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  • Originally posted by rjpalmer View Post
    The Bigamy Act of 1603 was repealed in 1828, but replaced by a statute contained in the "Offences Against the Person Act," with much the same wording:

    "Provided always, that nothing herein contained shall extend to any Second Marriage contracted out of England by any other than a Subject of His Majesty, or to any Person marrying a Second Time, whose Husband or Wife shall have been continually absent from such Person for the Space of Seven Years then last past, and shall not have been known by such Person to be living within that Time, or shall extend to any Person who at the Time of such Second Marriage shall have been divorced from the Bond of the First Marriage, or to any Person whose former Marriage shall have been declared void by the Sentence of a Court of competent Jurisdiction."


    Thanks RJ,


    My take on that does stray into slightly more speculative territory and requires more explanation than I feel is worthwhile. It has to do with Maria’s neighbour in Blue School Lane in 1851, the local JP who refused him a promotion, the will of Thomas Roulson, the age and occupation of Thomas Cross, the location of his and Maria’s marriage and the nature of the City of Hereford.

    Perhaps not the sort of information that would be appreciated by devotees of Ripper Cluedo (you and Dusty being two of a handful of notable exclusions from that classification!)














    Comment


    • I was not intending to contribute to this thread until I had finished reading Cutting Point but I was just reading a MJK thread and came across this (posted by Wickerman):-

      "On the very first day of her murder, one of her neighbors told a reporter 'we didn't know her real name, we called her Mary Jane', none of us use our real name, no-one knows mine' (or words to that effect)". {my emphasis}

      This supports my view, shared by many others, that using a different name from that recorded on official records was certainly not unusual in the LVP.

      It struck me that possibly those attaching such significance to using "Cross" rather than "Lechmere" may live outside of the UK where different laws govern the use of names. I know that Mr Marriott has made the point several times but under UK law you can freely chose to go under any name that you wish provided that the use of an "alias" is not for any criminal purpose. There is a formal process to register the new name should an individual choose to do so but it is not a legal requirement now and it wasn't in 1888.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by ohrocky View Post
        I was not intending to contribute to this thread until I had finished reading Cutting Point but I was just reading a MJK thread and came across this (posted by Wickerman):-

        "On the very first day of her murder, one of her neighbors told a reporter 'we didn't know her real name, we called her Mary Jane', none of us use our real name, no-one knows mine' (or words to that effect)". {my emphasis}

        This supports my view, shared by many others, that using a different name from that recorded on official records was certainly not unusual in the LVP.

        It struck me that possibly those attaching such significance to using "Cross" rather than "Lechmere" may live outside of the UK where different laws govern the use of names. I know that Mr Marriott has made the point several times but under UK law you can freely chose to go under any name that you wish provided that the use of an "alias" is not for any criminal purpose. There is a formal process to register the new name should an individual choose to do so but it is not a legal requirement now and it wasn't in 1888.
        Do you live in the U.K. yourself? Have you done much genealogical research?

        Do you appreciate the social distinction between a lodging house prostitute and a policeman’s wife who was the daughter of a butler who had served in the household of a member of one of the most prominent families in the country? A woman who had been raised on a grand estate in Herefordshire and who married a man from a prominent Herefordshire family?

        Can you explain to me why numerous people with humble origins felt it appropriate to disclose their real and assumed names in court but Charles Allen Lechmere didn’t?








        Comment


        • Originally posted by harry View Post
          Mr Barnett,
          You wished to know what the law was in 1888.Well,in the case of murder it was Common Law,not Statuary law.What does the Common law specify in regard to identification.Well it doesn't specify anything,that is why Cross could use that name.An exception would be IF he was using the name Cross for an illegal reason,and that reason would have to be proven.Now when you talk about legality,you have to realise that Cross was protected by that same law,so,provided he gave sufficient information to identify himself,which he did,no action could be taken against him,and none was.
          ,Any smokescreen is created by those,who like yourself,have no evidence that Cross committed any crime,nor sought to evade identification.
          That’s statute law or statutory, not statuary.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by harry View Post
            Mr Barnett,
            You wished to know what the law was in 1888.Well,in the case of murder it was Common Law,not Statuary law.What does the Common law specify in regard to identification.Well it doesn't specify anything,that is why Cross could use that name.An exception would be IF he was using the name Cross for an illegal reason,and that reason would have to be proven.Now when you talk about legality,you have to realise that Cross was protected by that same law,so,provided he gave sufficient information to identify himself,which he did,no action could be taken against him,and none was.
            ,Any smokescreen is created by those,who like yourself,have no evidence that Cross committed any crime,nor sought to evade identification.
            This is rather garbled, I’m afraid. Perhaps you can clarify the specific statute that covers the identification of witnesses in coroner’s courts.

