Yorkshire Witch, Mary Bateman


Yorkshire Witch, Mary Bateman

Today we are not going to talk about Yorkshire pudding or Yorkshire Terrier, rather we would talk about Yorkshire Witch!

Mary Bateman was infamous as the Yorkshire Witch. For particularity, we would call her Yorkshire Witch Mary Bateman. In 1809, 40-year-old Yorkshire Witch Mary Bateman was hanged in front of thousands of people. Her body was put on public display in front of over 2,500 people. Even Pieces of her skin were made and sold as charms to ward off evil spirits.

Some even believe that Mary Bateman’s spirit still roams the halls of the Thackeray Medical Museum, where her skeleton was displayed for many years.

The question remains in the reader’s mind as to why she met this tragic death and why she was publicly hanged

How She Became The Yorkshire Witch

Mary was born in 1768 on a farm in North Yorkshire. Raised in a farming family, Mary was delinquent from an early age. She fled to Leeds when she was caught stealing at the age of 21.

There she convinced many people that she had miraculous powers. Gradually she became a con artist (thug) in the 1780s. She promoted himself as a fortune teller in Leeds and sold potions in the name of exercising evil spirits. In the late 1700s, Mary was responsible for many forgeries, petty thefts, poisonings, and deaths but managed to avoid being caught.

But her fate was sealed when in 1806 William and Rebecca Perrigo came to see Mary. Rebecca had chest pains and asked Mary to help lift the curse. She cheated the couple for months to suck more money. He would secretly prescribe poisoned pudding to the couple. But only Rebecca ate the pudding. As the poison took effect, her condition worsened, and she died in May 1806.

Mary Bateman’s Fate As The Yorkshire Witch

William Perrigo continues to pay Mary for over 2 years until he discovers that the “charm” he bought from her is worthless. He went to the police, who arrested Bateman the next day. Mary claimed she is innocent but a search in her home revealed poison along with her personal belongings. She was tried in March 1809 and found guilty of forgery and murder. When she was sentenced to death, she tried to avoid the death penalty by falsely claiming to be pregnant. She was hanged at York Castle.

After she was hanged her body was put on display and then taken to Leeds Infirmary for dissection. His skeleton was loaned to the Thackray Medical Museum to be part of an exhibition. His skeleton is now at the University of Leeds.

For curious readers, there have been two books published ‘Yorkshire Witches by

Summer Strevens The Yorkshire Witch: The Life and Trial… book by Summer Strevens (thriftbooks.com) and

Eilen Rennison Yorkshire Witches: Rennison, Eileen: 9781445602929: Amazon.com: Books.


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