Hide Articles List

12 articles on this Page

[No title]


[No title]

[No title]



[No title]




EXTRAORDINAY CASE IN THE DIVORCE COURT. On Friday in last week, in the Divorce Court, Sir James llannen had before him the case of Euston V. Euston, otherwise Smith. This was a suit bv the Earl of Euston, eldest son of the Duke of Grafton, for a declaration of nullity of marriage, on the ground that when he married the respondent she had a hus- band alive. To this her answer was that the man with whom she had gone through a ceremony of marriage before she married Lord Euston was a married man with a wife alive when that ceremony was performed, and that, therefore, she was not legally married to him, and was free to marry when she became the wife of Lord Euston. Mr. C. Russell, Q.C., Mr. Murphy, Q.C., and Mr. Lehmenn appeared for the petitioner; and Mr. Inderwick, J.C., and Mr. Montagu Williams for the respondent. Mr. Russell, in stating the case for the petitioner, said that his client was the Hon. James Henry Fitz- roy, commonly called the Earl of Euston. He was the eldest son of the Duke of Grafton. In 1870 his rather was Lord Charles Fitzrov, brother of the then Duke of Grafton, and the petitioner was the Hon. James Henry Fitzroy. In that year the petitioner made the acquaintance of the respondent, whose maiden name was Walsh, but who at that time was known as Kate Cooke," she having adopted the latter surname from a man with whom she had lived, and who was connected with a circus. Having formed relations with her and visited her for some months, the petitioner went through a cermony of mar- riage with her at a parish church in Worcester on the 20tl of May,18ïI,the witnesses of the marriage beingan official of the Church and a solicitor named Froggett In the marriage certificate she described herself as Kate Walsh Smith, widow. The petitioner was entitled on his own account to EIO,000 at the time the ceremony was gone through, and that sum he settled on the respondent. Froggett was trustee of the settlement, and he subsequently made away with the trust money, The petitioner and the respondent lived together off and on up to 187.), when the petitioner's married life, which had throughout been an unhappy one, had become intolerable, and lie resolved to separate from the respondent. There was no issue of the marriage, and having left her, he had had from that time no communication with her up to the present. The petitioner went to Australia after the separa- tion and obtained a Government employment there, the duties of which he discharged in a manner every way creditable to himself. Circumstances having arisen which put on the alert those who were acting for him, inquiries pursued under great diffi- culties led to the discovery that when the respondent went through the ceremony of marriage with the petitioner she had living a husband, who was in court to-day. It was found that on the 6th of July, 1863, she was married at St. Mungo's Catholic Church. Glasgow, to that man, whose name was George Manby Smith." He was a commercial traveller, and on the marriage certificate he was described as a "bachelor," she being described as Kate Walsh, spinster." The respondent having been sued in a County Court seemed to have sworn that her husband, George Manby Smith," had sailed in the London for Australia and gone down in that ship; and, singular to say, on inquiry it was found that a person with the initials "G. M. Smith" had sailed and gone down in that ship. It would be conclusively proved, however, that he was not the G. M. Smith who had married the respondent, but a Mr. George Maslin Smith." More remarkable still, it had been discovered that the George Manby Smith who had married the respondent had also shipped for Australia. From letters and photographs in the possession of his mother he had been traced to New Zealand and brought home. On his return he went to the house in which the respondent was living and there identified her, but she suggested that he was not the Smith to whom she had been married, but a brother or some other relative of that person. Whether she would persevere in that suggestion he did not know, but at all events she put forward this issue—that whether or not he was the George Manby Smith with whom she went through a ceremony of marriage in 1863 the person with whom she went through that ceremony had then a wife living, and that, therefore, it was a nullity. Lord Euston, examined by Mr. Murphy, Q.C., said lie was the petitioner in the case and lie made the acquaintance of Kate Cooke in 1870. He lived: with her before going through the ceremony of marriage with her in 1871. He was then 22, and she said, he thought, that she was 24. He settled £10,100 on her. Differences arose between them, and he went to Australia in 1875. He filled a Government appoint- ment there and returned to this country in 1881. Cross-examined by Mr. Inderwick: He had known the respondent six months before the marriage. She was living in Montpelier-square. He learnt from her that she had been previously married. She never informed him that she had reason to believe the man she was married to had been married before, but she said that she believed he had gone down in the London. He saw a certificate of the first marriage of Smith the date of the certificate was the 26th of June, 1862. Witness was married at Worcester. Froggett was Eresent. He believed that Froggett went to Birming- am and made inquiries about the previous marriage of the respondent, but Froggett did not tell him that Smith's wife was living in 1863 when he married the respondent. He learnt that his father had spoken of indicting Kate Cooke for bigamy, and spoke to Froggett about it. To his knowledge no letter came to his wife from "Mary Anne Smith," representing herself to be George Manby Smith's wife. He believed that George Manby Smith was in court. The other day he gave the address at which he