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Poser 392 – minute book of the presbytery of Stirling, 1583

Presbyteries are church courts, superior to kirk sessions in each parish. In late-sixteenth century Scotland presbyteries took the lead in stamping out superstition and pre-Reformation Catholic practices. The poser for this week and those for the next two weeks concern the presbytery of Stirling’s suppression of pilgrimages to the so-called Christ’s Well, on the outskirts of Stirling, whose water had reputedly curative properties. The extract below is from the minutes of the presbytery in 1583 (National Records of Scotland, CH2/722/1 page 144).

The handwriting has some typical secretary hand letters and suffers from interference by descending letters. There are also several abbreviations, including the p-prefix but your major problem might be Scots language and the use of the letter w (where we modern sophisticates would expect a u).

Image of an extract from the minutes of the presbytery of Stirling, 1583 (National Records of Scotland, CH2/722/1 page 144).

Download a printable version of this week's poser, PDF, 176KB, new window

This week's question: which two pilgrims appeared before the presbytery and what did they admit to doing?

Help:

For help with reading the poser, use our coaching manual. The following areas may be of particular assistance:

Letter p and p-prefixes
Letters u, v and w
Scots language
Phonetic spelling
Abbreviations

Answer to this week's poser