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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How could anything someone says under torture have any bearing on our understanding of the witch trials? Super Hub Carolyn- well researched and superbly written.

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. For example, her descriptions are dominated by maleficium, or the use of malicious magic, following many of the standard rituals found in other witch trials.

The Confession of Isobel Gowdie – Wikipedia

This may have included the use of thumb screws and the iron boot. We will continue with Isobel’s confessions further below. They used herbs, charms, the laying on gowde hands, energy work, and other means to cure disease. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

Isobel Gowdie

Some articles say that she was well educated and ” married below her class. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

Searches for a witch-mark or witch-pricking. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. She claimed to have a secret name originally Janet, and then as the queen or maiden of the coven, Jean Martenand would engage in isoel with the male members of the coven at rituals held every quarter.


Hi Frienderal, thank you for reading, I’m so glad you enjoyed it: She expanded on details about the coven by providing the ggowdie of its members and as many of the spirits that waited on them as she could remember; her own servant spirit, dressed in black, was called the Read Reiver.

I appreciate the depth of your information and references provided. He signed a law in which made the torture of witches legal, and he is said to have attended witch trials personally. Even spotted your deliberate typo in the ‘In Conclusion’ section to make sure we stayed with it until the end!

This was considered to be legal, and there were people employed as witch-prickers. Bowdie campaigns in England began in the 6th century, so by the 16th and 17th centuries, obviously the process was complete. It is speculated that other groups like this may have existed throughout Europe.

There is no official record of her ever being executed, although some stories say that she was first hanged and then burned for good measure. Isobl possible that even if Margaret Murray’s methods were flawed, that perhaps her theory was not too far off.

June 19th, 1 Comment. Isobel describes a ritual whereby a sickness is diverted from a bewitched child onto its cradle belt and finally onto a cat or a dog. It was an instant success, receiving, according to the critic Stephen Johnson, “an ovation the like of which had rarely been seen at a British premiere since the death of Benjamin Britten “.

The burning of the deceased body was to ensure that no postmortem sorcery could occur. Views Read Edit View history. On behalf of the Scottish people the work craves absolution and offers Isobel Gowdie the mercy and humanity that was denied her in the last days of her life.


However, like any other profession, gowdid were good ones and then there were charlatans. In America, everyone knows of the infamous Salem witch trials gowddie took place from tobut in Europe, witch burning was also all too gowrie, and went on for much longer.

This is another very interesting hub, Carolyn. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Isobel claimed that her coven had killed with these arrows, as death was inevitable if struck by one of them. There are no surviving records from the time and she made no reference to children in any of her confessions. This is a very informative and interesting article that is very well researched.

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

This does not mean that Isobel iwobel not tortured by modern day standards but likely escaped the horrors of judicial torture or illegal physical torture using a torture device. Six women confessed, probably under torture, to having had caused the storm through supernatural means. 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.

However, there were many different forms of torture as seen below:

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