Forbidding the Bans – A Young Lady Takes a Dose of Poison.

August 1887

Mexborough & Swinton Times, August 5, 1887

Forbidding the Bans at Conisborough Parish Church.
A Young Lady Takes a Dose of Poison.

On Sunday, at Conisborough, Parish Church, the congregation were startled by an unusual incident, which occured during the time the vicar, the Rev. J. G. Wood, was reading out the names of those contemplating marriage. When the Rev. Gentleman mentioned for the third time the names “Thomas Bonnett, of the Nottingham parish, Sarah Ogley, of the Conisborough Parish,” a young lady rose in the middle of the church and forbade the banns, exclaiming “I have just cause,” when the clergyman put the customary question as to any “lawful impediment.”

As many be readily conceived, both clergyman and congregation were taken aback by the uncommon event, and the vicar for a moment or two said nothing. But after the bewilderment had somewhat passed he asked the young lady to meet him in the vestry at the close of the service. The young lady, who turned out to be Miss Betsy Williamson, of Nottingham, and who is about 26 years of age, proceeded to the vestry as soon as the service was concluded.

From what can be gathered, the story is as follows:

The man Bonnett is an ex policeman, and is in receipt of a temporary pension of 12 shillings,  he having received injuries whilst engaged in the arrest of burglars in their Metropolis. He is supposed to be 34 years of age. The ex-policeman appears to have made the acquaintance of Miss Williamson in Nottingham, and she thought his intentions were honourable, and that she would eventually be his wife. Rather suddenly, however, Bonnett left Nottingham, and Miss Williamson traced him to Conisborough, arriving there a week ago. When there she learnt Bonnett had fallen in love with Miss Ogley, of that village, and that marriage arrangements were being made. She found them one day at dinner at the house of one of Bonnett’s brothers, at Denaby Main, and she made herself known. Later on she was made acquainted as to the proposed place of residence, and went there. While Bonnett and Miss Ogley were making a perambulation of the garden the discarded lover, who was watching them from a window, drank a dose of salts of lemon, and had just swallowed the last when the couple returned. Dr Hills of Conisborough, was sent for, and by the adoption of the customary means danger was checked.

Information was given to the police, and on Monday Sergeant Noble took the young lady before Mr Ramsden at Doncaster on a charge of attempting to commit suicide. After the hearing of the evidence, the justice discharged her with a caution on promising not to repeat the act.

It is stated that Miss Williamson returned to the village of Conisborough, and that she is now living there. The occurrence has developed a good deal of comment in the district. It is stated that it is still the intention of the engaged couple to get married, and now that there is “no lawful impediment” in prospect the vicar of Conisborough will doubtless offer no opposition to the ceremony. The match has been quickly made as Bonnett has only been in Conisborough a short time.