Funny marriage stories please!

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Who When What Source of information As found by

Matthew Philip Creed (c 1837-1904) c 1868 Marrying the Maori. Matthew Creed stowed away to New Zealand to become a logger. He married a Maori warrior, Ramarihi Te Kohiwi. His wife was a fiercely independent lady and after the birth of their children abandoned them to fight in the Maori wars. In later years he and his wife worked hard to brew good cider on the land.

Place: Mercury Bay, New Zealand

Information from Catherine Creed Information held

Miss Ann Dunkerton (b 1814) 16 Feb 1843 On Ann's marriage in 1843, the Salisbury and Winchester Journal wrote: "The fortunate young farmer has obtained a high honour, the fair bride being the person who had the whole management of making the celebrated West Pennard cheese." The cheese was made from the milk of 737 cows in West Pennard, pooled in June 1839 to produce an octagonal cheese of 11 cwt which was presented to Queen Victoria in 1840. The best cheesemaker in the parish was selected to make the cheese on Friday 28 June 1839. Cannon were fired. before 5am indicated that something important was about to take place. Ann died a few years later. The giant unwanted cheese was neglected and turned into mould.

Place: West Pennard

Castle Cary Visitor; Somerset Year Book. Information held

Linda May Leighton 1973 Funny change of surname from LEIGHTON to RUMBLE... Linda May Rumble!

Place: Woolwich Registry Office

Me! Linda May Rumble nee.Leighton Information held

Sarah Clare (Welch) 25 May 1842 Sarah Welch is mentioned in some old family letters. She married three times, all on the same day in May (25th) but died a week after the third of these, which took place age 71, 1842.

Place: Somerset

Parish Registers for Ditcheat and Castle Cary, Somerset, plus a family letter to Ohio by Sarah Maby, 1842 Information held

Jane Mullins 1817-1912 20 Oct 1863 Second time lucky. Her first husband dragged her off to the United States, gave her three children and fled west. Her second husband, sporting Joe Teek gave her a home back in England, started her children in business and let her live to the age of 94. The home she made with her second husband was ...(Wells Journal 1926) one of the pleasantest situated houses in the district. It stands well above the moor over which it looks, and the sun shines on it from early morn till late at night . The sun, often a ball of fire, sinks but for a short time in the summer months to rise in the east again to warm this happy homestead.

Place: Wells, Somerset

Wells Journal 1926 Information held

Ellen Emma Maidment (c 1840) 25 Sep 1858 A younger model. The Kingston's son Benjamin was born in 1794. He married the teenage granddaughter of his housekeeper, when he was sixty. Look out for the marriage of the grieving widow to the seventeen year-old boy next door just a few months later. This marriage took place in Bristol, far from flapping tongues. With a sigh I note that when her own daughter turned 16 she straight away married the nearest 50 year-old man she could find, a carpenter in the neighbouring village.

Place: East Pennard, Somerset

General Register Office marriage indexes, East Pennard Parish Register, censuses. Information held

Emily Jane Creed 1859-1939 never Which group of girls hosted the mesmerising Lillie Langtry during her Portsmouth stay of 1902? (for an extra point, what earthy hindrance was there to any marriages). The Creed sisters - who hailed from dodgy old farmland at Babcary which made a decent dowry impossible. So they worked as servants for years then bought a hotel in Southsea together.

Place: Southsea, Hampshire

Conversation with Pat Cotton about the land; the hotel register in the possession of a niece Information held

Louisa Maria Alma DRAPER nee.COLES 9th August 1875 William Draper was born in 1852 in Odcombe Somerset and worked as a Builder and Joiner ...moving to Penarth South Wales where he courted a certain Louisa Maria Alma Coles the daughter of a local solicitor. Rumour has it within the family that Louisa`s father was not impressed with the attentions paid to her by a mere builder! William however, being a man of decision, whisked Louisa to the Register Office in Cardiff on the 9th of August 1875 where the couple were wed and made their way to the Terminus Hotel at the start of St.Mary Street for their wedding breakfast! Great Grandson Peter remembers how his grandmother often related the tale with glee that the newly weds watched through the upstairs window of the Terminus Hotel as her irate father raced past in pony and trap in hot pusuit! Looking at the family photographs I see that William was a dashing young man and therefore had quickly won Louisa's heart! They went on to have many children but sadly not all survived.

