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THE FEMALE JESUIT;
CONTAINING HER PREVIOUS HISTORY
AND RECENT DISCOVERY.
BY MRS. S. LUKE,
AVTHOR OF "THE FEMALE JESflT; OR, THE SPY IN
PARTRIDGE AND OAKEY,
34, PATERNOSTER ROW, AND 70, EDGWARF. ROAD.
MEADEN, PniNTER, 13, GOtJGH : QUARE, FLEET STREET.
THE readers of " The Female Jesuit ; or, The
Spy in the Family" will not be surprised to hear
more of Marie ; and the sale of nearly four thou-
sand copies, in less than twelve months, justifies
the conclusion that its numerous readers will be
anxious to learn the issue.
The previous tale left Marie's real character an
enigma, and her origin a mystery. Recent dis-
closures have to a great extent cleared up these ;
and as one of the main objects of the previous
volume was to elicit information, it is a point of
honour to make known her real character. How
singularly the publication of her narrative has
led to the development of her history, will appear
in the present volume.
It is right to say, that when dismissed from
Cromwell Terrace, the family among whom she
1fSM r> ' > '>
- L *^*-'-l^O/'w
had so long intrigued, did not think her a Jesuit
agent. Dark and mysterious shadows, indeed,
rested on her origin and character ; and it seemed
scarcely possible that she could have carried out
her previous plots without accomplices ; but it
was not until the suggestion had been reiterated
by intelligent friends, and the after-discovery of
some of her proceedings appeared to give coun-
tenance to the suggestion, that this impression
fixed itself upon their minds. The theory of her
being a Jesuit agent, was even then put forth
only as a suspicion ; and the result of subsequent
information is now submitted to the public.
After the detection of Marie's fraud, no imme-
diate thought of publishing a book was enter-
tained. So far from this, a letter containing an
outline of her intrigues was sent to the " Times"
newspaper, to caution the public. After waiting
some weeks, a friend inquired at Printing House
Square, and found that the statement was deemed
too extraordinary to be believed. A second copy
was sent, attested by witnesses ; but for some un-
explained reason it was not inserted. Had that
letter found admission into the columns of the
" Times," " The Female Jesuit" might not have
appeared. The necessity which thus prompted
it, cannot now be regretted ; *and the public in-
terest has justified the publi cation.
Several kind friends have contributed informa.
tion for the present volume ; amongst whom, the
writer expresses her obligations to the Rev. G.
Cunliffe, A.M., the Rev. R. G. Milne, and Mrs.
Jobson : also to John Townshend, Esq., through
whose kindness the sketches of the Pymrydd
Mill, and the Valley of the Dee, have been sup-
plied : as also to other parties, whom she is not
permitted to mention by name.
The writer has carefully avoided trespassing on
the period of Marie's residence with Mr. and Mrs.
Charles Seager, to whose proposed work, entitled
" The Female Jesuit Abroad," frequent reference
is made in the following pages.
In the former volume, the names were with-
held from a wish to avoid unnecessary publicity ;
but many doubts having been expressed as to the
truth of the narrative, it is now authenticated by
the insertion of the names in full.
MAKCH 1st, 1852.
I. PHANTOMS OF MARIE 1
II. MARIE AND METHODISM 8
III. EARLY DEVELOPMENT 34
IV. MARIE IN MANCHESTER 40
V. OPTICAL ILLUSIONS 46
VI. MARIE " IN TRANSIT" 54
VII. MARIE "IN RETREAT" 61
VIII. MARIE'S FOURTH BIRTH-PLACE 66
IX. DISCOVERY AND PURSUIT .... . 71
X. ENIGMATICAL LETTERS 83
XI. DECEASED FRIENDS RE-APPEAR 90
XII. MARIE UNDER ARREST 97
XIII. A TETE-A-TETE 109
XIV. THE SEARCH 115
XV. THE POLICE COURT 121
XVI. FAREWELL TO BONN 127
XVII. MARIE AND CARDINAL WISEMAN 138
XVIII. INCIDENTS OUT OF PLACE 141
XIX. INCIDENTS OUT OF PLACE CONTINUED . . . .152
XX. LINEAMENTS OF MARIE'S PORTRAIT 166
XXI. PUBLIC INCREDULITY 181
XXII. IS SHE A JESUIT ? 187
XXIII. WHAT IS SHE? 194
CONCLUSION ... .206
SEQUEL TO " THE FEMALE JESUIT."
PHANTOMS OF MARIE.
NEARLY a year has elapsed since the volume entitled
" The Female Jesuit " made its appearance. The
object of that publication having been rather to elicit
truth than to establish a theory, it will scarcely be a
matter of surprise that various communications have
been received by the writer, some offering different
solutions of " Marie's " case, and some reporting other
instances of deception more or less similar. Many of
these cases, in various particulars, so closely resembled
her line of procedure, that it seemed for a time as if
she had possessed the power of animating many bodies
at once, and that her name must have been " Legion."
