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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Speech and Dying Words of Margaret Millar'


The last Speech and dying Words of Mar-
garet Millar, Coal-bearer at Colden-cleugh
who was execute 10. February I726 at
the Gibbet of Dalkeith, for Murdering
her own Child.

My Friends,

THE present Age is so degenerate into Vice and Immorality, That they
have the Ascendant Godliness and Vertue ; whereas Religion and
Piety are run down by manifest Profanity, Dissimulation and Hypocrisy :
So the Sin of unnatural Murder (while one Relation barbarously em-
brues their cruel Hands in the innocent Blood of another)   The Parents theirs in
the Blood of their tender Children, the Children theirs in that of their dutiful and
affectionate Parents: And in short, That of the Inhuman and cruel Servants( for the
love of Money) barbarously butchering their kind and obliging Masters and Mistres-
ses That all these horrid Actions and abominable Sins, are the ready Means to bring
down the heavy and just Judgments of GOD upon a People, or Person, who avow-
edly do commit the same, and whatever Secrefy may be gone about, in   the Per-
petradon of any of these, yet the all-seeing Eye of the Almighty   will bring the
hidden Things of Darkness to Light, That the guilty Offenders may by the Hand
of Justice be brought to condign Punishment, for a Terror and Example to others,
who shall or may be guilty of the like Crimes.

Dear People, since I am by the just Sentence of the Law, condemned to suffer
this Day a shameful and cursed Death, for that unnatural and cruel Fact, it will
be expected by you all, to hear something from me, as to the course of my frail
Life, which is now near to a Period.

The place of my Birth was at Dysert in Fife. My Father John Millar was a Salter
under my Lord Sinclar there, and I being in my Nonage left to the Care of an
Uncle, who put me to the Fostering, and after being wean'd from the Breast, was
turn'd from Hand to Hand amongst other Relations, when my Friends being wearied
and neglecting me, I was obliged to engage with my Lord Sinclar's Coalliers to be
a Bearer in his Lordships Coalheughs: So being unaccustomed with that Yoke
of Bondage, I endeavoured to make my Escape from such a World of Slavery, ex-
pecting to have made some better thereof: But in place of that I fell into a greater
Snare; which was in a Millers House near unto Lithgow, where my Masters
Son and I fell into that Sin of Uncleanness, and I brought forth a Child unto him;
which Child was fostered, and lived until it was three or four Years of Age, and
died in the small Pox.

After which Time, I came from the foresaid Service into this Place, where I
engaged in the Coal-heugh of Coldencleugh, under the Service of Christian Lums-
den, which I most solemonly regrate this Day, and which was my Misfortune, she re-
duced me to great Extremities, by not paying up of my Wages, so duely as I was
needful of it, to buy me Cloaths to go to the House of GOD upon his Day, which
made me to ran into an Hurry of Dispar, my Land-Lady and others in the Coal-
heugh suspecting I had an Ear with George Lauder Coal-grieve there, began to
make Reflections upon me, which prompted me to greater Vice, as most unhappily
hath now fallen out: Which Vice hath brought me to this unhappy and untimely
End ; he having had that Opportunity of inducing me into that horrid Sin of Adul-
try, and after which Time I came to be with Child to him, I acquainted him there-
of, and when the Time of Birth came, I finding no Subsistance from him, I did.
most unnaturally imbrue my Hands in the innocent Blood of the Fruit of my

I must own, that even in ray younger Years I was addicted to all Vice,such as ne-
glecting Duty towards G O D, Breach of his Sabbath, and neglecting of his Ordi-
nances: Now I desire that all Persons take a warning of me this Day who am
but an Ignorant, or a Castaway, That they be not Breakers of the Sabbath, Despisers
of his Ordinances left that their End be such an untimely one as mine.


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Date of publication: 1726   shelfmark: RB.I.106(119)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Last Speech and Dying Words of Margaret Millar'
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