The Miller’s Daughter


Many will have passed by the mill, at Wightdown, and cursed it, when the river floods the main road. A few years after it was built, there lived there a miller and his daughter. Of that miller’s daughter none will speak, even to this very day, save to call up protection, against her. The miller doted on his daughter, and dressed her as a fine lady. She remained a maid, though many younger girls had been wed. Not even the bravest son, of the village, dared to court her, despite her lewdness and the obvious rewards such a coupling would offer, for they feared the miller’s wrath.

The miller and his daughter, despite her adventurous ways, were seen as good, godly folk, by the villagers. Two loyal, young men worked for the Miller, until a recruiting sergeant came to the village and tempted them away, to the wars, in the Low Countries. The miller struggled to work the mill alone. Eventually, to the village came a young man, who was yclept Nathaniel, a cousin to the notorious Matthew Hopkins. Sagely, he sought employment with the miller, in truth it was not work that he sought, but a greater prize. Very quickly, Nathaniel proved himself, to be a coward, within a few weeks of his arrival, before the whole village, he ran from a fight with the smithy. All was fine at the mill, for a while, he worked, and the miller’s daughter teased and flirted with him, as she did with all the village boys.

In time Nathaniel came to realise that his desires would not be fulfilled. He knew of the rumours, of an earlier suitor’s fate, and that the village would never believe a rumour about her and a village boy. Eventually an opportunity presented its self, for him to use threats, to gain what he desired, it was when the miller’s daughter and the smith’s wife spent several days off gathering mushrooms and fruits, in the woods. Recklessly, Nathaniel took his chance, and when blackmail failed, he started a rumour, only for some days later the miller’s daughter to be found dead, mangled upon the great mill wheel. With his plans to acquire the mill gone, he hinted, to several villager’s, that the Millers daughter had killed herself, to save her father from the scandal, of her being with child. The village began to talk, speculation started about who the father might have been, until eventually the miller was found hanged, in the mill. Nathaniel acquired the mill, only to, within a month of him taking over the ownership, of the mill, be found dead, having he died as no man was meant to die. Those who saw his body could never speak of it. Just at the mention of his name they, even the butcher and undertaker, would pale and shudder.

Many years later, a brave miller became the owner, of the mill, only to have his wife die, upon the first night that she spent there. The next miller and all his children lived there without incident, apart from the seeing the occasional presence. The third generation were not so lucky, as a woman, of that generation, awoke one morning, to find a letter ‘A’ cut in her cheek. Another miller was found mutilated, in the same manner that Nathaniel had been. Before the mill was abandoned many a false suitor was slain, or mutilated, by some presence, in the night. A few gossips, also suffered, they tended to have their cheeks marked with a letter ‘L’. The villagers caution that, at night, those who should fear her, can see the miller’s daughter there. It is said that she has in one hand a dagger and in the other nutmegs, constantly searching it for malefactors to punish.

By the turn of the twentieth century, it had become the village custom for villagers to spend their engagement night there to prove their love. That was until, a few years ago when a village girl was arrested, for torturing her fiancee, to death. They had spent their engagement night there, as village custom expected. Since then, none have followed the custom.

Some say that she will go quietly to the grave if a brave, pure hearted man should survive a night as her lover.

Dare you spend a night with the miller’s daughter?



2 responses to “The Miller’s Daughter

  1. what a story! you made a balllad on purpose?

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