The Impostor Princess

Kamie Berry | June 16th, 2017

On a spring day in 1817, in the small town of Almondsbury in Gloucestershire, England, a local cobbler encountered a confused and disoriented young woman. Although she was English in appearance, she was wearing strange clothing, including a turban, and she did not speak or understand English.

No one knew who she was, and she had no money, so the cobbler’s wife brought her to the local Overseer of the Poor. The magistrate, Samuel Worrall, took an interest in this strange woman, so he brought her home to stay with him and his wife until her identity could be determined.

1.wdr.de

The woman, who called herself Caraboo, spoke a language that no one could understand. She also exhibited unusual behavior, including sleeping on the floor and refusing to drink out of any glass until she washed it herself. She also grew excited when she saw a drawing of a pineapple, calling it “nanas.” These actions made the Worralls wonder if she might be from some faraway place.

Soon after her arrival, a Portuguese sailor surfaced who said he could understand her language. He told the Worralls that she was Princess Caraboo from Javasu Island in the Indian Ocean. She had ended up in England after being captured by pirates and escaped their ship by jumping overboard in the Bristol Channel.

The Worralls were delighted to discover that they were hosting foreign royalty. They placed a notice in the newspapers announcing this fact and spent the next ten weeks supporting her royal lifestyle. Princess Caraboo spent those weeks in an endless round of dances and entertainments. Her foreign culture was also indulged, as she was allowed to pray to “Alla Tallah,” who she said was her god, and as the locals looked the other way as she swam naked in a nearby lake.

Princess Caraboo’s lavish lifestyle with the Worralls came to an abrupt end when a boarding-house keeper recognized her picture from a newspaper story. She informed the Worralls that Caraboo was really a servant girl from Devon, whose real name was Mary Willcocks Baker. She was well-known in her hometown for the fictitious language she invented and which she used to entertain the local children.

Caraboo admitted her deception, saying she had invented her story to garner sympathy since she could not find work. Strangely, the Worralls felt bad for her and paid for her to travel to Philadelphia, in the United States, where she lived for seven years. She returned to England in 1824, where she eventually married and had a daughter. Though she tried to capitalize on her history as Princess Caraboo, the public was no longer interested. She turned to making money by selling leeches to the Bristol Infirmary Hospital. She died in 1864 and was buried in an unmarked grave in Bristol’s Hebron Road Cemetery.

Next Article
  • The Isolator Possibly The Strangest Helmet Ever Created

    In 1925 a rather bizarre invention appeared called the isolator, apparently a helmet that would improve focus and concentration. The wearer would become completely deaf as it engulfed their head completely and even had its own oxygen supply. When wearing the isolator concentration helmet, your vision would also be very...

    Read More
  • Giant Artificial Glaciers Growing In The Desert

    One smart engineer from a small remote village in Indian has put his engineering skills to the test and decided to counter-effect the problems being caused by global warming. A global and immense problem for one engineer to tackle, but Sonam Wangchuk is up for the fight. His solution is very simple, create artificial glaciers...

    Read More
  • The Flower That Will Kill You With A Smile

    When one hears the phrase satanic grin, you may think of the DC Comics The Joker’s laugh as he executes a deadly plan. That sardonic grin is well known across the whole world, a grin that comes hand in hand with death. The corners of your mouth go up really far on each side and...

    Read More
  • The Deadly Dynamite Tree

    There is actually a tree that exists covered in poisonous spikes which is capable of dropping exploding dynamite fruit on your head. And to make matters worse the explosions launches spikes & seeds to launch out into the air at over 150 miles per hour, sending them a good 100 feet. ...

    Read More
  • Two Chinese Woman Jump Off A Bridge To Decide True Love

    A young man was put to the test and found himself facing a very difficult situation, his current girlfriend and ex-girlfriend jumped off a bridge to find out who he would save. To say he was confused that two grown women had thrown themselves into a river would be an understatement, but that is what...

    Read More
  • The Raptor Of The Skies That Views Humans As Prey

    For most people living in the western world or any relatively urban area, being eaten by an animal sounds like a story you would only read about in Africa. It sounds like a story that would only happen in a horror tale or during a fantasy story. But not so long ago, being eaten by...

    Read More
  • The Australian Bushranger Who Was A Master Prison Escapist

    One Australian bushranger by the name of Joseph Johns had a very interesting talent: no cell or prison could hold him. In fact, he escaped from prison on so many occasions the authorities became frustrated and built him a special cell that was tailored to keep him inside. The governor even came and checked the...

    Read More
  • Romania Home To The Living And Growing Rocks

    These mysterious rocks that appear to be living entities in Romania continue to grow & grow, defying all the odds and confusing biologists around the world. They really do appear to be something that is impossible: stones that move and grow. Locals refer to them as Trovants and they have confused experts all around the...

    Read More