Author Topic: Bigamy Trials 1920  (Read 195 times)

Online Sherilla63

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Bigamy Trials 1920
« on: Friday 01 October 21 19:07 BST (UK) »
Hi Everyone, I am new to this forum so thank you for accepting me. My grandfather Arthur Vincent Brown was arrested for bigamy in 1920 after he married my grandmother Adelaide Kate Roberts on 25 Dec 1919. He was a Stoker in the Royal Navy and it was claimed that he was already married to Patricia Evelyn Biddell in May 1914. The case was heard in Chatham Kent on 30 Nov 1920 in front of J Avory and he was found not guilty and the case is shown as discharged.

Does anyone know where I might be able to find details of the court proceedings? I have tried the British Newspaper Archive but have not been able to find anything. Could this be because he was found not guilty? Do courts still hold details of the case 100 yrs after it occurred? If so where or who should I contact.

My problem is that I decided to get a copy of the marriage licence for this supposed first marriage, the licence states that a Arthur Vernon Brown married Patricia Biddell in 1914, but the other details on the certificate such as his occupation, stoker RN, his ship name HMS Europa and his father's name Vincent Brown all correspond with my grandfather Arthur Vincent Brown who was stationed in Portsmouth at that time. I've checked Royal Navy records for Arthur Vernon Brown and come up with nothing, so what are the chances that there were two Arthur Brown's on the same ship, doing the same job and with the same father's first name?

Any help would be very welcome.
Sherilla

Offline sgf28

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Re: Bigamy Trials 1920
« Reply #1 on: Friday 01 October 21 20:02 BST (UK) »
There is a report on the case in Maidstone Telegraph dated 4th December 1920:

Arthur Vincent Brown, alias Arthur Vernon Brown, 28, naval stoker was indicted for committing bigamy by marrying Adelaide Kate Roberts at Chatham on December 25th, his wife Patricia Evelyn whom he married at Portsmouth on May 23rd 1914, being then alive.

There is more in the report.

Offline sgf28

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Re: Bigamy Trials 1920
« Reply #2 on: Friday 01 October 21 20:05 BST (UK) »
Looks like Patricia Evelyn married a Mr Biddell in 1905, he was still alive when she married Arthur :o


Online Sherilla63

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Re: Bigamy Trials 1920
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 02 October 21 14:56 BST (UK) »
Hi,

Thank you guys so much for finding this information so quickly. I didn't realise what a can of worms I was going to open up. Looks like it was a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. Do you think that because Patricia was committing bigamy when she married my grandad in 1914 that it cancelled out his bigamous marriage to my grandmother Adelaide in 1919?

Looks like it was true about what they say about sailors having a girl in every port. I'm still not sure why he deliberately used a false middle name when he married Patricia. I hope there were not any other women that he was married to...

Arthur and Adelaide went on to have 7 children together, my mother Elsie was born in 1922 and was the second eldest. Arthur continued in the Royal Navy until 1922 and then left after 12 years service. They were married up to the death of my grandmother in 1959.

Thanks again for all your help.
Sherrilla


Offline Pinetree

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Re: Bigamy Trials 1920
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 02 October 21 16:55 BST (UK) »
Hi Sherilla,

Welcome to Rootschat.

Yes your grandfather’s first marriage would not have been valid because the bride was already married assuming she was not divorced from Mr Biddell. Presumably that is why he was found not guilty of bigamy when he married your Grandmother and this “second” marriage would have been perfectly valid.

Pinetree
 
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