, she got light from darkness, and could
 not tell what that light was, but she heard them say it came from
 darkness, and went to darkness, and said, it is not so bright as a
 candle, the low thereof being blue, yet it gave such a light as they
 could discern others faces. There they abode about an hour, and
 danced as formerly; she knew none at the meeting but Elspeth
 Williamson, whom she saw at the close of the meeting coming down by
 the dyke-side; and she said, she was also at another meeting in the
 Haugh of Torry, where they were furnished with the former light, and
 she saw Elspeth Williamson there also.

 _July 31st, 1704._--_After Prayer, Sederunt, Minister and Elders._

 Lillias Adie adhered to her former confession, and added, there were
 many meetings she was not witness to, and was at many of which she
 could give no particular account; and you will get more news after
 this. Being interrogate if she knew any more witches in the place,
 she replied, Agnes Currie is a witch, but she is a bold woman, and
 will flee upon me if I should delate her.

 Being interrogate if the devil had a sword, she replied, she believed
 he durst not use a sword; and called him a villain that promised her
 many good things when she engaged with him, but never gave her any
 thing but misery and poverty.

 The last meeting ever she was at, was 14 days after the Sacrament, in
 the month of August 1701, upon the minister's glebe where the tent
 stood, their number was 16 or 18, whereof Agnes Currie was one. She
 added, that she made an apology to the meeting, because she could
 not wait upon them all the time, being obliged to go to
 Borrowstouness that morning's tide. She added, that she heard Jean
 Neilson was possessed with a devil, and troubled with a fit of
 distemper, but declared she never wronged her, though the devil may
 do it in her likeness.

 Elspeth Williamson being called, came into the prison where the
 session sate, and being interrogate if Lillias Adie had any envy at
 her, she answered, she knew no envy she had at her. Lillias being
 interrogate if Elspeth Williamson was guilty of witchcraft, she
 replied, she is as guilty as I am, and my guilt is as sure as God is
 in heaven.

 The next time she saw the devil was about half a year ago, as she
 went to Culross, she saw him at the west end of the coal-fold.

 Upon the affair of Janet Whyte, James Alexander being called,
 compeared, and declared that he never heard Janet Whyte threaten Jean
 Bizet in the least.

 James White called, declared _ut ante_, but adds, that upon Friday
 was eight days, the 21st of July, he heard a great screeching when he
 was in the Craigmilne upon the bleaching green, beneath the said
 milne, and heard a second screech much greater, and clapping of hands
 and laughing, about twelve of the night, in the green on the other
 side of the burn; and it was observed by the bleachers to be all
 pastered, though there was no cloth at the burn, nor bleachers that
 night. Also, on the second of August 1704, Lillias declared before
 witnesses, that Grissel Anderson invited her to her house on that
 Lammas day, the morning just before the last burning of the witches.
 Grissel desired her to come and speak with a man there; accordingly
 she went in there about day-break, where there was a number of
 witches, some laughing, some standing, others sitting, but she came
 immediately away, being to go to Lammas fair; and several of them
 were taken shortly after, and Grissel Anderson among the rest, who
 was burnt, and some of them taken that very week. She adds, that
 Euphan Stirt warned her to the meeting at the Barnrod; and the said
 Euphan was burnt afterward, though she had been no longer a witch
 than a month before her death. She added, that she knew few of them
 that were at those meetings, especially the young sort, because they
 were masked like gentlewomen; and if Agnes Currie's heart would fall,
 she could tell as much as any, being in the midst of the meeting,
 where she saw her face by the blue low near Patrick Sands.

 _At Torryburn, August 19th, 1704.--After Prayer, Sederunt, &c.
   Minister and Elders._

 Elspeth Williamson declared, that shortly after the last communion,
 there came a woman to her door, and bade her go east the way, whom
 she followed the length of the church-yard, and leaned upon the dyke,
 and saw a bouroch of women, some with black heads, were sitting
 where the tent stood. The woman that called her, went straight to the
 meeting, and fell down upon her knees, whereat she wondered, and
 hearkened if there was any reading or singing of psalms among them,
 and when she heard none, she thought she was in the wrong place, and
 did not think the woman would have taken her to the devil's meeting.
 She thought the woman was Mary Wilson, but is not certain; and about
 ten at night, some time after, a young lass came to her door, and
 desired her to go westward a little, whom she followed, but knew not
 the lass, she went so fast west the town before her, and was got the
 length of the Gollet or she came to the west end of the town; and
 when she was come west near the Gollet, she saw a meeting of women
 and some men, and she stood at a little distance from them, and saw
 them go through other for the space of near an hour, and removed
 insensibly eastward from her, upon which she stole away.

 Lillias Adie confessed, that after she entered into compact with
 Satan, he appeared to her some hundred of times, and that the devil
 himself summoned her to that meeting which was on the glebe, he
 coming into her house like a shadow, and went away like a shadow; and
 added, that she saw Elspeth Williamson and Agnes Currie both there,
 only Agnes was nearer the meeting than Elspeth, who was leaning on
 the church-yard dike with her elbow. She added, that the devil bade
 her attend many meetings that she could not attend, for age and
 sickness; and though he appeared not to her when there was company
 with her, yet he appeared to her like a shadow, so that none could
 see him but herself. At another time, she said, that when she
 renounced her baptism, the devil first spoke the words, and she
 repeated them after him, and that as he went away she did not hear
 his feet on the stubble.

 _August 20th 1704.--After Prayer, Sederunt, Minister and Elders._

 It is to be minded, that Lillias Adie appeared before the
 congregation on the Lord's day, and being called up by the minister
 and asked if she was guilty of witchcraft, she confessed freely that
 she was, and had entered expressly into covenant with Satan, and
 renounced her baptism, the devil putting one hand on the crown of her
 head, and the other under the soles of her feet, and she gave over
 all to the devil that was betwixt his two hands, and she was come
 hither to confess her sins, and to get her renounced baptism back
 again. She also desired all that had power with God to pray for her;
 to this the minister and elders, and whole congregation, were

 It being reported, that Agnes Currie should have delated Bessie
 Callander and Mary Wilson, guilty of witchcraft; Agnes being called,
 compeared and declared, that Robert Currie told her Elspeth
 Williamson told him that Bessie Callander and Mary Wilson, were

 George Stewart, solemnly sworn, purged of malice and partial counsel,
 aged 27 years, married, deponed, that Agnes Currie said to him, I'll
 tell you, but you must not let any of your folk know of it; he
 replied, I believe in Christ, I hope the devil hath no power over me.
 Ha, ha, said she, the devil hath done wrong to many, and he may wrong
 your friends or goods. Elspeth Williamson told Robert Currie, and
 Robert Currie told me, that Bessie Callander and Mary Wilson, are
 guilty of witchcraft. And this is truth, as he shall answer.--_Causa

  _Sic subscribitur_, G. S.

