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This was a petition presented by a Mr. Caton, praying that a bill might be passed
for the purpose of Divorcing him from his wife.
On the case being called on, The Lord Chancellor said that there was a petition from the wife praying for an allowance to enable her to appear by council.
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham, who was with Mr. Venabies appeared for the petitioner, said the petition was presented by the wife merely for the purpose of delay; for Mrs. Caton had been living for many years apart from her husband with her mother, who was in good circumstance. At the same time on the part of the petitioner he was ready to accede at once to any direction their Lordships should make.
Mr. Selwyn said he appeared, instructed by a solicitor solely on his own responsibility, to watch the case for Mrs. Caton, and Submitted that the circumstance were the same as those in Llewellyn's, and that the wife was entitled to the allowance.
After some discussion,
The Lord Chancellor said that the case might go on now, and if in the course of the evidence it should appear that anything rendered expenses necessary which the wife ought to be reimbursed, they might be allowed.
Mr. Serjeant Wrangham then stated that the petitioner, Mr. Caton, at that time holding the situation of assistant Surgeon in the Grenadier Guards, and being 27 years of age, was, on the 20th of June,1831, married to Miss Anna Maria Ryder, she being of the age 18.
His Circumstances were these: His pay was about 150£ a year, and he had an annuity from his father for a similar sum, making an income 300£ a year.
Mrs. Caton's fortune in possession was made equal to his by means of the dividends of certain stock, which was settled upon her. Mr. Caton was also heir of entail to an estate which his father held for life , of 900£ a year, and it was with reference to the Estate, and certain steps which had been taken with regard to it, that he was enabled now, after some lapse of time, to seek the remedy at their Lordships' hands, which, though effectual, was most costly.
The parties cohabited for a length of time on the most amicable footing, and up to 1841 they were happy as married people usually were, but using that term in its most favourable sense.
In 1841 suspicions were excited in the husband's mind with regard to the conduct of his wife with a gentleman of the name of Harrison, an officer in the army who were quartered at Brighton, where the parties were residing in the house of Mrs. Ryder, the mother of the wife. Previously to this the husband had been induced to sell his commission, and reside with his wife's father and mother, and the father having died in 1838, they still continued to reside with the mother, Mr. Caton contributing his share of the expences.
Serious suspicions having been excited in Mr. Caton's mind with regard to the conduct of his wife, which had been reported to him, and that she had been guilty of at least great levity with respect to Mr. Broadley Harrison, in the March of 1841 he acertained that a letter had been clandestinely sent by his wife to Mr. Broadley Harrison.
After that it was only at her most ernest intercession as well as that of her mother, and, father, on the positive assurance which he recieved from her brothers who had seen the letter in question, which he had not himself seen, that though it contents proved Mrs. Caton to have been guilty of indescretion, and not to have been free from blame, yet was far from an admission of criminality with Mr. Harrison, that Mr. Caton was over persuaded for the sake of his three young daughters and his son to forgive what had taken place.
Up to that time they had lived on the best of terms together. It should have been said, moreover that Mr .Caton's father, a clergyman, had come to Brighton, and the letter having been shown to him, he repeated the assurance which had been given by her brothers.
Lord St. Leonards:- Do I understand that the letter was not shown to the husband?
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham:- The letter was not shown to the husband for judicious reasons, as it contained observations not very favourable to her husband. However, he consented to receive her again as his wife; but it would be wrong to state that after such an occurrence, though per- suaded that it would be not be dishonourable in him to re- cieve her as his wife, that his confidence in her was not shaken. His confidence was shaken, and he looked on any repetition of levity on her part with more suspicion than he would otherwise have done. In the course of that year (1841) Mrs. Ryder and Mr, and Mrs. Caton removed from Brighton to Tunbridge Wells, and in December of that year their fifth child was born.
They continued to reside at Tunbridge Wells, certainly not living on the same terms as they did before the affair of Mr. Harrison, and disputes and quarrels took place between them, and they did not live in harmony together.
