Joan Clayton
Biographical Information

The Cut-Wife


Hedge witch

Origin Daywalker


Cause of Death


Killed By

Sir Geoffrey Hawkes

Relationship Information
Character Information
Portrayed By

Patti LuPone



First Appearance

The Nightcomers

Last Appearance

The Nightcomers

When Lucifer fell, he did not fall alone. They will hunt you until the end of days. Be true. My name is Joan Clayton.
— Joan to Vanessa [src]

Joan Clayton (commonly known as the Cut-Wife) is a minor character in Season 2 of Penny Dreadful. She is a daywalker, who took on the role of hedge witch in the west country after being gifted a plot of land by Oliver Cromwell in 1644.


Joan Clayton was a practitioner in the occult in centuries past. She was a prominent figure in a coven, along with her sister Evelyn and other women. When Evelyn was seduced by the Devil and led the coven into evil, Joan stood alone in staying true to the principles of those who stayed in the light. She was branded a traitor, and branded literally with a pentacle scorched into her back.

After escaping her old coven, Joan offered solace to Oliver Cromwell after the second battle of Newbury, and was granted a land title in Ballentree Moor in gratitude for her help. There she became the Cut-Wife of Ballentree Moor to the locals, earning that dubious title by aiding young women in ending unwanted extramarital pregnancies.

More than two-hundred years later near the turn of the century, 1900, the Cut-Wife was approached by Vanessa Ives, a young woman seeking answers to her own inherent ties to the occult. Despite suspicions about the evil that followed Vanessa, she gave her refuge and began to teach her the ways of the daywalkers. Evelyn also sought Miss Ives, and manipulated nearby folk into forming a lynch mob intent on burning the Cut-Wife. She had known her time was near an end, and had already deeded her land and home to Miss Ives, before she surrendered herself to the lynch mob and died in their assault of oil and flame.[1]

Powers and AbilitiesEdit

  • Apotropaic Magic: The practice of creating mystic wards to block evil. The Cut-Wife's primary ward to protect her home is a symbol of her personal totem painted on stone in her own blood.
  • Divination: The ability to acquire knowledge or information through the use of supernatural means
    • Cartomancy: The practice of divination through the use of tarot cards.
    • Clairvoyance: The practice of divination through the perception of emotions, objects, people, or physical phenomena.
  • Herbalist: Joan possesses a comprehensive knowledge of plants and their properties when applied to the human body.
  • Verbis Diablo : Knowledge of the Devil's tongue.


Season 2

Memorable QuotesEdit

Joan Clayton (to Vanessa): We must prepare for battle. When it comes, it comes fully and to the end.

- The Nightcomers

Joan Clayton (to Vanessa): Let this language not become easy in your mouth, or soon it will not be your mouth, but His.

- The Nightcomers


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