23 September 1759 – Mary Baker

It’s fitting that today’s dodgy dealer faced her end on the 23rd, after all her crime was one of marrying 23 husbands.

Named and shamed

The polygamist’s name was Mary Baker and in her last statement she said of herself that ‘a viller (sic) creature did never live on the Earth’ (after she’d reeled off all of her husbands’ names).

The saucy minx’s hubbies lived as far apart as Wales and Wapping, Northampton and Canterbury. After she married them, she’d fleece them of a healthy sum of money, then do a runner.

Bizarrely, originally she’d hailed from a respectable family in Salisbury and misfortune befell her early according to a newspaper report held by the National Library of Scotland.

In search of dough

She’d kicked off her career as a lady’s maid before the house steward had had his wicked way with her. The employers found out and turfed them out. The caddish steward promptly and unceremoniously dumped her.

It comes as no surprise therefore that from that point onwards Baker never baulked at treating men with disrespect, especially as she needed dough to survive, so she literally trawled around amassing a series of meal tickets.

Last dance

A total of 23 marriages later, her past finally caught up with her and Baker was condemned to death for adultery. As a result, she danced the Tyburn jig on this day in 1759, aged roughly 35.

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