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Interesting Lechmere Trivia

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  • #16
    JAL was safely dead by 1888.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
      JAL was safely dead by 1888.
      But not in 1876. And Ma’s second and third ‘marriages’ had both taken place while he was still alive I think (?).

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      • #18
        Yes but would Lechnere have been concerned about the link in 1888. Don't forget the sister was known to neighbours as Lechmere in 1867

        On Thomas Cross - would he, barely if at all out of his teens, have taken old ma - about ten years older - with two kids to London without a job and then got in the Police? Seems unlikely but it also seems unlikely that they didn't know each other from Hereford.. All sorts of possibilities can be speculated upon, but it is certainly a bit odd.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
          Yes but would Lechnere have been concerned about the link in 1888. Don't forget the sister was known to neighbours as Lechmere in 1867

          On Thomas Cross - would he, barely if at all out of his teens, have taken old ma - about ten years older - with two kids to London without a job and then got in the Police? Seems unlikely but it also seems unlikely that they didn't know each other from Hereford.. All sorts of possibilities can be speculated upon, but it is certainly a bit odd.
          Yes, the sister was known as Lechmere, but the Lechmere name - specifically Charles Allen Lechmere - would have meant nothing to the residents of Mary Ann Street. It would have been immediately recognisable in Hereford, though. I think I’m right in saying that before he gave one of his children his own first two names it was unique to him.

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          • #20
            Yes the Lechmere name woukd resonate in Hereford but why would that embarrass his mother, even after two bigamous marriages?

            I think there was a previous Charles Allen. I forget.
            Allen was common after they acquired the Allensmore estate in Herefordshire from someone called, I think Thomas Allen, in the late 1700s.
            One of Lechmere's children was called Thomas Allen.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
              Yes the Lechmere name woukd resonate in Hereford but why would that embarrass his mother, even after two bigamous marriages?

              I think there was a previous Charles Allen. I forget.
              Allen was common after they acquired the Allensmore estate in Herefordshire from someone called, I think Thomas Allen, in the late 1700s.
              One of Lechmere's children was called Thomas Allen.
              She married two men - one little more than a boy - while her first (only) husband was still alive. She was living in the East End and her son found a dead or dying prostitute while on his way to his job as a lowly carman. Her two sisters were living very different lives in Herefordshire and she may well have still been receiving an income from Edward Bolton Clive’s will. At one time that was being administered by the Rev Archer Clive, a man with connections to Hereford Cathedral and a local JP who had it in his power to approve or reject applications for local
              police jobs.

              Victorian society being what it was, she would have had every reason to not want people in Herefordshire to know her situation.

              There was a Charles Allen born in STGITE in 1872 who died in 1875, wasn’t there?


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              • #22
                As for the ‘embarrassment’, it would have been considerably worse than that if she had known that her husband was alive when she ‘remarried’. In that case she would have committed the crime of bigamy.

                I think it’s highly unlikely that JAL left Hereford and thereafter never once made contact with anyone there. And if he had made contact with anyone in Hereford, small town gossip being what it is, it might well have got through to Ma.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Edward Stow View Post
                  Yes the Lechmere name woukd resonate in Hereford but why would that embarrass his mother, even after two bigamous marriages?
                  She's back to being a double bigamist? I see no reason to keep accusing her of this crime.

                  By statute, if the husband has abandoned his wife and left her for parts unknown, she could legally remarry after seven years, and not be at risk of any wrongdoing. Lechmere's mother waited more than seven years. Her third marriage would have been equally legal. Calling her a bigamist is a way of making her look cheap, and, by implication, giving Lechmere a sordid background.

                  As for Thomas Cross's parents, they appear to have been an entirely respectable couple, trusted to be the keepers of the gate on the toll road, Brockhall turnpike. There is a long article in the Hereford Times, 25 January 1851, describing how they saved a family from burning to death. It's too long to reprint in full, but here's the beginning of it.

                  There also appears to have been a second Thomas Cross who was a gatekeeper on a Hereford turnpike, but I never figured out the relationship.

                  I really see no reason why anyone back in Hereford would care if Ma Lechmere, abandoned in London, would have married into this family, unless she ran off with him to begin with, but there is nothing to suggest that she did.



                  Hereford Times.JPG

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                  • #24
                    Same family, Thomas Cross, shoemaker, living next to Brockhall gate in 1841, if anyone doubts this is them.

                    1841.JPG

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by R. J. Palmer View Post

                      She's back to being a double bigamist? I see no reason to keep accusing her of this crime.

                      By statute, if the husband has abandoned his wife and left her for parts unknown, she could legally remarry after seven years, and not be at risk of any wrongdoing. Lechmere's mother waited more than seven years. Her third marriage would have been equally legal. Calling her a bigamist is a way of making her look cheap, and, by implication, giving Lechmere a sordid background.

                      As for Thomas Cross's parents, they appear to have been an entirely respectable couple, trusted to be the keepers of the gate on the toll road, Brockhall turnpike. There is a long article in the Hereford Times, 25 January 1851, describing how they saved a family from burning to death. It's too long to reprint in full, but here's the beginning of it.

                      There also appears to have been a second Thomas Cross who was a gatekeeper on a Hereford turnpike, but I never figured out the relationship.

                      I really see no reason why anyone back in Hereford would care if Ma Lechmere, abandoned in London, would have married into this family, unless she ran off with him to begin with, but there is nothing to suggest that she did.



                      Hereford Times.JPG
                      An interesting find, RJ. Do you somehow imagine that the more respectable Cross’s family were, the less likely it would have been that he might have wanted to conceal his relationship with John Lechmere’s wife? The fact that they were the toll-keepers suggest they too had useful local connections.

                      Was Ma Lechmere abandoned in London? Possibly, but she returned to Hereford and was living without her husband by 1851. Then in the early 1860s, both she and Thomas Cross turn up in London - in the East End no less. If she didn’t run away with him, it was a lucky coincidence that she bumped into him.

                      Maria’s marriages would have been bigamous if she’d had reason to believe JAL was still alive. Perhaps he decamped to Northants and was never heard of again in Hereford. Perhaps Maria, assuming her husband was dead, thought it made sense to leave her native county where she had valuable connections and seek her fortune in the East End and miraculously bumped into young Tom Cross in the street. And perhaps the registrar who filled out their marriage cert misheard his age and inadvertently made him a little older…

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                      • #26
                        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.

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                        • #27
                          In 1908, a woman applied to the Brentford magistrates court for advice as to whether could remarry after her husband had been absent for 20 years. This was the advice she was given.

                          9AB85155-DD77-450A-B795-5BC0B85BA34E.jpeg

                          Its a little more complex than how RJ explains it above.

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                          • #28
                            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%?

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                            • #29
                              Now I remember why ‘Ripperology’ is such a waste of time.

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                              • #30
                                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.

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