Panic and persecution: witch-hunting in East Lothian, 1628-1631
Robertson, Elizabeth J.
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The Project is a regional case study of East Lothian during the national witchcraft panic of 1628-30. Events in East Lothian are considered, as are important individuals involved with cases in the county, some of whom may also have been involved in investigations further afield, particularly in Berwickshire. The project attempts to catalogue events as they occurred during the development, main body and decline of the panic. Using the evidence uncovered for this regional hunt, existing historiographical arguments will be discussed and larger topics of enquiry will be considered. Specific questions include: How do trial records reflect elite and common beliefs in witchcraft? What evidence is there for the existence of belief in fairies and the witch's familiar? Why did the panic develop and end when it did? What is the role of religious authorities compared to their secular counterparts? Does the witch stereotype break down in a period of intense hunting? The primary goal is to analyse events in East Lothian in order to determine how the trials in this region reveal more about the characteristics of witchhunting during a panic period, when trials take on a serial quality.