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Fian was schoolmaster in Prestonpans, East Lothian. He was accused along with Agnes Sampson and others of raising storms to sink the fleet returning King James VI of Scotland and his wife Anne of Denmark from their wedding celebrations in Oslo. He was arrested and put to torture, in what would become known infamously as the North Berwick witch trials.
He endured the torture of having his fingernails forcibly extracted, then having iron pins thrust therein, the Pilliwinks, and The Boot. He was finally taken to the Castlehill in Edinburgh and burnt at the stake on 16 December 1591. The cost of his execution was £5 18s 2d.
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