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A HUSBAND'S LIABILITIES. Another Phase in the Chetwynd Divorce Case. In the Comrt of Queen's Bench, before Lord Chief Justice Cockburn and a special jury, the case of Morgan and another v. Chetwynd was introduced. Mr. Karslake, Q.C., and Mr. Oppenheim were counsel for the plaintiffs, and Mr. Edward James, Q.C., and Mr. Griffits for the defendant. The plaintiffs were habit makers at Ryde, in the Isle of Wight, and the defendant was a gentleman of for- tune, who lived at Longdon-hall, in Staffordshire. The plaintiffs brought this action to recover X24 13s. lid., for goods which had been supplied to Mrs. Chetwynd previous to the proceedings which had taken place in the Divorce Goart, and which had resulted in Mr. and Mrs. Chetwynd feeing divorced. The parties had been married in 1854, and they resided together as man and wife until after these goods were supplied. It would appear that in .1862 Mi's. Chetwynd was on a visit to the Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Knight, of the Grammar School, at LicheSeld, but then being at Ryde some of the goods were supplied while Airs. Chetwynd was at Ryde, and others were seat to her at Longdon-hall. The plaintiffs had brought out an article which the ladies had taken a fancy to, namely a serge riding habit, and Mrs. Chetwynd had been pleased with it, and had one. About Christmas, 1863, Mrs. Chetwynd left her husband, and the plaintiffs sent in their account to the defendant, who recommended them to apply to Mr. Nicholson, who was an attorney in Spring-gardens, and added that they were not again to give credit to Mrs. Chetwynd, as he would not be answerable for her debts. The plaintiffs, in conse- quence, made an application to Mr. Nicholson, but they did not obtain any reply to their letter. They wrote on the 4th of March to the defendant, requesting a remittance by return of post. As, however, no answer wAs given to that letter, the plaintiffs put the matter into the hands of Messrs. Simpson and Co-, their attorneys. The defendant was then formally applied to by Messrs. Simpson, and they were re- ferredto Mrs. Chetwynd. The defendant wrote to them on the 24th March, saying he must reply to them as he had to others, that he was unable to pay Mrs. Chetwynd's extravagant debts, and that arrangements were in progress for the liquidation of all proper debts. He complained of tradesmen giving credit to married ladies who resided at a distance without the knowledge of their husbands. He did not himself owe X5, and it was galling tÐ have to pay his wife's debts. The defendant subsequently said if legal proceedings were delayed the amount should be paid. As the money, however, was not paid the present action was brought, and the defendant pleaded that he was never indebted. Proof was given to the supply of the articles. Mrs. Chetwynd was called. She said: I was married to the defendant in 1854. We lived at Longdown Hall. I had horses for riding, and I constantly rode and drove. I saw one of these serge gowns at Mrs. Knight's in 1862, and I asked her to order some for me, and they were sent to Mrs. Knight's for me, and sent by her to me. Mr. Chetwynd opened the parcel on its arrival. The plaintiffs' address was on a label in the parcel. The defendant admired the material, and said I was going to be very smart that winter. In July, 1863,1 accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Knight to Ryde. My maid ordered a riding suit of the plaintiffs for me which was supplied, and the other articles were forwarded to me at Longdon-hall. They were received by the defendant while I was at Brighton with the children. About the commencement of 1864 I left my husband's house, and went to Mr. Nichol- son's, who is an attorney living in Spring-gardens, and who is well-known to the defendant. I have never returned to my husband, and our marriage has been dissolved in consequence of the improper conduct of the defendant. I Gross-examined: Mr. Nicholson had been consulted by me before these goods were supplied. From the time of my marriage I had a separate banking ac- oount. My pass-book was kept by the defendant. I used to draw upon my bankers up to the year 1862. I had the interest of Xo,000, which had been left me by my mother. I am not aware that X6,000 was settled on me on my marriage. I received £ 3,000. I gave < £ 500 of it to Mr. Chetwynd on the day of our marriage—to pay off a bond. My cheques were honoured without the signature of the defendant. I spent the remainder before 1864. el,500, part of the other £ 3,000, was invested in land which was occupied; by the .defendant, and for which he did not ay any rent, and he made me give the interest he re- maining 41.,500 for the purpose of draining and im- i proving the land. I cannot state the amount of my debts, but I have a copy of them. They do not amount; to so much ;as the defendant stated in the Divorce' Court. I do not owe < £ 3,000. Two prior actions have! been brought, but lvrag not a witness, and it is very unpleasant for me to say anything against the de- fendant. I may have had three other habits from other tradesmen in July, 1864. I had ordered