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Title: The 1649-50 Scottish witch-hunt : with particular reference to the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale
Author: Hughes, Paula
ISNI:       0000 0001 3583 9605
Awarding Body: University of Strathclyde
Current Institution: University of Strathclyde
Date of Award: 2008
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Between April 1649 and July 1650, over 500 people were accused of witchcraft in Scotland. This period represented one of the five "peaks" in witch-hunting in early modern Scotland identified by Christina Larner in her landmark work on the Scottish witch-hunts, Enemies of God (1983). To this date there has been no in depth study of the 1649-50 Scottish witch-hunt. This thesis offers an examination of the 1649-50 witch-hunt, considering the response of the central authorities to the outbreak of witch-hunting in the localities and the efforts to organise and control the witch-hunt. It also considers the actions of the local presbyteries and kirk sessions in the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale in responding to community pressure for action on suspected witches. A unique approach has been adopted in considering the nature of Covenanting government and how it shaped the central response to the witch-hunt and the attempts to control the witch-hunt "from above". This thesis combines an examination of the volatile political situation in 1649-50 with an analysis of the complex social nature of witchcraft accusations. This thesis brings together the social and political history of the period in the context of explaining the 1649-50 witch-hunt, with particular regard to the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral