We are actively recruiting new researchers to help man the research centre in the Heritage & Creative Hub. The main requirements are to spend a day in the Hub (10am-4pm) carrying out specified research, and engaging with visitors telling the story of the Bargarran Witch Hunt and the subsequant development of Paisley’s Industry.
If you feel you can help out, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our head researcher will contact you.
On the 10th June 1697 seven people were executed and burnt on the Gallow Hill of Paisley, bringing the events of the past ten months to a conclusion. These events, in most modern accounts tend to dwell on the accusations made by eleven year old Christian Shaw of Bargarran, but there are many more criminal incidents and reports of witchcraft within the same time period, and quite often relating to the same people that Christian Shaw accused. This website attempts to re-evaluate the story of the Renfrewshire Witchcraft case of 1697, correcting popular errors in the story that have developed over the last 400 years.
RWH1697 was formed to re- investigate the events of the Bargarran Witch Hunt and retell the story. This website serves as the research base of the project, and will contain all of the research gathered by the project over the last few years, and new information as the research group grows and delves into more source material.
A research group of eight core participants (one seasoned researcher, the others novice researchers) was formed in August 2011.
Since then they have making progress – discovering aspects of the Shaw story that have never been known before. The context of Reformation, Industrial Revoltuion and other historical details have been discovered and shared.
A Facebook page was established and the next stage is to write up findings for this website.
More importantly, the research group have been feeding findings to the team creating the exhibition and historical re-enactment. They continue to operate in this way – undertaking specific pieces of research as the other groups request it. So much material was uncovered, that the research group have decided to hold a conference in Paisley Abbey on the morning of Saturday 9th June 2013. This conference involved academics and local people sharing thoughts and theories on the phenomenon of Witch Hunting in 17th Century Scotland. A second conference focusing on the industrial heritage of paisley, and how to use our heritage to boost tourism was held before the 2013 Re-enactment on the 4th of October.