Several literary and medical correspondents having been
disposed to regard her case as a singular mental deve-
lopement, under the technical designation of " Simulative
Hysteria," it has been considered that a brief outline of
a few of these instances may not be without their use.
2 PHANTOMS OF MARIE.
It will be seen that such cases, though greatly inferior
to that of " Marie " in talent and ingenuity, are far
from being so uncommon as might be supposed, and
the recital will tend to put the public on their guard.
It may also assist in the fuller investigation of that class
of subjects, and of the mental and moral phenomena
which they are supposed to indicate.
The first case which came under notice was that of a
nun said to have escaped from the convent at Banbury,
in 1851. She represented herself as having been con-
vinced of the errors of Romanism by the accidental
reading of a New Testament ; and through the children
of the poor school she entered into correspondence with
the vicar, and other Protestants of that town. The
circumstances of her exit, as described by herself, much
resembled that of Marie. It was subsequently stated,
that she had been threatened with dismissal from the
convent on account of lightness and impropriety of
deportment, and that it was at this juncture that she
endeavoured to enlist the sympathies of Protestants.
It was proved that her father and other relatives were
Protestant, and that she had been educated accordingly,
and the tale of the New Testament must therefore have
been a fiction. The management of the whole affair
bore so strong a resemblance to Marie's species of
tactics, that for some little time the " Olympia
Mather," alias " Olympia Fitz-AUan" of Banbury,
was thought to be the same person under another
name. Two points of difference at length proved their
PHANTOMS OF MARIE. O
individuality. It appeared that the Banbury nun had
red hair, whereas Marie's was black; and that the
former spoke French fluently, which Marie could not
Then came a more romantic tale of a gentleman who
had, a few years before, been entrapped into marriage
with a young lady nineteen years of age. L
M represented herself as the orphan daughter of
Major M , and that she had been compelled to
leave her guardian's house in consequence of his efforts
to induce her to marry his son. After her marriage
she was introduced to her husband's relations, who
were charmed with her varied talents, and her ac-
count of her foreign life in France and Spain. She
stated that her father had been a favourite of Napoleon,
and described her presentation at court, her dress, its
value, &c. She corresponded with two rich aunts, and
a brother, in the 60th rifles, at that time abroad ; and
had letters from them to show how handsome her for-
tune would be when she came of age. Many months
passed, till at length the doubts of the husband's family
having been awakened by a series of disappointments,
no answers having been received to their letters, and
appointments made by them or for them with the
guardian and other friends always broken, they re-
solved to investigate the affair. They had great diffi-
culty in inducing the poor husband to consent, so-
persuaded was he of the good faith of his fascinating
wife. They met her, and went into the affair. Much
4 PHANTOMS OF MARIE.
of the mystery was at length unravelled, though much
remained. It appeared that she had another husband
living, and that the whole of her story was a fabrica-
The correspondence with the brother and rich aunts,
the tales of foreign life and the promised fortune, were
so like Marie's fictions, that again the thought was
entertained whether the two were one and the same
person. But, on closer inquiry, it appeared that L
M had ever since resided abroad, a small pension
having been guaranteed to her so long as she remained
out of the country.
A third deceiver had imposed upon the Rev. W. L.
Poore of Manchester. She was young, pretty, fasci-
nating, and possessed of great natural talent. She had
a tale of a cruel father and a priest who were in pur-
suit of her, and of a threatened convent in which she
was to be immured for life. Some of her statements
were investigated and proved to be correct, and the
others were believed in consequence. A glance at her
ill-written letters, however, proved that this was not
Marie. She had received much kindness from Mr. and
Mrs. Poore and their friends, for a length of time be-
fore her falsehood was discovered. It appeared that she
had a father and an aunt able to support her, and that
he had wished to place her in a convent-school for the
improvement of her education ; but that a thoroughly
indolent disposition which could endure no exertion but
novel-reading, combined with a passion for romance and
PHANTOMS OF MARIE. 5
deception, had led her to choose out her own path, and
that young as she was, she had imposed upon not a
Other instances were communicated to the Rev. S.
Luke in confidence, by parties who had heen the suf-
ferers, and were with more or less difficulty distin-
guished from Marie's case.
One story only need be added to those already given.
Romantic as it may seem, it is strictly true, and to this
day it remains doubtful whether it was or was not
Marie. The parties concerned incline to think that it
was, though eight years having passed away, it is almost
impossible to ascertain the fact.
At a village near M , in the county of Cheshire,
there lived a worthy farmer of the name of M .