            Comment


            • I might be eventually proven wrong, but I've grown skeptical of Ed Stowe's claim that Maria Lechmere was "twice bigamously married."

              The insinuation is that there was something untoward and promiscuous and illegal about her relationships during Charles Lechmere's formative years, but is there any conclusive proof that she behaved other than honorably? Would Charles have needed to hide his mother's bigamous marriage by using the name 'Cross,' if it was, in fact, not bigamous?


              The 7+ year span between her abandonment by John Allen Lechmere and her marriage to Thomas Cross--a police constable no less--is suggestive. She may well have waited the required span before legally remarrying, and one would certainly hope that a constable would be leery of leaping into an illegal marriage.

              Yes; one might suspect that Maria would have been aware that her absconding husband was still alive, but what is the evidence that John Allen Lechmere stayed in contact with their friends and relations back in Herefordshire? Has any such evidence come to light? If he had been socially embarrassed for his part in a drunken death, it seems entirely plausible that he simply fled the area, either before or after Maria made her way to London.

              As far as I am aware, we next hear of John Lechmere when he next turns up in Daventry--famous as a center of shoe-making, where, presumably, he could easily find employment and get a fresh start. At some point meets up with a servant girl, or young woman, rather, and they have a child by at least 1855. Daventry is a good 70 miles from his old stomping grounds in Herefordshire--a safe distance for someone wishing to keep a low profile.


              Emily Lechmere’s father is listed as dead on her death certificate; this could have been the family’s honest belief. It's also interesting to note that Charles Lechmere's half-brother is living in London (the West End) by the mid-1880s, but was Charles even aware of this? The witnesses at James Lechmere’s 1886 marriage are John and Henry King.

              As far as I can tell, Maria Lechmere’s marriages may have been entirely legal. The baptisms of Emily and Charles after her marriage to Cross may have been an attempt to stress that everything was on the 'up and up,' and that she was not hiding her past marriage to Lechmere. If she had just bigamously married Cross, it would have been a strange move indeed! Maybe she even thought it would give her or her children some legal standing if Lechmere ever turned up or had left an unclaimed estate.


              It's a little odd that Thomas Cross is a former shoemaker from the same general area of Herefordshire as John Lechmere, also a shoemaker, and though the age difference between Tom and Maria is substantial, it does leave one wondering what it might mean.

              Comment



              • RJ,

                I think you’ll find that whether she had married Cross in the knowledge that John Lechmere was still alive or not, her second marriage was invalid. Ditto her third.

                The uniqueness of Charles Allen Lechmere’s name could have brought Maria’s wastrel husband out of the woodwork, and she may still have been in receipt of income from her father’s will. It’s possible that John Lechmere was never heard of in Hereford, his home town, after 1850. But it wasn’t the teeming East End, it’s population in 1851 was a mere 12,000 or so. If he had popped back to see how the land lay, the chances are it would have got back to Maria.

                Thomas Cross was baptised in July, 1836, so it seems he was 11 years Maria’s junior. His age on their marriage certificate was increased by a couple of years to 23 - he was only 21 at the time.

                In 1851 Maria’s next door neighbour was a policeman named John Ball who a few years earlier had been turned down for a promotion by the Rev. Archer Clive, a local JP and the executor of Maria’s father’s will. It seems that the better qualified Ball had lost out on the job because a member of the local gentry had recommended his gamekeeper for the role (Superintendent Constable of Police at Abbey Dore). The Rev. A. C. would later become a senior official at Hereford Cathedral.

