A Cabinet of grief,


A Cabinet of grief,


or, The French midwife's miserable moan for the barbarous murther committed upon the body of her husband

Digital Object

Image / Audio Credit

Reproduction of original in the Bodleian Library, Wing / 1611:04. Recorded in EEBO (institutional login required). 

Set to tune of...

The Pious Christians Exhortation


A CABINET of Grief: OR, THE French MIDVVIFE'S Miserable mean for the Barbarous Murther committed upon the Body o[...] her Husband

With the manner of her Co[...]veying away hi[...] Limbs and of her Execution; She being Burnt to Ashes on the 2d. of March in Leicester-Fields.

For the better impressing of this Subject on your Hearts and Minds, take these following Lines, which may be Sung [H] to the Tune of, The Pious Christians Exhortation.

A Lack! my very heart does bleed,
to see my woful Destiny,
You that my Dying Lines shall read,
I pray you all to pitty me.

A Murder here I did commit,
for which I have deserved Death,
This Crime I never shall forget,
as long as I have life or breath.

With grief and sorrow am I slain,
to see the Race that I have run,
A thousand times I wish in vain,
this Wicked deed I had not done.

It was my Husband whom I kill'd,
and Mangl'd at so strange a rate,
The World may be with Wonder fill'd,
while I this Tragedy relate.

In sorrow here my hands I wring,
on Wrack of Conscience am I rowl'd,
What did provoke me to this thing,
in brief to you I will unfold.

With care and grief I was opprest,
e're since I did become his Wife,
And never could have peace or rest,
but led a discontented life.

No Tongue is able to express
what I with him did undergo,
He Cruel was and pittiless,
which now has prov'd our overthrow.

From time to time he Riffl'd me,
scarce leaving any Cloaths to wear,
Besides his Acts of Cruelty,
this drove me into deep Dispair.

My heart was ready then to break,
in private I shed many a Tear,
As knowing not what course to take,
my sorrows they were so severe.

Against me his whole heart he set,
and often vow'd my Blood to spill,
Morning and Night when e're we met,
confusion was our Greeting still.

When him I strove to Reconcile,
saying, thou know'st how 'tis with us,
Maliciously he'd me Revile,
and swear it should be worse and worse.

Though he to Wickedness was bent,
and show'd himself so cross and grim,
I own this was no Argument
that I, alas! should Murder him.

But Sin and Satan so took place,
by living so from time to time,
For want of Gods preventing Grace,
I did commit this horrid Grime.

When Man and Wife lives at discord,
they may expect both fear and dread,
For there's no Blessing from the Lord,
where such a Wicked life is led.

For coming from bad Company,
when I was in a sweet Repose,
He from the sleep did waken me,
with many cruel bitter Blows.

This did the height of Anger raise,
when he did such unkinkness show,
That I resolv'd to end his days,
altho' it prov'd my overthrow.

To Bed he straight ways did repair,
as soon as he these Blows did give,
Thought I thy life I will insnare,
thou hast but little time to live.

I vow'd no favour to afford,
to him that us'd me so amiss,
Straight he I Strangl'd with a Cord,
when as he little thought of this.

Altho' he strugl'd for his life,
as surely very well he might,
Yet I his cruel-hearted Wife,
resolved to expell my spight.

Thus him of life I did deprive,
then in his Bed some days he lay,
My greatest care was to contrive,
how to convey his Corps away.

To bear him forth my self alone,
I cut off Head, Arms, c'ry Limb,
Had I not had a Heart of Stone,
I could hot thus have Mangl'd him.

His Head into a Vault I threw,
his Carcass on a foul Dung-hill,
His other Limbs into the Thames,
and then I thought all things was well.

Safe was I then, as I did think,
yet seiz'd I was in a short time,
For Heavens Justice would not wink
at such a black and bloody Crime.

Then to a Prison was I sent,
there to bewail my wretched state,
And there in Tears I did lament,
but this was when it was too late.

To Justice was I brought indeed,
where Conscience in my face did flye,
Guilty was all that I could plead,
I knew I did deserve to Dye.

O then my sad and dismal Doom,
soon after this I did receive,
It was in Fire to Consume,
which made my very heart to grieve.

Alas! I knew not what to say,
'tis Death alone must end the strife,
Behold this dreadful dismal Day,
the which must end my dearest Life.

Altho' I Weep and make sad moan,
as being Wounded to the heart,
I cannot chuse but needs must own
it is no more then my Desert.

To see me go some Thousands throng,
and thus in shame and much disgrace,
Through many Crowds I past along,
unto the Execution place.

Lord, tho' my Body here must Burn,
for my sad Crime so gross and foul,
Yet when I shall to Ashes turn,
receive my poor Immortal Soul.


Method of Punishment






Execution Location


Printing Location

Licensed accordin[...] to Order Blare, at the Looking-Glass on London-Bridge. 1688.


Ballad follows a prose account of the event




“A Cabinet of grief,,” Execution Ballads, accessed April 25, 2024, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/951.

Output Formats