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BREACH OF PROMISE— £ 2,000…

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BREACH OF PROMISEâ £ 2,000 DAMAGES A case of breach of promise of marriage, possessing Borne features of unusual interest, was tried on Satur- day before the Lord Chief Justice and a jury m the Court of Queen's Bench, London. The damages were laid at £ 50,000. Both the parties were of ma ure years, the lady nearly the gentleman, Colonel Pow M.P. for ,mtry nearly 50. Stie was the daughter of a surgeon in a, c. wa3 town in Wales. He, though a gentleman of prope Jjt to unhappily paralysed in his lower limbs, ana her had occasional attacks of paralysis. The lady s « (g house. a;ted as his paid secretary, and was often a at jjis In March last she had been with a Jnar"fth j er married country house on a visit, and she colonel at his sister and her brother came up to vtsis AIarch, and on town residence. That was on the wascontiacted, that occasion it was that the engage j H ^is She was in his house with her relatt^^ the ecd of the own relatives not being there. came up ,,M soon after month, however, Captain Pneips the interval) however, took the Colonel away with nil^tered into on the 27th of the eng^ement having oee»ed medical man (]Dr King) » £ if 111?. â¢I,11' "riiudent mirriage" might be beneficial who told him tha ys paralysis, utider certain con- to him; but direction, he explained to the lady, whtrh she assented, observing that she was aware X? J £ a7w'm £ e of a nurse than a wite to him." In the Colonel wrote to the lady's brother a letter ^vpn imderneath} announcing his engagement to his sister, t<? which he replied in a letter which was couched in terms I £ thpr Of doubt, and advised consideration. However, he Sacred himself to her before he left; but when his re- latives saw him they dissuaded him from the match, and by the 7th of May he had resolved to break it off, so that the matter was "on" and "off in about a week. The whole affair scarcely lasted a month. On the 11th of May the lady, hearing that he intented to break it off, wrote to him in pathetic terms reminding him of his promise, and remonstrating with him against breaking it. He replied to the effect that the matter, in his then state of health, required more mature consideration On this occasion, in her letter she said, I want to be a nurse, to com'ort you, but I know you will be persuaded to break your premise to me." Iu his reply he wrote, "What you now request me to do is a thing of such immense importance that even if I were not physically and pecuniarily disabled (which is the perfect truth) it would require no small time to give it the con- sideration which such a matter would demand." The hdy replied to the effect that he had allowed himself to be" talked over" into breaking his engagement, which he had maturely considered. In the meantime, either from some rumours that had reached his ears, or from some cause not explained, he conceived suspicions of her having formed an intimacy with some one else, and gave this to the medical man as the reasoD. This was told to her, and of course tended to embitter the matter; and rumours were said to have been circulated or to have arisen from the breaking off the match, injurious to the lady's character The present action was brought in the early part of October, and in November the defendant pleaded a defence impugning the lady's cha- racter,âa plea apparently founded upon the rumours and reports. Upon further inquiry, however, it was discovered that the defence was not sustainable, and tbe plea was accordingly withdrawn with expressions of regret, and the only defences relied upon were a denial of the promise and the allegation that a reasonable and proper time for the martiage had not arr ved Mr. Boril, in stating the case to the jury, said this was an action brought to recover damages against the defendant for having refused to fulfill,is promise of marriaee with the plaintiff. The promise of marriage was in 18G4. The defendant is a colonel of militia, and he is M P. for the county of Cardigan. He has several residences in the county, is a man ot high position there, and he also keeps a town residence. The plaintiff is a lady living not far from Nanteos, the defendant's principal country seat, where she ) had resided for some years with her widowed mother and her brother and sisters. For some years an intimacy had existed between the two families, and they were in the habit of visiting. The defendant, who is a widower, lost his wife about- ten years ago. He has an only son, and he had for many years lived without such comforts of home as he would desire, his household being looked after by his aunt, Mrs. Phelp, and some of the members of her family. The defendant was a gentleman suffering from considerable Infirmity. He was afflicted with paralysis, and though a member of parliament he had to be wheeled in a ehturinto the House of Commons. His legs were so paralysed that, although he could walk a little, it was npcessary, however, for him to be wheeled about in a chair. In Christmas, 1863, the plantiff's family, as they had frequently done before, visited the defendant, and on New Year's-day there was a large party, and it being leapyear, a great deal of joking went on between the ladies about H, and then and there three ladies in concert preceded to claim their privileges by their all asking the defendant to accept their hands ia marriage. No one ever dreamt that anything serious was "J ^se