Bargarran Witches Collection Bargarran Witches Collection

A small collection of material about the Bargarran Witchcraft case of 1696/7.


About the Collection

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Cover, The informatory accompt of ... the trouble of Christian Shaw, daughter to John Shaw of Bargarran by John Shaw of Bargarran, c1697.

This is a small collection of material about the Bargarran Witchcraft case of 1696/7. In 1696, Christian Shaw, the 11 year old daughter of John Shaw, the Laird of Bargarran, alleged that she had been bewitched by one of the female servants in the household. At that time, accusations of witchcraft were taken very seriously and could be punishable by death. The Bargarran case resulted in a large number of locals being implicated as Christian's tormentors and resulted in the execution of seven people in Paisley on the 10 June 1697 (Christian Shaw's symptoms had vanished in March 1697).

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Inside, The informatory accompt of ... the trouble of Christian Shaw, daughter to John Shaw of Bargarran by John Shaw of Bargarran, c1697.

The most important item in the collection is a contemporary handwritten account of the bewitching of Christian Shaw, and the trial of her alleged tormentors, seven of whom were executed for witchcraft in the year 1697. The manuscript possibly belonged to Christian Shaw's father; the two items unrelated to witchcraft in the document are signed 'John Shaw'. Also included are handwritten notes on the manuscript and bibliography, a photocopy of the manuscript, photocopies of printed articles on the story and a typescript summary headed "Bargarran witches".

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The informatory accompt of ... the trouble of Christian Shaw, daughter to John Shaw of Bargarran by John Shaw of Bargarran, c1697.

Finding aid

Online catalogue


Further reading

Christian Shaw and the Bargarran Witches from the Family History at the Mitchell website.

"Paisley Witches" Wikipedia article.


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