Butterworth, Mary Peck (1686–1775)

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Butterworth, Mary Peck (1686–1775)

American counterfeiter. Born in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, on July 27, 1686; died in Rehoboth on February 7, 1775.

Around 1715, after Rhode Island had issued five-pound notes of credit, Mary Peck Butterworth, together with Hannah Peck , allegedly organized a counterfeiting ring involving a dozen or so citizens of Rehoboth, Massachusetts (then Plymouth Colony). The group was accused of counterfeiting the notes by transferring the image from muslin to clean paper, thus avoiding the use of copper plates and leaving no evidence. Ultimately, the charges against Butterworth were dropped, and she went free.