Witchcraft in Kinross-shire, Being Full Details of Criminal Trials for Witchcraft and Sorcery at Crook of Devon in 1662. Robert BURNS BEGG, signed.
Witchcraft in Kinross-shire, Being Full Details of Criminal Trials for Witchcraft and Sorcery at Crook of Devon in 1662.

Witchcraft in Kinross-shire, Being Full Details of Criminal Trials for Witchcraft and Sorcery at Crook of Devon in 1662.

Kinross, Scotland: George Barnet, ND. (circa 1889?). First Edition. Softcover. Booklet. 66pp. Printed parchment wrappers over limp paper boards. "Printed for private circulation" printed on front wrapper and title-page. Presentation inscription by the author on the blank opposite the title-page reads "To David Young Esq. / with the warm regards of / R. Burns Begg [signature] / The Witch Hole / Kinross 16 April 1889." An extremely scarce booklet by Robert Burns Begg (1833-1900), county clerk of Kinross, antiquarian, author, and Masonic lodge-master. The text comprises a thoughtful 22 page introductory essay by Begg, followed by the first publication of the text of the Minutes of an Assize Court of Justiciary held at Crook of Devon, Kinross-shire, in 1662, recording the proceedings on charges of witchcraft and sorcery that resulted in the deaths of ten women and one man (either died during the trial or executed thereafter), with most of the women strangled and burnt. Begg also published a slightly different verison of the Minutes, with a much shorter introduction by himself, under the title "Notice of Trials for Witchcraft at Crook of Devon, Kinross-shire, in 1662" in the "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. One Hundred and eighth Session. 1887-88. Vol. x., New Series" pp. 211-241 (1888). It is not known whether Begg first printed the booklet, and then contributed to the "Proceedings" or vice-versa (either would be quite plausible), although it is certain that the booklet is the first separate publication of the work. It is also certain that it is of the utmost rarity, as it was not known to John Ferguson, and is absent from his usually comprehensive "Bibliographical Notes on the Witchcraft Literature of Scotland." Worldcat/OCLC traces only one copy, although we have found record of two others (both somewhat defective) being sold in the last 20 years. Although not marked as such, this is from the collection of Dr. M. H. Coleman. Wrappers a little darkened, small brown mark the size of a cigarette end on rear the upper rear wrapper, endpapers slightly discolored, page-edges lightly browned, otherwise a solid VG+ copy. Item #46400

Price: $650.00

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