While trying to expand my Tiddeman ancestor tree I stumbled onto a very interesting woman.
Mary Carleton was tried and executed for returning from penal transportation in January of 1673. Her criminal activities began about ten years earlier when she was tried in Maidstone for bigamy in 1660.
She was born Mary Moders, daughter of a Canterbury musician. Her first husband was Thomas Stedman, a Canterbury shoemaker. Apparently she grew tired of being a shoemaker's wife and went to Dover where she married Thomas Day, surgeon.
Apparently she convinced the court that she had received word of Stedman's death, Mary pleaded not guilty to the charge of bigamy. She was released with a reprimand: the court merely ordered her either to produce proof of Stedman's death or to stop living with Day.
She was tried for bigamy again in 1663 when she married John Carleton while still married to Thomas Stedman. Apparently she married a few men and relieved them of their riches and went on her merry way.
The husband I am most interested in is Thomas Day. He is either my 12th great-grandfather or his son. They were both surgeons of Dover. According to Thomas the elder's will proved in 1663, he was a widow. It's not totally out of the question for a young gold digger to marry an elderly rich doctor. But then again, why have the senior, if you can have the junior?
I just can't seem to find enough information about either of them to know for sure which surgeon fell victim to Mary Carleton dubbed "The German Princess".
This is all I have been able to find about the two of them:
Day, Thomas jun. (d.1679)
Surgeon of Dover
Diocesan Licentiate 1661. Signatory 1662 (Haggis, pp.72, 76; ‘Liber P’ f.146)
Probate granted 1679 (PRC27/28/66)
1664: Joane Kingsmill of Dover, Mrs/widow (£206) ‘To him [Mr Day] more due by the said
deceased for rent due by the deceased and for attendance on her in her sicknes’ (CKS
1664: Joane Kingsmill of Dover, Mrs/widow (£206) ‘To Mr Day for his attendance on and
Curing of Joane the deceaseds daughter in her sicknes’ (CKS PRC19/3/55)
1670: Henry Pilcher of Dover, maltster (£255) ‘Item paid unto Mr Day of Dover for phisicke
and chirurgerie administred <and used> unto the said deceased... and for his care and
paines in coming to visit the said deceased in his aforesaid sicknes’ (CKS PRC19/4/89)
1676: John Sutton of Lydden, yeoman (£325) ‘Item paid vnto Mr Thomas Day... for phisick
administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC2/37/96)
1680: Edward Pellett of Dover, surgeon (£56) ‘Item paid to Thomas Day Chirurgion for
Cordialls by him administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC20/13/52)
Day, Thomas sen. (d.1663)Source: A Directory of Medical Personnel Qualified and Practising in the Diocese of Canterbury, circa 1560-1730
Surgeon of Dover
Diocesan Licentiate 1610. Signatory 1661, 1662 (Haggis, pp.72, 76; ‘Liber P’ f.146)
Probate granted 1663 (PRC27/15/23)
1633: Laurence Wigmore of Ewell (£35) ‘Item paid to Mr Thomas Day of Dover chirurgion
<or physician> for a iourney by him made to the said deceased in his last sicknes and for
his advise and receites administred to the said deceased’ (CKS PRC2/32/132)
1637: John Spicke of Dover, gentleman (£171) ‘Item to Doctor Beomont Phisicion and Mr
Day and Christopher Belton Chirurgion for phisick and chirurgery for the said deceased’
1637: Robert Owen of Charlton nr Dover (£65) ‘Item paid to Mr Thomas Day of Dovor
Chirurgion for plasters and other chirurgicall applicacions for them in the tyme of their
said infeccion’ [Plague] (CKS PRC2/34/251)
1641: John Newman of Dover St Mary (£31) ‘Item to Mr Goulder of Dover phisitian to Mr
Day Chirurgion there and to Mr Partrich Apothecary for their helpes and needfull
necessaries in the time of the said deceaseds last sicknesse’ (CKS PRC19/1/67)
This is definitely a mystery I would love to see solved.
For more reading on Mary Carleton you can explore the following links:
- The German Princess; or, Mary Carleton in Fact and Fiction
- Mary Moders Case File
- History and Women
- One Bird, Two Stones