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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The Confession of Isobel Gowdiea work for symphony orchestra, was composed by James MacMillan as a requiem for her. Views Read Edit View history. There are no surviving records from the time and she made no reference to children in any of her confessions.

The term folk religion is used to describe the phenomena when remnants of indigenous religion are retained and mixed with the new organized religion. During the course of her confession, Isobel Gowdie implicated another twelve people as witches, the members of her coven.

Isobel Gowdie

Much of what Isobel says with regard to demonology is fairly stereotypical. We do not know what her age was, but as the legal age for marriage in Scotland at the time was fifteen years old, we can assume she had to be older than this. Fatigue and sleep deprivation impair decision making and increase suggestibility. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

Isobel Gowdie was a difficult assignment for us.

The trial of Isobel Gowdie Scotland’s ‘Queen of Witches’

How could anything someone says under torture have any bearing on our understanding of the witch trials? Isobel was a young woman at the time of her trial. Robert, it took me ages to find a good picture!

Her story is significant because she gave an elaborate confession filled with elements of fantasy and sheer magic. She was married to John Gilbert, who had no involvement with the witchcraft lsobel.

Descriptions of dining with the Devil and his beating of coven members and their responses to it are recounted.

We must remember that the local priests and pastors were also country people who lived within the same community. As they had no bows, the arrows were fired using a flick on the thumb. This is the woman who gave the world the notion of a coven. This is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal.


This theory has had serious criticism since Murray’s day, and much of this is due to Murray’s non-academic research and reporting methods. Lots of people will be benefited from your writing.

ieobel No data is shared with Facebook unless isoel engage with this feature. There is no record of Isobel being executed although this is not unusual: Subscribe to our email newsletters. Levack describes Gowdie’s initial statement as “one of the most remarkable documents in the history of witchcraft” [83] with academic Julian Goodare [89] referring to her as “one of the most famous of all Scottish witches” [17] whose “extraordinary confessions” [17] include “some of the most remarkable [visionary activities] on record”.

No data is gpwdie with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. Isobel Gowdie and the Arts Isobel Gowdie has achieved modern notoriety, as she has been the subject of several modern works. By the way, I also meant to gowdid that gowwdie choice of picture for the top of the hub is perfect: It is, according to the composer, a Requiem for one Isobel Gowdiesupposedly burnt as a witch in post- Reformation Scotland.

He is idobel well known for this, and for commissioning the King James Bible. Yet, much of Isobel’s testimony bears a stronger resemblance to the shape shifting and astral journeying shamans of Siberia than what her prosecutors were expecting her to say. Her trialhowever, became the keystone of a new wave of persecutions in Scotland during the reign of Charles II -and it confirmed the view of witchcraft as a post-Christian Satanic cult rather than the surviving religion of pre-Christian Europe that the Christian authorities had been attempting to use to support their persecution of witches since the end of the 15th Century.

So, it turns out that there might have actually been a wide spread agrarian fertility cult around Europe during the period of the witch trials. Tuesday, June 17, cdst, it was all I had. This is another very interesting hub, Carolyn. We do not know if she had any children.

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. This is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons. But, many people don’t know about his role in the Scottish witch hunts. When he visited Denmark, he found that witchcraft was a hot topic there, and witch trials were going on with much more vigor than in his own country. What happened to these wretches, we will never know.


The early modern period saw the Scottish courts trying many cases of witchcraft [3] and witch hunts began in about Voted way up and sharing, pinning. Conversion campaigns in England began in the 6th century, so by the 16th and 17th centuries, obviously the process was complete. This site uses cookies. The panel of interrogators felt there was ample evidence to secure a conviction against Gowdie so they applied to the Privy Council in Edinburgh seeking a Commission of Justiciary for a local trial to be held.

Info on King James is always useful info when speaking to certain Christians who insist that The King James Bible is the only authorized translation. It is an extraordinary fact that in the centuries before the Reformation the number of known executions for witchcraft in Scotland was in single figures; but in the years between and as many as 4, Scots perished because their contemporaries thought they were witches.

Funerary and memorial compositions Compositions by James MacMillan compositions Compositions for symphony orchestra. Church courts were never legally allowed to use direct torture to obtain a confession. Of course, they were making a living off of these things. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew Black and The Mask of Reason with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Having admitted to entering into a pact with the Devil, she then disclosed that she had carnal relations with him, kissed his behind and that she met with him in groups as well as on her own.