15. Bessie Wright

Bessie Wright, a talented healer from 17th century Scone parish, is known as the witch that got away.

Bessie was renowned locally for her herbal remedies including hyssop, fennel and ribwort, which she used in her rituals to help childbirth, liver complaints and migraines.

Unfortunately, Bessie’s talent did not go unnoticed, and she was charged with witchcraft on three separate occasions between 1611 and 1628. Explaining that she had a medical book, which had been passed to her by her father, did not help and she was barred from practising with a decree stating, ‘that none may resort to her for any cure under the pain of the censures of the Kirk.’

Bessie refused and was imprisoned in 1628 with bail set at £1000 – an unfeasibly large amount. She was later summoned to appear before the Lord Justice-General of Scotland but that is where the story runs dry. Although she was never executed, what became of her is sadly unknown.