Place: Register Office in Cardiff

This information received with thanks from Great Grandson Peter Smith Information held

John Airey 1828-1914 3 May 1883 When John Airey the grocer remarried in 1883, his children reacted with anger. William had a loud quarrel with his father, who it's reported kicked him down the stairs. Nance put two words in her diary, just two, 'New Era'.

Place: Windermere

Letters from Gwen Arnall and Roger Timmis Information held

Sarah Padfield 4 Feb 1869 Marrying with the wrong horses. Late snowdrops welcomed Sarah as she stepped out from the Church-in-the-Woods, a married woman. Sarah was leaving her home for the last time, and looked up gently to her new husband as he lifted her into the waiting carriage. But the horses would not be roused -they refused to pull away from the Church, a sinister omen indeed. And so it was that Sarah died aged 21 in the childbirth of her only child, a daughter a few months later.

Place: Holcombe Old-Church-in-the-Woods

Conversation with the late Nora James (Dec 1994). Information held

Mary Creed c 1721 The Creeds' maidservant went to a new situation on Lady Day 1719 as she could not tolerate the constant attention Mrs Creed paid to the parchment-maker and the whole village was talking about it. They say that moonlight is the friend of lovers. In this instance the moonlight flooding in through the kitching window was enough for the servants to see quite clearly what the couple were doing. Mrs Creed spent a quarter of an hour in the ox's stall with her neighbour Mr Webb and returned, her back covered in straw. The matter came to Thomas Creed's ears and he brought the case to the Quarter Sessions. What he hoped to accomplish by this we cannot fathom. He let out the family home and went to live with his brother while Mary let a year or two pass... [tick tock]. Mary was then given a licence to marry her parchment-maker, Emanuel Webb, and came back to live in North Barrow.

Place: North Barrow, Somerset

Jewers Marriage Licences Bath & Wells; Quarter Sessions Records Somerset Record Office Information held

Miriam Creed 1814-1900 29 Feb 1848 Marrying the Wrong Man. Miriam Martin married in Bristol to Elias Martin. Her granddaughter Ella stated that she "married the wrong man". I think this may be a reference to Elias's alcoholism, and not to a comic Twelfth Night scenario. The Moravian pastor wrote: "Had a good talk with Mrs Elias Martin today. She cannot sit and talk when her husband is at home. He is his own worst enemy, poor man." Their son Sidney was another alcoholic - his son said that he used to throw gold sovereigns in the air to see people fight for them."

Place: St Mary Redcliffe Bristol

Letter and email from Jimmy Martin, Roger Martin; the Moravian Church Archives. Information held

Mary Annette Martin 1831-1857 1854 Losing it all but getting a Church. November 1853. Polly Martin was sitting at home in her mother's elegant drawing room in Woolwich when a letter came from her brother in Jamaica: 'Tell Polly and Sophy they had better pack their bags and come out straight away. I could soon turn mademoiselle into madame', he said. Oh No. Polly was doing quite well at home. The next year she married John Derby Allcroft, millionaire glover. She had a fine house off Hyde Park and her husband was building up a nice estate in the country too. But she was a Methodist, and while administering to the poor, she had TB and lost it all. BUT ten years later Allcroft built a church in his wife's memory in Gospel Oak.

Place: London

Letter from Henry Lowry (1853); biography of John Derby Allcroft. Information held

Emma March Norfolk An indiscreet diary. I knew of the marriage of Emma Bowgen to Robert Read, she had been a widow four years, and he had attended her husband's funeral in Wymondham. The diary entry from a niece gives more details: 'Auntie Bowgie marries her toyboy', it says.

