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


Petitioner: Claire Mitchell QC


Closing Date for Online Petition: 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.

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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?

Long overdue. Criminal negligence in itself.

Angela Jeffs

12:15 on 24 Feb 2021

Those wronged are long overdue a pardon and should rest in peace

Nessue Reilly

13:24 on 23 Feb 2021

If there is any such way to honour our fore-bearers so unfairly convicted and cruelly punished, I am all for that!

Jennifer Marie Gillmor

19:03 on 22 Feb 2021

Important to right these wrongs.

Naomi McAuliffe

23:01 on 21 Feb 2021

For me, magic is real. I am sure that at least some of the women who were accused of witchcraft also believed in some form of what we now call magic. Yes, I believe these women need to receive a profound public apology for what they experienced. But perhaps not an apology for being what they very well could have been. Witches in the most real and positive sense of the term.

Sara de Rose

20:07 on 21 Feb 2021

As a child I lived on the UK. At age six I saw a 'dunking machine' like a teeter totter, over a river, that was used to hold 'witches' and adulterors under water, and heard the explanation that this was punishment levied usually without a trial, and punishment for being suspected of being a witch or an adulteror was public shaming and drowning. I have never forgotten how I felt, seeing that, and knowing in that instant how evil and unjust people were. In later years I realized that the 'witch' was often a woman who lived alone in the forest just outside town, a woman so well acquainted with plants and their healing properties that she was often sought out by townspeople suffering all kinds of ailments who then took her herbs and were healed. Only when the 'law' accused her of witchcraft no one dared to stand up for her and instead witnessed her being cruelly and publicly tortured to death. I picture now this pardon and asking for forgiveness from the spirits of those brave women, and from their descendants, and a beautiful artistic memorial being built to honour those brave and intelligent souls.

Raje Harwood

18:46 on 21 Feb 2021

These were real people with lives and families, who suffered horrendous fates for no good reason. They deserve to be to be remembered as such, rather than reduced to caricature and novelty.

Laura Darling

14:41 on 21 Feb 2021

Long overdue - time to try and make small amends to all those poor folk and families who suffered.

Hazel Robinson

11:21 on 21 Feb 2021

We do not believe in satanic or his works, witchcraft is all about good health, love and harmony

Louise Dailly

9:23 on 21 Feb 2021

I support this petition in support of all Persecuted women

Petra Coveney

8:38 on 21 Feb 2021

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