 James Paton, solemnly sworn, purged of malice and partial counsel,
 aged between 22 and 23 years, depones, he was not requiring any thing
 of her by way of confession of persons names to which she assented in
 the mean time, but Agnes Currie said to him, there are two witches in
 Newmilne, and one of them is at the Bridgend; upon which I replied,
 you must tell me, for I have a sister there. Agnes replied, her name
 begins with a B, George Marshall replied, is that our Bessie, she
 answered, you are right enough, it's Bessie Callander. As to the
 other person, she would not tell her name at first, but said, she is
 be-east your house, but after owned the person to be Mary Wilson, but
 desired him not to divulge it to your mother or sister, least these
 persons do you ill. This is the truth, as he shall answer.--_Causa

  _Sic subscribitur_, JA. PATON.

 George Marshall, sworn, purged, &c. _ut supra_, aged 39 years,
 married, declared, _ut supra_, and added, that she said, ye are
 husbandmen, devulge it not, least your beasts get wrang; and said to
 Alexander Drysdale, you go to sea, you have need to take head; and
 she said, the other lived be-east James Paton's house, but he going
 away, heard not her name. And this is the truth, as he shall answer.
 _Causa scientia._

  _Sic subscribitur_, G. M.

 Agnes Currie assented to this in session; and that Robert Currie told
 her, that Elspeth Williamson told him these things; and that Mary
 Carmichael in Linlithgow, is a witch.

 Robert Currie called, compeared, and declared that Elspeth Williamson
 delated to him Bessie Callander, Mary Wilson, and Mary Carmichael, as
 witches, which the said Elspeth referred to the probation of the

 The foresaid day, Lillias Adie said to the minister, that the devil
 was angry that she went to church, and said, that she might do as
 well at home. Being interrogate if he was angry like, she said, that
 he never looked pleasant like.--And closed with prayer.

  _August 29th, 1704._

 Lillias Adie declared, some hours before her death, in audience of
 the minister, precentor, George Pringle, and John Paterson, that what
 she had said of Elspeth Williamson and Agnes Currie, was as true as
 the Gospel; and added, it is as true as the sun shines on that floor,
 and dim as my eyes are, I see that.

 It being reported that William Wilson knew something of Agnes Currie
 that was witchcraft, as also Janet Glass, they were called, and the
 said William declared, that about 24 years ago, Helen Johnston having
 overlaid her child the night after it was baptized, and the next day
 he was lamenting the woman's case, Agnes Currie said to him, if I had
 been her cummer, I could have advised her to take heed to her child;
 and also, that the said William was desired some time ago to bring
 some _slyk_[15] to a house that belonged to Agnes, and he answered,
 that his mare was in the yoke all day and could not; Agnes said she
 could not help it, and that same day his mare died in a stank.

   [15] Thin clay or mud.

 Janet Glass declared, that she came once into Agnes Currie's house,
 having something to do with Agnes, who in the time was baking bread,
 and broke three several bannocks, lying in three several places, and
 gave it to the said Janet, and she with eating the same fell in a

     _Torryburn, 3d of September, 1704.--After Prayer, Sederunt,
       Minister and Elders, except Robert Baxter, John Weir and John

 Agnes Currie being called, compeared, and confronted with Janet
 Glass; Janet declared, that about twelve years ago, she brought her
 cloth to her house, and Agnes was baking bread, and she broke three
 several bannocks that were in three several places, and gave her a
 piece of every bannock, and immediately she took the fever; and she
 adds, that she gave her a little piece of every bannock, and it was
 all one sort of bread. Janet declares that she is ready to swear it;
 also adds, Helen Lawson was so used.

 Helen Lawson being called, declared, that a long time ago, Agnes
 Currie broke three several bannocks, and gave her a piece of every
 one, but she would not take the third piece; and adds, that she is
 ready to swear it.

 Elspeth Williamson being brought in, and interrogate if she was a
 witch, she answered, that she would not deny that.

 N. B.--Lillias Adie was buried within the seamark at Torryburn.[16]

   [16] Her grave is still to be seen at the west end of the town,
   marked with a large stone.--ED.

       *       *       *       *       *

 William Cose being called, compeared, and owned, that on Sabbath
 morning, anno 1704, it being moon-light, he saw Bessie Micklejohn, or
 the devil in her stead, in James Chalmers's bark, then lying in
 Leith, and he doubts not but she saw him; and adds, that she had a
 green plaid about her head, as he offered to depone. The session
 considering that the devil appeared in her likeness, it was no proof
 against her, they judged it not necessary to regard that matter, and
 thought William Cose should not be troubled, it appearing he had not
 spoken it from malice, nor accused her of witchcraft formerly.

  _March 30th, 1709._

 Margaret Humble called, declared, that Helen Key said, that when she
 heard Mr Logan[17] speak against the witches, she thought that he was
 daft, and she had up her stool to go out of the kirk: Also declared,
 that Helen Key threatened to strike Mary Neilson.

   [17] The Reverend Allan Logan, the minister, is still famous all over
   the country for his skill in discovering witches; and used, when
   administering the Sacrament, to say, "You witch wife get up from the
   table of the Lord," when some unhappy old woman would have risen,
   imagining she was pointed at, and it was well if it did not
   afterwards cost her her life. _Daft_ or not, he was certainly a most
   wretched fanatic of the worst description.--ED.

 Jean Pearson declared, that she heard Helen Key say, that she would
 strike Mary Neilson. The said Helen Key confessed what all the
 witnesses declared.

 As to the affair of Helen Key, Mary Neilson called, declared, that
 she heard Helen Key say, that she thought Mr Logan was not wise when
 he was speaking against the witches; and she had one unseemly
 expression that is not decent to be put on the records; and when
 Margaret Humble rebuked her, she answered, it was not Margaret
 Humble's part to speak in Mr Logan's favours, but she would not
 express what Mr. Logan said of Margaret Humble to her.

 The session having found her convicted of prophane irreverent
 language against the minister and his doctrine, without any shadow of
 provocation, and of gross lying and prevaricating, both in private
 and before the session, and of threatening to strike a person because
 she had reported her impudent, Godless, and scandalous
 language,--therefore, they appoint her to sit before the congregation
 the next Lord's day, and to be rebuked after the afternoon's sermon.



