In the trials of Bessie Roy, of James Reid, of Patrick Currie, of Isobel Grierson, and of Grizel Gardiner"*, the charges are principally of taking off and laying on diseases either on men or cattle ; meetings with the devil in various shapes and places ; raising and dismembering dead bodies for the piumose of enchantments; destroying crops; scaring honest persons in the shape of cats; taking away women's milk; committing housebreaking and theft by means of enchantments, and so on. South-running water, salt, rowan-tree, enchanted flints (probably elf-arrow heads), and doggrel verses (generally a translation of the Creed or Lord's Prayer) were the means employed for effecting a cure. Diseases again were laid on by forming pictures of clay or wax, which were placed before the fire or buried with the heads downward; by placing a dead hand, or some mutilated member, in the house of the intended victim; or, as in the case of Grierson, by the simpler process of throwing an enchanted tailzie (slice) of beef against his door. It was immaterial whether the supposed powers of the witch were exerted for good or evil. In the case of Grieve, no malcfice (to use the technical term) was charged against liini, but simply that he had cured diseases by means of charms; and the same in the case of Alison Pearson; but both were executed. Bartie Paterson seems to have been the most pious of warlocks, for his patients were uniformly directed, in addition to his prescriptions, to " ask their health at all livand wichtis abone or under the earth, in the name of Jesus." The trial of Robert Erskine of Dun, though given as one for witchcraft, seems to have been a simple case of poisoning, he having merely resorted to a notorious witch, named Margaret Irvine, for the herbs by which he despatched his nephews. The case of Margaret Wallace, towards the close of James's reign, deserves notice as being the first where something like a stand was made against some of the fundamental positions of the demonologists ; the counsel for the prisoner contending strongly against the doctrine that, in the case of a person accused of witchcraft, every cure performed by her was to be set down to the agency of the devil. The defence however, though it seems to have been ably conducted, was unsuccessful.
* Just. Eecords, 1590-1610.