some things of Mr. Balwer, hosier, for another person, whose ¡name I decline to mention. A seal-skin, charged 38, was not for me, and I never had it in my posses- *ony -Mr. Chetwynd has possession of all my clothes, and I can hardly .remember what they are. I decline to say for whom these things were ordered, for I am not bound to bring ether persons' names into court on disagreeable matters, and .because it would please ] others. Some of the goods now sued for are still at I,ongaon-hall. J. believe Mr. Dimsdale's account for .X loo to be incorreot. There is a bill due to Madame La Jeuve, but J. nave reason to doubt this being a copy of it. I am obliged to be particular because false lists and accounts have been handed to me. I don't think Madame Le Jeuve would falsify anything. I had a winter riding habit m October, 1862; nine guineas are oharged. for it. Dr. Kenealy can tell better than I what clothes I left behind, because he saw them after I left Longdown-hall. The defendant has blamed me for extravagance, and shortly before I left him I paid some of the bills; they were made out in my name. The defendant had requested that the bills should be made out in my name, because he was annoyed on opening parcels which were not for him. I cannot tell the amount of the plaintiff s claim. I am afraid I do not keep very accurate accounts. Ee-examined: Some of the things were for the ohil- dren. My habits were frequently torn. I gave orders for more than one habit at a time because I seldom came to town. The defendant appropriated horses for my use. I bought some with my own money. The defendant knew of it.. By the Lord Chief Justice: Did you or your husband pay for the horses you purch,,el ?-Witness: I did on one or two occasions. I have been anxious to pre- vent disagreeables, but the one list I have seen is a false one. The defendant was angry when my parcels came addressed to him. The defendant occasionally gpt out 0£ temper. It was my desire to have matters settled amicably, bat without anooesa. The defendant saw me wear the dresses. The defendant has not made me any allowance, although I have asked him, as I had none of my own. I have had no private in- come since 1862. I sold my horses for £100 when I left defendant. I did not take my wardrobe with me, because I expected to return. Mrs. Knight cannot attend, as she is ill. My husband did not often give me money, and did not pay any in to my banking account. The defendant did not exoress displeasure on the receipt of plaintiff's goods. It ^vas submitted that there was no evidence of the wife's agency; authority was not given to pledge his creait. The Lord Chief Justice said he would give leave to move upon that point. Mr. Jame;" in addressing the jury for thetdo Fenda-it, said t ey had nothing to do with any notoriety the defendant had framed in another place. The question wa.s, whether Mrs. Chetwynd had authority to pledge her husband's credit to any extent she pleased. She had incurred "liabilities to the extent of £ 3.000. She was a lady of expensive habits. The defendant was justified in expecting that his wife was only ordering things on her own account; he had expostulated with her on her extravagance, It was a wife's duty not to run into debt. Mr. W. H. Chetwynd was examined: My income is under £1,200 a year. I always paid the expenses of our married establishment. I did not make my wife an allowance, because she had a private income. Her debts were the cause of out quarrels. In 1860 I found my wife was getting into debt, and I told her I could not be accountable for her debts, and I threatened to advertise her in the newspapers. A great manv claims were made upon me after she left me. I don't know that I ever saw my wife in a serge dress. Naver said she was going to be very smart. I knew nothing of the plain- tiff's claim. Ou one occasion I had £ 500 from my wife for a particular purpose. I have given her money as she required it. Shd had plenty of dresses when she went to Ryde. I have net repaid her the £ 500. she has not asked for it. Cross-examined: I gave notice in the newspapers that I would not be answerable for my wife's debts in May, 1864. I had no idea of the divorce proceedings until I was served with notice. By Mr. Karslake: In 1864, did you take back a female servant who had previously lived with you? Witness What has that to do with this case ? The Chief Justice did not think it referred to this case. I visited the best society in Staffordshire. Loagdon- hall belongs to me for life. I don't recollect stating in the Divorce Court that my income was only X500 a year. Evidence was given to show that other tradesmen were supplying Mrs. Chetwynd with goods at the time she was having goods of the plaintiff. The Lord Chief Justice, in summing u.p, observed that it was for the jury to consider whether the articles, and prices charged for them, were fit for a lady living at Longdon-hall, maintaining an appearaace of opulence, going hunting- and mixing in the bast society in Staffordshire, and the wife of the defen- dant. The jury found a verdict for the plaintiffs for the full amount claimed.




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