- "Mary Lou Barebone, a handsome midwestern woman in a 1920s version of Puritan dress, charismatic and earnest, stands on a small stage at the steps to the City Bank...Mary Lou’s three adopted children, adults Credence and Chastity, and Modesty (an eight-year-old girl), hand out leaflets. Credence appears nervous and troubled."
- — Description of the Barebone family[src]
As with other Scourer-founded families studied by American wizarding historian Theophilus Abbot, the Barebones were marked by a profound belief in the existence of magic and an equally deep hatred of it, which they passed down the generations.
At least one adopted member named Credence Barebone was found to be magical.
The Barebone family was an American No-Maj family that descended from one of the Scourers. The Scourers were a band of rogue wizarding mercenaries during the 17th century. the Scourers began as a combination vigilante group and bounty-hunting service, tracking down both wanted criminals and anyone for whom a reward was offered. With time, they became increasingly corrupt and brutal, resorting to torture and murder. Eventually, they engaged in outright wizard-trafficking and even turned innocent No-Majs over to witch-hunting Puritans in exchange for gold.
However, a number of the most notorious Scourers managed to evade being brought to justice by integrating into No-Maj society. Some of them married No-Majs, "winnowing out" any magical children born of these unions, so as to maintain their cover. They instilled an abiding conviction in their descendants that magic actually exists and that wizards and witches ought to be wiped out.
Bartholomew Barebone was an American No-Maj who lived during the 18th century. Descended from one of the Scourers who escaped justice, he had an intense hatred of witches and wizards. This hatred caused his desire to expose the existence of the wizarding world, which propelled one of the largest ever breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy.
Bartholomew met Dorcus Twelvetrees at a neighbourhood picnic one day. She became smitten with him and performed "little tricks" for him. Dorcus interpreting his interest as nothing more than politeness and curiosity and duly answered his "artless" queries. In the course of these interactions, she revealed to him the locations of Ilvermorny and the headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America. She also provided him information about the International Confederation of Wizards and the manners in which the wizarding community endeavoured to hide from the No-Maj world.
Unbeknownst to her, Bartholomew was in fact descended from a Scourer line, meaning that he vehemently believed in the existence of magic and that all witches and wizards were evil. Having manipulated Dorcus into revealing as much about the wizarding world as he could, he proceeded to steal her wand. He showed the wand to as many newspaper reporters as possible, and a few were motivated to publish pictures of it, describing it as having a "kick like a mule" when waved. He also printed and distributed leaflets listing the wizarding addresses Dorcus had revealed to him, and sent letters to important No-Majs, prompting some to investigate whether the "evil occult parties" he described were actually occurring.
After shooting at a group of No-Majs he wrongly assumed to be Magical Congress of the United States of America employees, Bartholomew was arrested by No-Maj authorities, but the damage had already been done. The MACUSA was left struggling to cope with one of the most massive breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy in history. They attempted to modify the memories of all No-Majs exposed to the leaked information, but, as President Rappaport testified at a public inquiry, there was no way to be certain they had obliviated everyone.
In the 1920s, Mary Lou Barebone was the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, also known as the Second Salemers. This was a fanatical American No-Maj group which tried to expose and destroy Wizardkind. Mary Lou had three adopted children: Credence, Chastity, and Modesty Barebone. Mary Lou regularly physically, verbally, and emotionally abused and tormented her adopted children.
The slightest infraction of her strict rules would result in abuse. She was especially extremely abusive towards Credence, whom she beats with a belt that left marks on his hands. Their meeting place was a "dingy" church in Pike Street, New York City where they ran a soup kitchen for poor children to whom they distributed anti-magic pamphlets. The society published and distributed a pamphlet entitled Witches Live Among Us!. Credence Barebone was an Obscurial, a wizard who developed a magic parasitical force, also known as an Obscurus due to the years of repressing his magic. Credence's Obscurus went on a rampage which destroyed large parts of New York. The family line may have ended following the death of Mary Lou when she was attacked by Credence Obscurus by 7 December 1926.
|Bartholomew Barebone||an 18th-century No-Maj who tricked the witch Dorcus Twelvetrees into revealing many details about the wizarding world in the largest-ever breach of the International Statute of Secrecy|
|Mary Lou Barebone||a No-Maj woman who lead the "fanatical" anti-witchcraft group the New Salem Philanthropic Society in the 1920sShe was born into the Barebone family, a family that descended from one of the Scourers who evaded justice in the late 17th century by integrating into No-Maj society. Mary Lou was marked by a profound belief in the existence of magic and an equally deep hatred of it. She dies on 7 December 1926 at the hands of Credence's Obscurus.|
|Chastity Barebone||adopted daughter of Mary Lou She dutifully abided by her mother's strict rules, unlike her two siblings, Credence and Modesty. She was an active member of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, sharing her mother's zeal for the cause of eradicating magic and its practitioners. She dies at 7 December 1926 by Credence's Obscurus.|
|Credence Barebone||oldest adopted son of Mary Lou He's a wizard and was born from an unnamed witch. He was regularly beaten and psychologically abused by his adoptive mother Mary Lou Barebone, who hated magic. Credence was an Obscurial, a wizard who developed a dark magical parasitical force also known as an Obscurus created duo the years of repressing his magic. He was eventually consumed by his Obscurus and went on a rampage which destroyed large parts of New York.|
|Modesty Barebone||youngest adopted daughter of Mary LouShe had lived in a tenement in the Bronx with her mother, father, and nine siblings before she was adopted by Mary Lou Barebone. She deeply missed her brothers and sisters and would often talk about them to her older adoptive brother Credence. Modesty spent much of her time singing anti-witchcraft rhymes while playing hopscotch.|
Behind the scenes
- The Barebones are thematically based on Puritans; their name seems to have been taken from Praise-God Barebone (c. 1598–1679), a prominent English Fifth Monarchist (an extreme Puritan sect) and namesake of Barebone's Parliament, the last (and failed) attempt at a stable form of government before the installation of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector, following the English Civil War and the trial and execution of King Charles I.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Dimensions
Notes and references
- "Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character" at Entertainment Weekly
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Seventeenth Century and Beyond" at Wizarding World
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Rappaport's Law" at Wizarding World
- Tweet by Fantastic Beasts Fan (@FBAWTFTmovie) on Twitter (see this image)
- "Full Character Descriptions from FantasticBeastsMovies.com