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Historical documents about witchcraft go on show for first time
Two exciting new exhibitions have opened at the Tolbooth Museum, Castle Street, Aberdeen which will run until Saturday 25 January 2014.
The first exhibition looks at the history of persecution of witchcraft in Aberdeen while the second exhibition focuses on the development of prisons in Aberdeen over the centuries.
Prosecutions for witchcraft, historically, were rare in Aberdeen but the 1590s brought a wave of persecution, prosecutions and executions. This exhibition will show, for the very first time some of the documents relating to both the charges laid against those suspected of witchcraft and the costs of executing some of those convicted. The documents are kindly loaned by Aberdeen City Archives.
The second exhibition traces the development of prisons in Aberdeen over the centuries. Starting with the Tolbooth, Scotland's best preserved 17th century jail this exhibition then looks at the Bridewell built in the 1820s, by which time imprisonment itself had become a punishment, before this prisons were holding places for those awaiting trial or execution.
The next prison in Aberdeen was the East Prison, located at the bottom of Lodge Walk. When the East Prison was closed all prisoners were transferred to the then state-of-the-art facility at Craiginches in Torry in the 1880s.
Chris Croly, historian with Aberdeen City Council said: 'It is the first time that these documents about the persecution of so-called witches in Aberdeen in 1597 have been on display so I would encourage people to take this opportunity to come and view this important material.
"In 2014 HMP Aberdeen (known locally as Craiginches) will close so this is an opportune moment to reflect on the history of prisons in Aberdeen and the changing role that prisons have played in our city over the centuries."
The exhibitions will be complemented by a series of talks exploring different aspects of the fascinating topics.
Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm