‘In fact, there is a good deal of evidence of James’ personal involvement; and the origins of the Daemonologie can be traced to his part in bringing the witches of North Berwick to trial in Edinburgh in 1590-1’
King James VI of Scotland was a ‘devout’ king who feared both Witch craft and treason. He was traditionally seen as the ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’, perhaps because he was an intelligent man but he did not remember important information. It has been argued that James VI was relevant to the development of witch hunting in Scotland. After the 1590 Witch Trial in North Berwick, King James wrote his ‘treatise’ called ‘Daemonologie’, where he warned the readers of the danger that the Devil can cause towards Christianity.
The aim of this essay is prove that James VI was relevant to the development of witch-hunting in Scotland.
The concept of a witch has been around forever, and during the rule of King James VI all witches were seen as evil, there was no such thing as a good witch. Witches were mostly commonly older women, who were outcasts from society. The key traits of being a witch were meeting in covens, or sabbats, as they were known for at that point in time, plotting against Christian’s, and those who believe in God. It was believed that the devil gave witches the power to fly. Witches were thought to have a contract with the devil himself, and the devil would mark her/him by punching, biting or marking their body. For a witch to be convicted their body had to be searched for the ‘devil’s mark’ . There was a wide spectrum of alleged marks, ranging from moles to insensitivity to pain, or not bleeding when pricked. The devil’s mark was u...
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...dam and Eve, ‘by the Serpents deceiving of Eva at the beginning’, he is seen as a relevant factor to the witch hunts in Scotland through his religion and not just his ‘treatise’
In the Christian religion witches were seen as the ultimate threat. They were believed to be plotting against the Christian religion, and making plans to take it down. Witches were directly associated with the Devil, and the church was afraid that the Devil was working to destroy God. . “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” Exodus 22:18 . The devil was believed to have a strong influence over witches, and it was not an unknown fact that the devil posed a serious threat to Christianity. Anyone in society who did not conform to the standard way of Christianity could be seen as a witch and accused very easily. ‘their general method of practising witchcraft through the Sacraments of the Church’
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