24th June 1889
Reference Numbert18890624-579
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

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579. HENRY WILLIAM BRINSDEN HINDER (30) , Feloniously marrying Jane Burns during the life of his wife.

MR. C. F. GILL Prosecuted.

HENRY GWILLIAM . I am a butcher, of 4, Dollar Street, Cirencester—I know the prisoner well—he is a son of Thomas Hinder, a gamekeeper—on 3rd September, 1877, I was present at his marriage with Fanny Sterry at the Baptist Chapel, Cirencester—this is a correct copy of the marriage certificate—I was a witness to it—I saw him sign the book—I invited them to a wedding breakfast at my house—he lived with her about two years after the marriage, and two children were born; then the prisoner disappeared—he was brought back and committed to prison for two months for deserting his wife and children—after that I lost sight of him for many years.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. I did not make arrangements for the wedding at the instigation of the Sterry family—I am not aware you entered into the ceremony under protest—you asked me to accompany you to the church—I signed the register in my proper place and you in yours—you lived in the same house with Fanny Sterry afterwards—she married again after she thought you were dead—you advertised your death—I saw her last Whit Monday—you were legally married of your own free will, according to the Nonconformist ceremony—I did not know that the ceremony went on through threats Sterry made to you—he tried to persuade his daughter not to have you—I did not know your father told Sterry that as you were only seventeen years old the marriage should not be gone on with—you said you had no change, and borrowed the money of the girl to pay the expenses.

JANE BURNS . I live at 12, Queen's Road, Canning Town—in 1880 I lived at Wargrave, Henley-on-Thames—I knew the prisoner about twelve months before I married him—he went by the name of Brinsden, and described himself as a bachelor—I married him at Wargrave Parish Church on 16th July, 1881—this is the certificate—he lived with me for about two years—I have had three children by him—he went away with a young woman who had been staying in our house, and who went to service at Chislehurst—I found him living at Chislehurst with this woman, Jane Brown—he and I knew she was married—he then said I was his wife, and where he was I should be, and I made it up and lived with him for about twelve months—Mrs. Brown had to go—he left me again—I found him at Ealing with the same woman—he lived with me for about six months and left me again—I found him at Aldershot, and lived with him about three weeks, and he left me, and I saw no more of him till he was at Arbour Square, where I gave him in custody—at one time after he left me I saw his death in the paper; I

went to the printing-office of the paper and recognised his writing in the letter about his death—he sent me these letters, in which he represented himself as a detective looking for my husband—when I met him after his reported death I asked him if he knew me, and he said no, he had never seen me in his life—I have no doubt about him; I know him among a thousand—he was very good to me while he was with me—I gave him in custody because he left me.

Cross-examined. I had three children by you—the first was not by my father—the officer did not persuade me to come to Court—I do not know Charley Butler—you did not pass him and me under trees by the gate at the corner of some fields—a young fellow came in soldier's clothes once to see you; I did not go away with him for two or three days from Aldershot—I did not go into service at Turnham Green; I did not steal earrings there—I have never been to a brothel.

STEPHEN WHITE (Police Sergeant H). I arrested the prisoner on a warrant on 1st April, on a charge of threats used to Miss Lord in August; he was brought before a Magistrate 2 remanded, and he absconded from his bail—I traced him to Malmesbury in Wiltshire, and arrested him on the warrant with regard to the threats to Miss Lord—while investigating that charge other matters came to light—he was taken before the Magistrate, and the first matter was dealt with, and he was brought up on a writ of habeas corpus, and charged with bigamy with Jane Burns—he said, "She is not my wife."

Cross-examined. I traced you by letters—I did not arrest you—you did not say Fanny Sterry was not your wife, you said Jane Burns was not.

WILLIAM PARSONS . I am Assistant Warder at Holloway Prison—the prisoner is in custody of the Governor of that gaol, undergoing sentence on another charge—I produce him on a writ of habeas corpus to answer this charge.

Cross-examined. I took no notice of questions at the Police-court—you said in the cab that Sterry was not your wife, but Burns was.

The prisoner, in his defence, said that he married Sterry under the threats of her father, she being then enceinte by another man; that Gwilliam seized his hand in the vestry and made him sign the register; that he had never lived with her, and refused to acknowledge her, and that a solicitor had told him that under those circumstancees he was not legally married.

GUILTY . The police stated that the prisoner was engaged and about to be married to two other girls.

Five Years' Penal Servitude. The Court and Jury commended the conduct of Sergeant White.

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