Victorian Trials – 1860-1869

This is a list of some trials in Britain between 1860 and 1869.

This is not, of course, a definitive inventory. It is likely that details of the case were reported in the news. If you can find the name you are searching please make contact by using the enquiry form. I will see if any archive material is available. If you cannot find the person you are searching don’t worry – please enquire anyway. I will do a search and get back to you.

The data for these British trial pages is sourced from references more than 100 years old and took a long time to transcribe and digitise for the internet. They make fascinating reading and create temptation for us to find out more. They cover all life from murder to executions, libel, slander, bankruptcy, love affairs, divorce, wills, land disputes – it’s all there for us to discover and read about in the newspapers generations on.

I have transcribed these pages as faithfully as possible with little change to the language and style. I have taken time-out to remove any references that, today, we might find racist or offensive (as language and attitudes towards life has changed dramatically since the days of these court proceedings).

David Hughes, an attorney convicted of gross frauds upon his clients, Jan, 1860

George Pullinger, cashier of the Union Bank of London sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment for fraud, 15 May, 1860

Eugenia Plummer, aged 11 years convicted of perjury against rev Mr Hatch, 14 May, 1860

Mr W H Leatham MP, convicted of bribery at Wakefield, 19 July, 1860

Thomas Hopley, a schoolmaster convicted of man­slaughter of Reginald Cancellor by flogging, 23 July, 1860

Nottidge v Prince, 25 July, 1860

Rev J Bonwell, of Stepney degraded for immorality, 29 Aug, 1860

James Mullens, convicted for the murder of Mrs Elmsley by endeavouring to inculpate one Ems he led to his own conviction 25 Oct, 1860

Miss Shedden v Patrick, (The plaintiff ably pleaded her own cause when the case was opened her object to prove the legitimacy of her father was not attained), 9 Nov, 1860

Hooper v Ward, disgraceful profligacy of a magis­trate verdict for plaintiff, 19 20 Dec 7, 1860

Constance Kent, inquiry trial refused, Jan, 1861

Thelwall v hon Major Yelverton, The plaintiff sued for expenses incurred by defendant’s wife the major denied the validity of his marriage with Miss Longworth having since married the widow of professor Edward Forbes the eminent naturalist The court in Dublin supported the first marriage, 21 Feb to 4 March, 1861

Miss Longworth, endeavoured to establish her marriage On appeal the Scotch court annulled the marriage July 1862 and this judgment was affirmed by the house of lords 28 July 1864 and again finally 3o July 1867 An attempt to set aside the judgment of the house of lords rejected by the court of session 29 Oct 1868]

Brook v Brook, the house of lords on appeal decided against the validity of such marriages even when celebrated in a foreign country, 18 March, 1861

Reade v Lacy, the dramatising a novel restrained, 17 April, 1861

Beamish v Beamish, the lords on appeal decide that a clergyman cannot perform the ceremony of marriage for himself, 22 April, 1861

Emperor of Austria v Day, verdict for plaintiff The defendant had printed 100 million florin notes on the bank of Hungary for Louis Kossuth The notes were ordered to be destroyed within one month 6 May judgment affirmed, 12 June, 1861

Cardross case John MacMillan, a free-church minister was expelled for drunkenness and mis­conduct May 1858 The Glasgow synod and the general assembly of the free church affirmed the sentence He appealed to the court of session which set aside the decree (which in­volved temporalities) asserting that the assembly had only spiritual authority, July, 1861

W B Turnbull v Bird, secretary of protestant alliance libel verdict for defendant 8-10 July, 1861

J C Charlesworth MP, convicted of bribery at the Wakefield election, 20 July, 1861

Baron de Vidil, convicted of wounding his son the latter refused to give evidence against his father, 23 Aug, 1861

Vincent Collucci, convicted of obtaining money on false pretences from Miss F Johnstone, 23 Oct, 1861

John Curran, a Dublin cabman convicted of a violent assault on Miss Jolly who heroically de­fended herself, 25-30 Oct, 1861