Place: 1915

Diary of Lucy Blowers. Information held

William Haine 1818-1906 1871 William Haine of Southmead, a respected farmer and local preacher married again. 'His first wife died and left him with many children - later he met a Mrs Parsons, widow with many children also. This couple imagined each other wealthy and fancied the other's property. They married - and at the Church door were met with creditors!! For ever after they and all the children lived a cat and dog life. In the end a separate house, still standing [1950], was taken for the Parsons children, by now grown up.'

Place: Pylle, Somerset

Letter from Margaret Haine of Limington 1950. Information held

William Smith 1831-c 1895 18 April 1870 Robert Smith died in 1868 and that just left his youngest son living at home with at home with granddaughter Harriet Barham their housekeeper (23). She clearly became pregnant two years later, hence the marriage, and the couple went on to have three more sons and a daughter. The priest in Norwich All Saints was none the wiser, clearly, though I'm sure such a marriage must have been illegal. (William witnessed the marriage of Harriet's sister Ellen Barham so he obviously did his best by his in-laws.)

Place: All Saints Norwich

Census for 1871, Wymondham. Information held

Mary Norris 1824-1904 1851 Marrying for religion. On one issue John Hoskins's wife would not budge - religion. She took her daughters to Pilton parish church despite John insisting that his sons be brought up in the Methodist way. When it came to matters immortal, she got her way. John and Mary Hoskins lie buried in the Church of England graveyard, of course.

Place: near Wells, Somerset

Conversation with Judy Tibbotts (a descendant) Information held

Alfred William Moody c 1859- 1941 1879 Marrying in haste. Our distant cousin Alfred Moody is shown living at home in the census, aged 21, unmarried. In the same town, Alma Barrett is living with her parents, aged 20, also unmarried. What you don't know is that they had married two years before and had a baby girl, Nellie. The couple evidently reunited as five years later they began having children again, and ended up the respected headmaster and his wife of Bonsall Grammar School, Derbyshire.

Place: Bristol

1881 census Information held

Charles Doubleday c 1853-1934 25 Jan 1893 Charles Doubleday was for 40 years married to Lavinia he had previously had several children by his housekeeper, her mother, Mrs Wharton who died in childbirth. He took up with Lavinia six months later (when she was 17).

Place: Wymondham, Norfolk

1891 census, letter from Beryl Chapman. Information held

Mary Ann Sunman 1845-1893 1893 The policeman's daughter Mary Ann Sunman secured a plum job at White Lodge in Richmond Park. This was the country home of Fat Mary, Princess of Teck, and where the future Queen Mary grew up. They had apartments in Kensington Palace and this was the home (temporarily) of Harry Mark Puxley, the Under Butler. The Tecks fled England in 1883 and Mary Ann married Harry Mark. When they had their only daughter she was named Annie Adelaide after the Princess of Teck.

Place: SW London

1881 census Information held

Martha Flowers 1814-1887 6 Apr 1865 The eldest girl Martha Flowers left for London. She already had an illegitimate girl and very quickly married a Scotsman, a house painter named WINNING. They lived in Soho which even then was a byword for the worst kinds of iniquity. Mr WINNING was supposed to have left for Australia after having one or two children with Martha, but in this case I do wonder whether this was true. Martha had a cab driver with whom she was very familiar, and in 1865 she took him off to Ladbroke Grove near the old racing track and married him. This suited the couple very well indeed as he had the title of her house in Soho, and she had a man with a profitable occupation. His Will states that husband #1 had gone off to Melbourne, but I am concerned that aunty Martha and the cabbie might have simply dumped his carcass into the murky river Thames. 'I appoint my wife or reputed wife Martha (to whom I was married as Martha Winning Widow) - and whose former husband James Winning went to Melbourne about twenty years ago and is supposed to be dead, but his death has not been proved - to be sole Executrix of this my will.'

Place: St John, Ladbroke Grove near the old race track

Will of Thomas Dobinson Information held

Lucy Maude Rugg c 1853-1934 31 Mar 1880 Story. I had a lovely story today concerning the marriage of Emily's cousin Lucy Rugg. Her future husband was not planning to take his usual Saturday morning jaunt into Wells because of the bitter weather, but his friend Jimmy Tate, wine merchant persuaded him saying "I will find you a rug", they arrived at Woodlands where Tate said there was a choice of three "rugs", resulting in a marriage at the parish church in 1878 of Lucy Rugg to Fred House.

