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1604 - 1604
blasphemous speech in Dundonald parish

The Kirk Session heard many cases in the local community including cases of blasphemy against the teachings of the church. Sometimes these cases provide an insight into the beliefs of ordinary individuals as in this case, where a beggar woman expresses skepticism about some of these teachings. Although the Session ordered the women to appear again in a week's time, there are no further records of the case. The original Scots entry follows the translation.


1 April 1604

Margaret Underwood and Ellen White, beggars, refrainers from attending Communion, leading their lives prophanely, appearing before the Session, were accused of the same and granted that the charges were true.  And especially the said Margaret Underwood was accused of blasphemous speech in saying ‘Christ would not be so silly as to have died for her’,  and she admitted she said the same in foolishness. The Session postponed the case until the next week’s court and ordered them to appear then.

Margaret Vndervod and Ellein Quhyt, beggeris, byders fra the Commvnioun, leidand thair lyf prophanelie, compeirand befoir the  Sessioun, ves accused thairfoir and grantit that var sa, and speciall the said Margare Vndervod accused of hir blasphemous speich in saying Christ vald not bein sa daft as to haif died for hir, grantit scho swa said of witlesnes. The Sessioun continewit thame till this day aucht dayes and thai warned thairvnto apud acta


The Session Book of Dundonald 1602-1731 transcribed Henry Paton (Private Circulation, 1936), p. 49. Translation E. Ewan

Tags: Dundonald