Women executed 300 years ago as witches in Scotland set to receive pardons
300 years later, people tried as witches could receive apologies, via The Guardian
From allegations of cursing the king’s ships, to shape-shifting into animals and birds, or dancing with the devil, a satanic panic in early modern Scotland meant that thousands of women were accused of witchcraft in the 16th-18th centuries with many executed.
Now, three centuries after the Witchcraft Act was repealed, campaigners are on course to win pardons and official apologies for the estimated 3,837 people – 84% of whom were women – tried as witches, of which two-thirds were executed and burned.
After a two-year campaign by the Witches of Scotland group, a member’s bill in the Scottish parliament has secured the support of Nicola Sturgeon’s administration to clear the names of those accused, the Sunday Times reported. The move follows a precedent by the Massachusetts House of Representatives in the US that proclaimed victims of the Salem witch trials innocent in 2001.
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