  OR A





  By the Reverend Mr John Frazer, Deceased,
    late Minister of Teree and Coll, and Dean
    of the Isles;


  _Published by Mr ANDREW SYMSON, with a Short
  Account of the Author._


  Printed by Mr ANDREW SYMSON, Anno Domini



  _Universally Learned, and my very Singular Good
      Lord GEORGE, Earl of Cromartie, Viscount
      of Tarbat, Lord Macleod and Castlehaven,
      &c. Lord Justice General of the Kingdom
           of Scotland, and one of her
            Majesty's most Honourable
                   Privy Council_,

 This following Discourse, entituled ΔάτεροσκοπιαΔάτεροσκοπια, &c.
 written by the Reverend Mr John Frazer, late Minister of Teree and
 Coll, and Dean of the Isles, is, with all due respect and reverence,
 dedicated by the printer and publisher hereof, his

  Lordship's most humble
  And obedient servant in all duty,



 The Reverend author of the ensuing Discourse having married my near
 kinswoman, and being in this city in November 1700, in order to the
 settling of some of his affairs. As we were discoursing of several
 things relating to the Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland, we
 came to speak of the Second Sight, reported to be so common in these
 parts; he told me, that as to the thing itself, it was most certain
 and undeniable, and that he could give many instances of it; as also,
 that he had written a short Discourse upon that subject. This he
 promised to transmit to me; accordingly, on his return home, after a
 tedious and troublesome voyage, both by sea and land, he sent me that
 Discourse, written with his own hand, desiring me to publish the same
 after some of his friends here had perused it: which being done, I,
 at my own conveniency, put it to the press, but before it was
 finished, I received an account that the author was dead, whereupon I
 forbore the publishing of it, till I should get an account of several
 passages concerning himself and family, designing to prefix the same
 to the Discourse itself, which I conceived would be acceptable to
 his friends, and not displeasing to the reader. And therefore I
 dispatched a letter to one of his nearest relations, and that was
 best acquainted with him, and with the passages of his life, that so
 I might thereby be the better informed. In answer whereunto, I
 received a paper containing several memoirs, from which I have
 collected the following account.

 Mr John Frazer, the author of this Discourse, was born in the Isle of
 Mull, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and

 His father, Mr Ferchard Frazer, was born in the north of Scotland,
 near Stratharig, about the year 1606, and lineally descended of the
 family of my Lord Lovat, but mediately of the family of Tober, one of
 the Lairds of the name of Frazer.

 After he had taken his degrees at the University, and applied himself
 to the study of Divinity, he was called by the bishop of the isles
 (there being then few learned men able to preach in the Irish tongue)
 to be minister of the Isles of Teree and Coll, (to which charge the
 deanry of the Isles was annext.) He was the first master of arts that
 preached constantly there as minister of the parish, there being then
 there one Ewen M'Lean, who was appointed to catechise and convene the
 people, there being few or none, as said is, able to serve the cure;
 but being there, he was very diligent in his ministerial function in
 teaching and instructing them, leaving them far better than he found
 them; for at his first coming, there were but three heritable
 gentlemen of the name of M'Lean that could subscribe their own
 names, the time Mr Ferchard Frazer served as minister of the Isles of
 Teree and Coll, which were conjoined in one parish, may be collected
 from his epitaph, written by his son, our author, which is--

 Epitaphium Magistri Ferchardi Frazer Decani Insularum; qui obiit 14
 die Februarii Anno Domini 1680. Aetatis 74.

     Pervigil et blandus; mitis, gravis atq. benignus;

     Doctus et Eloquii deterritate fluens:

     Pavicoves Christi pandens mysteria verbi;

     Exemplum vitæ præbuit ipse gregi.

     Luxfuerat populi lustris bis quinq. peractis,

     Sacradocens, sancto munere functus obit.

     Hic requiem tumulo corpus capit, inde regressus

     Spiritus ad Dominum, qui dedit ante, volat.

     Mr Johannes Frazerus, decanus insularum.

 His mother's name was Janet M'Lean, daughter to Lauchlan M'Lean of
 Coll, an ancient family of that name and clan. His father, as he was
 careful to instruct others, so he did not neglect his son, our
 author, but having fitted him for the University, he sent him to the
 College of Glasgow, and committed him to the care of Mr William
 Blair, one of the regents there, who advanced him to the degree of
 master of arts, between the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth year of
 his age. From thence he went to the Isle of Mull, and was chaplain to
 Sir Allan M'Lean of Duart. Thereafter, viz. March 4th 1677, he was
 married to Mary Symson, the only surviving daughter of Mr Matthias
 Symson, some time minister of Stirling, who died November 1664. Two
 or three years before his father's death, (being canonically ordained
 presbyter,) he was admitted to his father's charge, in regard his
 father, partly by age, and partly by sickness, was rendered very
 unfit to serve the cure of these two islands, Teree and Coll, as also
 of Icolmkiln, which was also annext to it, and at a greater distance;
 however, such was his care and diligence in the work of the ministry,
 that, by the blessing of God upon his endeavours, he converted to the
 true Protestant faith 24 families in the Isle of Coll, (the laird
 himself being then ring-leader), that were deluded by Father O'Donald
 and others, his father not being able to oversee his flock, by reason
 of his foresaid condition.

 His father dying in the year 1680, he served the cure thereafter, by
 constant and diligent preaching, baptizing, marrying, visiting the
 sick, and exercising all other duties incumbent on him; but at
 length, because his principles would not allow all the demands of the
 Synod of Argyle, his charge was declared vacant, and his stipend
 taken from him; notwithstanding whereof, there being no minister sent
 to oversee these islands, he went about the exercise of his ministry
 as formerly, being supplied by the charity and benevolence of his
 parishioners, who had an entire kindness for him; but his stipend, as
 said is, was taken from him and bestowed some other way. And thus he
 continued till about a month before his death, which was on the 25th
 day of August 1702, in which he changed this troublesome life for a
 better, leaving behind him a desolate poor widow, with several
 children, both sons and daughters, as also a sorrowful people, who
 were now wholly deprived of a spiritual pastor, and of such a one as
 was every way qualified for that charge; for he was not only a good
 and learned man, but was master of their language, being born and
 bred up in the Isles, understood their humours, conditions, and
 manners of life, and being a wise and sagacious person, complaisant,
 and of a winning deportment; all which good qualifications he was
 endowed with, as all which were acquainted with him, can sufficiently

 As for the subject of the following Discourse, (commonly called the
 Second Sight) though I think it might be more fitly called the First
 Sight, (because it for the most part sees things before they are), I
 shall not undertake to defend all the notions that he has of it, and
 whether they will agree with true philosophy, but shall refer that to
 others of a higher reach and deeper understanding than I ever durst
 pretend to; but this I will say in his defence, that, considering the
 place where it was written, even among the remote Isles, _vervecum in
 patria_, where he wanted the converse of learned men, and the benefit
 of books, two necessary qualifications for one that writes on such an
 abstruse subject; I humbly conceive, that the great clerks of this
 age, who have the benefit of books and converse, should not
 superciliously undervalue him that wants them. However, although I
 shall not pretend to maintain all that he writes, as to the causes,
 &c. of this Second Sight, nor do I believe all the stories that I
 have heard concerning it, yet the thing itself, or that there is such
 a thing as is commonly called the Second Sight, I do firmly believe,
 being induced thereto by the relations that I have received from
 persons of known integrity, and such as I suppose are wiser than to
 be imposed upon, and honester than to impose fables instead of
 truths, upon others. Among the relations that I have been told
 concerning this subject, I shall only single out one or two, and then
 I shall conclude.

