Sydney Biddle Barrows (born January 14, 1952), known as the Mayflower Madam, was a modern American madam. After her escort service was exposed and disbanded, she gained worldwide notoriety, in part because she was part of the upper-class Biddle family of Philadelphia and is a Mayflower descendant. During her years as a madam, she used the alias Sheila Devin. She is also related to the Drexel banking family of Philadelphia which includes St. Katharine Drexel. After a short career in fashion (after graduating from New York's Fashion Institute of Technology), she was introduced to the world of high-class prostitution and started her own escort service named Cachet, which existed in New York City from 1979 to 1984. Unlike other escort agencies, Cachet offered an unparalleled service at the time, focusing on delivering a classy and elegant experience to the wealthy and powerful who either visited or lived in New York City. Some of its clients included industrialists, high-powered business executives and lawyers, foreign diplomats and Arabian oil sheiks. Barrows was well-known for treating her "ladies" with respect and dignity while also maintaining strict codes of conduct to preserve high standards and a reputation for outstanding service with elegance.
In her book, Mayflower Madam, Barrows imparted the advice that made her service so exclusive and successful. "Hire good people and pay them what they are worth" is her first rule of good business.
In October 1984, her escort service was shut down and she was charged with promoting prostitution by the New York City District Attorney's Office. After she pled guilty, she published a best-selling autobiography, Mayflower Madam, which later became a television movie of the same name starring Candice Bergen.