In August 1843 they left Tunbridge wells with their family and established themselves in Paris, for the purpose of cheaply educating those of their children who had come to the age when young ladies, at least, were supposed to be more economically educated in Paris. Mrs. Ryder then left them; and they took apartments in the boarding house of a Madame Durand St. Rose, in the Rue Louis le Grand, and resided until December 1843.
There was residing at that house at the same time, a son of Madame St. Rose, a Major in the National Guard, who was himself married to an English lady, who was residing with him in the house of his mother.
In October Mr. Caton was obliged to leave Paris for London on business, and returned on 19th November, and on his return he at once detected familiarities passing between his wife and Major St Rose, which excited his indignation and rekindled the suspicions which had been caused by her conduct at Brighton some years before. Lord Brougham here made an inquiry as to the family to which Mr. Caton belonged.
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham said it was a Lincolnshire fa- imly Mr. Caton's father, though now a clergyman, had formerly been in the army, and was one of the last, if not the last survivors of the Ralf Abercrombie's expedition to Egypt. On 3rd December 1843 Mr. Caton had reason to believe that his wife had written a letter which had been sent to and received by Major St. Rose, and he directed his brother, Mr. Thurston Caton, to apply to the major and require him to deliver it up. This took place between Mr. Caton and his brother in the dinning room, after the rest of the party had left for the drawing room, but Mrs. Caton over heard the direction given by her husband to his brother, and when Major St. Rose came into the dinning room, he was followed by Mrs. Caton . The major said he had received no letter, but if he had he should not have delivered it up.
An altercation followed between Mr. Caton and Major St. Rose in which Mrs. Caton violently interfered, siding with the major against her husband, thus confirming into moral cer- tainty that which had only before been suspicion on his part. Accordingly Mr. Caton and his brother quitted the house that night, and he had never since cohabitated with his wife.
On 4th December, accompanied by his professional advisor, Mr. Okley, he returned to the house and required Mrs. Caton to go back to her husband and chil- dren to England. After some hesitation she consented to produce the children, and they were taken by Mr. Caton; but Mrs. Caton positively refused to quit the house and accompany her husband to his hotel, or go back to Eng- land.
Mr. Caton took the children, and on the following day 5th December brought them to London, sent the elder ones to school, and the others were dispersed among rela- tion of his. On 9th December Mr. Caton wrote to his wife, repeating his command to join him in England, and to quit the house where Major St Rose was.
He re- cieved no answer from her, but from a relation of hers, acknowledged the receipt of this letter, and intimating that she refused to return; but urging that the youngest child being only two years old, might be returned to her, it being alleged that it was too young to have its morals corrupted even by such a mother.
Mr. Caton having doubts whether he had any other than a legal right to call that child his, for it was born just 9 months after the affair with Mr. Harrison, and he that there could be no great risk to it's Morals.
Lord St. Leonards:- Was it written in the letter that there was no risk to the morals of the child by its being re- turned to the mother?
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham:- No; that was urged in an interview between Mr. Caton and the cousin of his wife, which this letter was written to appoint. That interview took place, and in it was stated what Mrs. Caton had said on the subject. That, however, was agreed to, and the child was sent back in January, 1844, with the nurse under whose charge it had previously been in Paris.
On the 16th January Mr. Caton wrote to Mr. Okey in Paris, directing him to wait on Mrs. Caton and repeat the summons he had already made, and to express to her his commands that she should quit the house of Madame St. Rose and return to London to him. This was done, and with the same want of success as was met the two former applications - she positivly refused to leave, especially as she had got the child,
The reason Mr. Caton had for writing this letter on that particular day was that he had made arrangements to pay for the board of his family at Madame St, Rose's up to the 16th January, and he thought when that period was closed he gave his wife another opportunity of returning to his house. The learned council here read the letter to Mr. Okey, which was in substance that he offered a house and a home to his wife if she would return, and directing him to repeat his desire that she should leave the house of Madame St. Rose.
