Liverpool Mercury, July 25th, 1858

The Bigamy and elopement case

At the Birkenhead police court, yesterday Philip FIELD, glass and china dealer of St Martin's Market, in this town, was again brought up charged with bigamy, but, as one or two important witnesses were absent, the case was further remanded until tomorrow


Liverpool Albion

June 1869

Curious Bigamy Case

At the Police Court on Saturday, a sailor named John MILLER was brought up on remand charged with bigamy. The complainant was a very young woman named Catherine HEALEY, whom he had married in Liverpool in December 1867, and whom, it seems, has become entitled to some property since her marriage. It having been discovered MILLER had another wife living, HEALEY, gave him into custody.

The defence now set up was that his first wife was his mother's, brother's widow, and consequently his [MILLERS] Aunt. Therefore as such a marriage was prohibited and illegal, there had been no bigamy, and that the woman who complained was actually the prisoner's "Lawful wedded wife"

The first wife was called and proved that she was married to William LACE, and the prisoner's mother proved that LACE was her brother.

The bench held that this marriage was within the prohibited degrees of affinity, and ordered the prisoner be discharged.


Liverpool Journal Feb 4th 1882

At the Birmingham Police Court, yesterday

Edmund LEWIS, aged 40, Engineer, committed for trial for marrying Jane HALL, a Liverpool barmaid, his wife Catherine Humphrey LEWIS of Cardiff, being still alive.

The accused was undergoing a 3mths sentence at Birmingham gaol, when both women going to see their husband, the bigamistic marriage was discovered.

The prisoner feigned madness, and, by eating soap, foamed at the mouth.

The electric battery was applied, but it was only after several shocks that the result was satisfactory.

At the time of him feigning madness the prisoner sent a letter to his second wife beseeching her, when he was before the judge, not to do more hurt to him than what was compulsory.

Saying "I am sorely punished for all my misdeeds, I cannot rest day or night for thinking of you and the child. It was a bad job we ever left Liverpool. I solemnly vow that I will, when I have suffered for my folly, contribute to the support of the child. Drink has been the ruin of me. I was particularly fond of you and the baby, I hope you will forgive me for all the wrong done to you. Have you forgotten the trial we went to hear in Liverpool Assizes? Think of me in a similar position, and how it will affect you when you hear the sentence passed on me. Even if your affection for me is lost in oblivion, mine for you will never die". Committed for trial at Warwick Assizes

Liverpool Crown Court, yesterday

Joseph NEWTON, aged 43, glass flattener, pleaded guilty to having at Walton-on-the-Hill on 10th Oct 1881, married Esther WESTHEAD, his former wife being still alive.

Prisoner married in 1861, the conduct of his wife was not good, she left him numerous times, the last time taking all his furniture.

He went in lodgings, where he met Esther WESTHEAD, she new at the marriage, the circumstances of his previous marriage.

The first wife gave him into custody, but is now sorry, and is sorry about her past conduct and willing to resume cohabitation with the prisoner. The prisoner is willing to resume cohabitation with his first wife.

He had been in gaol for 3mths, under these circumstances there was no desire to press heavy charges against the prisoner a further weeks prison without hard labour.


Liverpool Journal 7th Jan 1882


Robert NIXON an elderly man of respectable appearance, charged with neglecting to maintain his wife who was at present an inmate at the workhouse. He was arrested on Weds, evening at Hodge's Lodge, Toxteth Park. In answer to the charge he said he had been looking for his wife for the past 18yrs. He had two wives and was arrested for bigamy a month ago. He married his first wife 30yrs ago, he lived with her for 3 to 4yrs when she became addicted to drink, he left her, leaving her a deed of separation, allowing her 10s a week, he paid for 2 to 3yrs till she ceased applying for it. He then advertised for her and found a woman answering her description had died in the workhouse of smallpox.

He married again, 6wks ago his wife turned up in Liverpool, he would have nothing to do with her, she then charged him with bigamy. The prisoner's niece said her aunt did not wish to punish him for neglect, if he would make her an allowance, remanded for a week for arrangements to be made.


Liverpool Journal 28th Jan 1882


Liverpool Police Court Tuesday

George PRIESTLY, aged 37, sawyer of 130 Robsart St, Everton, charged with marrying Alice WEATHERILT, on 24th Sept 1871, his former wife being still alive.

Mr H. F. NEALER, prosecution, Mr R. H. BARTLETT defence

A brother-in-law of the prisoner, William CRITCHLEY living at St Helens, was present at the New Independent Chapel on the 10th Feb 1867, when prisoner married Rachel GRESTY.

