A woman adopted and murdered over 400 infants in order to make money on adoption fees
“Unlike many of her generation, Amelia Dyer was not the product of grinding poverty. She was born the youngest of 5 (with 3 brothers, Thomas, James and William, and a sister, Ann) in the small village of Pyle Marsh, just east of Bristol (now part of Bristol’s urban sprawl known as Pile Marsh), the daughter of a master shoemaker, Samuel Hobley, and Sarah Hobley née Weymouth. She learned to read and write and developed a love of literature and poetry. However, her somewhat privileged childhood was marred by the mental illness of her mother, caused by typhus. Amelia witnessed her mother’s violent fits and was obliged to care for her until she died raving in 1848. Researchers would later comment on the effect this had on Amelia, and also what it would teach Amelia about the signs exhibited by those who appear to lose their mind through illness.
After her mother’s death Amelia lived with an aunt in Bristol for a while, before serving an apprenticeship with a corset maker. Her father died in 1859 and her eldest brother, Thomas, inherited the family shoe business. In 1861, at the age of 24, Amelia became permanently estranged from at least one of her brothers, James, and moved into lodgings in Trinity Street, Bristol. There she married George Thomas. George was 59 and they both lied about their ages on the marriage certificate to reduce the age gap. George deducted 11 years from his age and Amelia added 6 years to her age—many sources later reported this age as fact, causing much confusion.”