Life, trial and execution of Mary Thompson, aged 19

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Mary Thompson,

AGED 19,


On Mon. 22nd Feb. 1841,

For the murder of her master and mistress;
giving an account of her innocence being
proved and the real murdered discovered.






The master and mistress of the above female were most inhumanly butchered, by having their throats cut from ear to ear. This young woman had lived servant with these aged and unfortunate people upwards of 7 years, and was much esteemed by all who know her; and, by her general good conduct, had gained the confidence of those with whom she lived, who entrusted her with the management of her affairs, and placed the greatest confidence on her honesty. They had kept a large Inn in the vicinity of Edinburgh, for a number of years, but had, a short time since, retired to a small cottage to pass the remainder of their days in greater quietude than the bustle of an Inn permitted. It was the practice of the old couple to retire to rest about 9 o’clock at night, and aise about the same time in the morning leaving every thing th the servant’s cate. Not having any child of their own, it was generally believed that her master would behave handsomely to her, providing she married accoreing to his wishes. This brought the girl a number of lovers, and amongst them a young man named Jones, who was most assiduous in his attention towards her, who behaved always with the greatest propriety became a great favourite with the old couple.

On Monday, Jones went as usual to the house, and when the company had left and the old couple retired to rest, the servant sat with him by the kitchen fire; she had occasion to leave the kitchen a short time, and on her return, she missed him. Hearing a noise, she ran up stairs to her mistress’ room where, to her great terror, she found the drawers plundered, and her masterand mistress lying with, their throats cut, and the blood gushing in torrents from the wounds. She immediately threw up a front window and gave the alarm, and the alarm, and the neighbours entering no one being found in the house but her, suspicion fell upon her, and from constancy to her lover, she permitted herself to be fully commiteed for trial. At the late assizes she was arraigned, convicted, and sentenced to be hung and her body buried within the jail.

At the place of Execution she addressed the numerous by-standers as follows:

"Good People—You are now come to see the latter end of a poor unfortunate young woman, 19 years of age, who is brought to an ignominious death for murder; I say, there is a just God that sitteth in the judgement seat of Heaven, before whom I must shortly appear to answer for all my sins. I most solemnly declare before God and the world, that I am innocent of the murder as-the child unborn," and then burst into tears.

After this she prayed with the Minister, and sung a penitential psalm, she went down upon her kness and prayed that the Almighty would convince the multitude assembled of her innocency or guilt by showing them the following miracles—that if she was guilty it might be one of the finest days that could come from heaven, but if she were innocent that the darkness might overspread the town during the time she was suspended. Her supplication reached the throne of grace; for immediately on her being turned off, a dark thick cloud covered the country for many miles attended with thunder, lightning and rain, Jones, who was a spectator, stung with guilt and horror, rushed through the crown, exclaming, 'I AM THE MURDERER!' and delivered himself into the hands of justice. The woman was immediately cut down, and medical aid procured, but the vital spark had gone for ever. He fully confessed his guilt, but declared the murder was not premeditated, but he was struck with a desire to gain their riches, and he intended to have murdered his sweetheart also. He is fully committed for trial at next Assizes.

copy of verses.

Yu servant girls both far and uear,
I pray you to attend,
And be advis'd by theae few lines,
Which I in jail have pen'd.

While you are in your Master's house,
If you'll be rull'd by me,
Don't let your sweethearts come by night,
A courting nnto thee.

He might have a dishonest heart,
Likewise a murdering hand,
The devil and his subtile ways,
Are hard to understanh.

After you persue this book,
I hope that you will guard,
Against a similar overthrow,
You see what’s my reward.

To die upon the gallows tree
For what I never did.
May it not happen unto there.
I pray not, God forbid.

May God still give you grace to choose.
While you’re in single life,
To fiy upon a proper man,
To whom you’ll be a wife.

Oh! you that have not hearts of stone,
Attend to what I say,
For death has seal’d my eurly doom,
And summon’d me away.

Alas this dreadful fate of minr,
That I should die in scorn,
Although us guiltless of the crime,
As is the bebe unborn.

To atone for blood I never shed,
In midst of youth and bloom,
I to the fatal scaffold led,
Must meet the murderer’s doom.

And while I stand exposed there,
Before the knot is tied,
My innocence I will declare,
To all the world beside.

Farewell my eaged mother dear,
Your tender heart is broke.
Alas! you,ll neuer live I feer,
To bear this crael stroke.

What would your tender bosom feel,
To see your darling child,
That you had nourish’d at your breast.
Brought to an end so vile.

Before my eyes are clos'd I pray,
And Heav'n my prayeas hear,
My innocence may be reveal'd,
And be as noon day clear.

And bring the hand to light,
Who did the horrid deed,
That all may know poor Mary Thomson
Was innocent indeed

She met her ignominious death,
Resingn’d to he hard fate,
But scarce had yielded up her breath,
When awful to relate,

A man confess'd unto the crime,
For which the maiden died,
And now in Irons is confined,
His trial to abide.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.