Patrick McCaffery, shot col Crofton and capt Hanham at Preston convicted, 13 Dec, 1861

Enquiry into sanity of William Fred Wyndham (on behalf of his relatives) with a view of annulling an injudicious marriage trial lasted 34 days 140 witnesses examined verdict sane mind, 16 Dec, 1861 and 30 Jan, 1862 [Each party adjudged to pay its own costs March 1862]

Capt Robertson by court-martial convicted of submitting to ungentlemanly conduct from his brother-officers 30 days inquiry ended, 24 March, 1862 [The court was much blamed by the public and the sentence was annulled]

Mrs A C Vyse, for poisoning her two children acquitted as insane, 9 July, 1862

Roupell v Waite, during the trial W Roupell MP a witness confessed himself guilty of forging a will and other frauds, 18 19 Aug, 1862

Jessie McLachlan convicted for the murder of Jessie Macpherson at Glasgow she confessed to being accessory after the murder which she im­puted to Mr Fleming a gentleman 80 or 90 years old, 17-20 Sept, 1862 [She was respited 27 Oct 1862]

William Roupell MP, for forgery convicted on his own confessions (released Sept 1876), 24 Sept, 1862

Catherine Wilson, convicted of poisoning Mrs Soames in 1856, 25-27 Sept, 1862

27 indictments and 24 convictions for savage per­sonal outrages in the streets of the metropolis during the month, Nov, 1862

Digby Seymour MP v Butterworth, libel verdict for plaintiff damages 40s, 3 Dec, 1862

Hall v Semple, verdict for plaintiff who had been consigned to a lunatic asylum through his wife’s getting the defendant to sign a certificate of lunacy with culpable negligence damages £150, 3 Dec, 1862

George Buncher William Burnett Richard Brewer and James Griffiths, for forging bank-notes printed on paper stolen from the paper-mill at Laver-stoke convicted, 7-12 Jan, 1863

Clare v The Queens, petition of right for infringe­ment of a patent verdict for defendant, 2-6 Feb, 1863

Rev John Campbell v Spottiswoode, (as printer of a libel in Saturday Review) verdict for plaintiff 27 Feb, 1863

Queen on appeal of earl of Cardigan v col Calthorpe, for libel charging the earl with deserting his men at Balaclava 25 Oct 1855 verdict for de­fendant (who however admitted his error), 9 – 10 June, 1863

Col Lothian Dickson v viscount Combermere, earl of Wilton and gen Peel for conspiracy to expel him from the army verdict for defendants, 27 June et seg, 1863

Morrison (Zadkiel) v sir Edward Belcher, libel verdict 20s damages, 29 June, 1863

Richard Roupell v Haws, arising out of Roupell forgeries no verdict, 16-24 July, 1863

Woolley v Pole, for Sun Fire Office verdict for plaintiff awarding him his claim for £29000 for his insurance of Campden-house burnt 23 March 1862, 29 Aug, 1863

George Victor Townley, for murder of Miss Good­man through jealousy convicted, 12 Dec, 1863 [He escaped execution through a certificate of in­sanity too hastily signed and committed suicide in prison 12 Feb 1865]

Lieut-col Crawley, by court-martial at Aldershot for alleged oppression and cruelty to sergeant-major John Lilley in consequence of a court-martial at Mhow in India honourably acquitted, 17 Nov-23 Dec, 1863

Franz Muller for murder of Mr Briggs in a railway carriage 9 July convicted, 27-29 Oct, 1864

Gedney v Smith, a supposititious child detected and deprived of much property, 10 Nov, 1864

E K Kohl, for murder of Theodore Fuhrkop, convicted 11 -12 Jan, 1865

Queen v Wm Rumble, for infringement of Foreign Enlistment act in equipping the Rappahannock for the Confederate government acquitted, 4 Feb, 1865

Woodgate v Ridout, (for Morning Post) for libel respecting the great will case of the earl of Eg­mont v Darell verdict for plaintiff £1000, 10 Feb, 1865

Bishop Colenso’s, appeal to privy council against decision of bishop of Capetown deposing him which is annulled, 21 March, 1865

