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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Ian Burdon Origins: Bonnie Susie Cleland (42) RE: Origins: Bonnie Susie Cleland 08 Mar 16


To the best of my knowledge Bonnie Susie Cleland, in the form usually sung, first appeared in Motherwell's Minstrelsy, Ancient and Modern in 1827. Certainly that volume states Never Before Published" under the title. Whether it existed in that form prior to publication is a moot point.

And yes, Jean Redpath recorded a lovely version accompanied by Abby Newton on cello. It's on YouTube I think.

Jack C, as well as witchcraft, strangling and burning was the standard punishment in medieval/early modern Scots law for bestiality too. This was a crime against Natural Law and the animal was usually killed at the same time and its body burnt as well. There is a case in Inveraray where the local magistrates express sorrow that the animal is already dead so they can't judicially kill it. Buggery/Sodomy was likely to lead to burning too. Drop me an email for references if you want.

Re discussion of "adultery" above: in medieval/early modern Scots law, together with the catch-all "fornication", it was indeed a capital offence, especially post-Reformation when Leviticus Ch. 22 was incorporated into the criminal law for a while. However it would normally lead to hanging rather than burning. By 1660, although still capital, sentence for adultery was more commonly commuted to whipping/scourging (for both man and/or woman) and banishment unless there were other aggravating factors, it being a civilised age...


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