Unfortunately, the database is in Access format. However, it can easily be converted to a real database using the handy tool BullZip. Of course that assumes that you have either MariaDB (aka MySQL) or Postgresql installed, and if that is not the case, then you might want to go get MariaDB here:
As always, there are many different ways of accomplishing this kind of thing. Your mileage may vary, etc, etc. The important thing is this: to properly work with any database you need it in a format where you can use some form of SQL. You could also try downloading the SQL schema and tables that are provided on the same page where you can download the Access database.
Before proceeding to the details, please note the following information, taken from the website of the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft in their "How To Cite Us" section:
If we read through the documentation put together by the team at the Survey of Scottish Witchcraft, we find that there are three different flavors of "maleficium" used as a characterization of the cases against accused Witches:
- Maleficium_p refers to cases where it was decided that maleficium was "the main theme".
- Maleficium_s refers to cases where maleficium was "mentioned" in the documentation, but it was decided that this was a secondary characteristic.
- Maleficium (without a trailing _p or _s) refers to cases in which there were allegations of "collective maleficium organized or committed" at Witches' meetings (without distinguishing between "primary" or "secondary").
And the result is that we get a grand total of 40 rows. Ahem. That is out of over 3,000 recorded cases.
What? Only 40? Let's double check, but this time we'll jazz things up a little by getting the names of the accused Witches as well as the counties in which they resided and also the dates of their trials:
In future posts I will dig more deeply into what the data actually has to say concerning the prevalence, or lack thereof, of actual accusations of maleficium during the Scottish Witch-hunts. But for now these results obviously should give pause to anyone who wishes to continue to claim that Witchcraft must be defined primarily in terms of malefic magic.