Roberts Jeffery Casely and others, for jewel rob­beries in London convicted, 13 April, 1865

J W Terry and Thos Burch for misdemeanor in connection with the Unity Bank acquitted, April, 1865

Edward William Pritchard MD, for murder of his wife and her mother by poisoning guilty, 3-7 July, 1865

Charlotte Winsor, a child-murderer convicted on the evidence of an accomplice July [On account of legal irregularities in her trial her execution was long deferred and her sentence was commuted to life-imprisonment 23 May 1866]

Constance Kent, tried,) 21 July, 1865

Trials of Fenians for treason-felony Thos Clarke Luby convicted and sentenced to 20 years’ penal servitude 28 Nov Dec O’Leary and others convicted O’Donovan Rossa (previously con­victed) sentenced to imprisonment for life 13 Dec others convicted at Cork, Dec, 1865

Stephen Forwood (or Ernest Southey), for murder of his wife and children guilty, 20-21 Dec, 1865

Other Fenians, convicted at Dublin, Jan, 1866

Breadalbane, peerage succession decided in favour of Campbell of Glenfalloch, 26 Jan, 1866

Ryves and Ryves v the attorney-general, an en­deavour to prove the marriage of king George III with Hannah Wilmot and that of his brother Henry duke of Cumberland with Olive Wilmot the jury decided that the claim was not made out and that Olive Serres the alleged mother of Mrs Ryves was not the legitimate daughter of the duke of Cumberland and that the 82 documents brought in evidence were forged (Mrs Ryves died 7 Dec 1871), 13 June, 1866

Banda and Kirwee prize case (Indian mutiny) court of admiralty decide that £700000 are to be divided between the soldiers commanded by generals Whitelocke Rose Roberts and others, 30 June, 1866

Bishop Colenso v Gladstone, and others trustees of colonial bishopric fund (for withholding his stipend) verdict for plaintiff with costs, 6 Nov, 1866

Hunter v Sharpe, (Pall Mall Gazette) for libel (charging him with quackery) one farthing damages gained by plaintiff, 1 Dec, 1866

James F Wilkinson, manager of joint stock discount company convicted of fraud 9 et seq, Jan 1867
[Liberated with free pardon after investigation July 1868]

Bryant v Foot, decision against prescriptive right of a rector to claim a marriage-fee, 23 Jan, 1867

C W Lee Webb Lionel Holdsworth and others, convicted of fraud (scuttling a ship and claiming insurance), 4 Feb, 1868

C Anderson, a Swede convicted of murdering a mulatto from superstition, 12 April, 1867

Breadalbane peerage, Wm J Campbell declared heir on appeal to house of lords, 16 July, 1867

Smith v Tebbitt, and others a will case disposing of upwards of £400000 verdict for defendants annulling the will of Ann Thwaites who is de­clared of unsound mind after a long trial in April and May judgment given, 6 Aug, 1867

Oakes v Turquand and other,s appeal case house of lords decision affirming liability of share­holders of the company of Overend Gurney and Co (limited), 15 Aug, 1867

George Druitt M Lawrence and John Anderson, leaders of the operative tailors’ association con­victed of a misdemeanor (organising the system of ” picketing” or watching men on strike and intimidating non-unionists which began 24 April 1867), 21 Aug, 1867

13 tailors, convicted of ” picketing”,22 Aug, 1867

Fenian trials at Manchester Allen &c, 30 Oct – 12 Nov, 1867

Frederick Baker, convicted of brutal murder of a child, 6 Dec, 1867

Mr Rigby Wason v Walter, (for publication of an alleged libel in the Times viz a correct report of a debate in the house of lords &c) verdict for defendant settling that such a report is privileged, 18-20 Dec 11, 1867 [Verdict affirmed again 25 Nov 1868 Mr Wa­son died July 1875]

Martin v Mackonochie, (for ritualistic practices) before dean of arches 4 Dec 1867 and 14 days recommenced closed, 18 Jan, 1868