                All very respectable and Maria was seemingly well connected in her home county.

                We don’t know when or where Maria met T. C. but he was barely out of his teens when she married him and they somehow wound up in Tiger Bay, a notorious area of brothels in the East End. Why didn’t she stay in Hereford where she had connections?

                And how likely is is that she would have been happy to broadcast her new location and second marriage in the press for anyone in Herefordshire to read?




                Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-18-2021, 07:42 PM.

                Comment


                • Mr Barnett,
                  My post was only garbled to those that do not know.
                  The difference between Statute law and Common law is quite clear.
                  If there was any offence committed by Cross in 1888,of not supplying a middle name, the onus is on you to disclose it.
                  My view is very clear.There was no offence under either law.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by harry View Post
                    Mr Barnett,
                    My post was only garbled to those that do not know.
                    The difference between Statute law and Common law is quite clear.
                    If there was any offence committed by Cross in 1888,of not supplying a middle name, the onus is on you to disclose it.
                    My view is very clear.There was no offence under either law.
                    Dear Harry,

                    Charles Lechmere DID supply his middle name. I’ve already pointed that out to you. He was very particular about giving his full correct name.

                    You say,

                    “What does the Common law specify in regard to identification.Well it doesn't specify anything,that is why Cross could use that name.”

                    Which suggests you believe that anything not prohibited by common law is legal - so what you call ‘statuary’ law couldn’t apply to CAL? How about judge made law, which your Googling seems not to have picked up on?

                    Of course, all of this is irrelevant, because my point is not that Charles Allen Lechmere (the man you call Cross) broke any law by not revealing his proper name.

                    Perhaps you should try saying the L word one letter at a time. Today’s lesson is L. Try it: L, L, L... If you can master that, we’ll give the next letter of the man’s real name a go tomorrow. It may surprise you to discover what it is. (Don’t cheat and try Googling it, you’ll probably come up with Z.)

                    Mr Barnett

                    (As far as I know the use of that name isn’t prohibited by ‘statuary’ law.)

















                    Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-19-2021, 06:28 AM.

                    Comment


                    • At the inquest?

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by MrBarnett View Post
                        Thomas Cross was baptised in July, 1836, so it seems he was 11 years Maria’s junior. His age on their marriage certificate was increased by a couple of years to 23 - he was only 21 at the time.
                        Hi Gary. How is this relevant? Thomas Cross was of legal age to marry in February, 1858, so his age has no bearing on whether Maria Lechmere knowingly committed bigamy. We can hardly convict her based on the youth of her husband.

                        I suppose it is a minor matter in the grand scheme of things, but the more I study, the more I am convinced that Maria's friends and neighbors would have seen her marriage to Thomas Cross as entirely ethical and legitimate, and no court in the land would have convicted her of a crime. If the Lechmere accusers want to call her a bigamist, they do so based on a technicality, and are at risk of misrepresenting the understood morals and legal precedents of the Victorian era.

                        I am seeing case after case in the 1850s and 60s where bigamy charges were dismissed when it was shown that the husband (or wife) had been absent for years, and no evidence was presented to prove the accused knew the absconding spouse was still alive.

                        Here are three cases from the archives of the Old Bailey; there are plenty of others:


                        MARY ANN HARMER.
                        Sexual Offences: bigamy.
                        22nd November 1858

