Thursday, 8 December 2016

Week 49: Palin vs Palin

Some family trees have beautiful leaves, and some have just a bunch of nuts. Remember, it is the nuts that make the tree worth shaking. (author unknown)

Not everyone in our tree can be a respected farmer, a doctor, a policeman, or a soldier.  Every once in a while we will come across a person in the tree, who, let’s just say, walked on the wrong side of the street.
Back in May, week 19, I wrote about Nantwich’s oldest tradesman, John Palin.  He was a very much respected watchmaker and jeweler.  John was the eldest of seven children born in Nantwich to a John Palin and Ann unknown.   John’s two youngest brothers, Alfred born 1837, and Leonard born 1846 were also watchmakers.  Today’s blog is about Alfred.

In the 1841 census Alfred is at home with his parents and siblings.  In the 1851 census, he is still with his family but now he is listed as a watchmaker’s apprentice.

In 1860 he married Caroline Riddell in Nantwich and we find them both together in the 1861 census living in Nantwich and John’s occupation is given as watchmaker.  This is the last census that I can find John in.
A while back I had found a record on ancestry where Caroline had sued John for divorce for Bigamy.  John had told Jane Ross that he was a widow and married in 1868 in Isle of Man.  Caroline won her case and I thought that was the end of the story.

I have just recently found a newspaper article in the Leigh Chronicle and Weekly District Advertiser March 5, 1886, that told so much more of the story.  I have transcribed it for you.

The hearing of the divorce suit Palin vs Palin took place on Friday last (February 26), before Mr. Justice Butt, at the Royal Courts of Justice, London.  Mr. R. Wallace, barrister, (instructed by Messrs. Whittingham and Whittingham, solicitors, Leigh and Tyldesley) appeared on the behalf of the petitioner, Mrs. Caroline Palin, formerly of Leigh, who married the respondent Alfred Palin in 1880.  Soon after the marriage gave way to dissolute and intemperate habits frequently assaulting the petitioner, and being guilty of other acts of cruelty towards her.  In March 1864, the respondent’s stock in trade of a watchmaker and jeweller was seized and sold under an execution, with the result that the petitioner and respondent lived for a short time in apartments.  The conduct of the respondent becoming unbearable. Caused the petitioner to separate from him and she then took a situation in the shop of a milliner and draper in Leigh at the same time promising to return when some proof was given that the respondent would behave in a more reasonable manner towards her in the future. 
The respondent was also induced by his friends to take a voyage to New York in the hope that the journey would assist in breaking him off his intemperate habits and in separating him, from certain dissolute companionships.  On the respondent’s return from America however he went in 1868 to Ramsey in the Isle of Man, where having passed himself as a widower, he went through a form of marriage at St. Paul’s chapel Ramsey with a widow of that place named Mrs. Jane Ross, with whom he lived for about 13 months. 
The intemperate habits of the respondent appear to have again overcome him and the suspicions of Mrs. Ross were one day aroused through a statement made by him whilst intoxicated, having reference to the petitioner and her address.  This caused a scene and after questioning him on the subject he confessed that his first wife was living and made certain declarations bearing on his first marriage as to the petitioner still alive.
The respondent almost immediately left Ramsey and was unheard of for several years, but on Mrs. Ross communicating with the petitioner the later assisted Mrs. Ross in certain proceedings in the Isle of Man Courts with a view of securing her property upon herself. 
Several years afterwards the petitioner heard of the respondent having gone through the form of marriage with a Miss Pentycross at Woodstock and of his subsequently issuing a “mourning” card in “affectionate remembrance of Caroline, (the present petitioner) the wife of Alfred Palin, who perished at sea, 7th May 1872” on the faith of which he persuaded a Miss Lloyd to marry him at Newport in Monmouthshire. 
A separation taking place subsequently between Miss Lloyd and the respondent the latter was not heard from until the autumn of 1883, when he was seen in Manchester.
The Manchester police were communicated with, and proceedings initiated by Mrs. Ross, the second wife, with a view to his prosecution for bigamy, but unfortunately he escaped arrest and went to Ireland.
The present suit was therefore instituted by the petitioner for a divorce.  During the progress of the suit a special commission was issued from the court to take the evidence of Mrs. Ross the minister who officiated at St. Paul’s chapel, Ramsey in 1868 and certain other witnesses to prove respondent’s bigamy with Mrs. Ross.  J.M. Cruickshank, Esq., advocate, Ramsey, Isle of Man, was appointed the Special Commissioner, and on the 27th October last, Mr. Herbert Whittingham appeared for the petitioner at Ramsey before the Commissioner, when Mrs. Ross and other witnesses were examined by Mr. Whittingham, and their evidence was duly completed and certified accordingly.  The learned counsel proceeded to comment on the various points in support of the petitioner’s case and the evidence taken on commission; and after hearing the testimony of the petitioner and Mrs. Ravald, a married sister of the respondent, Mr. Justice Butt pronounced judgement granting the petitioner a decree nisi with costs.

I was unable to find the marriage to a Miss Pentycross, but I did find the marriage to Miss Lloyd in 1873.  While searching for the marriage to Miss Pentycross I also found Alfred listed in a couple of police gazettes.

At the point of writing this blog, I still have not found a date or location of death for Alfred.

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