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MY LADY ANNE ELCHO,
ABOUT HER BEING BURNT
THE REV. THOMAS HALYBURTON.
The following Relation is printed from a MS. in the possession of C. K. Sharpe, Esq., who mentions in a Note prefixed, that he had transcribed it from Lord Wemyss's copy, and adds, that the original was written by the Rev. Thomas Halyburton. Mr Sharpe, who has kindly permitted the Wodrow Society to print from his MS., has appended to it the following Extract from a letter, without signature or direction, but evidently, he says, from one lady to another, dated Holyroodhouse, February 16, 1700.
"You will hear of one of the saddest accidents befallen Lady Anne Elcho, that ever I believe was heard of. She was standing at the fire reading a letter, and her apron took fire, set her night-rail and Steinkirk a-fire, and has burnt her to death. Her nose was burnt off, and her eyes burnt out. Opening her mouth to call, the flame went in, and burnt her tongue and throat; in short, there never was a more sad thing heard of. I know not if this will put any stop to her mother-in-law's marriage; who is, they say, contracted to Lord Tarbet, which is a marriage makes abundance of discourse."
There is a copy of the Relation among Wodrow's MSS., corrected by Wodrow himself.
ADY ANNE DOUGLASS, the subject of the following interesting narrative, was daughter to William Duke of Queensberry. She married, about the year 1685, David third Earl of Wemyss, a man of the greatest honour and integrity, and one of the Lords of the Privy Council to Queen Anne. She had two sons to his Lordship, David and James. It is remarkable that Lady Eleho should have foretold on her death-bed, that David, the eldest, would not long survive her. Accordingly, we find that this most promising youth died in the 17th year of his age, to the great regret of the family. The youngest, James, was afterwards Earl of Wemyss, and father to the present noble representative of this illustrious family.
It is impossible to read the simple though affecting account of this most amiable woman, without feeling the greatest regret at the fatal accident which caused her death. Her useful life was, however, terminated by a happy and instructive death. She evinced in those moments, when riches and honours are of no avail, the power of Christianity in supporting her under the most excruciating pain. Vol. n. 2 K