Matters continued in this state until the 4th of August in that year, when Mr. Caton had occasion to go to Paris himself, to put the boy to school, and also to endeavour to collect positive evidence in regard to the matter which lay nearest his heart. The boy was about 12 years old of age. Mr. Caton, on this occasion went to reside with his brother, Mr. Thurston Caton; and as that gentleman live in a house adjacent to that of Madame St. Rose, he hoped that some opportunity would be afforded him of watching his wife's conduct, and collecting information with respect to it. He failed, however, in this object of his visit.
He saw his wife four more times in the street, but they never met on more intimate terms on three of those occasions than a mere recognition of him by his wife; but on the fourth occasion a violent altercation took place between them; she came up and addressed him, and he reproached her with her conduct. he men- tioned this for the purpose of showing that there was no probability of access on the part of the husband to his wife at that time.
In order to show the feeling of the wife towards the husband, and the improbability of her admitting him to intercourse with her while he was in Paris, he would read a letter which she wrote in November 1844, to Mr. Caton's father.
The learned council read part of the letter, which was to the effect "that she addressed him in order to show the terms on which his son Mr. Caton, and herself stood, thinking that he might give his son some good advice; that he was aware that since Mr. Caton's conduct last December they they had lived separately and had no personal connection since , and that it was her deterrmination, which nothing could alter, never to live with him again, and that she, acting by the advice of her friends, amongst who were Major and Mdme. St. Rose, and, for the sake of her children, she had had an interview with him in public, but found that his dreadful character was unchanged, that no advantage could follow her living with him, ad midst scenes of strife and quarrelling;" and she added, " I despise and detest him, and those feelings of detestation prevail in her mind.
Mr.Caton left Paris on the 17th November, and did not return there until Feb 24th 1845 when he again went to Paris to collect information with regard to his wife, and, in the course of his proceedings, he applied to the French courts for an order enabling him to break open his wife's desk, and any other depository of her correspondence, and he was on that occasion accompanied by a Com- missory of police. He (Mr. Sergeant Wrangham) mentioned this not because he was praising Mr. Caton for taking such strong steps to obtain evidence, but only to show that he was not likely to have access to his wife in a different character.
On 15th October 1845 Mrs. Caton was delivered of another child in a house in the Rue d'Algiers . All cohabitation between herself and her husband had ceases since 1843, and if their Lordships were satisfied that Mr. Caton was not the father of that child it was a matter of little importance to the remedy he now sought to prove that Major St. rose was the father, although there was every moral proof of that being the case. Mrs. Caton had removed from the house of Madame St. Rose, were the major was living with his wife, to other apartments, which had been taken for her by Major St, Rose. He attended there, was constantly there at all times, and not accomp- anied by his wife, she having only come there on occasions, when she endeavoured to force her husband away.
Mr. Caton left Paris on the 1st of March 1845, and shortly after that it was that Mrs. Caton left Madm. St. Rose's and went to the Rue d'Algiers; and, strange to say she was joined there by her mother, Mrs Ryder, the widow of a clergyman, who saw all that was going on, the Major visiting Mrs. Caton at all times and hours, being left sitting up alone with her, being treated by the domestics as the master of the family.
The child was born on the 15th Oct. whose was it? Not Mr. Caton's But Major St. Rose was with her at the time of her confinement; he fondled the child constantly, as no one but a father would have done Mrs. Caton gave the child the breast in his presence, and he had free access to her bed-room at all times as he pleased.
In the mean time, what was her conduct towards her real husband, Mr. Caton? Why she gave directions to the servants ( describing his appearance to those who did not know him) that is he sought admittance into her apartment he was on no account to be allowed to enter, thus ridgely excluding him from the house where Major St. Rose was allowed to range in perfect freedom.
Lord St. Leonards:- How long was the husband in Paris during his last visit before the birth of the child?
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham:- He went there on the 24th Feruary, and left on 1st March, and the child was born in October. He went there to collect information with respect to his wife, and it would be shown that he passed every moment in the society of his solicitor and his brother, he and his solicitor sleeping in adjacent rooms at Maurice's; and it was on that occasion that he found his way, at seven o'clock in the morning, into his wife's apartment, accompanied by a commissioner of police. But she, it appeared, was aware of his intention, was up and dresses, and expressed her fealings towards him in no measured terms; so that there could be no suspicion of his being the parent of the child which was born in the month of October following. There was excessive irritation and hostility against him on the part of his wife then and afterwards, which rendered it impossible that he could have had access to her.
