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Drawing of 'The Maiden' in use

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Drawing of 'The Maiden' in use
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This is a mid-19th-century interpretation of a beheading machine called 'The Maiden' in use. The drawing, by James Skene, is included in a collection of Edinburgh images by Daniel Wilson (1816-1892), a prominent Edinburgh antiquarian and anthropologist.

The drawing shows an execution using 'The Maiden' in Edinburgh's Parliament Square. Between 1564 and 1710, the Maiden was used to carry out around 100 public executions in Edinburgh.

The Maiden was operated by a lever at the back. This lever held a rope which was attached to the blade via a pulley at the top. When the lever was pressed, the rope was released and the blade fell.

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