The Yorkshire Witch: The Life and Trial of Mary Bateman
Some of those who came to see Mary Bateman die had traveled all the way from Leeds, many of them on foot, and many of them were doubtless the victims of her hoaxes and extortion.
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From a very young age, Mary's behavior seemed to be that of a psychopath. She was dubbed The Yorkshire Witch since she claimed to be a clairvoyant. She used her imaginary supernatural ...more
Thanks Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy!
Mary Bateman née Harker was born in Asenby, a town in the parish of Topcliffe on the south bank of the River Swale, the date of her birth was unrecorded, only her baptism’s date was recorded “15 January 1768” (approximative birth date late in ...more
Exploiting the vulnerable and deceiving the desperate were skills Mary Bateman excelled at. Known as the ‘Yorkshire Witch’ many believed that Mary Bateman did indeed possess powers to communicate with spirits and have the abilities to banish evil. Those targeted by Bateman handed over their possessions and their money for her services and moving from place to place ensured this was a woman who could evade the discovery that she was a fraud. That was until she became too confident and used her...more
On the morning of 20 March 1809, the woman who had earned herself the title of ‘The Yorkshire Witch’ was hanged upon York’s ‘New Drop’ gallows before an estimated crowd of 20,000 people.
Some of those who came to see Mary Bateman die had travelled all the way from Leeds, many of them on foot, and many of them were doubtless the victims of her hoaxes and extortions.
A consummate con-artist, Mary was extremely adept at ...more
Whilst Mary Bateman was nicknamed the Yorkshire Witch, readers should not be looking out for an account of anyone tried of witchcraft or having gotten up to majorly witchly ways (even though apparently people were expecting her to witch her way out of the hangman's noose at the very end). In plain fact Mary Bateman seems to have been a ...more
At the time this book was set there were no doctors, social services or anyone whose job it was to look after the populace.
She was persuasive. She knew how to influence and manipulate local people, who were simple folk, willing to grasp anything to make things better.
Quite rightly she was tried for her heinous crimes and hanged in York, where throngs of people came from all over to watch the ...more
I enjoyed this book. It tells the story of Mary Bateman, an English criminal and alleged witch, the Yorkshire Witch. During the 1780s, she became a minor thief and con artist who often convinced many of her victims she possessed supernatural powers. A con-artist, she seems to have had little moral principles, always on the look out for a soft target.
In 1806 she created the hoax known ...more