Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 27 September 2022), July 1830, trial of WILLIAM JOHNSON (t18300708-148).

WILLIAM JOHNSON, Sexual Offences > bigamy, 8th July 1830.

1407. WILLIAM JOHNSON was indicted for bigamy .

WILLIAM DORAN . Sarah Dilbey came to the shop where I worked, on the 21st of April, 1828, and asked if I would give her away to the prisoner, who worked in the same shop, for Mr. Richardson, a coach-maker, in the City-road; the prisoner worked as a smith there - I went to Clerkenwell church, and gave her away; they were married in my presence - I had not known her till that day; she called herself Sarah Dilbey - they lived together as man and wife for a short time; I understood that her father, brothers and sisters wished her to leave him - she was a bricklayer's daughter; I believe they lived together about a week.

Cross-examined by MR. CARRINGTON. Q. How long had you known the prisoner? A. Five or six years - I had not seen Dilbey till two hours before they were married; we had a glass of rum each before we went to church- I did not know she was in the family way then, but I have been given to understand since that she was.

COURT. Q. Is she now living? A. Yes, I saw her about three weeks ago.

JOSEPH PENNY. I am parish-clerk of St. James', Clerkenwell. On the 21st of April, 1828, William Johnson and Sarah Dilbey were married by the Rev. Francis Dolman , by banns in the presence of William Doran and Mary Burton; here is the register of the marriage.

MARTHA BLAINEY . I am twenty-two years of age. I was in Islington poor-house - the prisoner requested me to come out and live with him, which I did for three weeks; he then left me for six months, and I never saw him, but I met a person who said he wanted to see me, and I went to the Blue-coat Boy and met him - we were married at St. Botolph, Aldersgate , on the 2nd of February in this year; he called himself Thomas Bucklin - he left me soon afterwards; I went at twelve o'clock one Saturday night, to the Blue-coat Boy, and desired him to come home - he kicked me in a violent manner; I was very ill in consequence of it - he said, "Don't you remember my telling you of a young man marrying such a person?" I said, Yes - he said, "It was me;" I was obliged to go to the hospital, through his ill usage, and then I brought him here.

Cross-examined. Q.Had you not made some acquaintance which he did not approve? A.There were some persons in Field-lane - I lived with the prisoner three weeks, and married him six months afterwards.

EDMUND GARDNER . I am sexton of St. Botolph, Aldersgate. I produce the marriage-register. On the 2nd of February, 1830, Thomas Bucklin, batchelor, and Martha Blainey were married by banns, by the Rev. William Trollope , in presence of William Blainey and Harriet Blainey.

MILES STANDLEY. I am a Police-constable. I took the prisoner in Middlesex, on the 4th of June.

Prisoner's Defence. I worked for Mr. Richardson along with Doran; a young woman called, and asked for William Johnson - I said I did not know such a person, but there was a young man set on to work that day; I showed him to her - she said that was not the man; she said, "We were to be married this morning;" I said,"I wish it was my chance" - she then took us to a public-house, and we had some rum; as to being married I know nothing at all about it - she went to her father with Doran; I stopped at the public-house till eight o'clock - I then went towards her father's to meet her; she went home to her place in Northampton-square, as she was not to leave for a fortnight - she then came to the shop one dinner time, and asked me to come home to dinner; I was surprised, as I did not know she had any apartment - I went home, and staid with her three days; I found she was in the family-way - we then parted.

GUILTY . Aged 23.

MARTHA BLAINEY. He associated with the worst of characters, common thieves - I saw him run away with a gentleman's bundle at the Blue-coat Boy.

Transported for Seven Years .