Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Brewer's petition for divorce

We're back with Mr. Charrington's messy divorce.

Today we're learn more about the bizarre relationship between the young sailor and a married woman old enough to be his mother.

Housemaid and Notices Posted on the Door.

The petition for a divorce by Mr Ernest, Charles Charrington, of Cornvale Gardens, Kensington, London, formerly a director of Charrington's Brewery, against his wife Mildred on ths ground of her alleged adultery with Lieutenant, Richard John Harrison, the twenty-three-year-old naval officer, was resumed to-day. The allegations were denied, and Mrs Charrington countercharged her husband with cruelty and adultery and cross-petitioned.

These charges were denied. Florence Rumbell, housemaid, who gave evidence yesterday of having seen Mr Harrison taking breakfast in Mrs Charrington's room, was cross-examined to-day Sir Ellis Hume Williams. K.C., on behalf Mrs Charrington. Witness denied that she and the cook ever took Mr Charrington to bed when drunk. She had never seen him actually drunk. She agreed with Sir Ellis that her mistress had nerve storms — very bad headaches — and on those occasions she went to bed, as she was quite incapable of doing anything. On the occasions the bad headaches she posted notices outside her bedroom door saying she was not to be disturbed.

Mistress' Headaches.
Asked if during her four years' service with Mrs Charrington her mistress did not always hang up a notice when she had headaches, witness replied — "Always when Mr Harrison was there they were on the door. Sometimes the notice was on the dressing-room door."

Mr Harrison when at Cornvale Garden slept in the dressing-room with a communicating door with Mrs Charrington's room. She did not recall any other visitors the dressing-room. Mrs Charrington used to treat Harrison rather more than a son.

Counsel —Was not Reggie, (the son) - little jealous of Dicky, the sailor lad? — Not that I am aware of. He used to sleep the dressing-room and have breakfast in Mrs Charrington's bedroom in his dressing-gown, as also would the daughter Eileen."
Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 25 November 1925, page 6.

That he was like a son to her was the line Mrs. Charrington took. Was it true? She doesn't seem to have gone in for hugging and kissing her own son. I can't help thinking there was nmoreto their relationship, even if Mrs. Charrington wasn't aware of it consciously.

It keeps getting weirder. A bit creepy, even. Because Mrs. Charrington, her daughter and Harrison all had breakfast in bed together. What a bizarre threesome.

. . . . . . .

Florence Rumble, housemaid at Cornwall Gardens, in cross-examination, said she knew Mr. Charrington drank, but she had never seen him drunk. Witness said Mrs. Charrington used suffer from very had headaches — what she called nerve storms. On such occasions she used to retire her bedroom and often put a notice on her door: "Do not disturb me till I ring."

Witness agreed that when Eileen Charrington, the daughter, was home from school, the only spare room was the dressing-room next to Mrs. Charrington's room.

On these occasions, and when Harrison was there, breakfast for three used to be taken up Mrs. Charrington's room. Eileen would come to her mother's room in her dressing gown, Harrison would come in his dressing gown, and the three would have breakfast together. Mrs. Charrington sitting up in bed in her dressing gown.

Witness did not at the time think there was anything wrong it but thought it was unusual for Mrs Charrington always to be kissing Mr. Harrison. She did not think there were any immoral relations. Mrs. Cherrington and Harrison were always kissing.

Witness declared she was confident that Harrison was in bed with Mrs. Charrington on an occasion in the summer of 1923.

Freda Burke, formerly employed by Mrs. Charrington as companion and governess, said she had seen Harrison in pyjamas and dressing-gown having his breakfast in Mrs. Charrington's room. She had also seen the notices "Not to be disturbed" on Mrs. Charrington's door.

Harrison used to call Mrs. Charrington "Mummie." and dhe called him "Dick." They kissed each other when came and when he went. Whan Mrs. Charnngton was staying at her bungalow at Brackenrigg, Cumberland, Harrison came there for week, and afterwards paid week-end visits. He had a room adjoining, or opposite. Mrs. Charrington's.

In cross-examination, witness said other guests stayed at the bungalow at the same time. Witness said she had no suspicion that there was anything wrong between Mrs. Charrington and Harrison. She had seen Harrison sitting on the bed having breakfast with her.

She added that this was at Brackenrigg. Eileen was there at the time. Harrison and Eileen were very fond each other, but she did not know anything about them being likely to become engaged.

Mr. Reginald Chamngton said did not like his mother and Harrison always kissing and going about together, and gave up seeing his mother in the morning because of Harrison's presence in her room. At, first his complaint was that Harrison usurped his place, but afterwards he realised that things were different."
Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 25 November 1925, page 9.

It's odd the way everyone claims that they didn't find Harrison hanging around in Mrs. Charrington's bedroom suspicious. Even when he was in her bed. Were thay all incredibly naive, stupid or deliberately ignoring the obvious?

I'm still puzzling over Eileen's relationship with Harrison. Were they really courting? If so, wouldn't she have been pissed off by Harrison frolicking in her mum's bedroom?

No comments: