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To date, I have written in excess of 20 historical and paranormal related books with all being available via online stores such as Amazon, and most being available through local physical stores.

 

For this website, I have not included any of the paranormal books or local history books which do not contain information relating to the witch trials. If you do wish to see the other books please click on the link to take you to my other site, The Haunted Explorer

Secret St Andrews

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Although known worldwide as the ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews was also the ecclesiastical powerhouse in Scotland for centuries prior to the Reformation.

 

 Author Gregor Stewart takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the town’s past, unearthing tales of double crossing and infighting while introducing the reader to the nefarious characters who were jostling for power. 

 

He reveals connections between St Andrews and the order of the Knights of St John, who owned buildings in the town, and James Gregory, who laid a meridian line from his laboratory that pre-dates Greenwich by 200 years and is now widely credited as the ‘place where time began’. 

 

The book also explores the macabre: St Andrews was a centre for execution, using an early version of the guillotine, and there are descriptions of the fates of those accused of witchcraft and heresy.

 

 Secret St Andrews delves beneath the surface of this attractive university town, revealing a lesser-known and less savoury history that even most local residents don’t know. 

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The ancient royal burgh of Dunfermline has a long and proud heritage. 

 

This erstwhile capital of Scotland had strong royal connections until James VI relocated the Scottish Crown to London following the Union of Crowns in 1603. The Reformation in the mid-sixteenth century had already seen a loss of the town’s ecclesiastical importance. 

 

These two events set in train a period of decline in Dunfermline’s fortunes until the introduction of the linen industry in the eighteenth century, and though the latter would not survive the First World War, the town’s economic future had by then been secured with the establishment of the Royal Navy dockyards at nearby Rosyth.

Local historian Gregor Stewart delves into Dunfermline’s secret history to discover lesser-known stories and people from the town’s past. 

Secret Dunfermline

Secret Dundee

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Known as a major industrial centre, the city of Dundee has a long and eventful history. Following the development of a small trading port in the eleventh century, by the fourteenth century Dundee had grown to be one of the most important towns in Scotland. The city was also a significant religious centre, with the distinctive Dominican monks – known as the Black Friars due to their robes – choosing to mingle with the people of Dundee to share their preaching, despite the danger this could present in these difficult days. 

 

Dundee also has a darker and often forgotten past. The city was attacked and extensively damaged by invading English forces, following which defensive walls were constructed, only to be demolished again when the city was further attacked by Parliamentarian forces. A number of women were accused, tortured and executed during the witch hunts, and general living conditions at one point became so poor that the average life expectancy for a man was just thirty-three years old.

 

With epidemics such as the plague also hitting, a large area of ground was given to the burgh to be used as a burial ground in 1564, and it is now considered to have one of the most important collections of gravestones in Scotland. Scotland’s fourth city has many secrets just waiting to be discovered. 

Witch Memorials of Scotland

The Witch Persecutions of the 15th to 17th century were a horrific time in Scottish history when an estimated 4,000 people were executed as accused witches. 

 

Communities were torn apart by accusations of witchcraft, aimed at cunning men and women using traditional remedies to heal the sick; old women who perhaps stood apart from the rest of the population; strangers to the area - or indeed anyone against whom someone might have a grudge. It was a terrifying time with an all-powerful Church and laws influenced by the zealot beliefs of King James VII, amongst several other factors. 

 

The way in which the victims of the witch trials are viewed has changed drastically over the centuries, from being viewed as the minions of Satan to people who lost their lives thanks to intolerance. Scotland is now remembering it's 'witches' in a different light, commemorating rather than vilifying them. With talk of a national memorial to Scottish 'witches', 

 

Gregor Stewart looks at the local memorials already in existence and the stories they tell.

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