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Scottish Trials

The Trial of Mary Queen of Scots BookThe Trial of Mary Queen of Scots: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford Series in History & Culture) This text is a documentary history of the trial of Mary Queen of Scots. A 35-page introduction offers students background on the trial and broader context on the political and social history of 16th century England. The introduction is followed by approximately 100 pages of documents, trial records, speeches, letters, and accounts of the trial by contemporaries. Questions are also included for consideration. Scottish Trials.

The Last ClansmanCulloden and the Last Clansman On 14 May, 1752, Colin Campbell, government appointed manager of the Ardsheil estate in nearby Duror, was shot dead on his way to evict Duror's farming tenants. Despite never finding the actual gunman, politicians in London insisted someone must pay. The sacrificial victim was to be James Stewart who, from his Duror home, had been organizing resistance to the dead man's planned evictions. He was arrested and hanged close to the murder scene, his body left suspended there for several years as a grim warning to anyone else thinking of challenging the state. That execution was very much a consequence of the Highland uprising which ended at Culloden in April 1746. Stewart was an officer in a rebel army at Culloden opposed to state-backed repression of the sort inflicted on his community when British troops were sent north to bring highlanders like him to heel. A profoundly political piece of terrorism, Colin Campbell's killing rocked Scotland and Britain in the 18th century. Ever since the fatal shot was fired in 1752, people have argued as to who exactly pulled the trigger. This is a story replete with sacrifice, suffering and intrigue, with bitter family feuds and intense ideological rivalries. At its centre is Culloden Veteran James Stewart who, for all his flaws, was passionately committed to a Highland way of life which, in the years following Culloden, Britain was pledged to root out and eradicate. When they hung James Stewart, they hung the last clansman. Scottish Trials.

The Great Scottish Witch-huntAn Abundance of Witches: The Great Scottish Witch-hunt The first history of the most intense period of witch-hunting in Scotland between 1658-62. Scotland, in common with the rest of Europe, was troubled from time to time by outbreaks of witchcraft which the authorities sought to contain and then to suppress, and the outbreak of 1658-1662 is generally agreed to represent the high water mark of Scottish persecution. These were peculiar years for Scotland. For nine years Scotland was effectively an English province with largely English officials in charge. In 1660 this suddenly changed. So the threat to Church and state from a plague of witches was particularly disturbing. The tension between imported official English attitudes to witchcraft and the revived fervour of Calvinist religion combined to produce a peculiar atmosphere in which the activities of witches drew hostile attention to an unprecedented degree.

Murder in Victorian ScotlandMurder in Victorian Scotland: The Trial of Madeleine Smith A look at the life and 1857 trial of Madeleine Smith, the young Scottish woman accused of poisoning an undesired suitor. This book uses analyses of Smith's correspondence with the victim and her trial testimony to reveal much about Victorian society, Scottish law and the woman who received the nebulous verdict of "not proven". The verdict "not proven" is unique in Scotland: while allowing a defendant to go free, the verdict often carries a stigma, as it not only indicates that the prosecution failed to prove its case, but also states that the defence failed to convince the jury of the defendant's innocence. Emile L'Angelier, the son of a working-class family from the Channel Islands, and Madeleine Smith, the daughter of a wealthy Glasgow family, were never properly introduced; however, they carried on an illicit affair that would end in tragedy. The absence of a clear verdict in this murder trial rocked Victorian Scotland and England. The story of the young girl who (presumably) poisoned her secret lover so that she could go forward with a family-arranged marriage would live on in print, on stage and on the screen throughout the following century and a half. By analyzing the correspondence between Madeleine and Emile, the criminal trial testimony, and the pathology reports on Emile's body, "Murder in Victorian Scotland" gives a complete picture of the events surrounding this infamous crime. This book shows Madeleine's rise from an anonymous defendant into one of the leading social celebrities of the day. An in-depth look at the writings of Madeleine's biographers details the variety of ways in which Madeleine and Emile were depicted, various theories regarding the facts of the alleged crime, and the folklore mystique that surrounds the notorious case. "Murder in Victorian Scotland" provides valuable insight into the limited world of Victorian women and the great divide between social classes that doomed the daring relationship even before it had begun. Scottish Trials.

Witches of FifeThe Witches of Fife: Witch-hunting in a Scottish Shire, 1560-1710 Along the coast of Fife, in villages like Culross and Pittenweem, historical markers and pamphlets now include the fact that some women were executed as witches within these burghs. Still the reality of what happened the night that Janet Cornfoot was lynched in the harbour is hard to grasp as one sits in the harbour of Pittenweem watching the fishing boats unload their catch and the pleasure boats rising with the tide. How could people do this to an old woman? Why was no-one ever brought to justice? And why would anyone defend such a lynching? The task of the historian is to try to make events in the past come alive and seem less strange. This is particularly true in the case of the historian dealing with the witch-hunt. The details are fascinating. Some of the anecdotes are strange. The modern reader finds it hard to imagine illness being blamed on the malevolence of a beggar woman denied charity. It is difficult to understand the economic failure of a sea voyage being attributed to the village hag, not bad weather. Witch-hunting was related to ideas, values, attitudes and political events. It was a complicated process, involving religious and civil authorities, village tensions and the fears of the elite. The witch-hunt in Scotland also took place at a time when one of the main agendas was the creation of a righteous or godly society. As a result, religious authorities had control over aspects of the lives of the people which seem every bit as strange to us today as might any beliefs about magic or witchcraft. That the witch-hunt in Scotland, and specifically in Fife, should have happened at this time was not accidental. This book tells the story of what occurred over a period of a century and a half, and offers some explanation as to why it occurred. Scottish Trials.

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