The Lord Chancellor:- Is there any medical testimony as th the child's being born prematurely?
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham:- It was not suggested that it had been born otherwise than in the course of nature. Mrs. Caton then having thus been shown to have been guilty of adultery, their Lordships would naturally inquire why no steps had been taken earlier in the proceedings
sheet13 Every means had been used to collect evidence, and the evidence collected was that of servants, and principally French ser- vants. all servants had peculiar notions in these matters, but those of the French servants in this case were rather odd, for one of them, a cook, said that she knew of no Impro- priety on the part of Mrs. Caton, but if she did it was con- tary to her principles to give information to husbands on such points.
Lord St. Leonards;- What difficulty was there if there had been no access by the husband and a child was born?
Mr. Sergeant Wrangham:- In 1846 the evidence was laid before Dr. Adams, and he advised that it would be neces- sary to get further evidence, it not being safe to go into the Ecclesiastical Court till further evidence was obtained. Additional evidence was obtained, and Dr. Lushington pronounced sentence of divorce a "mensa et thoro" on the 1st May 1849. It was now 1854, and their Lordships would of course inquire why, after that sentence was pronounced, no further step was taken. The fact was, that Mr. Caton's means did not enable him to do so, unless he succeeded in prevailing on his father to cut off the entail sheet14
on the property in Lincolnshire of 900£ a year, so as to enable his son to raise money on it, and he objected to do so for a long period, At the close of last year, in October, the father consented, steps were taken, money raised, and on the funds coming into the possession of Mr. Caton, not a week was lost before steps were taken for appealing to their Lordships.
Those were the circumstances of the case. He did not know what was the nature of the opposition, or whether there would be any opposition. Up to a late period the lady had expressed no intention of opposing these proceedings, and when notice of his bill was served on her she said Mr. Caton had a right so to proceed, and if the case could be kept out of the papers she had no objections to it.
The further proceeding with the case, and hearing the witnesses, was then postponed till to-morrow (this day)
[Owing to the length of our parliamentary debates we are compelled to omit a portion of our law reports]
Sheet 15 HOUSE OF LORDS: yesterday CATON DIVORCE. This case, a statement of the facts of which was given in the Daily News of yesterday, was resumed, and the evidence taken
Mr. John Ellis produced the registry of the marriage of the parties
Mr. George Ryder, half brother of Mrs. Caton, stated that he was present at the marriage, was acquainted with the parties for some time after the marriage, and they lived happily up to 1841. In that year they were residing at Brighton with Mrs. Ryder. He knew Mr. Broadley Harrison, of the 11th Hussars. Observed something unusual between him and Mrs. Caton. He remembered it being stated to him that a letter had been posted for Mr. Harrison, by Mrs. Caton. Mr. Goring Ryder, Mrs. Caton's full brother ( since dead ), was then residing at Brighton, with Mrs. Ryder. He and witness went to the barracks, and spoke to Mr. Harrison, telling him that a letter was in the post, and procured from him an authority to receive it before it reached him, and on that authority got it from the orderly sergeant, who was brining the officers' letters. He and Mr. Goring Ryder read it, but did not show it to Mr. Caton. Was not present when a statement was made to Mr. Caton about the letter, but when he returned he told him that the letter contained indiscreet observations, but nothing to indicated criminality, and that he thought it advisable that Mr. Caton should not see it
sheet16 Mr. Goring Ryder concurred in that opinion. he believed the letter was never to be seen by Mr. Caton, but was ultimately given to Mr. Caton's father. Mr Caton felt strongly on the subject. Witness concurred in a reconciliation which took place. Mrs. Ryder urged the reconciliation.
