Miles Weatherhill


This traditional broadside ballad is based on an historical event. Pat Broaders performs with fiddler Liz Knowles as part of Celtic Legends on Tour. They also form 2/3rds of the band Open the Door for Three along with piper Kieran O’Hare.

From the all-knowing Wikipedia:

A double murder took place at Christ Church, Todmorden, Lancashire on March 2, 1868. The victims’ graves lie in the churchyard. Miles Weatherhill, a 23-year-old weaver from the town, was forbidden from seeing his housemaid sweetheart, Sarah Bell, by the Reverend Anthony John Plow. Armed with four pistols and an axe, Weatherhill took revenge first on the vicar and then on Jane Smith, another maid who had informed Plow of the secret meetings. Miss Smith died at the scene, while the vicar survived another week before succumbing to his injuries. Weatherhill also seriously injured the vicar’s wife. On 4 April 1868 Weatherhill became the last person to be publicly hanged in Manchester, at the New Bailey prison. Local legend has it that the face of a young woman is sometimes seen in the window of the vicarage, now in private ownership.

Miles Weatherhill

Miles Weatherhill was a brisk young weaver
And at Todmorton he did dwell
He fell in love with a handsome maiden
The parson’s servant Sarah Bell
It was at Todmorton where these true lovers
At the parson’s house their love did tell
And none in the world will be more constant
Than Miles Weatherhill and Sarah Bell.

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