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1598 - 1598
a wife attacks her husband in Stirling

many marital disputes came before the kirk sessions, the local church courts, which were established in the parishes after the Reformation. The kirk session often acted as mediator in such disputes but also punished spouses who had attacked their partners as here. Note the kirk session (the brethren) ask the baillies, the civil magistrates to punish the offender. See Margo Todd, The Culture of Protestantism in Early Modern Scotland, 286-90 for other examples


23 March 1598

Appeared Margaret Schort spouse of Alexander Cousland, who being accused for abusing of her husband several times within the past three weeks, as she has done before, she confesses that upon some words spoken by him, she 'mintit ane shoull to him, [threw a shovel at him], that she cust in his faice ane cop wt aill [she cast in his face a cup with ale] and that thrugh angir she hes spokin angrie wordis to him And hes scartit [has scratched] his face' for the which faults and several other injuries done by her to her said husband before 'not regairding his lyf'', the brethren desire the baillies to punish her publicly whereby she may be moved to abstain from the like in tome coming and that others may take example.


NAS, CH2/1026/1/2 Holyrude Kirk Session, Stirling, p.13. Translated from Scots by E. Ewan

Tags: domestic abuse