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Survey of Scottish Witchcraft Database

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft
Scottish History, School of History and Classics, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Woodcut of a witch trial

Janet McNicol (15/10/1673)

Case details

The accused McNicol, Janet
Start date22/1/1662
End date15/10/1673
Characterisation Demonic
Implicated by another witch
Unorthodox religious practice
Notes on characterisationConfession of pact.
Notes on caseInitally accused in 1662.

People involved in case

Name Involvement in case Notes
Ninian Bannatyne Prosecutor
Archibald Bannatyne Chancellor
John Campbell Investigator
Colin Campbell Prosecutor
John Glass Investigator
Donald MacGilchrist Investigator
Thomas MacKinlay Investigator
Duncan MacNicoll Investigator
Henry Melis Prosecutor
John Stewart Investigator
Robert Stewart Investigator
Robert Wallace Investigator

Trials associated with this case

McNicol,Janet Local trial
McNicol,Janet Mentioned in a trial
McNicol,Janet (trial date 15/10/1673) Local trial

Qualitative information

Non-natural beings

NotesDevil in the form of a leper which she confessed she knew to be an evil spirit. In 1662 she confessed that she met 2 men, one was a gross copperfaced man whom she knew was an evil spirit, the other was a well favoured young man.

Appearance of Non-natural beings

Type of beingNotes
Malegross copperfaced man
Malewell-favoured young man

Demonic pact

Type of pactNotes
New nameMary Lykeas
Want nothing

Witches' Meetings

Witches' meetingYes
Devil presentYes
NotesConfessed that she met others at Bute Quay and she fell in the water but the good looking man pulled her out.

Witches' Meeting Place

Place Location
Bute Quau Shore

Folk Culture

Unorthodox religious practiceYes

Calendar customs

All Saints Day


Notes on diseaseconfessed several acts of malefice but no details.


Argyll Justiciary Records Vol 1, p 20-1.
Highland Papers Vol III, pp 13-14, 26