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Margaret Willson b. abt 1670 Cumnock on Nith, Ayrshire, Scotland d. Solway  (Firth), Scotland  


The accession of James brought no immediate relief to the persecuted Covenanters of Scotland. An Episcopal farmer named Gilbert Wilson had two daughters--Agnes, aged thirteen, and Margaret, aged eighteen. These girls attended conventicles, and had become Presbyterians. Arrested and condemned to death, their father succeeded in procuring the pardon of the younger on paying L100 sterling. But the elder daughter and an old woman named Margaret MacLaughlan were bound to stakes on the seashore that they might be drowned by the rising tide. After the old woman was dead, and the water had passed over Margaret Wilson's head, the latter was [p.462] brought out, restored to consciousness, and offered life if she would take the abjuration oath. But she said, "I am one of Christ's children, let me go." She was then once more placed in the sea, and her sufferings ended by death.

Chapter XXXI, the Scotch Irish of America.

upon a stone in the churchyard in Wigtoun, on the body of Margaret Wilson, who was drowned in the water of Blednoch, upon the 11th of May,1688 by the laird of Lagg and his three troops of government horse:  

                   "Let earth and stone still witness bear,

                          There lies a virgin martyr here,

                     Murdered for owning Christ supreme,

                    Head of his church, and no more crime,

                         But her not owning Prelacy,

                            And not abjuring Presbytery.

                         Within the sea ty'd to a stake,

                      She suffered for Christ Jesus' sake.

                          The actors of this cruel crime

             Were Lagg, Winram, Strachan and Graham.

                        Neither young years, nor yet old age,

                        Could quench the fury of their rage."  

SOURCE: The Scotch-Irish, Charles A. Hanna, Gen. Pub. Co., Baltimore, 1963.

Thanks to Jean Wilson for contributing this.





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