Place: West Pennard

As told by Jack Highnam (their grandson) Information held

Mildred Francis 1896-1982 20 Nov 1934 Upwardly mobile. With each husband, Mildred Francis got richer. With her second husband, the millionaire, she visited her birthplace of Swansea bearing gifts of American candy. Who needed Catherine Zeta Jones?

Place: Buffalo, NY (becoming the 3rd wife of T B Lockwood)

University of Buffalo records; obituary Information held

Sophia Lucas 1818-1875 15 Apr 1844 Charles Bendall had adored his mother but he and his father never agreed. The father was a dictatorial autocrat and ruled the family with a rod of compulsion. His wife had to go onto her knees to beg his pardon if she had offended him. The final quarrel which drove my father out of the business and the sombre, stern family home to London, with his young wife, was over the cruel treatment of his mother.

Place: Cossington, Somerset

Memories of Ethel Annie Rutter (granddaughter) Information held

Anna Golledge Norman 1844-1906 7 Apr 1874 Which happy bride came with two hogsheads of cider? Anna, wife of Robert Hoskins.

Place: Ditcheat, Somerset

Account book of John Hoskins of East Compton Information held

Matthew Creed 1798- after 1850 22 Feb 1827 After a labouring woman gave birth to his twins, Matthew Creed served some kind of penance. He witnessed the marriage of three couples at West Pennard before vanishing again from the registers. He himself married the two Collings girls Julia (1827) and Phoebe both of whom died. He found a new life in the US living on the charity of a niece. He may have died in the Civil War.

Place: Chilthorne Domer

Somerset & Dorset Family History Society Marriages Index; 1850 Census, Ohio; Bastardy Bonds, Parish Registers, Somerset County Archives Information held

John Swanton 1827-1882 1852 Whom do we suspect of courting the schoolmistress? Julia Penny's mother kept school at the Old Mansion, Charlton Horethorne. John's siblings were at school in the village 1851. He rode there with them, I think and that's how he met Julia.

Place: Somerset

1851 census; History of Charlton Horethorne by Robert Williams Information held

Wild Rose 1978 Funny name change miss Wild rose married a man with the surname Bull. So her name became Mrs Wild bull

Place: Johannesburg South Africa

My mother knew Wild from her childhood Information held

Annie Emily Harrison 1929 Well, Annie was supposed to have been married for years, and according to the local paper for 1903, she was 'wife of Ernest Freer'. And in 1911, she said she had been married 11 years. But the evidence is there, they only tied the night for real in 1929. The local paper writes: 'A retired master mariner with experience of the old windjammer days: Mr Freer, came to Skegness from Hull about 25 years ago on his retirement from the sea. With his wife he took The Grove, Scarborough Ave, which he carried on for many years as a boarding house.' We now know why the subterfuge: Ernest came back from Australia after an unhappy marriage to Mrs Anastasia Critchley - who later perished on board a ship where she was stewardess, 1912, much loved by her family out there.

Place: Hull

Skegness Mablethorpe and Alford News Information held

George Sexton 1848..... George was a well-known preacher, and both the 1871 and 1881 Censuses have him away from home, probably preaching. But which home? In 1881, his wife was living in Lambeth with one of her sons (the other two and their daughter having left the nest in the 1870s). His other wife (well, she called herself Mrs Sexton in 1881) was at home with her four daughters in Islington. Both women gave their marriage state as Married. In 1871, the two families were both living in Camberwell, about a mile apart. In 1883, he left for a preaching tour of America & Canada and died there in 1898. It is believed that, whatever the two women knew, none of the children knew of the respective other families. George had a very varied faith history, and it seems that the illegitimate family was conceived during a period of atheism - but there are letters which show he stayed in contact even while he was safely out of the way, many years later in America!

Place: Southwark (London) and not at all

1871, 1881 Censuses, families' knowledge leading to convergent research by descendants of both sides, US/ Canadian newspaper obituaries - which don't mention the families! Information held

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