Witches accused of treason

Report on the trial of Effam Mackallean. (Catalogue ref: SP 52/47 f.66)

It was often feared that the powers of witches would be used against the King or Queen. In this source we see the judgment that one witch faced for consorting with the devil for treasonable purposes, 14 June, 1591.


  1. The Assize [a court where witches were tried] for the trial of Effam Mackallean have given their
  2. verdict, and found her guilty in nine several causes, whereof six are
  3. for witchcraft and consulting with witches, one for murdering by
  4. sorcery (the child of Captain Yowstone, son of her husband’s
  5. sister) and two for treasons against the King’s person. The first for
  6. treason for her presence at the assembly of the witches at Atkynson’s
  7. Haven, and delivering there to the devil the picture of the King to be consumed
  8. for the destruction of the King. And the second for her like presence at the
  9. convention of the witches at North Barwicke, and demanding there to
  10. have the picture mentioned to be restored to them by the devil, that
  11. they might consume for the purpose recited. The judgment shall be
  12. given tomorrow, that she shall be burnt quick, according to the laws
  13. of this realm
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