Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 November 2023), October 1829, trial of WILLIAM SKILTON (t18291029-157).

WILLIAM SKILTON, Sexual Offences > bigamy, Sexual Offences > bigamy, 29th October 1829.

1998. WILLIAM SKILTON was indicted for bigamy .

MR. PRENDERGAST conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM WILLIAMS . I am parish-clerk of St. Mary, Newington, in Surrey. I have the register of the marriages in that church (reads), "On the 11th of September 1820, William Skilton, bachelor, and Mary Ann Wyld , spinster, were married by banns by me, J. B. Saunders. Signed W. Skilton and Mary Ann Wyld ."

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. You do not recollect either of the parties? A. No.

WILLIAM WYLD . I am the brother of Mary Ann Wyld. She lived as cook in the service of a gentleman to whom the prisoner was gardener; I afterwards saw them living together as husband and wife in Adam-street, Manchester-square; he called my father and mother, father and mother, and me, William - this signature is my sister's writing; I saw her on the 16th of September alive.

Cross-examined. Q. Is there a person of the name of Skilton here? A. I have not seen him; I do not know Catherine Rowe.

SARAH WILKINSON . I married the prisoner at Islington , on the 23rd of April, 1826 ; I know his hand-writing - this signature is his; he lived with me till the 28th of last January - I had two children by him; he left them with me - he paid for one of them for three months after he left me; he ill-used me, and pinched and kicked me.

Cross-examined. Q. You parted by mutual consent? A. Yes; we had quarrels - he did not complain of my making use of twenty-two weeks' rent; I was obliged to pawn some articles from necessity, but not the furniture - we each took one child; the person with whom he placed one child gave it up, because the payment was not kept up after the first four months.

COURT. Q. What were you before you married? A. I was servant to Mrs. Wall, of Hoxton-square - I had been there ten months; the prisoner courted me twelve months and twenty days - he represented himself as a single man; he never told me he had been married - I accused him of it, but he denied it; he was gardener to a gentleman at Upper Clapton; I had no fortune.

Prisoner's Defence. The witness has sworne false.

GUILTY . Aged 27.

1999. WILLIAM SKILTON was again indicted for bigamy .

WILLIAM WILLIAMS. I am parish-clerk of St. Mary, Newington, Here is the register of the marriage of William Skilton, bachelor, and Mary Ann Wyld , spinster, by banns, on the 11th of September, 1820.

WILLIAM WYLD. I am the brother of Mary Ann Wyld . I saw her alive on the 16th of September last; this signature is her writing - and I know the prisoner and she lived together as husband and wife.

JOHN JONES . I am parish-clerk of Lewisham. I have the register of marriages at Lewisham church - I was present, on the 20th of July , 1829, when William Skilton and Esther Pink were married by Evan Morgan, curate, in the presence of Georgiana Jeffries and John Jones - this is my signature; the prisoner is the man - I have a perfect recollection of him.

GEORGE MEADOWS . I apprehended the prisoner at Isleworth, in Middlesex; I went to No.2, Angel-row, but he was not at home - I followed a woman, who went with a dinner to the prisoner; I said, "I want you for havingthree wives;" Wilkinson and Pink followed me - Wilkinson said to him, "You are a blackguard, you will serve this poor thing as you have served me and your first wife;" he said, "Hold your noise, or I will make you;" I said,"I will have none of this: if you go about marrying women in this way, you must expect they will say something;" he said, "What if I have had three wives, two of them turned out d - d bad ones, and now I have got a third I suppose you wont let me keep her."

GUILTY . Aged 27.

Transported for Seven Years for each offence .