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Isobel Gowdie was a Scottish woman accused of witchcraft during the witch hunts of the 17th century. This article discusses her story, witchcraft. Isobel Gowdie, the renowned “Queen of Scottish Witches”, was a young Scottish housewife who was tried for witchcraft in Her detailed confession. The witchcraft confessions given by Isobel Gowdie (in Auldearn, Scotland in )are widely celebrated as the most extraordinary on record in Britain.

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Another blending of these two worlds was the use of Cunning Folk by the local population.

It is not mentioned if she had children, although it is recorded that she was married. Email required Address never made public. You are commenting using your WordPress. King James’ Daemonologie was one of many. She may have endured the indignity of a facing a witch pricker, one which was known to be active in Moray at the time who went by the name of John Dickson. Other have suggested that she was suffering from ergotism.

Much of what Isobel says with regard to demonology is fairly stereotypical.

There is no record of Isobel being executed although this is not unusual: You can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. According to Brodie-Innes, she was young, attractive and red-headed, her father was a lawyer, her husband was a Kirk Elder and she married beneath her station.

The Confession of Isobel Gowdie – Wikipedia

Mass hysteria surrounded the suspicion of theses women from whom confessions were extorted through torture of the severest kind. This is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. The only thing I knew before this was of the Salem witch trials. To turn into a hare Gowdie would chant: Thanks so much, Flourish! Tuesday, June 17, cdst, it was all I had. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: During the course of her imprisonment, she was interrogated by the local ministers, Isobell Forbes and Hugh Rose in the presence of at least a dozen witnesses, including a public notary John Innes.


Allegedly he had forked and cloven feet which he sometimes covered with boots or shoes. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and gwodie.

She appears as a character in the biographical novels The Devil’s Mistress by novelist and occultist J. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. We iwobel do not know if isobe of these things are true.

They applied to the Privy Council in Edinburgh, seeking a Commission of Justiciary for isobbel local trial to be held. It is unclear whether she hoped for leniency by confessing voluntarily and in such detail, or whether it was more a result of psychosis or schizophrenia she appears to have been mentally disturbed to some extent, as even the presiding judges concluded.

Witch Trials in the Seventeenth Century One of the most prodigious prosecutors of witches in the early modern age was Scotland. For this, he is celebrated by Christians in the English speaking world to this day. This was humiliating sexual abuse.

James MacMillan – The Confession of Isobel Gowdie

This supports the Maven widget and search functionality. Her detailed testimony, apparently achieved without the use of violent tortureprovides one of the most comprehensive insights into European witchcraft folklore at the end of the era of witch-hunts.

In Isobel Gowdie from Nairn confessed to having been baptised by the devil and joining a coven of 13 who met at night; she had journeyed to the centre of the earth to feast with the King and Queen of the fairies; she could fly, or become a hare, a cat or a crow; she used waxen images and bags of boiled toads to cause inflictions; she had killed a ploughman with elf-arrows the devil gave her; sometimes the devil beat her and raped her: Notify me of new posts via email.


A serious review of the data indicates that none of these people truly identified as anything other than Christian, especially in Britain by the 16th century which was a solid millennium after the conversion of England.

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Isobel Gowdie

Cunning women and men were consulted for other things as well, such as to identify a thief, to discover if they had been cursed and to lift the curse, or if the site for a potential new home building would upset the local fairies. Isobel claimed that, transformed into the likeness of a crow, she sneaked into the cellars and kitchens of local castles and houses to eat their gowfie, steal ale from barrels and perform magical rituals.

It seems probable that Isobel Gowdie had little or no education. So the parts of Isobel’s testimony that line up with what the majority of other confessions said, and that jives with the content of these witch hunting manuals, we can assume she was coaxed into saying.