the Kirk-yaird, and Gelie Duncan playit on ane trump, Johnne Fiene missellit [muffled] led the ring; Agnes Sampsoun and hir dochteris and all the rest following the said Barbara, to the nowmer of sevin scoir of persounes. … And the Devill start vp in the pulpett, lyke ane mekill blak man, haifand ane blak buik in his hand, callit on ewerie ane of thame, desyring thame all to be guid serwandis to him, and he sould be ane guid maister to thame. Robert Griersoun and Johne Fian stuid on his left hand; and the said Robert ffand grit fault with the Dewill, and cryit out, that all quhilkis wer besyd mycht heir, becaus his hienes pictour was nocht gewin thame, as wes promesit; the said Effie McCalyan remembrand and bid[d]and the said Robert Griersoun to speir for the pictour, meaning his Maiesties pictour, quhilk sould have been roistit. Robert Griersoun said thir wordis, 'Quhair is the thing ye promiseit?' meaning the pictour of walx, dewysit for roisting and vndoing his hienes persoune, quhilk Agnes Sampsoune gaif to him; and Robert cryit to 'haif the turne done'; yit his hienes name was nocht nameit, quhill thay that wer wemen nameit him; craifand in playne termes his hienes pictour. Bot he ansuerit, 'It sould be gottin the nixt meitting; and he wald hald the nixt assemblie for that caus the soner: It was nocht reddie at that tyme.' Robert Griersoune ansuerit, 'Ye promiseit twyis and begylit ws.' And four honest-like wemene wer very ernist and instant to haif itt. And the said Barbara and Effie McCalyane gatt than ane promeis of the Dewill, that his hienes pictour sould be gottin to thame twa, and that rycht sone: And this mater of his hienes pictour was the caus of that assemblie.
This ends the evidence of the witches; the point to be proved now is the identity of the man whom they believed in and obeyed as God incarnate.
In all cases of murder or attempted murder it is necessary to find the person who would benefit, for murder is differentiated from manslaughter by the fact that it is deliberately planned and that it is done for a motive. In the case of the witches of North Berwick, the man who instigated the meetings, and to whom consequently suspicion points, was Francis Stewart Earl of Bothwell. His position as regards both the King and the witches must therefore be investigated.
Francis, afterwards Earl of Bothwell, was the eldest son of John Stewart and Jane Hepburn, sister of that Earl of Bothwell whom Mary Queen of Scots married. Francis succeeded his