These accounts of the Kirkcudbright Burgh Treasurer record the expenses involved in the execution of Elspeth McEwen, who was executed at Silvercraigs, a hillside overlooking Kirkcudbright, on August 24th 1698.
Elspeth McEwen lived alone at Bogha in Balmaclellan parish, Kirkcudbrightshire. She was accused of drawing off milk from her neighbour's cows with a magical wooden pin, and interfering with the hens' egg laying.
Examined at Dalry Kirk session, she was sent to Kirkcudbright for civil trial, charged with witchcraft. Found guilty, by her own confession and the evidence of witnesses, this poor, almost certainly innocent, old woman was sentenced to death by burning.
The accounts record in meticulous detail the costs involved in the execution, from the "peits to burn Elspet with" to the "ane pint of aill to William Kirk qn [when] she was burning". [William Kirk was the executioner].
In the collection of The Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.