Christie-Cleek


Christtie-Cleek whose real name was Andrew Christie was a legendary cannibal.  During a famine that apparently happened on the 14th century, Christie allegedly joined a group of scavengers. When one of their members died, Christie would put his skills into good use and will provide his colleague with a delicious meal.

Eventually, the group developed the taste for the human meat under the guidance of Christie.  They were no longer just satisfied on the meat of their dead companion; they started ambushing travelers that passes the foothills of Grampians.  The group started eating travelers and their horses.  Christie was believed to claim the life of at least 30 riders.

After sometime, the group of cannibals was defeated by an Army from Perth.  Christie was able to escape that attack and was able to enter the community under a different identity.

Cheviot’s Proverb share some account about Christie:

They resorted to cannibalism at the instigation of their leader, Andrew Christie, a Perth butcher. This monster lay in wait for passing horsemen, and dragged them from the saddle with a large iron hook fixed to a long pole, hence his nickname. It is said Christiecleek died many years after, a married man and prosperous merchant in Dumfries. For centuries the mere mention of the word Christiecleek was sufficient to silence the noisiest child.

The story of Christie-Cleek was often associated to Sawney Bean.  While Sawney Bean proved to exceed his counterpart when it comes to notoriety, Christie-Cleek was said to be the older between the two.  The tale of Christie-Cleek allegedly happened on the mid-14th Century while the family of Bean would not appear until 18th Century.  Andrew of Wyntoun’s referred to the cannibal as “Chwsten Cleek” who during the extreme famine would set up traps for children and women, “And swains that he might over-ta;/ And ate them all that he get migh”.

In a report in Holinshed’s Chronicle, an entry for 1341 states:

In the same year (as some do write) or (according unto other) in the year following, there was such a miserable death, both through England and Scotland, that the people were driven to eat the flesh of horses, dogs, cats, and such like unused kinds of meats, to sustain their languishing lives with all, yea, in so much that (as is said) there was a Scottish man, an uplandish fellow named Tristicloke, spared not to steal children, and to kill women, on whose flesh he fed, as if he had been a wolf.

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