Rachel GRESTY had since married William DANIELS at Garston on 12th May 1873, later 2 other men and was now living with another man, committing 3 bigamous marriages

Alice WEATHERILT appeared with an infant in her arms and deposed that on 6th Sept, 1871 she was married to the prisoner at St John's Church, Chester.

He told her he had been married but was legally separated, she had, had 8 children to him, 2 were still alive, aged 7yrs, and the infant 4wks, she had in the workhouse. She lived with him until 10th Nov, on the 7th of Jan, he was summoned by the Parish authorities for maintenance, committed for trial, admitted to bail.

Manchester Tues,

Elizabeth WHITEHEAD, middle aged, pleaded guilty to having at Bury on the 12th July 1875, married James TOOTHILL, her former husband being still alive.

Mr BLAIR prosecution, Mr MC KEAND for the prisoner.

Prisoner first married in 1865 and was either deserted by her husband or driven away by his brutality. In 1875 she married TOOTHILL and they lived happily together. Proceedings instituted by first husband.

James TOOTHILL had known the prisoner for 16yrs and had lived happily with her, a better woman, he added, never lived.

A policeman who knew her for the past 10yrs, described her as hard working and industrious. They had a greengrocery shop in Bury, he also described her lawful husband as a worthless, drunk, who had been convicted of bribery previously.

Judge said, the prisoner had been more sinned against than sinned, 5 days prison, effect immediate discharge.

James Henry UNETT, of Hope St, Gorton, a clerk at Carriage Company's offices at Rusholme, aged 26, pleaded guilty to having married on the 19th Nov 1881, at Brownlow Hill, Register Office, Mary Ann WILLIAMS, formerly a ladies maid now residing at Hulme, his former wife being still alive.

Being Mary Ann RANDLES, whom he married at St Cement's Ch, Longsight on 9th June 1878, to whom he had 2 children. Eliza BOLTON, hat former of Cross St, Gorton, deposed to the marriage.

Prisoner met Miss WILLIAMS in July last and courted her as a single man up until they married. 5wks after the marriage he left saying he was going to see his mother. They afterwards met at Central station, Manchester, where he introduced his lawful wife, saying he could not help his conduct.

Mary Ann WILLIAMS was dressed in mourning attire, she had nothing to say in prisoners favour and did not want to press charges on account of his children, 12mths prison with hard labour.



25th Feb 1889

At Newton-le-Willows James BERRY, Collier, Haydock, formerly Stockport charged with bigamy. He married Susan GUTTRIDGE, a widow of Haydock at St Peters Church Newton-le-Willows in 1884, they lived together for 3yrs and he went away returning last November. On the 19 inst Mrs BERRY his wife came to the house, Police Sergeant PAGE arrested Mr BERRY- For trial.


Liverpool Weekly Courier Saturday 17 May 1890


Edward Lee, 39, labourer, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with having committed bigamy with Jane Johnson, at Manchester, on the 8th November, 1886. The prisoner stated that in 1879 he was sent into penal servitude, and when he came out he found that his wife had married again. Subsequently he was sent to gaol again, and during his absence his wife committed bigamy with a second man. By the two men his wife had had five children. His Lordship sentenced him to three months imprisonment. Eliza Lee, his wife, also pleaded guilty to a charge of bigamy with John Turner, at Salford, on the 27th Nov., 1871. His Lordship, in sentencing her to three days imprisonment, advised her not to go about the country marrying other people. (Laughter)


James Albert Mason, 35, engineer, was brought up for sentence, he having pleaded guilty, on Tuesday, to committing bigamy, at Leeds, on the 23rd April, with Annie Clara Taylor. The prisoner handed to his Lordship a testimonial from a lady in Manchester as to his character. The testimonial described the prisoner as a person who has a Christian character, gentlemanly in appearance, of good address, and his heart is all aglow with love for Christ. It further stated that he had been a teacher in her Sunday school, was a thorough devoted Christian, and ever showed a cheerful willingness to take part in cottage and other meetings, and that he was likely to prove a real blessing to any parish or district wherever he might be sent.

His Lordship remarked that he was afraid the lady did not know his inner life. The prisoner explained that that testimonial referred to the period of his life from 1875 to 1883. At that time he was a Scripture reader, and lived a good Christian life for some years, but his first wife turned out to have an uncontrollable temper, and an unhappy union was the result. She was also addicted to falling from the truth, and ultimately he left and went to lodge with Taylor and her aunt. After marrying Taylor he lived a good life until he was arrested.

