Mary Carleton

Meet the woman who claimed to be a German princess, scammed a handful of husbands, palled around with pirates, and played her scandalous self on the stage. Why were so many English men so easy to dupe when a stranger showed up claiming noble heritage? How did a con artist become a celebrity? How much do we really know about Mary as a person, and how much did this self-made woman construct herself as a character?

Featured image: A picture of Mary Carlton scamming the lawyer. Full image below. (Image source)

Image by James Basire, not a contemporary artists. (Image source)

Another Newgate Calendar from about a century later. (Image source)