                        41. MARY ANN HARMER (46), was indicted for bigamy.
                        MR. COOPER conducted the Prosecution.
                        ELLEN JOHNSON . I am the wife of James Johnson, a stonemason in King-street, Mile-end—the prisoner is my sister—I was present at Stepney Church, on 25th February, 1839, when she was married by banns to Samuel Harmer—they lived together about two years, and he left her and went abroad—they parted by mutual consent—I have never heard of him since—my sister lived with us seven or eight years—I don't know of her having any communication with her husband.
                        FRANCIS PARR . I am a licensed victualler, and keep the Jacob's Well in Mile-end—I became acquainted with the prisoner between, nine and ten years ago—I continued my acquaintance till December, 1849, when we married at St. George's-in-the-East—she told me she believed her husband was dead—we parted afterwards in consequence of her actions, and then I discovered her husband was alive—she continued annoying me several times, and the last time she brought a number of persons round the house—I went and told her husband and indicted her for bigamy.
                        MART ANN HARMER . I am the prisoner's daughter—she lived at 3, Corbett's court—I was present on 24th December, 1849, at St. George's Church when she was married to Mr. Parr—last summer I saw my father; I accidentally met him in the street—I had not seen him before since I was about seven years old—that is eighteen or nineteen years ago.
                        COURT. Q. Did your mother know anything about your father? A. No.
                        JOHN BONE (Policeman, H 181). I took the prisoner on 22d December; I told her she was charged with bigamy, and asked her if she was aware her first husband was alive—she said yes, she believed he was—She saw him two or three weeks ago.

                        NOT GUILTY

                        ANN BIRD.
                        Sexual Offences: bigamy.
                        18th August 1856

                        812. ANN BIRD was indicted for bigamy.
                        MR. W. J. PAYNE conducted the Prosecution.
                        URIAH TREW (City policeman, 79). I produce a certificate of the marriage of George Bird with Ann Webster, from St. Mary, Lambeth—it is a correct copy—I compared it with the register—(This certified the marriage of George Bird, bachelor, and Ann Webster, spinster, at St. Mary, Lambeth, on 9th December, 1833.)
                        Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Did you compare it with the register? A. Yes, myself.
                        JANE FRENCH . I am the wife of James French, and the sister of George Bird. In December, 1833, I was present at his marriage to Ann Webster, the prisoner, at Lambeth Church—they lived together six or seven years, or a little longer, and then they went away in the country and separated—I used to see him sometimes after that and sometimes not, he used to go abroad in steamboats; sometimes he has gone for three or four years, the last voyage he was gone two years—I cannot speak exactly to his being away seven years—I do not know where the prisoner was at that time—I last saw her before that, last October, and before that I had not seen her for seventeen years—she then came to see me—I saw the prisoner about two years before last October, because he was gone out to the Brazils in a Brazilian frigate—I might have seen him a year or two before that, he was never at home long—the prisoner came to my house this day week—Mr. Bird was then living at my house, he has been living there since April—she came again on the Saturday and was given in custody—I was present when she saw her husband at my house.
                        Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Was that the first time she had seen him? A. No, three weeks ago she came up to bury a sister and saw him.
                        Q. Was not she surprised to see him, did not she say, "Good God, is he alive?" A. That was last October, in a conversation when I was talking about her husband and said that he was alive, and she said, "Good God, is George alive? I thought he was dead"—he was not, when in the Brazilian service, away more than seven years at a time—I know that they never lived together after they separated—Bird had a brother who was drowned—it was put in the paper, "Drowned one Bird"—(I did not know the second husband)—I do not know that she is a milliner—I did not know whether she was alive, I have often heard my brother say that he thought she must be dead—I cannot tell whether she wore widow's weeds, not seeing her.
                        MR. PAYNE. Q. Did you hear any other person say that he was dead? A. No, but she told me that she heard he was dead.
                        JOHN GLEESON . On 10th March, 1850, I was married to the prisoner at Matlock, in Derbyshire. She represented herself as a widow, and we lived together till the 14th of this month—we had a quarrel on that morning, and she left me and came to London—I followed her—it was only a family quarrel, which is to be expected—she brought 40l., or about that, with her—I came up on the following day, and on Saturday, the 16th, I found her in the street and gave her in custody.
                        Cross-examined. Q. Did she live with you ever since 1850? A. Yes, as a good wife until nine months ago, and I have been as good a husband to her—I have beaten her, or hit her—I have not ill-used her—I have done so sometimes—she did not keep a milliner's shop when I married her—she was in the cap trade—she had a shop—I had my clothes and that was all—immediately on marrying her I lived with her in the house we rented—I had not a halfpenny worth more than I stood up in—of course she did all she could to maintain me—I have heard that the moment she heard of her first husband she went after him—I am a general dealer—I did not hear that the moment she heard of her husband, her leaning was to get to him—I never knew till I came to London that she was anxious to get to her husband—I found her with him—I am on my oath, I had not beaten her on the very morning she left me—it was not twelve or twenty-four hours before, nor twenty-four days—I never beat her, not so often—I do not
                        know that when she left my house her body was covered with bruises caused by my beating her.
                        MR. PAYNE. Q. Did you on 14th August know that she had come up to see her husband? A. No, I did not know he was in England—it was in consequence of her having accused me that I struck her—I heard of her first husband about twelve months ago, but I could not prove it—I believe she did not know it herself.

