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Margaret Maxwell

Margaret Maxwell was a serving maid and she was twenty years of age and also came from
Kirkinner. She is the woman we know least about but she stood trial with the others that day
accused of non-conformity and, as she told Patrick the Pedlar when she was an old woman,
she fully expected to share the same fate. For whatever reason, it was decreed that she be

"scourged through the town of Wigtown on three days successively,
and to stand for an hour in the juggs (stocks)."

Such an event at that time would have been quite a local event with the townsfolk forming a
jeering throng and children being encouraged to join in.

With Margaret Maxwell, it was different for, on those three days at the time of her ordeal,
the streets of Wigtown were deserted - not a window or door was open - no-one looking on except
the officers and the hangman. It is obvious from accounts that those designated to carry out
the sentence were thoroughly ashamed of what they had to do and they offered to shorten
the hour. To use Patrick's account of Margaret's own words

"She said, 'No! Let the clock go on'.
She was neither wearied nor ashamed. The hangman was very tender to her."

Copyright © Elizabeth Tolson 1st November 1999

Three Women Called Margaret
Background | Covenanters | Conclusion
Margaret MacLachlan | Margaret Wilson | Margaret Maxwell

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