Saturday, 22 February 2014

Charrington divorce verdict

We've come to the result in the messy divorce of the Charringtons. I must say that I'm a little surprised.

Unless some evidence wasn't reported, I can't see what they really had on Mr. Charrington.
Husband Found Guilty Of Cruelty

The hearing of the Charrington cross-petitions was concluded in the Divorce Court, London, yesterday, when the wife was granted a decree nisi, with costs. The hearing had lasted over a week.

Lord Merrivale heard the case which was one in which Ernest Charles Charrington, formerly a director of the Charrington Brewery Company, petitioned for the dissolution of his marriage with his wife, Mildred, because of her alleged misconduct with Lieutenant Richard John Harrison, the 23-year-old naval officer. Mrs Charrington, who is 43 years of age, alleged against her husband cruelty and misconduct, and cross-petitioned.

The President examined the defence at length, pointing out a matter to be noticed by the jury the evidence that from 1908 till the break in the home, all what ordinary English people regarded as married life progressively ceased to exist between Mr and Mrs Charrington. Was this against the wife's will, and, if why was it? His Lordship reminded the jury of the fact that, in spite of the troubled relations between the parties, Mr Charrington, in 1923, made a will in his wife's favour.

In June, 1924, when she went into her husband's room she was told "Yes, it is divorce. It is young Harrison."

Applause in Court.
Dealing with the cruelty charges, he said there were foreshadowings of it from 1903 onwards. It was said that he was generous and was just. The wife said that drank to excess and in such a way as to make life between them burden and a sorrow. Did the husband drink to excess? The jury had definitely to say whether by the reason of the husband's conduct her health was injured; whether he was so enslaved by drink that he ceased to be his own master, and was converted from a just, generous husband to a peril. On the part of the case concerning the adultery charge with young Harrison, he commended to the jury a consideration of the precise footing on which Mr Harrison was in the household, whether he was there as a lover of Eileen and enjoying the mother interest of Mrs Charrington, or whether at any time his footing changed into one of guilty intimacy with Mrs Charrington.

The jury found that Mrs Charnngton had not committed adultery with Lieutenant Harrison, and that Mr Charrington had committed adultery and had been guilty of of cruelty.

His Lordship granted to Mrs Charrington a decree nisi with costs.

When the President spoke Lieutenant Harrison leaving the Court without a stain on his character there was applause, which was sternly suppressed."
Dundee Courier - Friday 04 December 1925, page 5.
All there was agianst Mr. Charrington was the testimony of his housemaid about women coming and going late at night. Plus him turning cartwheels at a ball and having a woman sit on his lap. While on the other hand, Mrs. Charrington frequently openly kissed Harrison, was often locked up in her bedroom with him and even had him in her bed. The verdict makes no sense to me.

Except, the jury had probably taken a dislike to Mr. Charrington. He doesn't sound a very nice man. It's the only explanation I can come up with.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This case was during the Prohibitionist times, you asked what did the fact of them being Quakers have on the bearing of the testimony. One only needs to close their eyes and imagine
her Solisiter's sumation.....
"Why here Gentlmen of the Jury you see the devil of a man constantly drunk as evident by his Daughters testimony, that she has never seen him sober." " Behaving in rude fashion in front of good gentile people, by his drunk displays of cart wheels." "And, Good Gentlmen, what are we to make of his ' nuritis' and keeping a male nurse ( wink, nod)." This innocent women who took the solace of her daughter and this kind young Officer of HM Royal Navey......"

The poor block never stood a chance..