Half Hangit Maggie

Samuel Reason | July 4th, 2018

Maggie Dickson is believed to have been born in 1702 and died around 1765. Her claim to fame is surviving a hanging. She was the wife of a fishmonger who was convicted of killing her newly born baby. But after surviving her execution, she was proclaimed free and as a result, came to be known as Half-Hangit Maggie.

undiscoveredscotland.co.uk

Maggie lived in Musselburgh in Scotland, she married a fisherman who quickly disappeared. Depending on the version of the story, her husband was either forced to join the Royal Navy which was called being press-ganged at the time. Or alternatively, he may just have voluntarily left to go work on a fishing fleet out of Newcastle.

By 1723 Maggie had found work in a small town called Kelso, working in an inn and it was at this time she became pregnant after a turbulent relationship with the innkeeper’s son. Maggie was able to keep her pregnancy a secret but of course, the baby still arrived and unfortunately, the baby arrived well before the due date. The records do not show if Maggie’s child was a stillborn or died shortly after birth, but their Maggie made the mistake of abandoning the body on the banks of a river. And her the corpse of the baby was found.

Maggie was quickly arrested and tried in Edinburgh, it seems she was tried with causing the death of her child. Even with little to no evidence of this, she was sentenced to death. A public execution in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket was held on 2 September 1724, which was followed by a fight between her family friends and medical students over who could keep the body.

Luckily for Maggie, her friends won the fight and her body was placed in a coffin. While en route the coffin lid moved and Maggie burst out, still alive. She even walked the rest of the way back home. As the sentence had been carried out she lived another 40 years without any further prosecution and was known as Half-Hangit Maggie. Many believe she was a very close friend of the ropemaker who supplied the hangman, which allowed her survival.

Next Article
  • Mantra Rays The Geniuses Of The Sea

    When it comes to the fish family, the overachiever award would have to go to the mantra ray. They are not only giants and charismatic, they are also geniuses in fish terms. Being the biggest fish, they have huge brains and even have specific sections that are developed only for...

    Read More
  • Famous Greek Philosopher Died From Eating Too Much Watermelon

    One famous philosopher and lecturer by the name of John Argyropoulos has an extremely rare cause of death. Made even more surprising when you learned he survived the sacking of Constantinople. Argyropoulos apparently died from consuming too much watermelon. Born in 1415, he was a Greek scholar who is reputed...

    Read More
  • You May Have Talked To Halle Berry Anonymously When You Had AOL

    One film star loves to have normal conversations with new people, unfortunately when you are a worldwide known celebrity this is not always possible. However, with online chat rooms readily available in this modern age, it is easy to go and talk to someone anonymously. Halle Berry was one of...

    Read More
  • Young Abraham Lincoln’s Deadly Sword Duel

    At a young age in 1842, Abraham Lincoln publicly berated by James Shields during a debate about banking in Illinois. The humiliation in public led to James Shields challenging Lincoln to a duel. This was a duel to the end, where the victor would take both the life and the pride of his opponent. [caption...

    Read More
  • Blue Java Bananas That Taste Just Like Vanilla Ice Cream

    When it comes to mother nature there is no barrier on it providing us with tasty delicious dessert flavored fruits, you don’t need to buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's every night. There is one banana that taste just like ice cream, in fact, it is nicknamed the ice cream banana. [caption id="attachment_4900" align="aligncenter"...

    Read More
  • George Washington And The Huge $15,000 Bar Tab

    If you think some of the modern day politicians commit indiscretions and fraudulent expense claims, well you may be surprised to hear some of the historical heroes were the same. In fact, it was well known that George Washington loved his whiskey. In the late 18th century, Washington was actually...

    Read More