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    Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

    Isn't that standard in these cases?

    Meet Caroline P. Hughes

    In 1853, at the age of 17, she marries Thomas Morant in Hackney. She signs her name with an X.

    Six years later, having already left his wife multiple times, Morant disappears…somewhere…leaving her with no support.

    Caroline moves back in with her mother and lives a rough life as a laundress in Victorian London. Over seven years later, she marries a second time to John Thorn, a plasterer.

    Like Ma Lechmere, she refers to herself as a widow on the marriage banns:


    Caroline Morant - Bigamist.JPG



    Then, in 1872, after an absence of thirteen years, Joseph Morant suddenly reappears and is shocked, or claims to be shocked, to learn that 'his' wife has been happily married to someone else for the past six years, and has Caroline arrested for bigamy.

    She is duly charged and tried at the Old Bailey.

    Testimony of John Thorn: “I married her as a widow, and a good wife she has been to me.”

    Caroline and her mother both testify that they genuinely believed that Moran was dead at the time of her second marriage.

    Verdict?

    Not guilty.

    If it was good enough for Justice Kerr, Esq., it’s good enough for me. Feel free to call her a bigamist, I call her happily married.

    Twenty years later, Caroline and John Thorne can be found still together, in Islington. They even raised Morant’s son.


    Caroline Morant - Not Guilty.JPG

    Later.

    I'm off to parts unknown.
    You’ll notice that evidence was given that Caroline had made attempts to find out whether her husband was still alive. That may well have been the deciding factor in the jury’s mind. In another case I saw, the judge instructed the jury to consider that before coming to a conclusion.

    Given that several of JAL’s family lived in London and Maria had lived there herself at around the time she and he parted, how difficult would it have been for her to make enquiries about him, either in London or in Hereford, before claiming he was dead? He hadn’t sailed away to the other side of the world, he was in Northamptonshire, approx 80 miles from Hereford.

    Banns are the announcements of an imminent wedding that are read out three (?) times in church in the weeks leading up to the wedding aren’t they? Do the banns mention Maria’s marital status?

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  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied


    Based on the evidence of the 1841 and 1851 censuses, where his age was given as 5 and 14 respectively, and of his baptism on 31st July, 1836, I would say that Thomas Cross was probably born in in early June, 1836. This would have made him 21 when he married Maria Lechmere in 1858 and not 23 as shown on the marriage cert.

    I wonder who the witnesses, James and Hannah Connell were.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    And Gary, if CAL wanted to protect his Old Ma from the infamy of a very public trial for bigamy at the Old Bailey, why not just call himself Lechmere rather than Cross, which somewhat draws attention to the bigamy should the police have done their job properly and discovered his true name.
    But in any case as JAL had been dead ten years he couldn't have brought a highly public and embarrassing case for bigamy in the Old Bailey.
    Ed,

    Why not just use Lechmere? Because he was almost certainly known as Cross at Pickfords.

    Gary

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

    I figured this would rile some people, but sometimes its worth asking, anyway.

    As I said, I agree with this conclusion, which is why I posted the bit about Cross's parents being the toll keepers, but I was hoping there would be more confirming documentation for Thomas Cross, but no one is posting any.

    I can't say i blame Robert Linford for scratching his head at the 1861 entry, though I think he, too, accepted it.


    1861 Hereford.JPG



    The second word in the first line is being accepted as "Breinton" ?

    And the place name in the the second line is supposed to be "Trecilla"?

    I can't say it's the most convincing transcription I've ever come across, but whatever. I certainly can't supply an alternative suggestion.
    Yes, the first line says Breinton, and the second says Trewin. Victorian handwriting isn’t always easy to decipher at first glance. In this case, I searched through all the Herefordshire place names beginning with B and discovered Breinton was by far the best fit. Then I looked for a TC born in Breinton in approx 1835 whose father was a shoemaker and found one. Just one. Perhaps not the 100% that would satisfy a perfectionist like yourself, but reasonably convincing.



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  • Edward Stow
    Researcher

  • Edward Stow
    replied
    And Gary, if CAL wanted to protect his Old Ma from the infamy of a very public trial for bigamy at the Old Bailey, why not just call himself Lechmere rather than Cross, which somewhat draws attention to the bigamy should the police have done their job properly and discovered his true name.
    But in any case as JAL had been dead ten years he couldn't have brought a highly public and embarrassing case for bigamy in the Old Bailey.

    Leave a comment:

  • Edward Stow
    Researcher

  • Edward Stow
    replied
    RJ Palmer
    So you are claiming that Old Ma Lechmere genuinely believed JAL to be dead? Despite considerable evidence to the contrary?

