Unhappy Denaby Marriage

February 1906

Mexborough & Swinton Times, February 3rd, 1906

Unhappy Denaby Marriage.

Margaret Howley applied for a separation and maintenance order against her husband John Howley, Collier, Denaby, on the ground of persistent cruelty.

Mr. W. Baddiley appeared on behalf of the defendant.

Complainant deposed that she had been married for thirteen years, and said that during the whole of that time her husband had treated her very badly. It was only five months ago that she summoned him for assault and instead of his conduct being better it had, if possible been worse since that time.

On the previous Saturday evening he thumped her upon the shoulder and getting hold of her by the arm, he said he would put her on the — fire and roast her. The expression he made use of several times. He had, upon many occasions, threatened her. On Christmas Eve he kicker her on the legs until they were black and blue. Almost every Saturday and Monday he got drunk, and when he came home threatened her to “knock her soul out.” Ever since Christmas he had many times both struck her and threatened her. She left him on Saturday evening after he committed the assault upon her. There were four children of the marriage and her husband’s wages amounted to between £2 pounds and £3 weekly.

Mr. Baddiley: Were you the worse for drink?

The wife: I have never at any time being drunk.

The eldest daughter gave evidence on behalf of the complainant.

The defendant denied the assault on Christmas Eve, and also that on the previous Saturday. On the latter occasion she came home between 11 and 12 o’clock in the evening, she being then drunk, and commenced to create a disturbance. With regard to Christmas Eve, she deserved a good thrashing, although she did not get it. She went and sat upon a young man’s knee.

James McDonnah, a lodger said that he had never seen defendant ill-treat his wife. On the previous Sunday complainant told him she was going out for a walk, but she did not return to the house.

Complainant: My husband called downstairs and threatened that if I did not leave the house he would make me glad to go.

Maria McCarthy, a neighbour, stated that complainant came to her house between six and 7 o’clock on the previous Saturday and remained more or less about the house until between 11 and 12 o’clock. Complainant had had quite sufficient beer, although she knew her way about. She had seen Mrs Howley intoxicated.

Mr Baddiley: what is the difference between being drunk and intoxicated?

Witness: Oh, there’s a lot of difference. (Laughter)

Addressing the wife, the Chairman said if she wishes to succeed with their case it would be necessary to her to bring some independent testimony. The case would be dismissed on the grounds of insufficient corroboration.