Henrietta Burke
Biographical information
Full Name
Henrietta Burke
Circa. 1849 (age 50)
December 31, 1899[1]
New York City, NY
Leader of the Savages
Resides In
New York City, NY
Physical Description
Hair Color
Eye Color
Personal Information
Unnamed son[2]
The Dire Magnus
Non-magical humans

Henrietta Burke, also known by Miss Burke or simply Miss B, was the leader of a band of thieves called the Savages in New York City in the late nineteenth century, which was mainly comprised of children she had rescued from discrimination against the magical community. She is known for her connection to Rafe, the tenth and final Dire Magnus, and to the wizard Scruggs.

When Kate Wibberly, Keeper of the Atlas, was stuck in the past, she was rescued by Burke and the Savages, who helped Kate realize the full extent of her power, enabling her to send herself home.

Burke perished in the fire set in the Savages' church, refusing to leave after being impaled by a shard of glass, which she believed could not be healed, much to the protesting of Kate and Rafe.


Not much is known about Henrietta Burke's early life; however, Kate's description of her in December 1899 placed her in her early fifties, which puts her birth sometime around 1850. It is also revealed later that she knew Stanislaus Pym. She had one child, a son, some years before Kate's arrival in New York in 1899.

After a New York City butcher beat Rafe's mother, a scryer, to death in 1888, Rafe killed the man and was saved from the angry mobs by Henrietta Burke. Burke adopted a maternal position towards him, having missed her chance with her biological son years ago. Together, the two started the Savages, a group of child thieves who were kept safe in an invisible church protected by Burke and the wizard Scruggs's enchantments.

When Kate arrived by accident the day before New Years Eve in 1899, she was found by Jake and Beetles, two of the Savages, who brought her to meet Miss Burke. Burke promised to help send Kate back to the present for an undetermined price. After sending Kate to be redressed in the fashion of the era, Kate, Jake, Beetles, and a girl named Abigail went to shop for a New Years party Burke wanted to throw in the church. However, Kate was kidnapped by Declan Rourke, a lieutenant of the Dire Magnus. After being rescued by Rafe, disguised as Rourke, the two found out that angry human mobs had set the church on fire. Rafe rescued Jake from the blaze and then he and Kate went in again to find Miss Burke. After unsuccessfully pleading with her to come with them, Burke told Rafe she wished to speak to Kate. She told Kate that she did not need help to return to the present; the power was inside Kate all along. Burke also told Kate the price she had decided on for her help: Kate's love for Rafe, which she believed would alter the course of history, as Rafe was destined to become the next Dire Magnus. She refused to leave the burning church with Kate and Rafe, as she had already been fatally injured by a large glass shard, and the two teenagers regretfully left her to perish in the fire.


Burke was a strong, proud, and independent woman, and had a deep love for all of her children, who she believed was her second chance after ruining her relationship with her estranged son. While seemingly cold and hard externally, she had much love in her heart and had passion for her cause: saving children from discrimination against magic by scared, jealous humans. Stanislaus Pym described her as a "fierce, proud woman."[3]



  1. Stephens, John. The Fire Chronicle. Yearling Books, 2012.
  2. Stephens, John. The Fire Chronicle. Yearling Books, 2012.
  3. Stephens, John. The Black Reckoning. Yearling Books, 2016.

See also