 A noble peer of this nation being one morning in his bed-chamber, and
 attended by several persons, when his servant had put a new coat upon
 his Lord, a gentleman standing by, presently cry'd out, for God's
 sake, my Lord, put off that coat; and being asked the reason, he
 replied, that he saw a whinger or poinard, stick in the breast of it.
 The noble peer esteeming this as a mere fancy, replied, 'this coat is
 honestly come by, and I see no reason why I may not wear it.' The
 gentleman still entreated, and earnestly craved, that it might be put
 off: upon which debate, the noble peer's lady being not far off, came
 in, and being informed of the whole affair, intreated her Lord to
 comply with the gentleman's desire, which he did; mean time one of
 the servants standing by, desired the lady to give it him, and he
 would wear it. She granted his request, who put it on, and ere night
 he was stabbed by a poniard, in that very place which the gentleman
 had pointed to in the morning. This relation I had from a very
 ingenuous and understanding gentleman, who was grand-child to the
 said noble peer.

 I shall add another strange story, which I had from a reverend
 minister of the gospel, and my intimate acquaintance. 'Tis thus--In
 the year 1665, Alexander Wood, eldest son to the Laird of Nether
 Benholm, in Angus, having ended his prentiship with a merchant in
 Edinburgh, told Mr James Walker, that (in the year 1662 or 1663), he
 had been employed by his master to go to the Lewis to make up
 herring; and being there, and having a good tack of herring, their
 salt and casks were all made use of, and then they being idle, he
 began to fret that his master had delayed so long to supply them; and
 being one day drinking in a country house, and complaining, he went
 to the door of the house, and there followed him a country man, who
 said to him, If you will give me a small hire, I'll tell you what is
 become of the ship you are looking for; and without more ado, he set
 his foot upon the gentleman's foot, in which time he saw the ship in
 a great storm, ready to perish, and the seamen casting out their
 lading to lighten the ship; but when the country man's foot was off
 his he saw nothing. The ship at that time was about 100 miles from
 them, and about 48 hours thereafter, she came into the same harbour,
 and had been in the same condition he saw her in at that time the
 country man's foot was on his foot. It would be tedious to add any
 more stories that I have had from persons of undoubted veracity; and
 therefore, Reader, I shall only subscribe myself

  Your humble servant in all duty,






 You may be surprised to meet with such an abstruse theme (handled in
 specie by few or none), from the pen of a person in my circumstances,
 lying at a great distance from the Universities and centre of the
 kingdom, and consequently may be justly supposed to want that
 ordinary help of books and conference with the learned, that others
 may enjoy.

 In the _first_ place, believe that I am so far from affecting vain
 singularity, (a hateful vice in the schools as well as the pulpit),
 that nothing of that kind moved me to treat of the subject of the
 following Discourses. But for my own satisfaction I drew up the
 following heads, and did not resolve at the first to expose them to
 public view, (justly fearing the censure of presumption); but I was,
 by the persuasion of some serious friends, prevailed with to commit
 myself to the favourable judgment of the learned, (who might sooner
 commend my endeavours than censure my failings), rather than suppress
 such a fine subject, which probably might be more fully and largely
 treated of by others after the perusal of this Discourse. Take this
 pamphlet then in the rude dress that I could give; at least it may
 excite thy thoughts, if not to approve of what is here deduced, yet
 to propone of thine own a more satisfying method of explaining this
 remarkable phenomenon, which is the genuine design and wish of,

  Your humble servant,






 _Commonly so Called_.

 Many have undertaken to treat of the nature and operation of Spirits;
 as also of the various manners of divination among the Gentiles, (and
 but too much used among Christians,) likewise of the perturbation and
 deception of the fancy, caused by melancholy; and very many speak in
 ordinary discourses of this called the Second Sight, and the
 consequences of it, but none that I know handle it _in titulo_.

 That such representations are made to the eyes of men and women, is
 to me out of all doubt, and that effects follow answerable thereto,
 as little questionable. But I have found so many doubt the matter of
 fact; which I take to be the reason that so little has been written
 of it, that I think it necessary to say something briefly, that may
 put the existency of it beyond all scruple. If I should insert all
 the clear instances that I have had of this matter, it would be
 tedious and unnecessary, therefore I will content myself, and I hope
 will satisfy the reader, with four or five instances, as follows.

 The first instance is by a servant of my own, who had the trust of my
 barn, and nightly lay in the same. One day he told me he would not
 any longer lie there, because nightly he had seen a dead corps in his
 winding sheets straighted beside him, particularly at the south side
 of the barn. About an half year thereafter, a young man that had
 formerly been my servant, fell dangerously sick, and expecting death,
 would needs be carried near my house; and shortly thereafter he died,
 and was laid up a night before he was buried in the same individual
 barn and place that was foretold; and immediately the servant that
 foretold this came to me and minded me of the prediction, which was
 clearly out of my mind till he spoke of it.

 The second instance is after this manner. I was resolved to pay a
 visit to an English gentleman, Sir William Sacheverill, who had a
 commission from the English Court of Admiralty, to give his best
 trial to find out gold or money, or any other thing of note, in one
 of the ships of the Spanish armada, that was blown up in the bay of
 Topper-Mory, in the Sound of Mull. And having condescended upon the
 number of men that were to go with me, one of the number was a
 handsome boy that waited upon my own person; and, about an hour
 before I made sail, a woman, that was also one of my own servants,
 spoke to one of the seamen, and bade him dissuade me to take that boy
 along with me, or if I did, I should not bring him back alive; the
 seaman answered, he had not confidence to tell me such unwarrantable
 trifles. I took my voyage, and sailed the length of Topper-Mory; and
 having stayed two or three nights with that liberal and ingenuous
 gentleman, who himself had collected many observations of the Second
 Sight in the Isle of Man, and compared his notes and mine together, I
 then took leave of him. In the mean time, my boy grew sick of a
 vehement bloody flux,--the winds turn'd cross, that I could neither
 sail nor row,--the boy died with me the eleventh night from his
 decumbiture,--the next morning the wind made fair, and the seaman to
 whom the matter was foretold, related the whole story when he saw it
 verified. I carried the boy's corps aboard with me, and after my
 arrival, and his burial, I called suddenly for the woman, and asked
 at her what warrant she had to foretell the boy's death; she said,
 that she had no other warrant but that she saw, two days before I
 took my voyage, the boy walking with me in the fields, sewed up in
 his winding sheets from top to toe, and that she had never seen this
 in others, but she found that they shortly thereafter died; and
 therefore concluded that he would die too, and that shortly.

 The third instance was thus. Duncan Campbell, brother-german to
 Archibald Campbell of Invera, a gentleman of singular piety and
 considerable knowledge, especially in Divinity, told me a strange
 thing of himself. That he was at a time in Kintyre, having then some
 employment there, and one morning walking in the fields, he saw a
 dozen of men carrying a bier, and knew them all but one, and when he
 looked again, all was vanished. The very next day, the same company
 came the same way, carrying a bier, and he going to meet them, found
 that they were but eleven in number, and that himself was the
 twelfth, though he did not notice it before; and it is to be
 observed, that this gentleman never saw any thing of this kind before
 or after, till his dying day. Moreover, that he was of such solid
 judgment and devote conversation, that his report deserves an
 unquestionable credit.