    Gary
    If CAL had testified in the hypothetically correct manner
    'My name is Charles Allen Lechmere but I commonly go by the name Cross' or somesuch, and someone in Hereford read it, what would they think?
    'Cross? Why Cross? Dobt tell me old Ma of Clive of India fame has actually married that Cross kid while still being married to John the drunk cobbler!'
    They either knew she had shacked up with the Cross juvenile or they didnt. They would make the connection or not. It wouldn't create surprise, I think one way or another.

    Leave a comment:

  • R. J. Palmer
    Researcher

  • R. J. Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    And Old Ma incorrectly listed JAL as DEAD twice - on both of her subsequent marriages. Not that she was abandoned.
    Isn't that standard in these cases?

    Meet Caroline P. Hughes

    In 1853, at the age of 17, she marries Thomas Morant in Hackney. She signs her name with an X.

    Six years later, having already left his wife multiple times, Morant disappears…somewhere…leaving her with no support.

    Caroline moves back in with her mother and lives a rough life as a laundress in Victorian London. Over seven years later, she marries a second time to John Thorn, a plasterer.

    Like Ma Lechmere, she refers to herself as a widow on the marriage banns:


    Caroline Morant - Bigamist.JPG



    Then, in 1872, after an absence of thirteen years, Joseph Morant suddenly reappears and is shocked, or claims to be shocked, to learn that 'his' wife has been happily married to someone else for the past six years, and has Caroline arrested for bigamy.

    She is duly charged and tried at the Old Bailey.

    Testimony of John Thorn: “I married her as a widow, and a good wife she has been to me.”

    Caroline and her mother both testify that they genuinely believed that Moran was dead at the time of her second marriage.

    Verdict?

    Not guilty.

    If it was good enough for Justice Kerr, Esq., it’s good enough for me. Feel free to call her a bigamist, I call her happily married.

    Twenty years later, Caroline and John Thorne can be found still together, in Islington. They even raised Morant’s son.


    Caroline Morant - Not Guilty.JPG

    Later.

    I'm off to parts unknown.

    Leave a comment:

  • R. J. Palmer
    Researcher

  • R. J. Palmer
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post

    Of course it does. Elsewhere, the same census official uses the abbreviation Herts for Hertfordshire. Maria and Emily’s places of birth start with a ditto below Hereford.
    I figured this would rile some people, but sometimes its worth asking, anyway.

    As I said, I agree with this conclusion, which is why I posted the bit about Cross's parents being the toll keepers, but I was hoping there would be more confirming documentation for Thomas Cross, but no one is posting any.

    I can't say i blame Robert Linford for scratching his head at the 1861 entry, though I think he, too, accepted it.


    1861 Hereford.JPG



    The second word in the first line is being accepted as "Breinton" ?

    And the place name in the the second line is supposed to be "Trecilla"?

    I can't say it's the most convincing transcription I've ever come across, but whatever. I certainly can't supply an alternative suggestion.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    And Old Ma incorrectly listed JAL as DEAD twice - on both of her subsequent marriages. Not that she was abandoned. Obviously old Ma had neglected to read those books on Victorian marriage by those female authors.
    Maybe because she was marrying a policeman led her to lie. Was he a party to this lie? Probably given his family cobbler trade and Hereford roots.
    Whether she would have been fined a farthing or more we can I believe safely count her marriages as bigimous.

    On the 1861 census I think all we see is Thomas Cross being socially embarrassed when dealing with the enumerator. Hence the children were his and he added 10 years to his age.

    But back to Gary...
    If CAL had given his true name and that name had appeared in the papers, what implication would anyone in Hereford, or elsewhere for that matter, draw with respect to his mother's marital status?
    On the marriage to Forsdike, wasn’t she describing herself as Thomas Cross’s widow rather than JAL’s?

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    And Old Ma incorrectly listed JAL as DEAD twice - on both of her subsequent marriages. Not that she was abandoned. Obviously old Ma had neglected to read those books on Victorian marriage by those female authors.
    Maybe because she was marrying a policeman led her to lie. Was he a party to this lie? Probably given his family cobbler trade and Hereford roots.
    Whether she would have been fined a farthing or more we can I believe safely count her marriages as bigimous.

    On the 1861 census I think all we see is Thomas Cross being socially embarrassed when dealing with the enumerator. Hence the children were his and he added 10 years to his age.

    But back to Gary...
    If CAL had given his true name and that name had appeared in the papers, what implication would anyone in Hereford, or elsewhere for that matter, draw with respect to his mother's marital status?
    If he’d given just that name, nothing.