                        NOT GUILTY


                        SARAH CURLE.
                        Sexual Offences: bigamy.
                        20th September 1858

                        847. SARAH CURLE was indicted for bigamy.
                        MARY BURCHELL . I know the prisoner—she was married to John Curle about 12 years ago—I know it was in cold weather—I was present; it was at St. Mary's, Paddington—she never lived with him at all after the marriage—she said she did not like him, and would not live with him—she said she only did it to blind her father and mother, and she would not live with him.
                        CHARLES THOMAS FARMER . I live in Tothill-street—I was married to the prisoner in 1854 in the name of Sarah Wheeler, at St. Mary's Church, Lambeth—I did not know that she was a married woman—she lived with me ever since till May last—she represented herself as a single woman.
                        JOSEPH SMITH (Policeman, V 51). I took the prisoner on 31st August—I produce a certificate of the marriage at Lambeth Church.
                        Prisoner's Defence. My lord, I beg most respectfully to lay before you a short and correct statement of the occurrence with which I am charged, which I find was not quite correctly brought before the police-court. It was there said that I abandoned my husband at the church-door, immediately after the marriage; whereas we both, with our friends, went to Mrs. Burchell's, where we lunched, and spent the rest of the day at the British Museum. We then returned to Mrs. Burchell's, where he remained till 11 o'clock at night, when he left and went home to the barracks. I remained at Mrs. Burchell's till she found a situation for me at No. 16, Upper Baker-street, Regent's-park, where I lived some months, my husband coming occasionally to see me on a Sunday evening, unknown to my master, until being seen one Sunday, I was questioned about him, and on their inquiring about him at Mrs. Burchell's, she told them he was my husband, and I received notice to leave, when my husband took me to some friends of his at Westminster, where he left me, and did not come near me until I met him in the Edgeware-road, when he beat me in Mrs. Burchell's presence, and sent me home to my mother's in the country. There I remained some time without trying to have further communication with my husband. I heard by chance that he had his discharge, and some months after that he was dead. Eight years after this, having heard nothing whatever of my husband,
                        I married Charles Thomas Farmer, with whom I have lived 4 years. I had some disagreement with him, on which account we parted, and I, in a moment of insanity, I suppose, attempted to drown myself; but being rescued and taken to the workhouse, and asked to give an account of myself, I, of course, thinking my first husband was dead, mentioned my first marriage as well as my second, which led to inquiry, and it was discovered that I had been misinformed, and that my first husband was still living.
                        COURT to MARY BURCHELL. Q. Did you continue to know the prisoner up to 1854? A. No; I never saw her after about 3 weeks after she was married—I do not know whether she saw her husband—I never saw her till I saw her at Wandsworth.
                        COURT to CHARLES THOMAS FARMER. Q. Did you know John Curle at all? A. No; I never heard of him; when I first knew the prisoner she was living at Westminster.
                        COURT to SUSAN GRACE SPARKS. Q. Did you ever see the prisoner? A. Never till at the police-court—I bought my husband out of the army a few months after our marriage—when I married him he was stationed at Wellington Barracks—we went and lived at Deptford; then we went to live at Paddington; and we went into Dorsetshire.


