Hotelier denies paternity of child

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An unusual case was heard by Mr Hy. Stephenson and Cllr Hall, at the Scarborough Police Court this morning, when Elizabeth Williams Roberts, a married woman, living at 1, Granby Place, applied for an application order in respect of her seven-year-old child, against a well-known Scarborough hotel proprietor.

The defendant was William Good Story, Cambridge Hotel.

Mr John Whitfield was for the applicant, and Mr Tasker Hart appeared for defendant.

Defendant denied paternity of the child.

Mr Whitfield said complainant was the wife of Mr Roberts, a carpenter, of Chicago.

The child was born on July 14th, 1905, at Liverpool. In June, 1903, defendant kept the Claremont Hydro, Rhyl, and his client applied for a situation. She had never been in his service, but defendant took a fancy to her, and she said he would get her a better situation. Later, she went to the Queen’s Hydro, Rhyl, and defendant remained on friendly terms with her.

In the following November, however, she went away to another situation, until April the following year, defendant corresponding with her. She then returned to Rhyl, and was engaged at a restaurant until the end of June. It was during this time that familiarity took place.

In July she went to Barmouth, and from there wrote to defendant as to her condition.

In September she returned to Rhyl, and was in lodgings. Defendant took her to London, where they stayed a few days at the Euston Hotel, occupying separate rooms. In September defendant took a cottage near Rhyl, and complainant lived there until February, 1905, defendant paying her frequent visits. In February she answered an advertisement of Nurse Bolton, at a home in Liverpool, and defendant went there, and made arrangements for the woman to be confined there, telling Nurse Bolton she was the wife of his nephew, Mr Smithson. He instructed her to tell Nurse Bolton the same story. She went there at the end of February, and remained until four weeks after the child was born. Defendant called there three times, taking her and the child for a drive. He paid a deposit when he took the rooms, and paid all claims before she left. The child was left with a Mrs Smith at Liverpool, and defendant paid 5s a week.

Mr Whitfield said defendant was throwing his money about lavishly on this woman and child for whom he appeared to have great affection.

Complainant then went to America on October 8th, 1907, defendant paying her passage.

On November 11th, Mr Whitfield said, she was married to her present husband, the child being a great source of trouble and jealousy, and as a result she left her husband and came to England, not proposing to return to him.

Mr Hart said he could shorten the case by stating that complainant was married to Mr Smithson before the child was born.

The child, he contended, was born in wedlock, but Mr Smithson died in 1909, and last November complainant was married to Roberts. On these grounds the magistrates could not make an order, as the woman was married, and could not get an affiliation order for a child born before her marriage. When applying for the summons she described herself as a single woman or probably it would not have been granted.

Mr Hart said that a woman could not get an affiliation order for a previous child after marriage. It made no difference if she was not married before.

When a woman married, the husband was liable to maintain the children she had before she married him.

Mr Whitfield denied that the woman was married. He said she had adopted the name “Smithson” at defendant’s suggestion.

The magistrates dismissed the case.