Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review Volumes 32 and 33.djvu/247

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Mingling of Fairy and Witch Beliefs.

the fairies, who would frequently transport her to a distance and cause her to ride with them, and from the ghostly William, she had learned all her powers of healing, for exercising which she also was burned. Her fame as a healer had been far spread, and even Patrick Adamson, Archbishop of St. Andrews, was said to have consulted her. This was made the matter of a satirical poem, prompted if not written by the credulous and bigoted James Melville, who also refers to the affair in his Diary. The poem describes Alisoun's riding through Breadalbane with the elf-queen and her company, along with men supposed to be dead, among others Buccleuch and Maitland of Lethington, both of Queen Mary's party, and obnoxious to the reformers. They had died violent deaths, and people who so died were commonly believed to be carried off by the fairies, a semblance of their bodies being left behind.[1]


Passing over other trials in which powers of healing had been obtained by the so-called witches from the fairies, we come to curious evidence in that of Andro Man and others tried at Aberdeen in 1597. Andro, an old man, had first been visited sixty years before by the fairy-queen — the devil in the form of a woman, and had been familiar with her then and since, she giving him the power of healing and secret knowledge. Andro's real master was Satan, who appeared as an angel, asserting that he was God's son, and that his name was Christsonday. "The queen has a grip of all the craft, but Christsonday is the gudeman and has all power under God." The appearance of Christsonday as a stag and riding with the elf-queen and others to their feasting and revels, in which Andro joined, is described. He would believe himself to be in a fair room, but like other mortals who join the fairy revels, would find himself next morning in a moss. He had seen "sundrie

  1. Pitcairn, i. 162 ff. ; Satirical Poems of the Time of the Reformation, ed. J. Cranstoun (Scottish Text Society), 1891, i. 365 ; James Melville' Diary, p. 137.