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Broadside entitled 'An Account of the Death-Bed Confessions of Jean Simpson'






A respectable Midwife, who died in Falkirk, under
severe suffering from the loss of the use of her
limbs, but more especially the pangs of a guilty
conscience, with the fearful confession that she
made of having strangled no less than 20 little
innocents before they opened their infant eyes
in this world. The inhuman wretch, in her
last moments, told them of a chest, which on
being opened after her death, was found to con-
tain the skeletons of a great number of new
born babes.

The quiet and peaceable town of Falkirk was
thrown into the greatest state of excitement by a
rumour having been spread that a respectable mid.
wife, of the name of Jean Simpson, had made some
fearful disclosures on her death-bed. Jean was
an old favourite with the good women of the town,
and held in much esteem not only for her profes-
sional skill, but her strictly religious character,
which few doubted. Some indeed there were who
called in question her sanctimonious habits, and
even dared to pronounce her a hypocrite, and not
altogether what she should be as a midwife, for, as
they said, she was held in too great respect by the
young lassies who had come under her care. Things
passed on very well with Jean not with standing the
division of public opinion, until she caught a severe
cold, which confined her to bed for a considerable
time, but being recovered a little she ventured out
too soon, and even went a distance of some miles
to visit a favourite customer, who would permit no
other than Jean to attend her. This patient was
an unmarried female confined with her second child,
and Jean having been her confident with the first,
no other could be trusted on this trying occasion
but Jean Simpson, and, therefore, she had to attend
even at the risk of her life. The night was cold
and wet when the midwife went to visit her patient,
and consequently she relapsed. All the skill of the
Faculty proved unavailing, for her limbs began to
cease performing their wonted functions, and in a
short time she could not move a muscle of her
body, except the unruly member of her mouth,
which was a comfort to her in the last trying mo-
ment of dissolution, by easing her of the following
burden of crime. For a long time she carried on
her profession with strict propriety, but happening
to be engaged by a young woman where secrecy
was necesary to hide the guilt of the patient, it was
resolved that the infant should be disposed of in
the easiest manner. The deed was soon done, which
led the way to a fearful catalogue. Shortly before
expiring she told her to look into a chest which she
kept carefully concealed below her bed, for the pur-
pose of disposing of those little remains which were
destined never to be seen by any eye but that of
the dying penitent. She having expired in the
greatest agony on Tuesday morning, the 27th July
1841, the process of laying out the body was being
performed by two neighbours, but they soon disco-
vered that they had more than one corpse to dress ;
no less than the bodies of three infants were dis-
covered, and, horrible to relate, the chest was found
to be literally stuffed with the bones of new-born
babes, the fruits of a long course of child-murder.

Saunders, Printer.

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Date of publication: 1841   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.74(369b)
Broadside entitled 'An Account of the Death-Bed Confessions of Jean Simpson'
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