Mary Barton

Mary Barton Glossary


a defense in which an accused criminal attempts to prove that his or her location was elsewhere than the crime scene

at after

common Lancashire phrase, meaning after


a child


working-class movement in Britain from 1838-1848, striving for political and labor reform


to suffer from extreme hunger, starve in Lancashire dialect

Combination Acts

British acts in 1799 and 1800 that made trade unions illegal

Courts of Assize

periodic criminal justice courts held in England and Wales


crazed in Lancashire dialect


a woman who betrays her lover, alluding to Samson's mistress who betrayed him by cutting off his hair, the source of his strength

Dives and Lazarus

Biblical parable that contrasts the separation between the blessed poor man in heaven and the miserable rich man in hell


inclined or willing; compelled


irritated, peevish, short-tempered in Lancashire dialect


a saucy or impudent girl; promiscuous and immoral woman

New Bailey

19th century prison in Manchester


none but; only, in dialect


hallucinogenic drug derived from the opium poppy, popularly used in Britain for medicinal and pain-killing purposes

Ruth to Naomi

Biblical allusion to Ruth who would not desert her mother-in-law Naomi after the death of Naomi's husband and sons


spinning machines invented in the 18th century that could wind yarn onto more than one spindle - a major development of the Industrial Revolution which put weavers out of work


alternate term for a prostitute

suborned witness

witness who is induced by bribery to commit perjury in a court of law


a formal document ordering an individual to appear as a witness in a court of law

Trades' Union

organization of laborers striving for common goals such as increased pay and better working conditions, legalized in England in 1825 after the repeal of the Combination Acts

whistle down the wind

colloquial expression meaning to send away or abandon