One summer evening at the period of which we speak,
there came to the door of the farm-house a youth in
shabby attire, but with the appearance and manners of
a gentleman. He addressed Mrs. M , who was
within, and requested a glass of water. To Mrs. M.'s
offer of a glass of whey, he replied that he did not
know what that was. She asked him in, and gave him
the whey. While engaged in conversation with her,
the rest of the family returned, and a thunder-storm
coming on, he was asked to stay to tea. As they sat
round the tea-table, he became very communicative,
and informed them that he was a boy in Dr. Butler's
school at Shrewsbury, but had had a quarrel with one
of the ushers, and fearing disgrace, had run away. He
6 PHANTOMS OF MARIE.
said that he was trying to get back to his friends in
Staffordshire, and had pawned his clothes to meet his
necessities. His apparent artlessness so interested the
family, that they lent him thirty shillings to pay his
travelling expenses to Staffordshire. He parted from
them with his spirits greatly cheered, and promised to
revisit them shortly.
In a fortnight or three weeks from that time, he did
come again, well dressed, returned them with thanks
their friendly loan, informed them that his matters were
pleasantly arranged, and said that he was come to stay
a little while with them on his way back to Shrewsbury.
They gave him a cordial welcome, and he was soon per-
fectly at his ease. Cheerful, artless, and unreserved in
his manner, he won their entire confidence : they invited
their friends to meet him, and he was lionized and feted
in that simple neighbourhood. He seemed very stu-
dious, and talked much of Latin and Greek, and not
less of the gentry round, with all of whom he ap-
peared to be on terms of intimacy; being himself,
according to his own statement, the son of a nobleman.
One day when talking with great volubility of a gen-
tleman who lived on his own estate, at about twelve
miles' distance, a listener happened to be present who
was acquainted with the subject of his conversation.
He called Mr. M aside, and told him that the state-
ments of his guest were untrue, and that he felt con-
vinced that the youth was not what he professed to be.
Startled by this communication, Mr. M agreed
PHANTOMS OF MARIE. 7
to accompany his informant to the residence of the gen-
tleman in question, and there ascertain the facts. They
vent, and found that the whole story was false from
beginning to end. They also learned that the constable
of that place was on the look out for a young man
answering the description of Mr. M.'s visitor, for some
impositions practised on parties at Tarporley.
The constable accompanied Mr. M and his friend
to , and the youth was given in charge. He pulled
a pistol from his breast, and dared the constable to
touch him. Young and slightly built he was soon over-
powered, and then he earnestly entreated to be allowed
to speak to Mrs. M alone. She consented, and he
then communicated to her the information that he was
a young woman. The servants had seen some portion
of female apparel peeping out of the visitor's carpet
bag, and had wondered, but now the mystery was ex-
plained. On hearing this statement the parties were
indisposed to press the case. She was allowed to go
free, and has not since been heard of. This occurred,
however, in the neighbouring locality of Marie's early
history, and as the age corresponds, there is at least a
presumption that it may have been herself.
At length, however, circumstances transpired with
which Marie was clearly identified, and which will be
narrated at length in the ensuing chapter.
MARIE AND METHODISM.
SOME few weeks had elapsed after the publication of
" The Female Jesuit," in February, 1851, when a lady
called at the house of the writer, and sent in her card.
She was shown into the drawing-room, and introduced
herself to Mrs. Luke. " I am a stranger to you," she
said, " but I will soon explain the purport of my visit.
It relates to a book of which I have been informed that
you are the author the ' Female Jesuit.' ' Mrs. L.
assented. " I am the wife of a Wesleyan minister. In
1847 we resided in Manchester, and there the heroine
of your book made our acquaintance. She came to us
under another name, but I do not think we can be mis-
taken, as we immediately recognized the likeness. I
have brought some of her letters that we may com-
pare the writing, and shall be obliged by a sight of the
The letters were read and compared, the portraits
examined, and the story told ; and as Mrs. Jobson has
kindly acceded to Mrs. L.'s request, and committed her
tale to paper, it shall be given to the public in her own
MARIE AND METHODISM.
" Dear Mrs. Luke,
" Being fully satisfied from a comparison of
our letters, as well as from other corroborative circum-
stances, that you and I have had similar impositions
practised upon us by the same artful individual, whom
you describe in your publication as ' The Female
Jesuit; or, the Spy in the Family.' I write down,
according to your request, the principal circumstances
connected with her introduction and visit to me.
