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exhibition consists of images of documents which
illustrate the part played by Scottish burghs in
seventeenth century witch-hunts. The documents concerned
are among the records of the burgh of Dumfries,
and date from 1650 to 1671. The original documents
will be on display in Dumfries Museum as part of
the conference: COVENS AND COVENANTERS: Witchcraft
and Religion in South West Scotland.
The Conference will be held on Saturday 11 May
2002 in Easterbrook Hall, The Crichton, Bankend
Road, Dumfries, and is part of Dumfries &
Galloway's Local History Week 2002. For further
information and a booking form click
Burghs and witch-hunts
Those accused of witchcraft
were prosecuted by ecclesiastical and criminal
courts in Scotland, but burghs were invaluable
to witch-hunters as a civil power which could
incarcerate suspected witches, accommodate the
court or judicial commission which tried them,
and carry out the execution (which in Scotland
was normally strangulation followed by burning).
Burgh records contain evidence of witch-hunts,
trials and executions, as this exhibitions shows.
The images also illustrate the problems associated
with documents of this period, including difficult
Map showing the location of the two burghs which
feature in the documents.
More information about the history
of witchcraft and witch-hunts in Scotland can be found
in the Knowledge Base by clicking
The Scottish Archive Network
is grateful to Miss Marion Stewart MBE, Archivist for
Dumfries and Galloway Council for her help in the mounting
of this online exhibition.