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Percy Hoskins

revised by Michael Bevan

Adams, John Bodkin (1899–1983), general practitioner and forger, was born on 20 January 1899 in Randalstown, co. Antrim, the elder son of Samuel Adams, watchmaker, and his wife, Ellen Bodkin (d. 1943), formerly of Desertmartin, co. Tyrone. The younger son was born in 1903 and died of pneumonia in 1916. Shortly after ...

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by J. Gilliland

Ady, Joseph (1775/6–1852), fraudster, was the son of John Ady (1743/4–1812), a recording clerk for the Society of Friends. He was a hatter, hosier, and accountant at various times, in premises at 11 The Circus, Minories, London, and 6 Charlotte Street, Wapping. Failing in business, he devised a means of extracting money from the credulous. He would look up the lists of unclaimed inheritances, dividends, and bequests, and then write, without stamping his letters, to any people of those names that he could find, offering to produce 'something to their advantage' on payment of ...

Article

Annesley, Richard, sixth earl of Anglesey (bap. 1693, d. 1761), kidnapper and bigamist, was baptized on 26 November 1693 at St Peter's Cathedral, Exeter, Devon, the third son of Dr Richard Annesley (1654/5–1701), dean of Exeter, from c.1700 third Baron Altham, and his wife, ...

Article

Backhouse, Sir Edmund Trelawny, second baronet (1873–1944), Sinologist and fraudster, eldest of the four surviving sons of Jonathan Edmund Backhouse, first baronet (1849–1918), a banker, and Florence (1845–1902), youngest daughter of Sir John Salusbury Salusbury-Trelawny, was born on 20 October 1873 at The Rookery, Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire...

Article

Steven C. Bullock

Bell, Thomas (b. 1713), fraudster, was born on 18 February 1713 in Boston, Massachusetts, the first of three recorded children of Thomas Bell (d. 1729), sea captain and shipwright, and his wife, Johanna Adams. The younger Thomas, who became known as Tom Bell...

Article

Bolland, James (c. 1727–1772), sheriff's officer and forger, was probably born in the parish of St Olave, Southwark, reputedly the son of a butcher, who, according to A True and Genuine Account of the Life (1772), died while Bolland was a child; his mother, who survived her husband, supported herself and ...

Article

Broun, Sir Richard, eighth baronet (1801–1858), pamphleteer and fraudster, was born at Lochmaben, Dumfriesshire, on 22 April 1801, eldest of the four sons and one daughter of Sir James Broun (1768–1844) of Coalston Park, Lochmaben, and his first wife, Marian, née Henderson (...

Article

Carleton [née Moders], Mary [nicknamed the German Princess] (1634x42–1673), impostor, is recorded in contradictory texts, making the accuracy of information about her origins difficult to ascertain. She was probably born Mary Moders in 1642 and baptized on 22 January; however, she is also recorded as being born eight years earlier, while ...

Image

Mary Carleton (1634x4242–1673) by T. Thrumten Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Article

Carter, Henry [Harry] (1749–1829), smuggler and Methodist preacher, was born early in 1749 at Pengersick, Germoe parish, near Breage, Cornwall, the seventh of ten children of Francis Carter (bap. 1712, d. 1774), smallholder and miner, and Annice Williams (1714–1784). Henry (always known as ...