A Divorce in 1896

Discussion in 'Court Records' started by The Artful Dodger, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger R.I.P.

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    This action appears quite rarely in the scheme of things within lower classes - but a Petition for Divorce was filed in Bodmin, Cornwall.

    I have found the details of the action as follows:
    Filed - 3 August 1896
    Decree Nisi - 27 October 1896
    Final Decree - 3 May 1897.

    The 'poor' lady 'didn't have a leg to stand on' against the claim of Adultery by her husband [as she was heavily pregnant when he returned to England from overseas.

    What, to my mind makes this unique is the social level of the participants so it would seem likely to have been written up in one og the newspapers from Cornwall. A scan of BNA between the dates noted and the end of May 1897 has shown no results.

    Not wishing to publicise the names of the combatants as descendants are still alive, but if a member is willing to look for alternative sources for details I will send details privately
     
  2. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger R.I.P.

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    Back to this - any ideas on why he would divorce her? He was a Gold Miner [either working in South Africa or U.S.A] - seems to have a certain amount of wealth in order to undertake such an expense. Appears on the 1901 census with his widowed mother as Single and a Gold Miner.

    Leaves the UK and then returns from South Africa - arriving 20 March 1904. His mother died and was buried 7 July 1904 and he left England again 30 July 1904 for South Africa and is lost there until he returns to England arriving 20 April 1912.

    He dies 21 September 1914 - leaving a widow [?] - and a modest estate that was administrated 19 October 1914.

    So the only thoughts about the reasons for divorce is to ensure his ex-wife wouldn't/couldn't access his funds in South Africa - but I may be barking up the wrong tree.
     
  3. Philippa

    Philippa Always a lady.

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    Why would he divorce her? Oh Colin - you said it yourself right at the beginning. ADULTERY. Seems reasonably straightforward to me, forget about future access to funds and all of that rot, she done him wrong.
     
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  4. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger R.I.P.

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    I know that - the Adultery bit - but why go to the expense of a Divorce?. He had been out of her life for 7 years - since 1889 - so she could have presumed him dead in 1896 - but rather than heading back to where he came from he decided to initiate such an action. He could have just disappeared again as he did once before and allowed his wife to start a new life.

    There may be some 'undiscovered stuff' that is either in the divorce transcripts or in the the local newspapers - but neither seems to be on line.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  5. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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    1) His divorce papers are on Ancestry.
    2) Maybe he didn't want to have to support the child of his wife that was not his - she may have applied/been thinking of applying for his assistance.
    3) Maybe he met someone in South Africa that he wanted to marry.
     
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  6. The Artful Dodger

    The Artful Dodger R.I.P.

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    Thanks - just seen the papers on Ancestry - Filing, Decree Nisi and Final Decree. Given the rarity of divorce I would have thought it would warrant an inclusion in a newspaper.

    Presumably, by making himself known again to her after 7 years - he just wanted her out of his life - but in so doing - may have alienated himself from his own two children.

    I'm not going to pursue this one further.
     

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