In 1724, a Young Woman was Hanged for Concealing her Pregnancy

Miraculously, she survived her hanging, earning her the nickname “Half-Hangit Maggie”

Liz Jin
History of Women

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Maggie Dickson was a tavern wench in Scotland in the 1700s; image source.

On a bustling street in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a cozy pub named Maggie Dickson’s, where patrons can enjoy traditional Scottish delicacies while listening to live music.

Most people don’t know, however, that the pub’s name pays homage to a real woman who was the subject of one of Scotland’s most notorious crime stories.

Women in the 1700s were expected to be submissive, quiet, and chaste. Maggie was none of these things.

Margaret “Maggie” Dickson was born in Musselburgh, Scotland, in the early 1700s. In a time when women were expected to marry young, submit to their husbands, and pop out babies, Maggie could think of no worse fate.

After all, she saw how miserable her own parents’ marriage was. Her father was an abusive, alcoholic philanderer, and her mother had resigned herself to playing the role of the long-suffering wife.

But such was life in a bleak, Scottish coastal town. The men were hardened by the rough weather and grueling physical work of fishing. The women were equally tough and resourceful…

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Liz Jin
History of Women

“I wake up in the morning with a desire to both save the world and savor the world. That makes it hard to plan my day.”