PE01855: Pardon and memorialise those convicted under the Witchcraft Act 1563


Petitioner: Claire Mitchell QC


Date Lodged: 17 March 2021

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to pardon, apologise and create a national monument to memorialise those people in Scotland accused and convicted as witches under the Witchcraft Act 1563.

Between 1563 and 1736, the years when the Witchcraft Act 1563 was law, there were 4 periods of “satanic panic” which resulted in approximately 4000 people being accused as witches. Of those 4000, academics estimate that approximately 2500 were executed. 

To bring these people some justice and to memorialise their memory appropriately, we are calling for—

  • A pardon for those convicted,
  • An apology for all those accused and
  • A national monument

Do you agree?

A worthwhile endeavour, hopefully the pardons will follow and despite the passage of time, justice will be served.

Ann Bovill

23:15 on 17 Mar 2021

For all of the powerful women of history, currently and for our future.

Jacki Middaugh

22:24 on 17 Mar 2021

We cannot right the wrongs of the past without acknowledging them and their devastating impact and needless suffering over the ages. The least we can do now is to seek both pardon and publicly mark a day of mourning for families of those who lost loved ones. History has to reflect wrongful actions and consequences whose families were forever blemished by this. When we know better we have to do better and commemorate worldwide a day to mark their memory.

Rosemary Venditozzi

21:11 on 17 Mar 2021

I think this would be a valuable marker of our commitment to oppose misogyny in all of its forms.

Tom Donald

19:54 on 17 Mar 2021

The majority of the women concerned were misunderstood by (patriarchal) society. They deserve better. Apologies and pardons are long overdue.

Margo Hutchison

19:26 on 17 Mar 2021

These women deserve our respect, compassion and recognition so long overdue.

Jacqueline Kay

19:24 on 17 Mar 2021

I'm sure I must be related to one of these women.

Janice Easson

19:08 on 17 Mar 2021

My family is from Aberdeen and I'm pretty sure we lost a few relatives to the pyres. It's time for Scotland to make amends for these horrendous crimes against women and the marginalized.

Jacqueline McCarley

19:00 on 17 Mar 2021

A memorial to those women cruelly persecuted in the past will also serve to show that female human beings continue to be oppressed on the basis of their sex.

Catherine Cameron

18:55 on 17 Mar 2021

About time we righted this shameful period in our history. A pardon, apology and memorial are long overdue.

Gillian Fox

18:54 on 17 Mar 2021

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