 The fourth instance I had, to my great grief, from one John M'Donald,
 a servant of Lauchlan M'Lean of Coll, who was then newly returned
 from Holland, having the charge of a captain. This gentleman came one
 afternoon abroad to his past-time in the fields, and this John
 M'Donald meets him, and saw his clothes shining like the skins of
 fishes, and his periwig all wet, though indeed the day was very fair;
 whereupon he told privately, even then, to one of Coll's gentlemen,
 that he feared he should be drowned. This gentleman was Charles
 M'Lean, who gave me account of it. The event followed about a year
 thereafter, for the Laird of Coll was drowned in the water of Lochy
 in Lochaber. I examined both Charles M'Lean and John M'Donald, and
 found, that the prediction was as he told me; and the said M'Donald
 could produce no other warrant, than that he found such signs
 frequently before to forgo the like events. This man indeed was known
 to have many visions of this kind, but he was none of the strictest

 The fifth instance is strange, and yet of certain truth, and known to
 the whole inhabitants of the Island of Eigg, lying in the latitude of
 56 degrees 20 minutes; and longitude 14 degrees. There was a tenant
 in this island, a native, that was a follower of the Captain of
 Clanrannold, that lived in a town called Kildonan, the year of God
 eighty-five, who told publicly to the whole inhabitants, upon the
 Lord's day, after divine service, performed by Father O'Rain, then
 priest of that place, that they should all flit out of that Isle, and
 plant themselves some where else; because that people of strange and
 different habits, and arms, were to come to the Isle, and to use all
 acts of hostility, as killing, burning, tirling, and deforcing of
 women; finally, to discharge all that the hands of an enemy could do;
 but what they were, or whence they came, he could not tell. At the
 first there was no regard had to his words; but frequently
 thereafter, he begged of them to notice what he said, otherwise they
 should repent it, when they could not help it; which took such an
 impression upon some of his near acquaintance, as that severals of
 them transported themselves and their families, even then; some to
 the Isle of Cannay, some to the Isle of Rum. Fourteen days before the
 enemy came thither, under the command of one Major Ferguson and
 Captain Pottinger, whilst there was no word of their coming, or any
 fear of them conceived. In the month of June 1689, this man fell
 sick, and Father O'Rain came to see him, in order to give him the
 benefit of absolution and extreme unction, attended with several
 inhabitants of the Isle, who, in the first place, narrowly questioned
 him before his friends, and begged of him to recant his former folly
 and his vain prediction; to whom he answered, that they should find
 very shortly the truth of what he had spoken, and so he died. And
 within 14 or 15 days thereafter, I was eye witness (being then
 prisoner with Captain Pottinger), to the truth of what he did
 foretel; and being before-hand well instructed of all that he said, I
 did admire to see it particularly verified, especially that of the
 different habits and arms, some being clad with red coats, some with
 white coats and grenadier caps, some armed with sword and pike, and
 some with sword and musket. Though I could give many more proofs, as
 unquestionable as these, yet I think what is said, is sufficient to
 prove the being of such a thing as the same in hand; and I cannot but
 wonder, that men of knowledge and experience should be so shy to
 believe that there may be visions of this kind administered by good
 or bad angels; there being nothing more certain, than that good
 angels suggested visions to the prophets of the Lord, before the
 coming of Christ in the flesh, and particularly to the apostle St
 John, after the ascension of our Lord; likewise that evil angels
 presented visions, as well as audible voices, to the 450 false
 prophets of Ahab; the 400 prophets of the Groves, is as little to be
 doubted; it being as easy, if not easier, to work upon the sight, as
 well as upon the hearing. We know but too well, that necromancers and
 magicians themselves, have not only seen the shapes and forms of
 things, but likewise have allowed others to see the same, who had no
 skill of their art. A precedent for which, is the Witch of Endor.

 I remember, about 23 years ago, there was an old woman in my parish,
 in the Isle of Teree, whom I heard was accustomed to give responses,
 and likewise averred, that she had died and been in heaven, but
 allowed to come back again. And because she could not come to church,
 I was at the pains to give her a visit, attended with two or three of
 the most intelligent of my parish. I questioned her first whether she
 said she was in heaven; and she freely confessed she was, and that
 she had seen Jesus Christ, but not God the Father, or the Holy Ghost;
 that she was kindly entertained with meat and drink, and that she had
 seen her daughter there, who died about a year before;--that her
 daughter told her, though she was allowed to go there, that she
 behooved to come back and serve out her prentiship on earth, but
 would shortly be called for, and remain there for ever. She could
 very hardly be put out of this opinion, till I enquired more narrowly
 of her children, if she fell at any time in a syncope; which they
 told me she did, and continued for a whole night, so that they
 thought that she was truly dead; and this is the time she alleged she
 was in heaven. The devil took an advantage in the ecstasy to present
 to her fancy a map of heaven, as if it had been a rich earthly
 kingdom, abounding with meat, drink, gold, and silver. By the
 blessing of God, I prevailed with her to be persuaded that this was
 but a vision presented to her fancy by the devil, the father of lies;
 and that she might deprehend the falsehood of it from this one head,
 that she imagined her body was there, as well as her soul, and that
 she did eat and drink, and was warmed, while, as her own children,
 and the neighbours that watched her, did see, and did handle her body
 several times that night, so that it could not be with her in heaven.
 I did further examine her what warrant she had for the responses she
 gave, which were found very often true, even in future contingent
 events. She freely confessed, that her father upon his death-bed,
 taught her a charm, compiled of barbarous words, and some
 unintelligible terms, which had the virtue, when repeated, to
 present, some few hours after the proposition of a question, the
 answer of the same in live images before her eyes, or upon the wall;
 but the images were not tractable, which she found by putting too her
 hand, but could find nothing. I do not think fit to insert the charm,
 knowing that severals might be inclined to make an unwarrantable
 trial of it. This poor woman was got reclaimed, and was taught fully
 the danger and vanity of her practice, and died peaceably about a
 year after, in extreme old age.

 I know assuredly, that Janet Douglas, that was first a dumbie, yet
 spoke thereafter, who had given many responses by signs and words,
 and foretold many future events, being examined by Mr Gray, one of
 the ministers of the city of Glasgow, denied any explicitor implicit
 paction, and declared freely, that the answers of the questions
 proponed to her were represented by a vision in lively images,
 representing the persons concerned, and acting the thing, before her
 eyes. This Mr Gray exchanged several discourses in write with Sir
 James Turner, concerning her.

 By this time, you may see that this theme deserves the consideration
 of the learned: _First_, to enquire how much of this may come from a
 natural constitution and temperament, when confounded with a flatuous
 or melancholic distemper; and what influence an external agent,
 namely, an angel, good or bad, may have upon the organ of the eye and
 the fancy, and how far the medium between the organ of the eye and an
 object visible, may be disposed for their purpose, namely, the air
 and light; and what connexion may be found betwixt the
 representations made to the eye or fancy, and the future contingent
 events that experience teaches do follow thereupon: as for example, a
 man is seen bleeding, or sewed up in his winding sheets, who is
 shortly to be wounded, or assuredly to die.

