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1589 - 1590
a suspected witch in East Lothian

An accusation was made against Anny (Agnes) Sampson that she was a witch but no grounds were found at first for the charge. It appears that the case was not carried any further at first as the Haddington Presbytery was reluctant, but she was later charged as one of the North Berwick witches, as was Janet Ga (Gaw) mentioned in the last entry below. See the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft under Agnes Samson



1 April 1589

Anent the complaint gevin in aganes the presbiterie of Hadingtoun for not calling Anny Sampsone before thame sche being ane indweller in Keyth Merschell within the boundis of thair prebiterie being suspect of witchecraft, quhais answer to the said complaint being hard beiring that they can find no ground quhairupon to accuse her of, upon the quhilk it is ordanit that they call hir before thame and efter tryell if ony may be had that they tak ordour with hir, and for furdering heirof it is ordanit that all brethren that can get ony thing tryit aganis the said Anny, suspect as said is, gif in the samin within xv dayis nixt efter the dait heirof

16 Sept 1589

Anent the ordinance maid in the last synodall of Lowthian ordaning the prebiterie of Hadingtone to call before [thame] Anny Sampsoun suspect of witchecraft and efter tryall gif ony may be had of hir that they tak ordour wiht hir sa far as they may ex officio, the assemble finding thair greit negligence in not calling of hir hes ordaint that according to the said ordinance they call hir before thame and that Mr Adam Johnnstoun and Mr Georg Ramsay concure with thame to this effect for tryell of hir

5 May 1590

Anent the ordinance of the last provinciall assemble maid at Edinburgh the xvj of September last ordaning the presbyterie of Hadingtoun to call before thame Anny Sampsoun, suspect of witchcraft, and efter tryell hif ony mycht be had to proceid aganis hir sa far as they mycht ex officio, the assemble finding sum diligence ussut be thame hes ordanit thame to use farder diligence, according to the said ordinance, and also to sute of the kingis majestie a commissioun for apprehending of hir

7 May 1590

Hadington: In the tryell of the brethre of the presbiterie of Hadingtoun, they being inquyrit how farr they had procedit with Anny Sampsone and Jonet Ga, suspect of the art of witchecraft, answerit as for Jonet Ga they had done nothing, bot with Anny Sampsone they wer begun and enterit. The assemble hes ordanit that they insist presequuting the sam.


The Records of the Synod of Lothian and Tweeddale 1589-1596,1640-1649 ed James Kirk (Edinburgh: The Stair Society, vol 30, 1977) 5,12,17,22

Tags: witchhunt North Berwick