After that Mr. and Mrs Caton left Mrs. Ryder's at Brighton. Since then witness had continued his acquaintance with the parties up to a certain period. They afterwards removed to Tunbridge Wells, after which he entirely lost sight of them. During that time they did not seem to live so happily as before. He saw the letter himself and said Mr. Caton had done right in forgiving his wife, as, in his opinion, it did not contain any criminality. The letter was given up eventually to Mr. Caton's father. He discontinued his acquaintance with the parties, as he thought it expedient. There was quarrelling, which was disagreeable. The conduct of Mr. Caton was not violent, there was only ill temper and quarrelling. He saw nothing of it after they were in Tunbridge-wells. He thought it better to have nothing more to do with them. Mrs. Caton's conduct in society was not different from other persons; formerly she was very retiring.
Was aware that neither Mr. Caton nor his father made any settlement on Mrs. Caton, though there was an allowance to Mrs. Caton . Her property was settled on her. A sum to Mrs. Caton was proposed by Mr. Caton. Mrs. Caton had a sum of 1,500£ on the death of her grandmother which was received by her husband. What she would have after the death of her mother would go to her under her marriage settlement.
sheet 17 Mr. Selwyn said that the husband had received some 4,000£ by Mrs. Caton; and it was admitted on the other side; and he also had a life interest in a sum of money in the Court of Chancery, and there was another some of 20,000£ to which Mrs. Caton was entitled to after the death of her mother, Mrs. Ryder. Rev. Richard Caton, Of Blanford Square, stated that:-
He was in his 81st year. Was formerly in the army, and was now a clergyman. Was the father of Mr. Caton. Was present at the marriage of the parties. Their respective ages were 25 and 18. He saw them afterwards from time to time They lived happily. Mr. Caton was kind to his wife. Went to Brighton in 1841, in consequence of a letter from Mrs. Ryder. Saw the mother first, and afterwards Mr. George and Mr. Goring Ryder, who showed him a letter written by Mrs. Caton to Mr. Harrison. He found that it had been agreed that the parties should not separate. Understood his son had not seen the letter, and therefore he acquiesced in the arrangement. The Letter was never shown to his son; and, on being told of the manner in which the letter had been obtained, he on the whole concurred in the arrangement that Mrs. and Mr. Caton should live together on condition that the letter was delivered to him, and it was so delivered, and kept by him sealed up. His son never saw it. After they left Brighton they visited him. Perceiving no difference in their manner of living together.
In 1843 Mr. Caton went with his wife and children to Paris, having left Tunbridge Wells, In December 1843 his son came from Paris. After his return he was in the habit of seeing him constantly , and receiving letters from him
sheet 18 Knew Mr. Caton went to Paris again in the following year. Mr. Caton returned from Paris in the autumn of 1844, and remained in England for some time. Remembered Mr. Caton's going to Paris in 1845, with Mr. Warr, the solicitor. The income of his son at the marriage was his pay in the Grenadier Guards and a sum of 150£ for which witness gave his bond. Mr. Caton left the army after his marriage. He was first heir in tail male to one of witness's landed estates. For some years he had allowed his son 100£ a year. He had four children. Was informed he was in debt. He had often applied to witness to cut off the entail of the estate, to which witness objected for some time but he yielded in last year, when he came to know of his son's circumstances, and considering the sums already raised on the estate under unfavourable circumstances . His son was in embarrassing circumstances.
The entail was cut off in October, and a large sum raised on the estate. The money was raised to pay off debts; but his son did not mention that part of it would be applied to these proceedings, though he though it probable. Knew Mrs. Caton's writing Believed the letter shown to him to be her hand, and another shown to him he had received from her.
The following letters were then tendered in evidence; the first was dated July 2, 1841 and was written by Mrs. Caton to her husband, then staying at No. 75 Seymour Street, Bryanston square. It ran as follows:-
"Redmond will you , oh, will you forgive me? I know I have wronged you. I freely acknowledge I have behaved very ill. Save me, dear save me, from destruction. Your pardon will heap coal of fire on my head. I will most faithfully promise to cease writing to Mr. Harrison and every other person . I will do every thing in my power for the remainder of my life to endeavour to make amends for my past bad conduct. My dear, dear children! I look at their little beds and reflect with deepest remorse that I have been the cause of depriving their innocent heads of the shelter of my mothers roof"Lord St. Leonards- Is there any complaint of the husband's conduct in that letter?
