S P E E C H
Of Janet Hutchie, who was Execute in the Grass-market
of Edinburgh, upon the 30th of August 1721, for the
Murder of her own Child.
JUSTLY now may I to my sad Experience append my Seal with the Holy Man, job
14. 1. Man that is Born of a Woman, is of few Days, and full of Troubles, Psalm 51.5.
I was conceived in Sin, and brought forth in Iniquity, and from that Mass of Original
Guilt has arrived to such anHeignt and Pitch of actualTransgressions, that I am hard-
ly to be reckoned among the Society of Christians, but am sentenced and adjudged justly to
be cut off from the Body thereof, as an Infectious Member, least it should endanger the
whole Body, and justly with the Holy Psalmist to my Bitter Experience, ory out, Iniquities,
Iniquities have prevailed, but O purge away my Sin, Psalm 65. 3. And as a Bullock unaccustom-
ed to the Yoke, ran on in a Course of Sin, not thinking that GOD would lay them before
my Face, for Reprove me therefore ; till at last that Holy Judge of Heaven and Earth, be-
fore whom all Things are naked and bare, has in his Holy Providence found me out at last
in this my Brutal Wickedness, and am now in a little to lay down my Life for the Unnatu-
ral Crime of taking away the Life of the Innocent Fruit of my own Body, and now stands
a Monument to Men and Angels upon a Gibbet, ready Erect for that Effect, to receive the
Fatal Blow as a Visible Judgment of the Divine Displeasure and Indignation of the Almighty
GOD, against such a Monstruous and Horrid Crime as I have been Guilty of. Oh that
now I may be made a singular Monument of the unsearchable Riches and Free Mercy, and
Grace of GOD, through JESUS CHRIST his only Son my LORD; not having my own
Righteousness, which is nothing, but that of his imputed to me, which yet can make me
clean before that great Tribunal, for as black as the Devil, Hell and my own Corruptions
have made me.
It would be expected I should give some Account of my self, and satisfie the World, as to
several Aspersions that passed upon me , and as I am a dying Woman, I shall declare to the
World the naked Tru h, and it only, so far as my Memory can serve me, and do Justice to
Peter Vdlldnce whom I horridly wronged by leasing making on him.
I was Born in the Weems, my Parents coming over to Preston grange while I was a Child,
where they lived till they died, which was several Years agoe, and were not wanting to me
in my Education, conform to ( rather beyond) their Station and Abilities.
I am now going in 30 Years of Age, and declares; I never knew a Man in the World
but John Williamson to whom the Child was, alace a married Man, his Wife being my own
Commerad while she was unmarried. I intirely free him of the Act of Murder it self,as was al-
ledged; But acknowledges, it was by his Advice and Direction,and he desired me earnestly to
do it; and when it was done to put it in some Hole or another, that it might be hid from
the Eyes of the World. But Oh! who can hide from the Eye of an All-seeing GOD, to
whom all Things are naked and bare.
I likewise further own, I never knew the said Williamson but once in an Morning, when
my Brother and Family were at the Coal-pit, but he has frequently attempted it, but never
got his Design perpetuate but that Time, by which I was got with Child by him, and when
I found my self with Child, I told him, and he gave me several Things to Cause me Mis-
carry, but I never took them. I did not Reveal my being with Child to any but to him
and one Isobel Guthry, who in a little after died in Child-bed.
I truly own my Guilt in destoying the Child, but not directly, for it was alive when I
was delivered, but for want of Help and my Unnaturality in the Birth it soon died, which
if it had not, I was resolved to have strangled it, which makes me equally Guilty in the
Sight of GOD, as if I had actually done it, and thereafter tyed it in a Codwair, and keep-
ed it three Days in my Chest, into which Codwair I put an big Stone, and threw it in a
Mill-dam, where it lay 18 Days before it was found, and knows nothing of its having a
Cord about its Neck, as the Witnesses declared, unlels it had been the Knitting of the said
Codwair, and what Stories Janet Ritchie and Isobel Vint said of my having a Child before is
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Date of publication:
1721 shelfmark: Ry.III.c.36(075)
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