Sheffield Independent – Monday 21 November 1887
A Singular Love Affair from Denaby.
A Lodger Kissing the Landlady.
On Saturday, at the West Riding Police Court, Doncaster, before Lord Auckland and other justices, Alfred Westoby, signalman, Denaby, was charged with assaulting Lizzie Hewitt, wife of Thomas Edward Hewitt, shunter, living at No. 3, Rossington street, Denaby.
Mr. Palmer appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Hall for the defendant. Mr. Palmer stated that the defendant was a lodger at the house of the complainant. On the day previous to the assault — which was said to have taken place on the 17th November— the parties were together in the house, and the defendant showed to the complainant a newspaper containing the report of an elopement, adding that he was very much in love with the complainant and wanted her to elope with him.
She told him she did not want to hear anything like that, and that if he continued such conversation she would tell her husband.
That was on Saturday. The defendant did not continue the matter then, and, on the Sunday, when her husband was at home, she said nothing about it. But on the following Monday the defendant said, “Have you thought over what I talked about? ” The complainant again remonstrated with the defendant ; but he said, ” I should like you to try and love me. I love you,” and he put his hands round her and kissed her three or four times. She struggled and got away.
She told her husband as soon as he came home at night. The woman was offered a sovereign to “square” the matter, but she told the defendant she neither wanted him nor his money.
The complainant was then called. She said the defendant was reading a newspaper, and he pointed out to her a report of an elopement of a lodger with a lady in Wales. He asked her to read it. After- wards when she was in the kitchen, washing the breakfast things, he came in and said, “Missus, I should like to fall in love with you the few remaining weeks l am here. Will you try to fall in love with me?” She told him to remember she was not a single woman, but a married woman, and she did not want to have anything to do with him. She had taken him for a different young man to that. Her husband was at home on the next day, Sunday, but she said nothing to him, as the defendant did not repeat the offence.
But on the Monday following, when she was in the kitchen, the defendant said, “Have you thought over what I said on Saturday?” She replied, “Surely you are not in earnest.” He said, “Yes, I am. L am very much in love with you.” He then seized hold of her, put his arm round her, raised her chin, and gave her three or four kisses. She struggled to get away, and went into the front room. He followed and said, “Don’t be afraid. I shan’t touch you anymore.” She asked him how he dare put his hands on her, and he said he was very sorry for what he had done, and “would she forgive him?” She replied that she had been true to her husband, and so she should remain until she died. The defendant said ”Hear, hear,” and added, “You don’t know your husband is faithful to you.”
Afterwards the defendant offered a sovereign to square the matter. She told him she neither wanted him nor his money, and that she should tell her husband on the first opportunity. She told her husband as soon as he came home.
By Mr. Hall : The defendant has lodged with me a year. You knew he was going to be married?— Yes, I knew all about it. You didn’t want him to be married? — lt had nothing to do with me.
You, are sure of that? — Yea, quite sure.
He had said he was going to be married? Yes, three weeks before. This is not to injure him in the eyes of his lover at all?— Not at all ; I did not know her.
Kissing you is the assault?— That is the offence, and the language he used to me.
What, saying he loved you? — Yes. And he kissed you three times.
I hope you did not shout and weep like Jacob when kissing Rachel. — l do not know anything about Jacob and Rachel. (Laughter.)
You had thought the defendant was a good young man? — Yes.
He had had twelve months to fall in love with you, but ” hadn’t quite ” managed it. (A laugh.)
Were you not cross because he was going to get married? — No. I think too much of my husband for that.
I hope you do. — Yes I do.
There’s a great many sentimental people who do.— Yes.
Thomas Edward Hewitt, the husband, said after his wife had told him what had happened, he went to the defendant and asked him about it.
The defendant admitted it was so, and he was very sorry.
Mr. Hall, for the defence, said “although it was a small matter as far as the assault waa concerned, it was a serious matter for the defendant.
The defendant solemnly denied the charge, and could not understand what the woman meant by bringing such a charge against him. But a woman’s mind could not be fathomed. There was no corroborative evidence.
Lord Auckland said the magistrates did not doubt the faithfulness of the complainant and her husband. The complainant had acted with straightforwardness and great modesty. The defendant had taken a very gross liberty and respectable married women must be protected from the insult of lodgers.
He would have to pay a fine of 30sand 12s costs.
Mr Hall: That is 10s. a kiss, my lord. (Approximately £54 in 2017)
Lord Auckland: Put it as you like. It has been a very gross insult on this lady.