A looking-glass for vvanton women by the example and expiation of Mary Higgs


A looking-glass for vvanton women by the example and expiation of Mary Higgs


who was executed on Wednesday the 18th of July 1677 for committing the odious sin of burgery with her dog who was hanged on a tree the same day neer the place of execution shewing her penitent behaviour and last speech at the gallows, tune of In summer time.


Mary Higgs, executed for 'buggery' with her dog. It was a genuine case, recorded here in the Old Bailey Proceedings. The dog was also hanged alongside her.

Digital Object

Image notice

Full size images of all ballad sheets available at the bottom of this page.

Image / Audio Credit

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, Wood E 25 fol. (145), Wing / 2852:09. EEBO record (institutional login required). Audio recording by Hannah Sullivan. 

Set to tune of...

In Summer Time


To a sad story now give ear,
of one who lived in this Land,
It may make the stoutest heart to fear,
and all vile Sinners trembling stand.

A wicked woman liv'd of late,
who did all honesty didain;
All Modesty she much did hate,
and to her death did so remain.

Lasciviousness she much did love,
and Buggery was her delight,
To wantonness she still did move,
not thinking it would come to light.

A Mungril Curr which she did keep,
and us'd to do that beastly act,
In Court on her did fawn and leap,
but now hath suffered for the fact.

Near Cripple-gate her dwelling-place,
where she did act this beastly sin,
Which now hath brought her to disgrace
that she long time hath wallowed in.

She took delight in drunkenness,
and as a Common Woman ?,
When she had drunk unto excess,
then God above she would defie.

Her chief desire was after mirth,
and hearing of sweet Melodies,
Thus while? she lived upon the earth,
gods holy Laws she did despise.

No precepts that could her controul,
so wicked was her wretched life,
She like a Swine in mire did rowl,
which with her Husband caus'd some strife.

Gods Holy word she much abus'd,
and did profane his Sabbath day,
The company of those refus'd
who urg'd her to Repent and Pray.

There's scarce a sin that can be nam'd,
but what she striv'd for to commit,
Her Lustful lmind was so inflam'd,
that by no means she could quench it.

But being now Condemn'd by Law,
on her past life she did reflect,
The Worm of Conscience did her gnaw,
'cause Gods Commands she did neglect.

O World, said she, thou canst not save,
this soul of mine from pain and woe,
No joys of heaven I e're shall have,
unless my sins I can forgo.

O eyes of mine that us'd to see,
and take delight in Objects fair,
Must now behold where Devils be,
poor Souls tormented in dispair.

I that was wont to sport and play,
most wantonly in many a place,
Must now depart from them away,
the Flames of hell for to imbrace,

Now unto you that stand me by,
and hear what case my soul is in,
See that you never guilty be,
of any sad and heinous sin.

Let Prayer be your meat and drink,
your cloathing be humilitie,
On Gods just Laws be sure to think,
that you the joys of Heaven may see.

When this sad wretch her speech had done
and tears in streaks run down her face;
Would melt a heart of steel or stone,
to think upon her woful case.

The Dog was hang'd with her just by,
a sad example let it be,
To all that do Gods laws defie,
and live as wickedly as she.

Strive more & more Gods ways to love,
that you may here live happily;
Then you'l not miss sweet joys above,
nor never be afraid to dye.



buggery with dog; bestiality



Printing Location

[S.l.] : Printed for P. Brooksby at the Goldene Ball in West-Smith-Field neer the Hospital Gate


A looking-glass for wanton women.jpg
wanton woman - HS.mp3


“A looking-glass for vvanton women by the example and expiation of Mary Higgs,” Execution Ballads, accessed July 17, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/952.

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