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1575 - 1576
'superstitious practices' in Aberdeen

The Reformed Kirk frowned on certain leisure activities such as 'guising' , dressing up in disguise, or in the clothes of the opposite sex. Here some women in Aberdeen are in trouble with the kirk session for such activities, possibly associated with a former medieval religious festival. The fact that the scribe left blanks for two forenames suggests that the women were not well-known to the kirk session.


10th January, 1576.


The said day, the session decreed that if Christian Fodringame, Isobel Fraser, [blank] Burnett, [blank] Raitt, with their accomplices, tried now as dancers in men's clothes, under silence of night, in houses and through the town, be found in any time coming in the like fault, they shall be debarred from all benefit of the kirk, and this openly proclaimed in the pulpit.


The said day, the sessioun decreit that giff Christan Fodringame, Isobel Fraser, [blank] Burnett, [blank] Raitt, with thair complices, tryit presentlie as dansares in mennes claythes, vnder silence of nycht, in houses and throcht the toun, beis funding heirefter in the lyk falt, thai sall be debarrit fray all benefite of the kirk, and oppinlie proclamit in pulpeit.



Selections from the Records of the Kirk Session, Presbytery, and Synod of Aberdeen ed John Stuart (Aberdeen: Spalding Club, 1846), p.22. Translation E. Ewan


Tags: guising