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An Unnatural Husband

Loughborough Advertiser - November 19th 1868

Loughborough Police Court before E C Middleton and E Warner Esq

Israel Hammond, of Quorndon, late of Leicester, and formerly of Loughborough, was brought up by warrant on a charge of neglecting to maintain his wife Mary Hammond, who had become chargeable to the Loughborough Union. Mr Dean, appeared for the prosecution, and Mr Inglesant, instructed by Mr Giles for the defence. Defendant is in a respectable position, and Mr Inglesant admitted that his client had an income of between 5 and 6 a week , and it is said that most of his property came to him through his marriage with the complainant, who is of a highly respectable family. From the statement of Mr Deane, which was supported by witnesses, it appears the parties have been married about nine years, the greater part of which time has been spent most unhappily together, The wife seems to be a woman of superior mind and ability. For some time past the defendant's conduct has been characterised by unkindness, locking up everything from his wife doling out to her crusts of bread, and allowing her most miserable pittance, which he would sometimes compel her to eat of the sink in the kitchen! His barbarity seems to have culminated on Monday last. She had been washing all day, and the defendant gave her scarcely anything to eat. Feeling almost exhausted, she went out to a neighbour's to beg a bit of bread, and while she was gone, he fastened the gates and locked her out, refusing her re-admission. Several neighbours and a police constable were rattling at the gates, and shouting for about an hour, but received no reply, although they could hear defendant walking about the yard. It was urged by Mr Inglesant (defendant's counsel), that as the wife had 9s 6d a week independently of her husband, she could not, in the eye of the law, be considered destitute, But it was explained that this money, which she received monthly had been expended and she had nothing to subsist upon.

When PC Poultney went to apprehend the defendant, the latter boasted that there were 500 worth of goods in the house, and asked to be allowed time to pack up some jewellery in a box, which he did, and left with a neighbour, stating the contents to worth 250. On being searched at the police station, he had cheques and cash in his possession amounting to about 37. Mr Inglesant protested against a man in defendant's position in life being taken into custody like a rogue and vagabond; but Mr Deane replied that the usual course had been taken in such cases. If the defendant left his family chargeable, it was not for the authorities to say "we will proceed more leniently in one cast than another".

The Bench intimated that this was not the first time they had heard of defendant's alleged ill-treatment of his wife, and as he had the means, as stated, he ought to allow for separate maintenance. They ultimately suggested that the case should be adjoured for three weeks in order to allow the legal gentlemen an opportunity of coming to some arrangement consent to admit defendant to bail, on his paying over to the wife 3, for the maintenance of herself and one child, during the interim. This, the defendant strongly objected to, contending that 1 a week was sadly too much, and was only induced by his legal advisers to comply with the suggestion. What seems most strange is that not a word of complaint was made against the distressed wife, to justify or palliate the treatment she had received.

 Submitted on: 2009-11-14
 Submitted by: Kathryn Paterson
 Artefact ID: 572
 Artefact URL: www.quornmuseum.com/display.php?id=572
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page

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