                        NOT GUILTY

                        Comment


                        • I don’t plan on spending any more time on the matter, but for those who may be interested in how the average working-class Victorian viewed bigamy, there is an article available on-line titled “Bigamy and Cohabitation in Victorian England” by Ginger Frost, which originally appeared in the Journal of Family History (July 1997) The article is behind a paywall, so you’ll have to pop down to a local research library if you don’t want to purchase it, but here is the Abstract:

                          This article, based on 221 bigamy cases between 1830 and 1900, argues that many couples, particularly in the working class, entered bigamous unions throughout the nineteenth century. Most communities accepted these unions if they followed certain norms. The bigamist had to have a good reason to have left his or her spouse, had to have been honest with the second spouse, and had to be able to support multiple families. Within these parameters, neighbors and friends accepted illegal marriages, following in a long tradition of self-marriage and self-divorce. In fact, by the end of the century, judges followed community standards in their sentencing and often gave nominal punishment to both male and female bigamists. In the 1880s and 1890s, law enforcement officials were leery of bringing bigamy charges because pressure from below had so compromised prosecutions.

                          In other words, we shouldn’t necessarily view “bigamy” through modern eyes. Due to what most people would now see as antiquated divorce laws, along with the difficulty of tracing missing husbands or wives, many Victorians viewed bigamous marriages as entirely ethical, and, as the century wore on, they were either not prosecuted, or subjected to only “nominal punishment.”

                          As an example, here is an 1880 bigamy case that features Whitechapel’s own Inspector Edmund Reid, back when he was still a detective sergeant in “P” division.


                          Although the evidence of bigamy was overwhelming, and the couple was found guilty, the court opposed a punishment of only TWO DAYS imprisonment. The absconding husband had inflicted his wife with syphilis and was clearly prosecuting this happy couple out of malice.



                          EMMA HILL, JAMES DONALD HAGGARD.
                          Sexual Offences: bigamy, Sexual Offences: bigamy.
                          22nd March 1880


                          343. EMMA HILL (20) , Feloniously marrying James Donald Haggard during the lifetime of her husband; and JAMES DONALD HAGGARD (25) , Feloniously aiding and abetting her in the same.
                          MR. AUSTIN METCALFE Prosecuted; MR. LILLET Defended.
                          GEORGE STAGG . I am a tanner; Emma Hill is my daughter—I was present when she was married to Charles William Hill on March 30th, 1877, at St. Ann's Church, Bermondsey—I signed the register; this is my name on it—she lived with her husband just on three years—she told me she would leave him six months before—I had not seen Haggard before I saw him at the police-court.
                          Cross-examined. My daughter was then 17 years old, and in good health—she complained to me of her husband having given her a disorder, and that he kept her short of money, and I and my wife supplied her—the husband also told me he had given her the disorder—her health is very bad—she has been attended by Dr. Bumbold., and her husband took her to St. Thomas's Hospital in a cab, she was not able to walk—she has been also an out-patient in King's College Hospital, and has been attended by a medical man down to the present time for the disorder—she was 20 years of age on 17th. February.
                          EDMUND REID (Detective P). I apprehended Haggard on the 28th February—I told him I should take him into custody for marrying Emma Hill, knowing at the time she was a married woman—he said, "Very well; I shan't run away, I shall stand to it; I knew she was a married woman, but I did not expect this."
                          Cross-examined. I am quite sure he said "I knew she was a married woman" and not "I suspected"—the prisoner lived in the New Kent Road about half a mile from where Hill resides in the Union Road, Borough—I know Hill worked at Pocook's—I know nothing about his wages nor about his evening work.
                          MARY ANN BOWDEN . I am the wife of Frederick John Bowden, of 208, New Kent Boad—Emma Hill came early in January and took a room as a bed and sitting room—she told me she was a divorced woman and was going to be married shortly and everything was settled—she also asked me to go to church with her and would I let the friend come to see her she was going to be married to—I allowed Haggard to call—the marriage took place on 19th January—I attended at her request—it was in St. Mary's, Old Kent Road—I signed the register—I noticed she was described as a spinster—I did not ask her about it, I did not understand it—they afterwards lived together in the house as man and wife until she was taken into custody.
                          Cross-examined. I have' got the date when she called in my rent-book but I have forgotten it—Mr. Hill's brother came about three times—the first time Haggard was not there, and my husband objected to his coming when Haggard was not present.
                          EDWIN HALL (Policeman 426 P). Mr. Hill gave the prisoner Emma Hill into my custody on a charge of bigamy on the 25th—she said "You know it is all through you; I should never have done this but for the manner in which you treated me"—Hill said "It has nothing to do with your marrying a second time"—I produced the two certificates at the police-court—I have compared them with the originals—they are correct.
                          Cross-examined. She aid not mention the disorder to me, nor in my hearing.

                          GUILTY . Emma Hill strongly recommended to mercy.— Two Days' Imprisonment each.


                          Of some interest is that I’ve traced Emma Hill and James Haggard to find out what happened to them.

                          A year later, in the 1881 Census, they are living together as man and wife in the home of his mother—who obviously fully approved of this ‘bigamist’ relationship. They refer to themselves as husband and wife, under the name "James and Emma Haggard."


                          Click image for larger version  Name:	1881 UK Census Haggard.JPG Views:	0 Size:	34.4 KB ID:	758728

                          Sadly, Emma seems to have died 9 years later at the age of only 30. Bigamous? Only technically.

                          Comment


                          • RJ,


                            Whether Maria knowingly committed bigamy or simply believed there might a possibility of her husbands still being alive, she would have had good reason not to want her son’s unique real name plastered across (pun intended) the newspapers.

                            Did JL disappear from Hereford seven years prior to her marriage to TC and make no connection whatsoever with anyone there prior to 1872? I think that’s highly unlikely. And I think that if he had made contact with his family and friends the news would probably have got through to Maria. As I said before, Hereford was not Whitechapel. And Northampton was not only the major centre of shoemaking in the country (its football team are to this day known as The Cobblers) it was a major leather-making centre. The likelihood is that the leathers JL used in his shop had come from Northampton.

                            The relevance of Cross’s age* is how such a relationship might have been viewed by the likes of the Rev. Archer Clive and others in Hereford. Look at her two sisters in 1891, women of independent means living in Hereford while Maria is selling cats meat in the Ratcliff Highway. Couldn’t she have stayed in Hereford and used her connections to get her son a position there? And didn’t they have a police force in Hereford? Why did TC have to move to the East End of London to secure the job of PC? Maria’s father’s executor, the Rev. A.C. had a say over who got police jobs in the city. As I mentioned before, John Ball and two other experienced coppers were overlooked because a member of the local gentry whispered the name of his gamekeeper in the Rev’s ear. Moving to London and settling in Tiger Bay was a very strange thing for the couple to do, unless they were hiding from something or someone in Hereford.

                            I have a feeling that some of Maria’s family, whether on the Roulson side or her in-laws I can’t recall, were in the corn trade in London and as you may remember she became a corn chandler after giving up the cats meat game. I’ll check that out.


                            *I’m too lazy to check it out, but didn’t you say something about TC being an upstanding PC who was unlikely to have gone along with a bigamous marriage? That’s possibly true, but unless it was a lucky mistake he seems to have falsified his age on the marriage cert. I say ‘seems’ because I only have his baptism date to work with.


                            Comment


                            • And for those of you who may be interested, post 36 here contains the will of Thomas Roulson, the former butler of Edward Bolton Clive and Maria’s dad.

                              A quick shufty at that followed by some research into the Married Woman’s Property Acts might be enlightening.

                              https://www.jtrforums.com/forum/moti...lechmere/page3

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                              • RJ,

                                You say:

                                “In other words, we shouldn’t necessarily view “bigamy” through modern eyes. Due to what most people would now see as antiquated divorce laws, along with the difficulty of tracing missing husbands or wives, many Victorians viewed bigamous marriages as entirely ethical, and, as the century wore on, they were either not prosecuted, or subjected to only “nominal punishment.” “

                                Do you imagine that the Prebend of Pyon Parva in Hereford Cathedral would have had a relaxed attitude to the sanctity of marriage? I’m thinking not, but you may be able to Google something to contradict my view.


                                https://herefordshirepast.co.uk/buil...house-history/

                                Whitfield was where Maria’s dad served the Clive family in the position of butler.
                                Last edited by MrBarnett; 05-19-2021, 02:45 PM.

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