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Changeling Continued

In 1895, a woman named Bridget Cleary went missing.  After a week of searching the police found her charred body in a shallow grave.  Bridget was the wife of Michael Cleary, a local cooper.  After questioning, they arrested him for his wife’s murder.  Michael insisted that wasn’t his wife, but a changeling who had taken her place.  In the time before her death she apparently was ill, according to some biographers, with pneumonia or tuberculosis which was a shameful and fearsome disease.  It could have been she was confused and this was taken as a sign that she had been stolen.  Various methods were used to expel the changeling, including fire.  Michael pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a 15 year sentence.

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