Deceit and lies over marital security

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1913 court

At the Borough Police Court today, before the Mayor (Mr AM Daniel) presiding, and other magistrates, William Marshall, care of Charles Crosby, Sawdon Farm, was summoned in an adjourned case by his wife Ada Mary Marshall, 15, Tindall Street, who made application for a maintenance order. Mr J Whitfield appeared for the applicant and Mr JD Mumby for defendant.

Mr Whitfield said that the parties were married on November 25, 1910. Defendant was now in the employment of Mr Chas. Crosby, of Sawdon, as a farm labourer. They kept company for a number of years prior to their marriage. Defendant represented to his wife before the wedding that he was in a position to make her a comfortable home, and he had a sum of £100 in the bank. It was partly on account of this statement that they were married. Within a few weeks after the marriage the defendant raised difficulties about getting a home together, and there came to be some doubt as to whether the £100 was a creation of defendant’s imagination, and in order to obtain an explanation his client’s father insisted on going to Snainton.

Defendant admitted that this £100 was not “in existence”. The defendant, continued Mr Whitfield, should have tried to get a home together, but he evidently desired that his client’s father, who was a wheelwright, should help to keep her. Her father, quite rightly, refused to do so. Complainant persuaded defendant to take a cottage at Brompton, but defendant expected the wife’s father to furnish it, but this was refused, and defendant immediately got the cottage off his hands. Defendant had since shown no desire to get a house together. There could be no doubt defendant had formed another attachment.

For some months past he had not paid a single penny, and the only conclusion to be formed was that defendant had deserted her and it was not his intention to live with her again.

Ada Mary Marshall, the complainant, went into the witness box and stated that defendant said eventually in regard to the £100 which he stated he had saved that “it is all lies I have not had any money at all.” He told witness that a servant was to be confined, and he would want the money for her.

He told her, she continued, that he had wasted all his money in card playing and drink.

“I always believed everything he told me,” she said. “I should have gone to his relatives and found him out.”

In reply to Mr Mumby, witness said that they had not lived as man and wife since the first week they were married.

Applicant’s father gave evidence, and her mother stated she went to Sawdon one Christmas, and took notice of the attention defendant paid to a servant on the farm. Replying to Mr Whitfield, witness stated that defendant had always been welcomed when he visited her home.

Defendant, cross-examined by Mr Mumby, said he was at present receiving 9s a week. He courted his wife about seven years.

Mr Mumby: You told her you had £100. You told everybody?

Witness: Yes.

Mr Mumby: It was a lie.

Witness: Yes.

By Mr Mumby: His wife knew that he was only getting 9s a week before they were married.

Mr Mumby: Did you ever try to furnish this cottage at Sawdon?

Defendant: Yes.

Mr Mumby: Do you think you could furnish a cottage for your wife now?

Defendant: Yes.

Mr Mumby: In what way, the Hire Purchase system?

Defendant: Yes.

Questioned by Mr Whitfield, defendant said that he had no explanation for telling his wife he had £100. Was it not, continued Mr Whitfield, that you knew that your wife’s family being farely well off, you thought you could live a lazy life thereafter?

Witness: No.

The Magistrates made out an order for the payment of five shillings a week, and the costs of the case.