1855 – An Old Wife and a Young Husband


1855 10th November, Sheffield independent

An Old Wife and a Young Husband

Our readers will recollect that some months ago some particulars appeared in the Independent, of the marriage of a young man named Gardener, police constable of Whiston with Miss Hammond, an elderly spinster, residing at Whiston and possessed of considerable property; of Gardener’s desertion of his wife on the day of marriage, after having obtained from her between £100 and £200 and of his subsequently inducing her to meet him at Normanton and again absconding on obtaining from her a further instalment of cash.

Gardener after a prolonged absence, reappeared in Rotherham a fortnight ago. He was arrayed in a dashing style, and wore a large moustache. He states that he has been sojourning in the United States of America during his absence, and we are informed shews various newspapers, continuing’ matches etc in which his name occurs.

After staying in Rotherham a few days, Gardener went to Conisbrough on a visit to his parents, and his loving and forgiving wife, on receiving information of the circumstances, followed him thither and reconciliation at once took place. By and by Gardener informed his wife that he was now going to settle down with her, but wanted £100 to enter into partnership with a man at Conisbrough.

Despite the severe lessons of past experience, the credulous old woman believed the representations of her husband, and arranged to accompany him to messes Badger and Jubb of Rotherham, her solicitors, to obtain the required sum.

In the meantime a young female, named Stevenson, who affiliated a child upon Gardener about the time of his marriage, heard of his return, and sought him out with a view of obtaining and arrears of payment to the amount of about eight pounds which was due to her. Gardener hearing of this, applied to his wife for an immediate advance sufficient to cover this claim, representing that unless he paid he should be apprehended.

The old woman at once advanced all the money she had in hand being about five pounds, towards meeting the demand. Only Gardener’s return from Conisbrough to Rotherham, after a lapse of several days, Stevenson’s father met with him and threatened proceedings unless the money was at once paid. Gardener informed Stevenson as he was about receiving £100 from his wife, and would pay half of it to have the matter settled at once. Stevenson was disposed to rely upon Gardener’s promise, but on consulting Mr Bland, was told the Gardener’s promises were not worth a rush; and learning that he (Gardener) was in possession of cash to the amount of several pounds, and visor tea should be induced to go to his (Mr Bland´s) office where he might be detained until a warrant could be signed for his apprehension.

Gardener did accompany Stevenson to Mr Bland, but Stevenson´s confidence was so much, that he was unwilling to take this course, but Mr Bland required Gardener to pay down the money he was possessed of, on account of the claim, before allowing him to leave the place, and by this means obtained from him £4 10s. Gardener subsequently waited for messes Badger and Jubb along with his wife, and applied for the £100. Messes Badger and Jubb, however, very properly declined to advance a single farthing. This resource failing him, Gardener induces why to borrow over neighbours for him, and in this way she raised nearly 5 pounds and handed it over to him.

We may here remark that Gardner had declined all limitations to accompany his wife to her home at Whiston. She, however, as the conditions of handing over this last instalment, extracted from him a promise that she might accompany him to Mr Bland’s office to see the money paid, and that he would then return with her lodgings in Rotherham for the night. Accordingly on the money been handed over the two started for Mr Bland’s office in company. She stuck to ensure tenaciously as to foil several of his efforts to get away, until they reach the court house yard, when he resorted to the extreme measure of pushing her down, and taking to his heels will stop she roars and attempted to follow him, but he eluded pursuit. The poor old woman then went to Mr Bland’s office. She was covered with mud and dirt, and extremely wet, for it was a very rainy night, and she had fallen into a pool of water.

Gardener has not been since heard up. His wife’s affection and confidence have received a terrible shock by this last rude proof of his heartlessness; and she declares that issue can only get older name again she will transported – in which resolved it is highly desirable should she continue.

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