Witches in Atholl

Extract from MS249 The Atholl Experience

A present to Mary, Queen of Scots

It was alleged that the witches of Atholl sent a present to Queen Mary in 1570.

Calderwood writes:
‘About this time a present was sent, as was supposed, from the witches of Atholl to the Scottish Queene; a prettie hart horne, not exceeding in quantitie the palme of a man’s hand, covered with gold and artificiallie wrought.  In the head of it were curiouslie engraven the armes of Scotland;  in the neather part of it a throne, and a gentlewoman sitting in the same, in a robe royall, with a crown upon her head.  Under her feet was a rose environned with a thistle.  Under that were two lyons, the one bigger, the other lesser.  The bigger lyon held his paw upon the face of the other, as his lord and commander.  Beneath all were written these words: “Fall what may fall, the lyon sall be lord of all” ‘

Source: History of the Church of Scotland MS of David Calderwood, ed. Thomas Thomson, Woodrow Society, 8 Vols., 1842-49; Hunter, Thos., The Diocese & Presbytery of Dunkeld, 1660-1689, 1917 in The Atholl Experience, Volume 2, p37

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