This article discusses the history of witchcraft in Scotland. Witchcraft was a secular crime between 1563 and 1736, and almost all trials occurred in this period. Statistics do show that the Scottish witch-hunt was one of the most severe in Protestant Europe. Out of a population of about a million, about 4,000 witches were formally accused and perhaps around 2,500 were executed. The article also describes recent debates about witch-hunting and witch belief. It concludes with suggestions for future research.
This article begins with a review of studies on the history of English witch prosecutions and witch-trials. It then discusses Elizabethan witchcraft prosecutions; the early Stuarts and the Interregnum; and prosecutions and attitudes after 1660.