from it; but it seemed to have made a deen tiff ,1*5 J upon the defendant. Shortly after that, one ot sister cousins became engaged to the plaintiff's especially approval of everyone, and the defendant ,much Pleased about it. In ihe course of the spring tbe marriage took place, and she went to stay at on e of month ofA^rUir^detS^ lta *5e rghbourhood. Aboutthe town residenc^ st Ge^r^s^iad' BelKravia wW'h^0 M3 visited by the recently marriedfo'lks tLnklnHff a Was other friends. The defendant felt hts lonely condition 'T had no one to comfort him, nothing to love and ilnthVn J° nourish, and although, ordinarily speaking, it wasnota dfsir" able thiDg of a lady to marry a gentleman who was paftiv paralysed, yet an attachment and affection sprang up between them, and at last, like a great many other devoted women the came to the conclusion that she couid watch over him, and her affection to him increase in proportion. She was pressed by the Colonel, and at last she consented to marry him. The Colonel was now about 49 years of age, and the lady about ten years younger, so that they were both competent to form an opinion up >n the matter. He should not bave tnuch trouble or difficulty in proving the engage- tothe X,aufl,tlle published it himself in a letter from r« "â 5er' which he would read. It was dated «« M ge s_road. Belgravia, and dated the 20th April:â yon J keen^f' 1 am °ow S°.inS to tell you I want winds, at au events for ^hlsSJLr.it; eve" to the the ladies have ih«> «« present. Ihis being leap year three of them have poâ¢Tdt<?ri?PIf8 'v.16, gentlemen, and accepted, and which is vour (\a"8hter), one ol whom I up here immediately after the traiain^ u o've'^V COme have a long clut with j ou. Xeither i T^nt to â nJthing abritit tkl, oVe n0 home Eor y-i'r1, Hti'i nothing to love since poor flarty's death. I want the tliine ^tt'eri nfc kn^cked off quietly, so as to make a home at once for neither of us are to-youug as we were once upon a time' must1have' S&VySJ. that 111 die flrst she must have 5001. a year." fiffsbroethMh;^PriUhe defendant again wrote to the plain- fIIff's brother to'l^eampllV7ofS?of the world, with nothing self and^h« » M â am doing *hat is both to my" me wants o Z^ ln general besides, a poor old fogey like bo T an 'ffldent nurse I have mad- up my mind, and H/»ii "as Margaretta, but we want you here for a par- ticular reason." I shall break the news to Hannah whs afternoon if I can get the chance, but I don't wish Don to know it just at present, because he can't hold his tongue. I agree with you, dear SII, that both Margaretta and mytelf are too old to care much tor the world, and that we ought and must make a home for ourselves before we die I have never jet had a ccmtortable home-no not once in my Hfe- and as it is drawing on I believe I am do-ii" what the world eontidcrs a proper thing for my cor. f. v? T married in my house in May, by snecia T t0 ? stand the grand humbug Wol'ihurrt^ C^«^SWrUte?at the timp' but the learrel f t '? rtadlt- 1[e *ould place it in his itw! HI 8 bsnds- and he might do so if he thought it enhsnced the case. Mr, Coleridge What, make the defendant appear more ridiculous? Mr. Bovill said tlia1. if toe ltarned counsel thought it would make the defendant look morj ridiculous he would not lead h; for he had no desire to do so. The poetry m'gh^, therefore, be ';onslglled I 0 i bliviou. It WM (Jnly in- tended for certain eyes, and he hoped It any ope had seen it tbat they would tot give publicity to it. The defendant aftetwards commurjichted bis engagement to the p.ail,tiifto her sister. On the 1st of May the de/estdant wrote the following le'ter to the plaintiff's brother who was a medical man in Wales:â My dear Davie,â Don't be astonished, don't be fright- tneo, don't kick me, but I am engaged to be married to yeur lister Margaretta; but as I do not wish to make ic pubic at piestnt 11 a^e written to jour broiher Sil il: about it, and I hope to see him in town t fter the training of the militia is over. You know well that I hiiveneverhifd ahome ofmy own sluce 1 c.me into the Nanteospro\Je,ty, a1id I thtnk it is high time that I should make one. Margaretta I have known for many years and seen a great dexl of. We air) both of a certain bge-old enough to know right from wrong, anr) she has betn brought up, as the mistress cf a house nil her life. She understands how to take the com mand, and save money, instea-d of throwing it all ( ver the country, doing no good to au) body, except to the devil and his imps, and no gratitude, except being snubbed by vonr friends (?) in return." 3 foul (L^ghter)ridf?e 1 HeSaiS alt0 that he wants a leS or two. Mr. Bovill said the defendant in writing to Dr iririrr siysâ"Have jou an arm or two to spare, or a head' U â leg? I want some. if you have got them for me I must get a body or two for the salmon flies." He (Mr Br viin must read it all, becausw his learmd friend wi-hed" to have it read. The defendant's cousin, Captain Phelp, who lived with his mother and wife at the defendant's house and en. Joyed the hunting ( he defendant keeping a pack ol hounds) and shooting, appeared to dislike the match, for he wrote on the 1st ot May the following letter to the defendant :â "Some time back I wrote to you about some reports flying about as to your being engaged to marry Margintta Ltwis. Since then these reports have increased, and your never contradicting them leads me to fancy, as every one else does, that there is some truth in it. I now demand to know from you if you have