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  Taking into custody - order for delivery to the Steward Depute

Order from the Steward Depute to the Provost of Dumfries to deliver up five women held under suspicion of witchcraft in Dumfries tolbooth. Dated 6 June 1671 (Dumfries & Galloway Council Archives, reference DUMFM:0202.2).

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This document and the following two provide evidence of the co-operation of judicial and civil authorities in bringing suspected witches to trial. The five suspects had been apprehended by the burgh of Dumfries and the Commission of Justicary sent to try them had ordered that they be handed over to the Steward of Kirkcudbright (or his deputes) for delivery to Kirkcudbright to stand trial. Kirkcudbrightshire was unusual in that it was administered as a stewartry rather than a sheriffdom. By this document the Steward Depute requests that the Provost send to him the order from the Lords of Justiciary, and to deliver up the suspects the following Thursday morning. They were to be tied up with "small cords" and handed over at the end of Dumfries Bridge at sunrise. The Steward Depute would then be responsible for their delivery to Kirkcudbright.