MARTYR OF THE SOLWAY
Photographic interpretation of the painting by John Everet Millais.
Margaret Wilson was a young Scottish Covenanter, from Wigtown, Galloway in Scotland executed by drowning for refusing to swear an oath declaring the King of England as head of the church. About 18, she died on May 11, in either 1684 or 1685 and was buried, together with her friend Margaret McLauchlan, in the churchyard of Wigtown.
She, together with her older friend Margaret McLauchlan, were condemned to death by drowning and were chained to stakes on the Solway Firth. Although at the last moment, choking on the salt water, she was allowed to offer a prayer for the King, this was not good enough for her accusers, and she was forcibly thrust beneath the waves. It is said that, as the tide rose, she defiantly quoted from the psalms and the epistles and sang. After her drowning, witnesses described how her hair floated around her head like a halo in the clear water.
A marker presently stands at the spot where the two women were executed.