determined to take tnis step, because if so I shall not return here from the training. I have consulted Roberts on the subject, and he perfectly agrees with me. I should feel obliged by your answering this by return of post." wwe'end??t upon that wrote a letter t0 the plaintiff's ââ¢'MJV11 B2llch he enclosed a copy of his cousin's letter ceived frnltf have sent you a copy of the letter I re- ot all that? 4? t morning. What do you think the power of |haVeal|y. at 49 years of age, I had my Chro°ldrAa8 Vlied r £ gard to marriage and the above letter ,ietms P!ai" enough, by set by thlg, and feel quiteUl ^6I y n0t' 1 am 1uite UP" On the 2nd of -r. Captain Phelp, in answer »he defendant, wrote to I Wnliam> I certainly am ni 'etter as lollows:â Dear and intend marrjiDg her. Iengagpd to Margare ta Lewis with you my making a homer,i 8?e what 16 has to do life." After some further r the rtSC of my ordered by my doctor not to live afnJ,°1JS h? Bayg> "1 any way, but I cannot say that has be?n ,ir be ann°yed in things are getiing worse. Why ,ou w°way lately, and cause I get married I cannot, conceive, or whv^6 be' ferewith you;" and, in conclusion, he says <.y,^Wl11 "'ttr- what you demand." 0w explain The def. ndant consulted his mescal adviser nr xr. and he ascertained from him that th* re waa no obieot^ him contracting a matrimonial alliance, provided u to prudent one. Shortly, however, after the engagement rumours were circulated that the defendant intended to marrv the plaintiff, and on the 11th May she wrote him as ollowa :â My dearest William,âYou must not think me abore f0r writing to you again, for I find my name has been made so vary public from the late events tbat I really must beg ot you as a man of honour not to do me such an Injury as to give me up now. Youaie bound to ma by ties which you â¢n0n",kl 1 on|y want the right to nurse and comf* n?omiL ?°w you are> and will be, persuaded to break your butl know, dear William, you are too good to out maWng'her yow wUe8^1'" Dam° bel°le PUbUC O.n the fOllowing day, the 12th, the defendant ^rotfi to the letter of l'ueseay night uhTeh rtfgareUa,_I received you! the town. I trust you Via BeVer t0 wbat ls said ab0Ut than as a man of honour. But hehave otherwise what you request me to do is a thing ofP^yite11 y°U portanca that tvan if I were not r>hf aiVoii. immense lm- dtsabled, which is perfectly true, it would L pecunlanl.i! time to give it the consideration that such a mVt w° smi} I would not for the world say anything that woni.fhf^11 feelings but you must have known rL long^ enon^'L^be aware that what I say is correct, and I bee and hâ¢* will believe me. Wis h kind regards to your mother, believe me sincerely, yours, Ac." DELLEVE With regard to the defendant's physical incanacltv for marriage the learned counsel said he would call Dr ^in/ who would entirely disprove that; and with rEgard to tife aetendant's pecuniary position he believed the charges on the â *WierevtTyfmalL On the 13th of May the plaintiff replied to the defendant's letter of the 12,h a. follows :â 'y dear William,âI received your letter this evening teifto confess that I do not quite uuderstmd its con- he»r. j J y°u asked me to become y our wife, I than eflvSf 0 thinkit over well, as I well knew that every i5*?la('e to Prevent yohr marrying me. Your and ti,0Wa?you were old enough to jurge for yourself, *hou^tfSU sb<^uld have imagined, must have been youhaiTr by ?,oubfefore that tim, and I am to And that £ lhIS £ d °v6r y.our beiDK. Physically and hftt ? disabled. You talk of not hurting my feelings S must I fcel When you allow me to be talked of by every one; you yourself made the engagement public, and now you wish to get out of it from the persuasion of those who wish to keep you single that they might live in your house, not having one of their own." r The letter concluded by ob3er ving that she had known the defendant long, and believed him to be a man of honour. The plaintiff's name had been made public throughout the country as the future wife of a gentleman who held a high position in the county, and in one of his letters he states that he would do nothing to injure her; but on the contrary âand they, perhaps," would hardly believe itâhe had denounced the plaintiff as a person of improper habits and conduct, and that she had gone off with an officer. When the action was brought the charge was reiterated, by a plea being put upon the record charging her with improper conduct with an office", and that piea remained on the flies of the court from the ilth November. when it was pleaded, ttil the 3d of this month, when it was withdrawn. After some further observation and evidence, Mr. Bovill proposed to call evidence to rebut the imputa- tions on the character of the plaintiff; but Mr. Cole- ridge eaid they were entirely and unreservedly re- tracted,. and there was the greatest regret that they had ever been made. The Lord Chief Justice observed that he thought this was quite enough, and that the object of her counsel was attained. Unhappily, it was only pecuniary compensation which could be awarded to her; but the jury must consider the loss of the position she would have enjoyed as the wife of Culonel Powell and what amount of money could compensate her for the loss of this position and the injury which had been inflicted upon her. The jury retired to consider their verdict, and were absent some time. On their return they gave a T <;rdict for the plaintiff-Damages, 2,0001.

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