Map of Scots women accused of witchcraft published for first time

A map that tracks more than 3,000 Scots women who were accused of being witches in the 16th and 17th Century has been published for the first time.

Thursday, 26th September 2019, 07:38 am
A section of map which shows where Scotland's accused 'witches' lived. It also shows where the women were detained and executed. PIC: Contributed.

The interactive document has been created by data experts at the University of Edinburgh.

It builds on the university's breakthrough work on the Scottish Witchcraft Survey which brought to life the persecution of women during the period, with many burned at the stake or drowned.

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A section of map which shows where Scotland's accused 'witches' lived. It also shows where the women were detained and executed. PIC: Contributed.

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Now, users can move through a map of Scotland to see where the accused witches lived as well as the towns and villages where they were detained, punished and executed.

Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh, said: "The map is a really effective way to connect where we are now to these stories of the past.

"There is a very strong feeling out there that not enough has been done to inform people about the women who were accused of being witches in Scotland There is still this Halloween concept surrounding them.

"The tragedy is that Scotland had five times the number of executions of women. The idea of being able to plot these on a map really brings it home. These places are near everyone.

"There does seem to be a growing movement that we need to be remembering these women, remembering what happened and understanding what happened."

Intern Emma Carroll worked for three months collating the historical information and plotting the locations on the map of Scotland.

Mr McAndrew added: "It took quite a lot of detective work to create this map as a lot of these places don't exist anymore."

Mr McAndrew works within the university to help staff and students better the quality of information on Wikipedia.

As part of this, around 20 women accused of witchcraft in Scotland now have their own Wikipedia page.

To view the map, visit https://witches.is.ed.ac.uk/