His Lordship said that Taylor in her evidence stated the prisoner represented himself as a single man, and got £140 of her money.

The prisoner denied that he got £140 of Taylor's money, but admitted that he concealed from her the fact of his previous marriage.

His Lordship sentenced the prisoner to six calendar months with hard labour.

The prisoner's first wife, a lady-like person, who was sitting behind the dock, shook her fist at her husband as he was going down the steps, and exclaimed, "May God forgive you."


Liverpool Echo

July 4th 1892

At the Central Criminal Court


Charles Henry WILSON, aged 44, pleaded guilty to several indictments, charging him with bigamy and forgery. For many years he had been carrying on a system fraud upon tradesmen in Hull, Birkenhead, Manchester, Nottingham, and various other places. In London he made the acquaintance of Minnie WILDE and married her though he had a wife living - 10yrs penal servitude.


Liverpool Mercury, Jan 7th 1899


Alice CROCKETT, aged 29, a well-dressed young woman was charged at Marlborough, Police court with bigamy, on Monday morning. Det MARTIN arrested the prisoner on Saturday evening, accompanied by a man named BOURNON, who on the same afternoon was charged with siding and abetting in the commission of bigamy.

The prisoner was taken and said, "I am going to make a clean breast of it.About 10yrs ago I met Jim CROCKETT, a groom at Shrewsbury. We married at the Old Church, Shrewsbury, he was a coachman to Lady WINGFIELD. I only lived with him 3days at the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Shrewsbury, with my cousin Kate MIDDLETON. I afterwards met BOURNON and we married in 1890. I told him my husband was living, but he kept worrying me to marry him, which I did, and tore the certificate up in front of him. I had not seen my husband since I married him but my sister saw Jim CROCKETT, 2yrs ago."

BOURNON said, "That is quite true "

Mr De RUTZEN directed a remand till Saturday, Mrs CROCKETT bailed at £25.


Liverpool Mercury 19th Jan 1907

Sequel to Matrimonial advertisement.

William JACK, a tradesman of Granby St is charged at Liverpool Police Court with having bigamously married Florence Priscilla CLARKE, while his former wife, Annie PATON was still alive. Grace MC LUCAS of Bentinck St, Glasgow was present at the marriage of the prisoner to Annie PATON at the registrar's office Blythswood, near Glasgow, on May 4th 1904, and the couple lived together for a year. Florence P. CLARKE said she had married JACK at Trinity Chapel, Grove St, on Sept 19th last, she became acquainted with him through an advertisement she placed in the matrimonial column of a newspaper to which he replied. He first said he was single and then told her he had gone through a marriage ceremony, but, that it was not legal. He had lived with her until his arrest to assizes for trial.


Liverpool Mercury, Jan 12th 1907

Mrs Dorothy Josephine WAGSTAFF was charged on her own confession with bigamy, and was on Thursday at the London Central Criminal Court sentenced to three days imprisonment. Which amounted to her immediate discharge having been in custody longer than that time. The accused was trained as a hospital nurse and the circumstances under which she contracted the second marriage were remarkable.



Jan 25 th, 1913

Matilda WHELAN, middle aged, appeared at Liverpool Police Court on a charge of bigamy in October last, her 1st marriage took place on Christmas day 1902, followed by a separation of the couple in July 1911. This was applied by the husband on the grounds that the woman was an habitual drunk., there were 3 children. On Oct last Mrs WHELAN went through the form of a marriage with a man called BURNS. 2 days later the 1st husband was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and later died On the 30th Nov. Woman stated BURNS was at sea and on his return would legally marry her. Police offered no evidence and she was discharged.


Derby Daily Telegraph, 29 September 1944

Flo made her suspicious

When Leading Stoker Reginald Archibald MOLYNEUX. R.N, was accused at Lewes, Sussex, today of bigamy, his wife, Mrs Olive MOLYNEUX, said that he kept calling her Flo during his leave last May. I asked him if he was knocking about with a girl of that name, she added. He said he was but he would drop her.

Never happier

MOLYNEUX who was sent for trial, was alleged to have gone through a form of marriage with a girl called Florence May MEDHURST, of South Lane, Newhaven, on April 1st during the lifetime of his wife, who is the mother of four children and lives at Speke Rd, Garston, Liverpool.

Miss MEDHURST said that she had never been happier in her life than when she was with MOLYNEUX

Veteran Bigamist, 1908


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