" It was on a Monday morning in May, 1847, during
the period when Mr. Jobson, as a "Wesleyan minister,
was stationed in Manchester, that I first saw her. She
called at our house in Radnor Street, early in the
morning, and requested to be permitted to speak with
the Rev. Mr. Jobson. She was shown by the servant
into the parlour, where I was sitting alone ; and, after
bowing politely as she entered, and repeating her re-
quest to see Mr. Jobson, she proceeded to tell me who
she was, and for what she came. She said, ' As a
stranger I have to apologize to you for my intrusion
into your house ; but having been convinced last even-
ing, through hearing a sermon preached by Mr. Jobson,
of the error and danger of my state as a Roman Catholic
and a sinner, I judged it best to seek an interview
with him without delay, and to solicit further instruc-
tion.' I replied that Mr. Jobson was engaged in his
study, but I was sure, that under such circumstances,
he would not deem her visit an intrusion upon his time,
and that he would rejoice to give her the instruction
10 MARIE AND METHODISM.
she desired. I informed Mr. Jobson of the presence
and object of our visitor. He immediately left his
study and came into the parlour ; when, after a few in-
troductory sentences, she proceeded to relate to us, in
general, the circumstances of her life, and of her con-
viction of the errors of Romanism. As far as I can re-
member, she said, * I am an orphan, now residing in the
house, and under the protection, of the Honorable B.
Trelawney, of Plas Bower, in North "Wales. My father
was an officer in the same regiment with that gentle-
man ; and dying when with him on foreign service, he
committed me to his charge, and since then he has
kindly acted as my guardian. I am not entirely de-
pendent upon him for support ; for, as the child of a
deceased officer, I have a pension from the government.
Mr. Trelawney has been always exceedingly kind to
me, and most attentive to my interests. He has had
me carefully educated, and during the two last years
of my education, I was in a convent near London.
Since then I have resided in his house ; and though I
have acted as preceptress to his children, yet I have
been uniformly treated as one of the family. I came
over to visit the family of Major Ormond, at Didsbury;
and, last evening, finding myself late for the Roman
Catholic service in the new chapel near to Stretford
Road, I was returning home, when, as I passed a large
chapel in Oxford Road, there issued from it the sound
of many voices singing together. I went in, ascended
the gallery stairs, and was shown into a seat. The
MARIE AND METHODISM. 11
scene was singularly novel to me, for I had never been
into a Protestant place of worship before ; and though
the unrobed appearance of the minister, and his giving
out of the hymn by two lines at a time, struck me as
peculiar, yet the earnest devotion of the large congre-
gation, singing harmoniously together, awed me greatly,
and bowed down my whole nature with feeling. At the
close of the hymn, Mr. Jobson commenced his sermon,
on the lamentation of Christ over Jerusalem. I saw the
compassionate character of the Saviour as I had never
seen it before, and wept greatly. I have been kept
awake through the night, thinking of what I heard ;
and, having also thought much of the difference between
the teaching which last evening so greatly affected me,
and that of the Romish Church, and, also, of my past
unsatisfied and sinful life, I am greatly shaken in my
confidence in the faith in which I have been educated ;
am greatly distressed under the burden of my sinful-
ness and danger ; and have come here for directions as
to what I ought to do.'
" Mr. Jobson spoke to her, generally, on the surpass-
ing importance of the soul's salvation, and on the scrip-
tural way in which it is to be sought. He advised her
to count deliberately the cost of what she felt to be her
duty to do ; and, after a full consideration of the sacri-
fices she would probably have to make if she forsook
the Church in which she had been brought up, and to
which her patron and friends belonged, to inquire of
herself if she was prepared, at such a price, to act ac-
12 MARIE AND METHODISM.
cording to her altered views and convictions. She said
that she had already thought of what would probably
be the consequences of becoming a Protestant ; that she
had no doubt such a step would issue in her forfeiting
the favour of the Trelawneys; of her uncle, who was in a
high ecclesiastical office in Dublin ; and also, of her only
brother, who was in the army abroad, and who was ex-
pecting shortly to obtain leave to visit her. The danger
to which she would be exposed from the influences of
Romish priests in Wales was also spoken of by her :
there was reason to fear that she would be clandestinely
carried off to a convent abroad, and immured in it for
life. But after thinking of these things, she felt that
the motive of eternal life was so powerful, that she was
prepared to act according to her convictions, at the risk
of any sacrifice she might have to make. She also said
that her doubts concerning the truth of the Romish re-
ligion had been strengthening for some years past ; that
when in the convent she frequently felt her sinfulness,
and sought deliverance from it by prayers to St. Ca-
therine, her patron saint, and by long and painful
penances which she performed ; but these affording her
no effectual relief, she at times questioned the truth and
reality of her religion. And that, since then, she had
been so surprised by the difference of the teaching of the
New Testament a copy of which she had one day ac-
cidentally found in Mr. Trelawney's library, and which
she had secretly read that she was in some measure
prepared for the more full conviction of the truth, as
MARIE AND METHODISM. 13
it had been brought home to her mind by the sermon
of the preceding evening.
" Mr. Jobson had some further conversation with her
on the knowledge she had of the doctrines and prac-
tices of the Church of Rome ; for having himself been
brought up in association with some of the most intelli-
gent members of that Church, he knew more con-
cerning its doctrines and practices, than Protestants who
have not been so situated ; but finding nothing in her
statements opposed to his own knowledge, he considered