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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1828, Sunday, April 10, 1831


These Sessions commenced on Thursday, before the Rt. Hon. the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, and other authorities of the City, who ordinarily attend upon such occasions. Lord Chief Justice Tenterden and Mr. Baron Garrow are the presiding Judges.

Curious Case of Bigamy.

Thomas M'Gill, alias Henry Augustus Tournage, was indicted for marrying Elizabeth Campbell, on the 26th of August last, his wife Ruth being then living.

The fact of the first marriage having been proved,

Elizabeth Campbell, a very handsome and splendidly attired young lady, said that she first got acquainted with the prisoner in July, in a Paddington omnibus. He took some letters from her to convey to the post office. She crossed the river with him in a boat, met him twice or thrice by appointment, and went to the play with him. She never told her mother that a gentleman had fallen in love with her in the omnibus. The prisoner afterwards made himself known to her mother. She married him after three weeks courtship. He gave his name as Henry Augustus Tournage; said he was a retired ship broker at first, and then a post-captain in the navy. Never went to the Navy Office to learn whether he told the truth. During this time she did not know where her father was. He might have been in Sloane street, at her aunt's. Her mother lived separate from him. He might have been prisoner in Whitecross street. Saw him once there. Never asked his consent to the nuptials. Was a minor when she married. Her name was Elizabeth Sarah, and not simply Elizabeth, as stated in the indictment and certificate of marriage. Her mother had been locked a sponging-heuse,[sic] and the prisoner advanced a considerable sum to release her. This was after marriage. She was first informed of the previous marriage by the prisoner's parents, about a fortnight after he married her. The honey-moon was eclipsed at its ?. When the prisoner was taxed with his perfidy he denied the accusation, and went away, saying he would produce proof of the charge being groundless. He came ?, yea, twenty times, to her, after she knew he was married to another. His father never broke open the bedroom so find him concealed. The door was opened by the prisoner.

Mr. Adolphus submitted that there were two objections in the indictment—1st, the omission of the name "Sarah;" and 2d, the fact of the marriage taking place by license instead of banns, as required by the Marriage Act, where consent of the parents or guardians was not obtained. In fact, the marriage was both invalid and clandestine.

Mr. C. Phillips said that Baron Hullock had ruled that the omission of a name was not fatal, supposing there was proof that the person was the party intended. The young lady had the consent of her mother, who, living separate from her husband became her natural and legal guardian.

Mr. Adolphus replied; after which

Mr. Sergeant Arabin said he was against Mr. Phillips on both points; and the court was bound to tell the jury that they must acquit the prisoner.

The foreman immediately returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

The learned Judge told the prisoner that had he been convicted the Court would, perhaps, have felt its duty to transport him; the offence was a very serious one.

The prisoner bowed, and retired from the bar.