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


A well dressed, female, about 35 years of age, was charged with having disturbed and annoyed a merchant of opulence and respectability it his counting-house. 

It appeared that some years ago the merchant (now about 64 years of age) saw the defendant, a person of attractions, and took her away from the protection of the public into his own. They lived together, alternately pleasant and miserable, for some time. The complainant fancied that by giving the defendant an education he should correct her propensity to talk, and he made the experiment, but the weapons of knowledge were turned against himself. She got together all the hard words she could find, and upon the slightest occasion pelted them at him with a violence against which his only security was in flight. A separation took place, and he gave her his bond for the payment of 40l. a-year. and comfortably fixed her in the neighbourhood of Dover. The complainant, finding that a roving life had its disadvantages, resolved to get settled with a wife, but no sooner was he married than off the defendant walked to his house, and prepared to contest the priority of her claim to him, and to demand an increase of allowance. A magistrate was appealed to, and a promise was made that there should be no repetition of offence. After various disputes and compromises the complainant came to the resolution to refuse to pay his tormentor a farthing, unless she consented to live, at 40 miles distance from the metropolis. Having violated her engagement to observe the condition, she now found herself in the predicament of most people who have no money, without a friend, and besieged the complainant in his counting-house, relying upon the efficacy of her tongue.

The complainant assured the Alderman that the interruptions he experienced in his business were of the most injurious kind. His persecutor had no claim upon him, for their acquaintance took place in Cheapside, and be had supplied her with money to a very large extent.

The Alderman asked the woman why she acted with such ingratitude to a person who had treated her with so much liberality.

She replied that she had made a solemn vow to herself, not to leave him in peace except he consented to give her 50l. a-year, as it was impossible that she could live on less, and she could not think of going loose upon society again.

There was no possibility of stopping the woman's eloquence, and after she had belaboured the complainant for 20 minutes with threats, and solicitations, and promises, the Alderman told her that she must procure bail if the complainant persevered.

The complainant at last said, that he should once more try her: he should pay her the full amount of the bond, and supply her with money to go into the country.