Monday, 19 February 2018

Bedford Soldier in Court on Bigamy Charge

Pavenham, c.1912 [Z1306/87/5/5]

Tuesday 19th February 1918: Albert Victor Herbert, a soldier from Bedford, has appeared at the Maidenhead Police Court on a charge of bigamy. His wife Agnes, the daughter of Thomas Clare of Pavenham, said she married him at the Bedford Registry Office in 1911 and they had two children. Her husband was home on leave last July and wrote frequently. Mabel Haynes, of Norfolk Park Cottages, Maidenhead, said that she met Private Herbert when his regiment was stationed at Maidenhead in January 1916 and started walking out with him. After hearing rumours that he was a married man she questioned him and he denied it. When he went to France he wrote her a letter every day. When the rumours that he was married were repeated he advised her to write to a “Mrs Childs” at Willesden, who told her that Private Herbert was an old friend and a “straight man”, who had been married but was now a widower, his wife having died in childbirth two years ago. After this they arranged to marry on December 22nd last year. The “married man” rumours still continued, and he gave a document supposedly signed by a lieutenant of his regiment certifying that “Herbert was not a married man, as has been stated”. They finally married at Maidenhead Parish Church on 30th January. She stayed with him at Maidenhead for some time before he left for Hitchin, ostensibly to get his discharge; he had since visited her occasionally. Private Herbert was refused bail and was committed for trial at the Assizes. The Mayor remarked on the fact that he gave his age as 21 at the first wedding and 22 at the second, six years later!

Source: Bedfordshire Standard, 22nd February 1922

[1]  Albert Victor Herbert was found guilty of aggravated bigamy at the Berkshire Assizes on 4th June 1918, and was sentenced to prison for 12 months. 

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