 As for the first, all the learned physicians of the world know too
 well by experience what great labour they have to cure the deceptions
 of the fancy, especially in hypochondriac diseases; nay, patients
 cannot be persuaded but they see men, women, fowls, and four-footed
 beasts, walking abroad or in their chambers. Seldom it is, that a man
 passes any great and turbulent fever, without the trouble of some
 such representations. It is memorable, that a gentleman, that had
 been a great proficient in physic himself, imagined at length that
 there was a quick frog in his belly; and after he had travelled over
 a good part of Italy, and consulted with the doctors of Padua, yet
 could not be cured, or dissuaded. He came at length to the learned
 physician Platerus, in Bazil, who told him, that a frog by certain
 experience is known not to live above three years, so that his
 distemper continuing longer than three years, could not be caused by
 the frog, that could not live so long. Moreover, that his stomach
 would strangle the frog, and that the frog could not live any
 considerable time out of its own element, the water; so that the
 properest and most specific medicines being made use of, it were a
 shame for him to be so obstinate. At last he was persuaded, and his
 fancy satisfied. This story is no less renowned of what befell
 Andreas Osiander, a man learned in most languages. When he was a
 young man, and being troubled with a quartan ague, a little before
 the fit he could not be persuaded that he was in the house at all,
 but that he was in a wood, and much molested with wild beasts and
 serpents of all kinds; neither could he be prevailed with that this
 was false, till Facius Cardanus was called for to him, who cured him
 for the time, so that he knew his friends that were sitting beside
 him, and the chamber to be his own chamber; but after Facius had left
 him, he was troubled with the same opinion and distemper, even till
 the ague had quiet him. I have myself seen a neighbour of my own, and
 my parishioner too, John M'Phale, that lived to the age of fourscore
 years, a man that was truly very sagacious by nature; and though his
 sight was much decayed, the seat of his judgment was nothing touched;
 and as he grew weaker, merely by old age, without any remarkable
 distemper, I made frequent visits to him. One day as I was coming
 away from him, he told me he had something of consequence to ask at
 me, and desired all to remove except his wife and another gentleman,
 that was a friend of his. This done, Sir, says he, I desire to know
 by what warrant or commission so many of my friends, that are dead
 long ago, are allowed to come and discourse with me, and drink before
 me, and yet are not so civil as give me a tasting of it? I told him,
 that it was only the trouble of his fancy, and his frequent thinking
 of the world to come and his friends that were gone before him; and
 he replied to me very smartly, Sir, says he, I perceive it is the
 work of the fancy, for since I cannot see yourself, (for only by your
 voice I know you) how could I see them? It was strange that he saw
 them the very mean time that others were in the house with him, and
 asked several questions at them, but got no answer. And, for all
 this, the seat of his wit was as entire as ever: moreover, this
 trouble left him a little before he died.

 Many such illusions are reported of eremites, caused merely by the
 confusion of the brains, bred by their fasting and unwholesome food,
 which I shall not trouble the reader with.

 If you will ask how cometh this to pass, take notice of the following
 method, which I humbly offer to your consideration. Advert, in the
 _first_ place, that visible ideas, or species, are emitted from every
 visible object to the organ of the eye; representing the figure and
 colour of the object, and bearing along with it the proportion of the
 distance, for sure the objects enter not the eye, nor the interjacent
 distant tract of ground; and a third thing different from the eye and
 the object, and the distant ground, must inform the eye. These
 species are conveyed to the brain by the optic nerve, and are laid up
 in the magazine of the memory, otherwise we should not remember the
 object any longer than it is in our presence; and a remembering of
 these objects is nothing else but the fancies reviewing, or more
 properly the soul of man, by the fancy reviewing of these intentional
 species formerly received from the visible object unto the organ of
 the eye, and reconducted unto the seat of the memory. Now, when the
 brain is in a serene temper, these species are in their integrity,
 and keep their rank and file as they were received; but when the
 brain is filled with gross and flatuous vapours, and the spirits and
 humour enraged, these ideas are sometimes multiplied as an army, by
 mist; sometimes magnified, sometimes misplaced, sometimes confounded
 by other species of different objects, perhaps by half and half, so
 that the fancy has two for one, one bigger than two of itself, and
 sometimes the half of one and the half of another, represented in
 one; and this deception is not only incident to the fancy, but even
 to the external senses, particularly the seeing and hearing; for the
 visus, or seeing, is nothing else but the transition of the
 intentional species through the crystalline humour to the retiform
 coat of the eye, and judged by the common sense, and conveyed by the
 optic nerve to the fancy.

 Of this we have a clear demonstration from the representation of
 external objects through a crystal in glass, upon any lucid, smooth,
 and solid reflectant, placed before the glass in a dark chamber,
 which is one of the noblest experiments in the whole optics.

 Now, if these species formerly received and laid up in the brain,
 will be reversed back from the same to the retiform coat and
 crystalline humour as formerly, these is in effect a lively seeing
 and perception of the object represented by these species, as if, _de
 novo_, the object had been placed before the eye; for the organ of
 the eye had no more of it before, than now it has; just so with the
 hearing, it is nothing else but the receiving of the audible species
 to that part of the ear that is accommodated for hearing, so that
 when the species are retracted from the brain to their proper organs,
 for example, the ear and the eye, hearing and seeing are perfected,
 as if the objects had been present to influence the organs _de novo_.
 And it is not to be thought that this is a singular opinion, for
 Cardanus, an eminent author of great and universal learning and
 experience, maintains this reversion of the species, and attributes
 his own vision of trees, wild beasts, men, cities, and instructed
 battles, musical and martial instruments, from the fourth to the
 seventh year of his age, to the species of the objects he had seen
 formerly, now retracted to the organ of the eye, and cites Averroes,
 an author of greater renown for the same opinion. _See Cardanus de
 subtilitate rerum pagina trecentesima prima._

 And it seems truly to be founded upon relevant grounds. I have
 observed a sick person, that complained of great pain and molestation
 in his head, and particularly of piping and sweating in his ears,
 which seems to have been caused by the species of piping and singing
 which he had formerly heard, but were now, through the plethory of
 his head, forced out of the brain to the organ of the ear, through
 the same nerves by which they were received formerly; and why may not
 the same befall the visible species as well as the audible? which
 seems to be confirmed by the optic experiment. Take a sheet of
 painted paper and fix it in your window, looking steadfastly to it
 for a considerable time, for example, some few minutes, then close
 your eyes very strait, and place a sheet of clean paper before your
 eyes, and open your eyes suddenly, you will see the painting almost
 as lively as they were in the painted sheet with the lively colours.
 This compression of the eyes by consent, causes a compression of the
 whole brain, which forces back the visible species of the painted
 sheet to the organ of the eye, through the optic nerve, which will
 presently vanish, if the reflectant did not help to preserve them.
 You may see then how much of these representations may be within
 ourselves, abstracting from any external agent or object without the
 eye, to influence the same.

