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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

Issobell Watsonne (10/6/1590)

Case details

The accused Watsonne, Issobell
Start date21/4/1590
End date10/6/1590
Characterisation Demonic
Folk healing
Unorthodox religious practice
White magic

Trials associated with this case

Watsonne,Issobell Local trial

Qualitative information

Non-natural beings

NotesShe confes ed to meeting the fair folk, then the devil appeared as an angel but also in the form of a human male, who she named. She confessed that the 'fair folk' and the angel offered to protect her if she served them.

Appearance of Non-natural beings

Type of beingNotes
Maleas Thomas Murray
Spiritas angel

Demonic pact

Type of pactNotes
Anti-baptismasked to renounce god
Devil's Markon head
Devil's Markon left middle finger

Witches' Meetings

Witches' meetingYes
Food and drinkYes
NotesThe meetings were with the 'fair folk' and attended by herself and several others including Richie Graham. There is a lot about food.

Witches' Meeting Place

Place Location
above Kincardine Hilltop
between mill and park

Folk Culture

Specific ritual actsYes
Dreams and visionsYes
Unorthodox religious practiceYes
Folk NotesClaimed to have used rowan tree and a piece of a dead person's finger to cure the worm. Fairies offered her food but she refused it. Her husband took ill, then her baby was replaced with a changeling. She refused to feed it and threw it in the fire. She then promised to serve the 'fair folk' in return for her child. Said the saw Richie Graham at meetings with the 'fair folk' as well as several other people. While in prison she was visited by a man and asked to identify who had stolen his cow's milk. The man and the woman that Watsonne identified were questioned by the presbytery.

Elf/fairy elements

Group of fairies

White magic

Finding lost goods

Ritual objects

Hand (dead)
Rowan tree

Religious motif



Healing humansYes
Notes on diseaseAccused and confessed to healing a man of the worm using rowan tree.


Stirling Presbytery records CH2/722/2.