" Write to me, Redmond, by return of post, and do, I beseech you, come home. Bend a favourable ear to my entreaties. I cannot defend my own conduct, but throw myself on your mercy. You will be my only real friend if you pardon me. I will be to you a wife again, as I was untill last October"Lord St. Leonards.- It appears from this letter that the husband was in town - that he had left Brighton without a reconcilliation having taken place, whereas it had been opened that the reconcilliation had been immediate.
12 Brunswick Square, Wednesday morning. "Words, Redmond, cannot express my gratitude for the mercy you have extended towards me. Never shall you repent having done so. I feel the deepest sorrow and the most heartfelt contrition for all that has passed. I look back with remorse and horror upon my ill conduct of the last few months. Most faithfully do i promise to curb my temper and tounge, to fulfill stricktly ever command of yours and to comply with every wish you may express. I will stren- ously devote my time to the fullfilment of my duties as wife, mother, and daughter. I will convince you that my repen- tance in sincere. My dreadful errors come upon me night and day, but I pray to Almightly God for Pardon, and I enestly solicit Him, from whom alone we can recieve strength to fulfil our intentions, that He will mercifully grant me life, that I may be enabled to return to my duties in this world, and by doing so, may I hope to enter His pre- sence justified not comdemned.
Redmond, you have a heart, and such a heart as few men possess. Never again will I make it ache. You shall for ever have reason to say that I have seen and repented of my error, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that through your mercy and charity I have been save from destruction. Happy will you be in the last day; such an act wil be rewarded both hear and hereafter"
" Paris 8 louis Le Grand, 14th November 1844Mr. Thurston Caton, brother of the petitionere, stated that he lived in Paris in 1843, at the house of Madame St. Rose, who was his mother inlaw. She had a son, Major St. Rose, a married man, living in the house. Mr. Caton was there in December, 1846, having been there some time. Shortley after that time, he had a conversation with his brother on the subject of Mrs. Caton's conduct with M. St. Rose. He asked witness to get a letter written by Mrs. Caton from M. St. Rose. During the conversation mrs. Caton came in, and followed him into the room, where he demanded the letter from M. St Rose, who refused to give it up. There was a violent altercation, in which Mrs. Caton took the part of M. St. Rose. Mr. Caton charged her with having sent a letter to M. St. Rose. She denied it. They parted in dessention. His brother left the house and went to Meurice's. He went with his brother next day, with Mr. Okey, to Madame St. Rose's, and his brother demanded his children of his wife, and desired her to leave the house. She refused to leave the house, but a length gave up the children; and his brother left Paris for England next day with the five children.
"Sir, It is many months since I had occasion to adress you. I now intend to lay before you an exact statment as to how matters stand between your son, Mr. Caton, and myelf, thinking you will give him good advice, which as a parent, and a man of your years and experiance, you have a right to do. You are, of course, aware that since Mr.R. Caton's disgraceful, and most unjustifiable conduct here last December, that I have seperated from him, having had no personal connextion with him whatever from that time to this day, and it is my fixed determination, which nothing will alter, to remain seperated from him as long as I live.
In the month of June last he came to Paris to try to induce me to return to him for my children's sake; and by the advice of some of my friends here, amongst whom were Major and Mrs. St. Rose, I at first had an idea of trying to do so once more. I had several meatings with your son, always in public, cautiously advoiding any private interviews. In twenty four hours I found you son diviated from all he had agreeed to on the proceeding day. I ,therefor, feel convinced that his dreadful character had undergone no change - that no advantage could accrue from my living with him again. The dreadful scenes of quarreling which would have ensued, and the certitude that I should have left him again in less than a week, made me at once decide never to live with him more. The example of dissenting would have been disgracful to the children, and as he took them forcably from my care, without any proof of ill conduct on my part ( as the falsehoods he stated relative to last winter are fresh calummies which I defy any one to substantiate,) he shall for ever bear the expence and trouble of their maintenance and education. The child of which he asserts to you and all his aquaintences and my own family was not his but Captain Harrison's is with me, and my blood alone will I resign her to Mr. Caton. I am in no way anxious to spare his fealings, as he never consulted mine. He blasted my reputation at Brighton, and tried to do so here, in which latter instance he fortunatly did not suceed. He considers the child is not his; be it so. I only wish he would divorce me, as the proudest day of my life would be that on which I could drop his hated name for ever, and take back my own. I also despise and detest him. These are fealings which will never leave me, and my hatred for him will exist even beyond the tomb.
