1866: Fortune teller tricks ‘wicked man’

In May 1866 – A gypsy fortune teller appears in court charged with having extorted  money  from a farm labourer – but any sympathy you might have for her victim will soon vanish when your hear the about the “wicked” thing that he did.

Machynlleth Montgomeryshire Wales by Henry Gastineau-1835

Mr Jones first went to see Ellen Roberts to help him out with a problem. He’d ‘formed a connection’ with a blind girl but now found himself in a situation he was keen to get out of. She’d fallen pregnant and Mr Jones wanted a way of causing an abortion.

Shrewsbury Free Press, and Advertiser for Salop – Saturday 26 May 1866

The fortune teller gave him various assortments of white powder of innocuous properties to give to the girl, without her knowledge, which he did so in her food or drink.

But Jones had a roving eye and continued to visit the mystical woman month to month, asking for charms and incantations, this time to secure the affections of another young woman.

The ‘credulous rascal’ had such faith in the woman’s powers and potions that in total he handed over £6 1s. However, when the blind girl gave birth, and then when the romance with the other woman he was chasing didn’t thrive, he began to have misgivings.

Image taken from page 43 of ‘The Gypsies of Yetholm’

He soon discovered that the sage lady was a crook in the eyes of the law and reported her.

Ellen Roberts was summoned to court and then sent to gaol for 3 months with hard labour.

It was remarked that it was a great shame that Mr Jones could not be sent down for twice that length.

Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register 26th May 1866
Wrexham and Denbighshire Advertiser and Cheshire Shropshire and North Wales Register 26th May 1866

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