The Word on the Street
home | background | illustrations | distribution | highlights | search & browse | resources | contact us

Broadside entitled 'Murder of Betsy Smith'


Murder of Betsy Smith.

COME all false hearted youug men and listen to my song,
It's of a dreadful murder that lately has been done ;
On the body of a damsel fair, the truth I will unfold,
the bare relation of this deed will make your blood run cold.

Near Manchester in Lancashire, this damsel she did dwell,
In service she long time had lived, till this to her befel ;
Her cheeks were like the blushing rose all in the month of May.
Until this wicked young man these words to her did say.

"Betsy my charming creature you have my heart ensnar'd ."
And with solemn vows and promises his love he oft declared ,
Till by his false deluding tongue poor Betsy was beguiled,
And soon to her misfortune great, by him she proved with child.

On the nineteenth day of August this young man did repair,
Unto the town of Manchester, to meet his Betsy there ;
Says, "Betsy, dear, come let us walk down in the flowery grove,
And there the secrcts of my heart to you I will disclose.

But 0 this wicked young man a knife he did provide,
And all unknown to his true love concealed it by his side ;
When to the fatal spot they came he thus to her did say.
"All on this night, within this grove. I will your life betray."

On bended knees she then did fall in sorrow and despair.
And loud for mercy she did call?her cries did rend the air ;
With clasped hands and uplift eyes, she cried 'O spare my life.
And I never will ask of you to make me your weded wife."

O then this wicked young man said, "no mercy will I show,"
Then took the knife all from bis side & pierced her body through
But still she smiling said to him, though trembling with fear,
"Oh ! Thomas, Thomas, spare my life ! think on your baby dear.

Twice more then withthe fatal knife he pierced her body through
Her throat was cut from ear to ear, most dreadful for to view ;
Her arms and hands and beautious face he cut and mangled so,
Whiledown uponher lillywhite breast the crimson blood did flow.

Then soon this young man taken was and unto prison sent,
In rattling chains he is confined his crimes for to lament;
Until the assizes do come on, where trembling he must stand,
To answer for the deed he's done, waiting the dread command.

Robert M'Intosh, Printer, Stationer,
Librarian, &c., 96 King St. Calton,

previous pageprevious          
Probable date of publication: 1820-1860   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.73(126)
Broadside entitled 'Murder of Betsy Smith'
View larger image

NLS home page   |   Digital gallery   |   Credits

National Library of Scotland © 2004

National Library of Scotland