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
  • The Micro-particles That Allow You To Live Without Breathing

    Scientists at the Boston Children’s Hospital have made a medical breakthrough that may enable people to stay underwater for over twenty minutes or more. This is the type of medical breakthrough that could reshape the whole world of surfing. Surfers would be much safer knowing that if they run into difficulty they would be able...

    Read More
  • Figs Are Actually Considered An Animal Product

    When it comes to the list of foods that are non-vegan, the list can actually be a lot larger than you may think. Some fruits and vegetables even end up on the non-vegan list. Vegans always have to be on the lookout for products that they may mistakenly think are safe and accidentally end up...

    Read More
  • The Exiled Bell

    Yes, an object can actually be tried and exiled. Which is exactly what happened back in 1584, when Ivan the Terrible died and left his two sons behind Fyodor and Dimitri. Now Fyodor was actually mentally handicapped, and Dimitri was just an infant. This meant that Dimitri became the next czar. ...

    Read More
  • The Japanese Art Of Synchronized Walking

    Yup you read the title correctly, in Japan synchronized walking is a real sport and it's actually pretty nuts. For the same baffling and strange reasons that the Japanese do many things we find bizarre, they have been competing in a competition around synchronized precision team walking since 1966. In...

    Read More
  • A Museum Of Non Visible Art

    In an art project that looks as ridiculous as it sounds, the museum of non-visible art seems to be bringing over people from all over the world. For anyone looking at it from a logical point of view, it looks like an elaborate internet scam. In fact, selling fresh air sounds like the type of...

    Read More
  • The Cornfield Bomber

    Unpiloted aircraft that fly off on their own is actually not a myth, mistakes do happen on the tarmac and sometimes pilots forget to turn off the throttle. In most cases, the unguided planes shoot across an airport until they crash into a line of light planes, a hangar or some parked cars. But on...

    Read More
  • Lebanon And The Massive Bowl Of Hummus

    The inventor of hummus has long been disputed and a cause for angry debates. Everyone from Lebanese to the Turks to the Syrians have all tried to lay claim to being the inventors of hummus. And since it is quite simple to make the variations really depend on how it is served. Afterall it is...

    Read More