THE WIZARD OF WEST BOW
Major Thomas Weir was born in 1599 and
lived in Edinburgh's West Bow, a ‘Z’ shaped
street between the Castle and the Grassmarket.
He was a frequent attendee of his local Protestant
prayer meetings and a respected pillar of the community.
The Major fell sick however, and became compelled, in his
feverish state of mind to divulge his secret life to his
He admitted crimes against man and God that
included depravity, necromancy and other supernatural activities
that resulted from his witchcraft. He was taken into custody
by the provost Sir Andrew Ramsay, as was his sister Jean,
who was his partner in these black arts. Both were tried
on April 9, 1670 and sentenced to death.
While Jean was hung in the Grassmarket, Major
Weir was burned alive somewhere between Edinburgh and Leith.
He was noted for his fervent reluctance to repent his sins
and his resolve to accept his hopeless, defiled state.
Instead of asking for God’s mercy at
the moment before death he exclaimed,
“let me alone - I will not - I have lived as a beast,
and I must die as a beast!".
The house where Weir and his sister lived
and practiced their debauched devil worship stands to this
day and neighbours have confirmed sightings of his ghost
and strange lights from within his former residence; so too
sounds of laughter and revellery – a macabre sign that
the Major and his cohorts still enjoy their unholy distractions
to this day!