Author Topic: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.  (Read 4779 times)

Offline RevHead

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"Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« on: Sunday 22 April 18 12:02 BST (UK) »
I'm hoping someone might steer me in the right direction.

I'm endeavouring to find a confirmed link between one of my wife's ancestors and the man he claimed was his father (born out of wedlock).

I'm told there were some bastard laws/courts that I could search in the UK (I'm resident in Australia). Where should I look?

Overview: Roberts Hastings Smith (1844 - 1901, my wife's GG Grandfather) claimed Charles Lennox Butler (1813 - 1885) was his father. Here is the circumstantial evidence to backup the claim:
 
1. Charles Lennox Butler (CLB) is listed as the father on Robert Hastings Smith's (RHS) death certificate in 1901 (with a hand-written notation adjacent to the entry saying "correct")
2. RHS names his oldest son Charles Lennox Smith (and his youngest daughter Charlotte Butler Smith)
3. RHS has multiple trips back to England during his lifetime, and
4. RHS apparently has a "pension" given to him through Meads Solicitors that ends in 1885 the time of Charles Lennox Butler's death (I haven't seen proof of this - just read about it on another rootschat thread). - Note: I purchased a copy of the will of CLB but it had not provision for RHS in it.

Hope someone can point me in the right direction for me to investigate further. Thanks

Offline KGarrad

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 22 April 18 12:18 BST (UK) »
Any Bastardy records are likely to be held in the relevant County Records Office or Archive.

Where was RHS born?

Have a read of this guide:
https://www.genguide.co.uk/source/bastardy-documents-parish-poor-law/140/
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline RevHead

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 22 April 18 12:39 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the quick reply KGarrard - on the marriage certificate he lists it as Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, approx 1844.

Yes, I'd seen that page you linked to. Is there a website in Buckinghamshire I should be searching?

Online brigidmac

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:03 BST (UK) »
The money paid to a love child was often specified to end when child reached a certain age

in my grandmothers case it was aged 13 thru an Affiliation Order in 1900

I phoned the relevant GRO to see if such an order existed and paid them to find it .
Was informed that such court cases rarely made the newspapers .

 some court records are available on Ancestry and Genes Reunited  now

looks like you have plenty of proof without DNA a distant match did confirm the paper trail we found.

..if he paid the pension he acknowledged paternity
The affiliation order we received is a beautiful document and includes details of the medical costs that were paid .....but i didnt know how to find out if payments were continued to be paid ..it would have been interesting to know if they went to the birth mother or foster parents .

good luck finding more
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson


Offline KGarrad

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:09 BST (UK) »
Try a search for Buckinghamshire Records Office, or Buckinghamshire Archives.

Aylesbury parish was in  Aylesbury Registration District.
Not seeing a Robert Smith birth in Aylesbury RD in the 1840's?
(Search via FreeBMD.org.uk)
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Online brigidmac

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:14 BST (UK) »
Was this by any chance the honourable Charles lennox Butler son of 13th lord of

just seen an anoouncement about his wifes death in 1867 in the northamton Mercury 5th jan
they lived at coton house Warwick
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson

Offline RevHead

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:23 BST (UK) »
Yes - brigidmac - that's the one.

Online brigidmac

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:30 BST (UK) »
have you seen newspaper articles about him

i can see that there are some on Genes Reunited but dont have subs to open full article
1 is in Bucks herald 28th dec something about his daughter Ellen Caroline .

by the way what was Robert Smiths mother's name
+ profession

and where did she give birth ?  a high status hospital or a private house ..?
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson

Offline RevHead

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Re: "Bastard Laws" and courts in the U.K.
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 22 April 18 13:38 BST (UK) »
Brigidmac - when you say "have you seen newspaper articles about him?" do you mean Robert Hastings Smith or Charles Lennox Butler? I've seen a few newspaper articles about RHS but not CLB.

Robert Smith lists his mother's name as "Anne" on his marriage certificate (with a note saying "maiden name not known") but on another document it's listed as "Mary". I don't have a birth certificate for him. He lists his profession as "gentleman" but he never really had a job. His letters to an Australian newspaper show him as quite articulate and educated.

And thanks KGarrard for your direction. Perhaps he wasn't born in Aylesbury.... the info he listed on his Marriage Certificate may not have been correct.