believed Smith was living. It was at Watford. He got that address from his solicitor. Re-examined by Mr. Russell: His wife was de- scribed in his marriage certificate as a widow." He fancied it was after his marriage lie got from Froggett the certificate of Smith's first marriage. He had only seen Smith once in his life until to-day. That was when he and Smith went to the respondent's house that Smith might identify her. George Manby Smith, examined by Mr. Russell, said he arrived from New Zealand in January, 1883. A gentleman who came to him in New Zealand brought him a letter and a photograph, and told him Irs expenses to this country would be paid. In 1863 he was travelling in Glasgow for a Birmingham house. He then met Kate Cooke, who was in court. She told him she had been living with a man named Cooke, who was connected with a circus, and that he had been unkind to her. Witness married her on the 6th of July, 1863, at St. Mungo's Catholic Church. His father's name was John Ashwin Smith, and his mother's maiden name was Lippett. He and Kate Cooke separated in five months. During that period they did not live happily. Before going to Australia and New Zealand in November, 1864, he last saw Kate Cooke in September of that year. In either 1870 or 1871 he wrote to his mother from Auckland in the name George Johnson." When he came home his mother was living at Watford. Recently he went to the house in which the respon- dent was living and identified her, that being the first occasion on which he saw her since 1864. He was married to a person named Marv Anne Smith, whose ^} was Johnson, on the 26th of June, 1862, his iirpviniiIi1rU"ple tc Cooke he was informed that o KrV (r™Cl:ad' from a friend friend ot his first wife. He F a"?*pS Xettw her aftei He lad not the slightest doubt that the woman siting before him in court was the Kate Cooke whom maiiied in 186ti. Cross-examined When lie went to identify his wife he looked at her only for a minute, and not a word was spoken. He at once identified her. He did not know that his address had been applied for by the respondent. He nf>t marry a woman named Johnson Mary Anne Smith had sons. His father and mother and himself lived at one time at Mary Anne Smith's house in Birmingham. She had a little Anne Sm^sUon settled on herself. He Kr^t^earoBCtany of .l.ut poperty. H. return?,! fro, Glasgow ^3^ did not go to the p a -j ;u that she was not go because he had hea^ i house at dead. Her friend had told 01 him name 0f the Birmingham. He did not rememe wife'" sons street. He did not go to see Ins dec3ase d^essons. He had seen enough of them, and lie 1 'mm. PlX5iok licre informed to Court thrttb. respondent having now had an opportunity of seeing the witness who had just given evidence, she admitted that lie was the George Manby Smith with whom she went through the ceremony of marriage in July, 183, oJ Sarah Jane Smith said she was married to George Maslin Smith in June, 1861. He left home for lymouth on January 1, 1866, and sailed in the London for Australia and was lost. She, as his widow, obtained in this Court administration to his estate. Mary Ann Smith, examined by Mr. Russell, said she was 83 years old. She was married to George Ashwin Smith in 1827. She had six children, one of whom was George Manby. He went to Australia in 1864. He wrote to her from Auckland in the name of George Johnson. She gave some letters and a photograph of her son, George Manby, to the peti- tioners solicitor. She now identified as her son the George Manby Smith who had just given evidence. This was the case for the petitioner. For the respondent, William Henry Johnson was examined by Mr. Montagu Williams. He said he had had a sister whose maiden name was Mary Anne Johnson." She was married to a man named William Smith, and they had four children. William Smith died in January, 1853. After that his sister came to him at Holloway, having three children with her. In 1861 she returned to Birmingham and lived there. He went down in the autumn of 1862 and found that she had in her house George Manby Smith, who had been examined to-day. AVitness knew that this man had at that time married his sister. In November, 1866, he received a communication that his sister, Mrs. George Manby Smith, was dangerously ill at Edgbaston, near Birmingham. He and his sister Phillis went down from London, and found that Mary Anne was in a dangerous state from cancer in the womb. She died on June 9, 1867. Witness was present at the death, and with his sister Phillis went and registered the death, the certificate of which was now in court. Mr. Russell said he had no question to ask the witness. Phillis Johnson, sister of the last witness, corrobo- rated the testimony of her brother as to her sister Mary Anne having been alive up to the 9th of June, 1867, when she died in witness's presence. The various official certificates having been put in evidence, Mr. Russell said he could not controvert the testi- mony of the last two witnesses. I The President: It is now admitted that the George Manby Smith whom we have seen in the box is the person who was lawfully married to Mary Anne Smith, widow, on Juno 26, 1862. It is further proved that he went through a ceremony of marriage with the respondent on July 6, 1863, lie not being then in a position to contract a lawful marriage, because of his wife Marv Anne Smith being alive. Kate AValsh was then free to marry, but she was not lawfully married to George Manby Smith, becaue he had a wife alive. The Jury at once found that George Manby Smith was lawfully married to Mary Anne Smith on June 26, 1862; that Kate Walsh was not lawfully married to the said George Manby Smith on July ti, 1863; that the said George Manby Smith was alive on May :2), 1871, and that the petitioner and the res- pondent were lawfully married on May 27, 1871. The President said was a finding for the respondent, and he dismissed the petition with costs.