The Society of the Horsemen’s Grip and Word…

Reading an interesting book about a scottish society of ploughmen, they apparently combined the practices of cunning-folk, freemasons, hell-fire club, and nascent labor organizing in the 19th century. There was also an east anglian version, the Society of the Horsemen and Toadbone, who were considered much ‘darker’, and a Society of Millers who were believed to be able to raise the Devil, all three societies were believed to be in cahoots with ‘Devils, Witches, Fairies-mankind’s 3 greatest enemies.’ That is a quote from one of their detractors. They definitely seem like a lively bunch, chasing ladies, using scents to control horses, casting spells and charms traditionally associated with cunning-folk, and generally raising hell. Interestingly in Isobel Gowdie’s trial dittays/confessions, she mentions a ritual involving ploughing a field with a plough(I assume a small one) pulled by toads to acquire the benefit of the field for ‘the Divell’, or ‘Qweene and King of Fearrie’.

Thanks to my friend Edwin for finding this for me.


About drcarlsonalbion

Musician in band earth. Folklore/History/Occult enthusiast, especially about British Isles.
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