    I doubt he would have given a name that was completely unknown to Pickfords - particularly at the 1876 inquest. So what I would have expected him to have done - as so many others did - was to say something along the lines of ‘My real name is CAL, but I am known at work by the name of Cross, which was my stepfather’s name.’

    He didn’t. Why? Because he had no concept of a ‘real/proper’ name that it was appropriate to disclose to the authorities, or because he was hiding something?

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
    The 1861 census says Hereford.
    All of JALs siblings were London based and CAL named his kids largely after them, which tells me he had a relationship with his aunts and uncles which in turn tells me he knew his father wasn't dead. JAL went to Northants - the centre of the boot industry.
    CAL had two children called CAL.
    Of course it does. Elsewhere, the same census official uses the abbreviation Herts for Hertfordshire. Maria and Emily’s places of birth start with a ditto below Hereford.

    Did CAL describe his father as deceased on his marriage cert? No.

    Leave a comment:

  • Edward Stow
    Researcher

  • Edward Stow
    replied
    And Old Ma incorrectly listed JAL as DEAD twice - on both of her subsequent marriages. Not that she was abandoned. Obviously old Ma had neglected to read those books on Victorian marriage by those female authors.
    Maybe because she was marrying a policeman led her to lie. Was he a party to this lie? Probably given his family cobbler trade and Hereford roots.
    Whether she would have been fined a farthing or more we can I believe safely count her marriages as bigimous.

    On the 1861 census I think all we see is Thomas Cross being socially embarrassed when dealing with the enumerator. Hence the children were his and he added 10 years to his age.

    But back to Gary...
    If CAL had given his true name and that name had appeared in the papers, what implication would anyone in Hereford, or elsewhere for that matter, draw with respect to his mother's marital status?

    Leave a comment:

  • Edward Stow
    Researcher

  • Edward Stow
    replied
    The 1861 census says Hereford.
    All of JALs siblings were London based and CAL named his kids largely after them, which tells me he had a relationship with his aunts and uncles which in turn tells me he knew his father wasn't dead. JAL went to Northants - the centre of the boot industry.
    CAL had two children called CAL.

    Leave a comment:

  • Gary Barnett
    Rambler

  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Now I remember why ‘Ripperology’ is such a waste of time.

    Leave a comment:

  • R. J. Palmer
    Researcher

  • R. J. Palmer
    replied
    We discussed this before, Gary, and I posted the laws. 7 years was the statute in the 19th Century, and I made it entirely plain that the wife had to be ignorant of her husband's whereabouts. I made no attempt to simplify the law or be misleading.

    You posted no evidence Ma Lechmere DID know her husband's whereabouts at the time of her second marriage...it was merely your hunch, your suspicions, etc.

    It just strikes me that calling her a 'double bigamist' is highly misleading--it makes her sound like George Smith, the Brides in the Bath murderer, even though what she did was entirely commonplace.

    Female historians have written entire books about marriage patterns and their social acceptability in the Victorian era.

    It was so difficult to be granted a divorce, and men abused and abandoned their wives so frequently, that it was considered entirely socially acceptable to marry 'bigamously,' provided that enough time had passed, and the situation appeared hopeless. 'Average' folk considered it an entirely reasonable thing to do. It WAS an entirely reasonable thing to do, considering the state of the laws.

    As far as we can tell, Lechmere abandoned his wife for over seven years before she remarried. That's good enough in my book.

    You might recall that I posted an example of a woman who was prosecuted when it was discovered that she DID know of her first husband's whereabouts.

    The magistrate sentenced her to a single day imprisonment, which speaks to the enormity of her crime.


    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Much has been made of the fact that CAL was recorded on the 1861 census as Thomas Cross’s son and was recorded as Charles Cross. Less remarked upon is the fact that the 24/5-year-old Thomas Cross was recorded as aged 36 - two years older than his 34-year-old wife rather than the ten years younger than he actually was.
    Yes, this appears to be true, but let me ask a question on behalf of those who aren't up to speed, and might not have followed all the voluminous Lechmere threads.

    Am I right in assuming that this Thomas Cross's identity has been confirmed in the Metropolitan Police archives?

    I assume they have the right man, but I recall Robert Linford wondering about the 1861 Census entry. It looks more like it says Hertford, Bromton. No such place exists, and, as you note, the birth year is wildly off.

    I assume you are translating Hertford, Brompton as Breinton,Hereford (thus coming up with the Hereford shoemaker's son) but has this been confirmed by any other source?

    How confident are you that this is the correct identification? 100%?

    Leave a comment:

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