Don Shelton’s JRSM article and e-book make a case, based partly on suspicions voiced at the time, partly on quasi-statistical inference, that the Hunters, and the obstetrician William Smellie, were instrumental in procuring the deaths of 35-40 young, pregnant women, in rivalrous pursuit of their anatomical and obstetrical reputations. On the sceptical side, few readers (including myself) find this case anything like fully convincing. But it does have an argument, degrees of evidence (albeit well short of a smoking pistol), hence a plausibility by no means yet refuted.
The song below is composed on the entirely conditional premise that
SONG FOR THE YOUNG WOMEN.
Come Milly, come Mary, come Molly my dearie,
Up from the country, and bound to be weary,
You’re standing outside now, you’re cold and you shiver,
Come in and be warm now, lie down and deliver.
Come Hannah, come Janet, come Dilly my darling,
Carrying, heavy, sure now you’re starving,
You’re sitting alone now, your stomach a-quiver,
Come in and be safe now, lie down and deliver.
Come Dora, come Betty, come Susan my sweeting,
Near now you feel now your two hearts a-beating,
Go not so near now, so near to the river,
Come in to the light now, lie down and deliver.
JRRC. 01.06.2011. (John Christie - Associate Centre Member)