 The second thing that comes under consideration is, the influence and
 operation of external agents, namely, an angel, good or bad. It is
 not to be denied, but good angels may help and dispose all our
 faculties, excite, elevate, and set them upon edge and action;
 likewise, that evil angels may perturb, confound, and hurt, our
 external and internal senses, (when permitted) particularly by
 stirring the spirits, humours, and vapours, which of themselves, when
 so stirred, help to make many shapes and representations, either
 regular or irregular, (as has been formerly observed) and withal,
 they can colorate external objects far beyond any painter, insensibly
 to the beholder, _repente applicando activa passivis_; and that they
 can alter the medium interposed between our senses and the objects,
 by making it grosser or thinner, opaque or lucid, is a thing not to
 be questioned. For a clear proof of this I hope any rational man will
 allow me.

 That even the evil angels, who were created in a degree above us,
 must have a more penetrating wit than ours is, and having experienced
 from their creation, to this very day, and can be present to every
 experiment found out, or that is committed to writing by the art of
 man; and withal, being not subject to oblivion as man is, (for they
 have no material faculty to be obliterated), I say any rational man
 will allow me, that they can do as much, and beyond what the art of
 man is able to do; but so it is, that painters can make one object
 more pleasant than another, distorted and worse favoured than
 another,--that any smoke may engross the air,--that a cloud removed
 on or off the face of the sun, give way to the beams of it to
 illuminate the air, or to eclipse its light,--that vapours and
 exhalations, from sea and land, multiply and magnify objects,
 misshapes and distorts them, and makes them of diverse figures, all
 in an instant, which is observable in hot summer days, especially in
 the end of the canicular days, for you may readily see about three or
 four in the afternoon, the same hills (providing they are situated at
 a considerable distance from you) to be of diverse shapes, forms, and
 figures, changing very suddenly from one shape to another, for
 example, from a globe to a pyramid, from a pyramid to a quadrangular
 figure, &c. All which our ordinary multiplying, magnifying, and
 distorting glasses, produce. Moreover, that physicians can administer
 such medicines as may provoke a man to madness and rage, yea, to
 fantastic or hypochondriac fits; so also medicines that move pleasant
 and unpleasant dreams, by exciting the melancholic or sanguine
 humours, raging or peaceable dreams, by moving the choleric or
 phlegmatic humour.

 How much more can the prince of the air do, and his retinue, who is
 better seen in the nature of the elements and their compounds; who
 is better seen in the nature of trees, plants, minerals, stones, the
 secret qualities of springs and fountains, rivers and lochs, and the
 influence of celestial bodies, &c. and who is better seen in the
 constitution of every man, his customs and inclinations, and his
 present state and bygone circumstances; I say, in all these, he is
 better seen than any man, and can accommodate them to his purpose
 beyond the greatest virtuoses.

 Let us therefore consider, that an evil angel being permitted
 thereunto, can muster in our brain the latent intentional species of
 external absent objects, and can present the same to the fancy in the
 methods best fitting his purpose, and not only so in time of our
 sleep, (for then indeed the fancy sticks with more tenacity to what
 it apprehends), but also when we are not sleeping, he can deduce
 these species by forcing them out of the rooms or cells of the brain,
 to the organ of the eye and ear, and so of necessity a man either
 sitting or going in the high-way, will hear and see such things as
 these species do represent; and seeing that naturally it may be done,
 as would appear from what is above spoken from the strength and force
 of medicines to operate upon the spirits and humours of man to work
 strange things, why may not a good or bad angel excite nature to it?
 or by an immediate impulse force these material qualities to the
 organs of the external senses, as well as they can move their
 vehicles, which are the spirits and humours.

 The third thing proposed was, the connexion of these representations
 with the future contingent events that are observed to follow them,
 as for example, a second sighted man sees a winding sheet upon his
 neighbour, or blood running down his face, shoulders, or arms, he
 concludes that he must die, or be wounded in the face, shoulders, or
 arms. If you will ask what warrant he has for this, he will tell, he
 has found by experience, that whenever he saw the like of this, that
 he found death or wounds to follow. _Quaeritur_, then, what connexion
 can this representation have with an effect or contingent event not
 yet existant? For answer to this, God, who knoweth all things, no
 doubt imparteth much of the foreknowledge of things, not only to good
 angels, but also evil angels, for reasons well known to himself,
 particularly that they might give some true signs, and so have way to
 deceive in many things besides; and though the signs foretold should
 surely come to pass, it does not infer that the doctrine of evil
 angels, and their lies that they would suggest to mankind, should be
 credited. This is clear from the 13th of Deuteronomy, 1, 2, and 3,
 verses, If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams,
 and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come
 to pass whereof he spake unto thee, saying, let us go after other
 gods, (which thou has not known), and let us serve them; thou shalt
 not hearken to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams,
 for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether you love the Lord
 your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul. And this is
 very just with God when men give themselves over to a reprobate and
 wicked mind, and evil and unwarrantable practices, expressly against
 the Lord's commands; I say it is just with God to let evil angels or
 spirits delude them, and give way to these spirits in order to
 confirm their lies; to appoint signs before hand, which signs, by
 God's appointment, may come to pass, answerable to the prediction. It
 may rationally, and very probably be concluded, that Ahab's false
 prophets, in number 400, have often foretold truth; and this
 purposely by God's appointment, that they might be the better
 believed, and more easily persuade to lay siege to Ramoth Gilead; and
 it is hard to conceive that Ahab should give them so much credit, or
 they themselves so extraordinary confident, if they had not had many
 truths suggested to them, and made proof of the same to Ahab. It is
 not for nought that we are commanded to try the spirits, and that
 rather by their doctrines, than their signs and wonders, or fair and
 smooth pretences. Therefore, suppose these evil angels to know a
 contingent future event, either by a revelation, or natural or moral
 causes, they may, in the method foresaid make the representation of
 them to the eyes or ears; as for example, an angel, good or bad,
 finds that either the lungs, heart, stomach, liver, or brain, are
 under such a consumption, as may against such a time kill a man; or
 that he knows the secret contrivance of a potent party that is
 resolved to wound or kill him, or that it is revealed to him it
 should be so (which may very well be, as has been above noted), he
 can easily represent these before hand, though the event should
 follow but a considerable time thereafter; he has no more to do than
 to reverse the species of these things from a man's brain to the
 organ of the eye.

