'Princess Caraboo'
A favourite niece of Lt.Colonel John Landeg, Sophia Anne Mansel, was married off to her cousin, Captain John Landeg. The latter gentleman was,in fact,Colonel Landeg's indian-born son who proved to be somewhat of a 'black sheep'.
Sophia,following her uncle's death in 1809, for reasons unknown, landed up in Clifton near Bristol. She became acquainted with a local surgeon, William Mortimer, and they lived together as man and wife although Sophia was still married. Sophia eventually married William Mortimer in London in 1833- soon after her husband died.
Whilst living with William Mortimer, Sophia met the notorious hoaxer known as Caraboo. It was William Mortimer who helped to expose Caraboo.

Richmond Terrace, Clifton c1840
Sophia and William Mortimer lived at Bridge Street, Bristol when they both came to know Caraboo in 1817.
Later, the couple moved to Richmond Terrace in Clifton where William continued with his successful practice. A single child, Caroline Charlotte, is known to have been fathered by William. Whether or not Sophia was her mother remains a mystery. Caroline married Henry Dayrell and produced a number of children. No doubt there are descendants from these children.

Another portrait of 'Princess' Caraboo
After her exposure as a fraud Caraboo went to America. Years later she returned to Bristol and sold leeches to the Bristol Infirmary. It's quite possible that there she met, once again, the man who helped to expose her as an imposter- William Mortimer.

The strange writing recorded by Caraboo
It's interesting to reflect on the role played by William Mortimer in exposing Caraboo as a fraud. He himself lived a lie - his 'wife', niece to Lt.Colonel John Landeg, was no wife in law. His friends and acqaintances were undoubtedly ignorant of the fact that Mortimer's 'wife' was already married - to her own cousin! These facts are supported by the knowledge that William Mortimer and Sophia actually married in 1833,in London, just a few months after the death of Sophia's husband, the bigamist Captain John Landeg.
site published by
Alan A. Powell, M.A.