|Info 3b3, Richard redmonds Caton , divorce||Close info Window|
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.
"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"
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"
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 asI 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 meetings with your son, always in public, cautiously advoiding any private interviews. In twenty four hours I found you son diviated from all he had agreed 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.
sheet 9My 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 ill 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 y affairs before a public court of Justice, and nothing will prevent my doing so, but before I commence proceedings.
I think it right to make you,sir, aquainted with every thing that you may advise your son to 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 possession of my money. The people from whom he raises money are perhaps not aware that my fortune is settled to my sole and seperate use, and that, untill my death, he has no right to even a penny of it.
I hear that it 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 and 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 w 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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© JCC Glass
updated 16rd February 2009