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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

Weir,Bessie (14/2/1677)

Trial process details

Associated case Weir,Bessie  (1677)
Trial process type Mixed central/local

Pre-trial central actions

Commissions

Commissioning body Commission type Date Notes
Privy Council Justiciary 18/1/1677

Pre-trial local actions

Imprisonments

Date Prison Location
1/1677 Tolbooth Paisley

Other information

Arrest Yes
Fled Yes

Pre-trial notes

Commission for trial issued although suspect already imprisoned. Commission specified no torture. The text is in JC10/4. Weir escaped from prison and fled to the parish of Carmanack (?Kilmarnock) where she pretended to be Bessie Aikin, married to a man named Chrystie in Glasgow.

Trial phase

Trial date14/2/1677
Place of trial - parishP/ST/1328
Place of trial - presbyteryPaisley
Place of trial - countyRenfrew
Place of trial - burghPaisley
VerdictGuilty
SentenceExecution
Local trial with central representativeYes
General trial notesShe had a Privy Council commission for trial, and was tried in front of what looks like a local trial with central representation. Edinburgh officials were sent out to the trial, and the trial appears in the minute books of the circuit court.

People involved with trial

Name Involvement
Robert Alexander Prosecutor
George Ross Judge

Post-trial phase

ExecutionYes
Execution methodStrangle & Burn
Execution date20/2/1677
Execution locationGallow Green
Execution place - parishPaisley
Post-trial notesbetween 2-4 in the afternoon