He has caused everything that has happened himself, and he deserves everything he may have suffeered, I regret nothing I have done. I have no respeect for him, but hold him in the most utter contempt. I am quite aware that he never mentions his affairs to you, but I will tell you the whole truth. In August he took up his rsidence in the most ill judged manner at the house adjoining my residence. For some time he remained quiet. He then took to following me when I walked out putting himself in menacing attitudes, and insulting and holding out threats to those with whom I walked. I was compelled one day to walk with him from the Tuileries to my house, accompanied by Bewley, to aviod a scene of violence in the public gardens. This conduct I was determined of course not to put up with. I accordinly wrote to England to that effect. My mother seeing the perfect improbability of our ever living together again, and in the impropriety there would be in our doing so, as an example of violence would be so very disgracefull to the children, who have already witnessed too much - has decided upon withdrawing from Mr. R Caton the sum of 150£ per annum, which he has been in the habit of recieving, unless he consents to sign a proper legal seperation. The priciple of that interest, amounting to 3,500£ , he will also be deprived of by his obstanacy. He has nothing to gain, and everything to lose, by refusing to sign a deed of seperation quietly as I shall certainly begin a public trial against him to free my self from his interference and molestation. I will never again become the victim of his illl temperand jealous violence.
I have been a cruel sufferer from his ill treatment even bodily ill usage which I endured for 3 years, but which I will never submit to again; therefor; I repeat that for my whole life I will remain seperated from Mr. R Caton, if he chooses quietly to sign a proper deed of seperation I have empowered my Lawyer Mr. Lewis, to offer Mr. Caton the 3,500£ to be given to him now, which can be done by my relinquishing my life interest in it. I wish to do no injustice by my children, neither do I wish to deprive them of money which will educate them. If Mr. R Caton refuses to sign the seperation, he will lose 3,500£ and the interest of it, and I shall also expose the whole of my affairs before a public court of Justice, and nothing will prevent my doing so, but before I commence proceedings.#
I think it right to maake you,sir, aquainted with every thing that you may advise your sonto agree to reason, and not to be carried away by his ungovernable fury and bad judgement By refusing to sign a seperation, he will deprive his four children and himself of 3,500£, and will also be exposed to a public trial, when I shall not screen him. I am now perfectly aware that he married me entirely for mercanery motives, and hastoned the marriage , so that he might the sooner get posseion of my money. The people from whom he raises money are perhaps not aware that my fortune is settled to my sole ans seperate use, and that, untill my death, he has no right to evena penny of it. I hear thatbit is on my credit he raises sums of money, and that is the reason why he wishes it to be supposed he is not seperated from me; but I take care to undecieve every one, as I would nothave a creature imagine I was living with a man I so hate ands despise. I consider your son, Sir, without honour, without principle, and with out one spark of manly pride about him. He would never have lived with me again after the Captain Harrison's affair if he had possesed even a spark of honour, but he was entirly actuated my mercenary motives, as all my family, and the world in general, are perfectly convinced of. The child he abused and stigmatised. I do not wish him to think it is his, and if he sees another man's image in her face, he is the more to be despised for his conduct; he has boasted of his shame, and has managed everything in the worst possible mannoer.
It now only remains for you, Sir to prevent a public trial, and the loss of the money I have stated, which perhaps you sence and judgement will induce you to see the propriety of doing. Your son will of course listen to your advice,and I am determined you shall know all.
As your daughter-in-law , I have the right to address you, and will not proceed to a public trial without letting you know my intentions. Finally, telling you that my mind is made up to carry into effect all I have stated.
I remain,Sir, yours &c &c
Anna Maria Caton
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updated 16rd February 2009