A campaign is to be launched to find the missing bones of a Fife woman accused of witchcraft more than three centuries ago.
What remains of Lilias Adie is buried on the shore at Torryburn. She is believed to have been in her 60s and died in prison in 1704 while awaiting sentence.
She was to be burned to death for witchcraft having “confessed” crimes including having sex with the devil.
On August 31, the Depute Provost of Fife Julie Ford will lay a wreath to commemorate Lilias and organiser Kate Stewart, SNP councillor for West Fife and coastal villages, said there are other initiatives planned to highlight the persecution of women during the witch trials.
These include a witches’ memorial trail along the west Fife coast and a campaign to find Lilias’ missing remains.
Plans have also been mooted for a permanent memorial at Torryburn, dedicated to Lilias and other women who were persecuted across Scotland.
She said: “We’re looking to create a memorial to people who we would feel now were wrongly accused, and persecuted and executed.
“In those days it was not recognised as a crime. We want to launch a campaign to bring Lilias’ skull and bones back home.”
Lilias’ grave was plundered by curio-hunters in 1852. Exactly how much of the skeleton was removed is unknown but the skull, ribs and a femur are definitely missing.
Her skull later ended up at St Andrews University Museum, where it was photographed more than 100 years ago.
The skull was last seen in 1938 at the Empire Exhibition in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.
In 2017 the photographs, held by the National Library of Scotland, allowed researchers at Dundee University to create an image of what she might have looked like.
Sara Ann Kelly from the Fife Witches Remembered group said issues of social injustice faced by women like Lilias are still relevant today.
She said: “It is something which is really timely, given the Me Too movement.
“The history is about social injustice, not hats and broomsticks. These women were tortured.
“It was legal to promote the holy country, God’s own land. Just because it was legal doesn’t mean it was right.
“It’s still happening in countries around the world. People can still be accused for very little.”
Anyone interested in attending the wreath-making workshop can contact Lyn Strachan on 07515290876.