warlock(redirected from Warlocks)
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Warlock(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
From the Scottish and Old English waerloga, meaning traitor or oath-breaker, warlock is a term that has been applied to a male witch but is never used by Witches themselves.
During the persecutions, when witches were being tortured and questioned, the inquisitors were especially anxious to learn of other witches in the community. To this end many witches were harshly and repeatedly tortured to obtain this information. When a person broke down under the pain and anguish and gave out names of others, he would be termed a warlock by those he gave away.
Pennethorne Hughes mentions that when a tortured witch seemed likely to give away others, he or she might be murdered in jail by the other witches, to prevent additional arrests and tortures. To show that the killing had been done under those circumstances, a garter would be left tied loosely around the victim's throat. The 1618 murder of John Stewart of Irving is one example, as is that of John Reid of Renfrewshire in 1696.