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Broadside entitled 'Margaret Dickson's Penetential Confession'


This confession begins: 'Margaret Dickson's penetential confession / What former Friend may ease troubled Thought / When Mid-night Darkness comprehends me round, / And before the dread Tribunal brought, / Call'd by the last and awful Trumpet's Sound.'

Margaret Dickson's 'crime' was to conceal her stillborn and illegitimate baby. was convicted of murdering her own child, and as a result forfeited her life. This was a well-reported case at the time. Whilst being transported for burial after her execution in Edinburgh's Grassmarket, Dickson was miraculously jolted awake. The court decided that as she was already legally dead she could not be hung again! She had more children and lived for another 40 years.

Broadsides are single sheets of paper, printed on one side, to be read unfolded. They carried public information such as proclamations as well as ballads and news of the day. Cheaply available, they were sold on the streets by pedlars and chapmen. Broadsides offer a valuable insight into many aspects of the society they were published in, and the National Library of Scotland holds over 250,000 of them.

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Probable date of publication: 1728   shelfmark: Ry.III.a.10(076)
Broadside entitled 'Margaret Dickson's Penetential Confession'
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