Flamank v Simpson, similar case begun 5 Feb verdict condemning elevation of sacrament use of incense and mixture of water with the wine in the communion service, 28 March, 1868

Crossley v Elsworthy, for fraudulent misrepresen­tation verdict for plaintiff damages £35000, 18 Feb, 1868

Trial of Fenians, for Clerkenwell outrage begun 20 April all acquitted except Michael Barrett, 20-27 April, 1868

Richard Burke (alias Geo Berry &c) Theobald Casey and Henry Shaw (alias Mullady), Fenians for treason felony at Old Bailey Burke and Shaw convicted Casey acquitted, 28-30 April, 1868

Mornington v Wellesley and Wellesley v Mornington, a 29 years’ suit in chancery decided (costs above £30000) £22000 awarded to the countess of Mornington, 7 May, 1868

Lyon v Home, (the spiritual medium) The plain­tiff a widow sought to recover £60000 stock given to Home at the alleged command of her deceased husband’s spirit between Oct 1866 and Feb 1867 suit instituted 15 June 1867 trial 21 April to 1 May 1868 verdict given for plaintiff by the vice-chancellor sir G M Gifford, 22 May, 1868 [The judge in concluding said regarding spiritualism that ” the system as presented by the evidence is mischievous nonsense well calculated on the one hand to delude the vain the weak the foolish and the superstitious and on the other to assist the projects of the needy and the adventurer”]

Esmonde will case Dublin Lady Esmonde, bequeathed property to support protestantism in Ireland by endowing a college &c will disputed by her family no verdict by jury, 3-13 June, 1868 [New trial will affirmed Aug 1869]

Thomas Edgeley convicted of fraud against Leeds Banking Company, 11-13 June, 1868

Risk Allah v Whitehurst, (for Daily Telegraph) libel case damages for plaintiff £960, 19 June, 1868

Attorney-general v Dakin, appeal case decision that privilege of exemption from execution of legal process does not extend to Hampton Court palace, 20 June, 1868

Madame Sarah Rachel Leverson convicted of con­spiracy, 25 Sept, 1868 [Writ of error new trial refused 1 May 1869]

Chornford v Lingo, female suffrage declared illegal, 7-9 Nov, 1868

Baxter v Langley, Sunday evening lectures declared not illegal, 19 Nov, 1868

Martin v Mackonochie, regarding Church of England, 23 Dec, 1868

Phillips v Eyre, verdict for defendant, 20 Jan, 1869

Saurin v Star and another (convent case a sister sued her mother superior for ill-usage and expulsion) verdict for plaintiff damages £500, 3-26 Feb, 1869 [Case compromised April 1870]

James Thos Gambier, admiralty clerk and Wm Rumble engineer convicted of fraud and seeking bribes from contractors, 9 April, 1869

Cooper v Gordon, verdict for plaintiff the vice-chancellor decides that the majority of a congre­gation of dissenters may dismiss their minister for any cause, 28 May, 1869

Major Frederick Beswick, constable of Birkenhead convicted of forgery, 10 June, 1869

Farrer (president of the Amalgamated Carpenters’ Society) v Close, (the secretary) for misappro­priation of money In 1867 the justices dismissed the charge because the society had illegal rules At the trial at the Queen’s bench the court was equally divided and no verdict given, 3 July, 1869

Fanny F M Oliver, convicted of murder of her husband, 20 July, 1869

Lyons v Rev N Thomas, and others for abduction of Esther Lyons a Jewish girl a proselyte damages £50, 37 July, 1869

Frederick Hinson, convicted of murder of his para­mour Maria Death and William Douglas Boyd, 24 Nov, 1869

Rev James John Merest, convicted of simony deprived, 26-29 Nov, 1869

Martin v Mackonochie, before judicial committee of privy council defendant censured for evading verdict and condemned in costs, 4 Dec, 1869

Mrs Kelly v Rev J Kelly, judicial separation for ill usage (not violence) decreed, 7 Dec, 1869

Messrs Gurney and others, for conspiring to de­fraud acquitted, 13-23 Dec, 1869

Victorian Trials – 1860-1869