 Here ariseth a question from what has just been said, whether it be
 more probable that good angels make this representation (because men
 having this second sight are found to tell truth, and to be innocent
 in their lives, and free of any paction, either implicit or explicit,
 likewise free of any fraudulent design, and sound enough in the
 necessary articles of their salvation), or that it be done by evil
 angels for the trial of men and women, juggling with their fancy and
 external organs, and so have a patent way to tell lies among some
 truths. For answer to this question, I shall not be ready positively
 to determine these things, but I humbly conceive, that as the
 representations are oft done by evil angels, so likewise it is
 probable that it may be done by good angels. I cannot be so
 uncharitable to several men that I have known to be of considerable
 sense, and pious and good conversation, as to conclude them to be
 given over to be deluded continually by an evil angel: Moreover, I
 conceive that there are many good Christians, if they would advert
 well, that have some secret tokens and signs of notable alterations
 to come, suggested to them before hand; and that these signs, some of
 them are common to them with others, as dreaming, which are often
 observed to be completely fulfilled, and that some of the signs and
 warnings are peculiar to some persons, which fail not to answer to
 the things signified; as for example, I have certainly known a man,
 that when he found an unvoluntary motion in such a member of his
 body, particularly his right hand or right eye, that was sure that
 some matter of joy would shortly come to his hearing; and that if he
 found the same motion in the left eye or hand, it signified
 infallibly grief: And that which is more wonderful, the thing to come
 signified by these signs and warnings keeped an exact proportion with
 the continuance or vehemency of the motion; if the motion continued
 long, so did the joy or the grief; if the motion was snell or
 vehement, so was the matter of grief or joy; and finding that this
 man was both a good man, and of a right penetrating wit, and had art
 enough, it moved me to use freedom with several other good men that
 had knowledge and sense enough to examine circumstances to a hair. I
 found very many to acknowledge the very same thing, yet signified by
 different signs, (which shows they are not _signa naturalia_, but _ex
 instituto_), which puts me in mind of Dr Brown's observation to the
 same purpose, in his inquiry into vulgar errors, where he concludes
 several presentations to be acted in us by our tutelary angels that
 have the charge of us at the time. Mark this, though the signs be
 different in themselves, yet to each particular person, his own sign
 is still significative of the same thing; and why might not this of
 the second sight be counted amongst one of these? I likewise humbly
 conceive, that God might compense the want of many other gifts to
 poor men, by giving them this minor sort of knowledge. But I would
 advise all of them that have the second sight, to examine themselves,
 and to pray earnestly to God that no evil angel should have power to
 abuse their senses, because the devil still strives to imitate what
 God, or his good angels, communicates to his own children. I know
 that the common opinion of some philosophers and divines will be
 objected, and that is, that angels, good or bad, may condense the
 air, figurate and colorate the same, and make it of what figure or
 shape they please, so that this representation is made by external
 objects in effect emitting visible species to the eye; and
 consequently, that it is not the reversion of the species formerly
 received; though, as I have observed before, that good and bad angels
 can alter the medium in a strange way, and can work great alteration
 on the elements and their compounds, I think it very improbable that
 any created power can bring the air to that solidity, and actually
 condense it, colorate, and figurate it, as to represent a man by a
 beast, or Peter by Paul, especially at such a distance as from one
 side of a chamber to the other. The miracles done by the magicians of
 Egypt is their Achillean argument; but in short, I say, that what was
 done by the magicians of Egypt, has neither been a delusion of the
 senses, (as some would have it) much less that the devil could
 produce the creatures _de novo_ of condensed air, and that for the
 following reasons: _First_, thence it would follow that Moses and
 Aaron were deluded as well as the Egyptians; but the last is false,
 therefore the first: _Secondly_, it would follow, that the fashioning
 and framing of Adam's body of clay, was but a mean act of creation in
 comparison of these creatures, if they should be fashioned and framed
 of condense air, which is naturally a fluid element, not so easily
 stigmatized as the earth. I do not deny but the devil can snatch dead
 and quick bodies from one place to another, and that insensibly to
 the beholders, by pressing their optic nerves, as Franciscus Valesius
 has observed in his _Sacra Philosophia_, and I conclude with Abraham
 Couley, (no contemptible author) that the magicians of Egypt were
 after this manner served by the devil, to imitate God's power in the
 hands of Moses and Aaron. Mark, finally, if it were within the sphere
 of angelical power to take bodies of condense air, what needed them
 assume such material and earthly bodies as these angels that came to
 Abraham and Lot assumed? whose bodies could be touched and handled,
 and whose bodies were not found to yield to the touch, as the most
 condensed air must do; and it is very consisting with reason, that
 the angels, good or bad, should rather assume bodies of the element
 of the earth, which is a great deal more easily brought to the figure
 and fashion of a body, than the air. Some curious spirits, perhaps,
 may desire to know whether this second sight be hereditary or
 propagable from father to son; and I think no wonder that some would
 think so, because the sanative gift of the king's evil is lineally
 traduced to the natural heirs of the crown of England; and there is a
 whole family in Spain, that has a sanative gift of some particular
 diseases, which gift is propagated from the father to the son;
 neither is it diminished or augmented by the morality or immorality
 of the persons, as has been observed by that famous philosopher and
 physician, Franciscus Valesius, who lived in that kingdom, and had
 time and opportunity to examine the truth of this affair. In short, I
 answer, that it is not propagable from father to son, neither
 peculiar to any particular family; and as I have observed many honest
 men, free of all scandal that ever I could learn, to have it; so I
 have observed many vicious persons to have it who foretold truth oft

 Perhaps it may be doubted what should make this second sight more
 frequent here than in the heart of the kingdom; I answer, that it is
 the lack of observation and inquiry that it should not be found there
 as well as here. _Secundo_, that it passes under a great odium and
 disgrace with the most of men, which causes those that see it,
 conceal it. _Thirdly_, I confess that credulity and ignorance give
 occasion to evil spirits to juggle more frequently, than otherwise
 they would have done. But sure it is, that men of little learning and
 education may be recompensed by notable presentations, not so obvious
 to others of greater parts. I remember of a nobleman in Spain, that
 was deaf and dumb from his infancy, and yet was taught by a monk to
 speak, and understand what was spoken to him, only by observing the
 motion of his lips that spoke to him. Sir Kenelm Digby saw him, as he
 tells in his Treatise of Bodies, and the monk that taught him, was a
 cousin of Franciscus Valesius. This was more than ordinary sagacity
 and docility, and it is found, that many dumb persons foretel many
 things before hand, and it is a hard measure to conclude all to be
 from evil spirits. In fine, as I noted before, as questionless Satan
 may, and often does, deceive after this manner, so it is as sure, it
 may be allowed, that good angels may forewarn this way, as well as by
 other signs and tokens, as Dr Brown observes.

 It is observed, that those who have the second sight, have this
 representation at any time of the day, but indeed more ordinarily in
 the morning and evening, and with candle light.

 The design of these weak conceptions on this sublime theme, is not to
 impose upon any man, freely leaving every man to follow his own
 judgment in things that offend not church or state, but that others
 of greater capacity may be stimulated to prosecute the same in a
 better method, humbly submitting myself to the judgment of my
 betters, to whose hands perhaps this pamphlet may come.



  Printed by Thomas Webster.

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