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Maiden

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A machine resembling the guillotine for beheading criminals in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; brought to Scotland by the Regent Morton from Halifax, in Yorkshire, for the purpose of beheading the laird of Pennycuick. It was also called “the widow.”

He who invented the maiden first hanselled it. Referring to Regent Morton, who introduced this sort of guillotine into Scotland, erroneously said to have been the first to suffer by it. Thomas Scott, one of the murderers of Rizzio, was beheaded by it in 1566, fifteen years before Morton’s execution.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Mahomet or Mohammed
Mahoun
Mahound
Mahu
Maid Marian
Maid of Athens
Maid of Norway
Maid of Orleans
Maid of Perth (Fair)
Maid of Saragossa
Maiden
Maiden Assize (A)
Maiden King (The)
Maiden Lane (London)
Maiden or Virgin Queen
Maiden Town
Maiden of the Mist
Maidenhair
Main-brace
Main Chance (The)
Mainote

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