My Family & Other Animals

"Criminal Trials and Other Proceedings Before the High Court of Justiciary" by Robert Pitcairn

I just love the internet! I came across this book when browsing some time ago and discovered that my ancestors were infamous for "Witchcraft - Poisoning - Treasonable Murder" in the Scottish courts of 1613. The book itself is amazing never mind the stories within its pages. Here is a small excerpt:

"Witchcraft - Poisoning - Treasonable Murder. 
(The case of Robert Erskine, which follows, and the subsequent trial of his three sisters, Helen, Isobel, and Annas, afford very lamentable proofs of the beneful effects of an all-engrossing spirit of covetousness. There cannot be a doubt that the sordid avarice of these individuals, habitually indulged, and permitted to acquire the entire ascendency over their minds, rapidly terminated in the perpetration of the highly revolting crimes for which their lives were just forfeited to the offended laws of their country...."


excerpt from 'Minutes of Privy Council Proceedings' taken from page 63 of the above book
I registered for Google Play and typed in my ancestors name 'Erskine' and found this book which makes interesting reading whether you are related or not. Trying to decipher the words takes time, though I have found that the sentence explains most once you start reading. Thankfully it is typed rather than handwritten because that would have been a nightmare.

During the course of my research I had been given information from another 'ancestor', though the information was not in such detail - it had only hinted that an uncle had committed a crime by killing one nephew and in the attempt left another nephew alive though injured.

This book was published 1829 - 1833 and according to wiki "Robert Pitcairn (14 August 1793 - 11 July 1855 FRSE was a Scottish antiquary and scholar who contributed to works published by Walter Scott and the Bannatyne Club. He was the author of Criminal Trials and other Proceedings before the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland. He was head of the Edinburgh Printing and Publishing Company and secretary of the Calvin Translating Society. Pitcairn was a fellow the of Scociety of Antiquaries of Scotland, and a Writer to His Majesty's Signet, and a member of the Maitland Club."

Note: there are several books/parts/volumes. This excerpt is from "CRIMINAL TRIALS AND OTHER PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICIARY IN SCOTLAND. TRIALS DURING THE REIGN OF KING JAMES THE SIXTH. PART VII. M.DC.XI.— M.DC.XVI."

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