Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wiedemann v. Walpole, The Second Trial, Part 2

Without any further ado, let's jump right back into the 1890 Valerie Wiedemann v. Robert Horace Walpole breach of promise and libel proceedings. In our last entry, we found that Miss Wiedemann was living with her brother-in-law in Nordhausen, writing letters to Walpole that would go unanswered. Even the brother-in-law had written, asking what Walpole intended to do regarding Valerie.

The proceedings resumed under Mr. Justice Mathews at 10:30 am the next morning, 17 June 1890, and the London Times covered the lengthy proceedings:

(Before MR. JUSTICE MATHEW and a Special Jury.)

WIEDEMANN V. WALPOLE. The trial of this action, which is brought by Miss Valery Wiedemann to recover damages from Mr. Robert Horace Walpole for breach of promise of marriage and libel, was resumed to-day. When the Court rose on Saturday the plaintiff was giving her evidence-in-chief.

The plaintiff again went into the witness-box, and. said she went to her mother's house. Her mother is a widow. She remained at her mother's house one month. She was then sent to her brother. She lived there for several months, till September. The child was born on May 31. It was an eight months child. [The witness proposed to read an affidavit of the doctor. The JUDGE.—Go on with your statement.] She remained at the village up to September. In November she came to England, and stayed in furnished lodgings. She wrote letters to the defendant's club. She was told: at the club that they would not give his address, but would forward letters. She failed to get the defendant's address. She went to the house of defendant's uncle, and got defendant's address at the English Embassy in Egypt [pictured, right]. She remained a governess in Wales for about two years. When she left she called on defendant's mother in town. His mother said, "You must give him up, as, he is married already." She remained in other homes for a time, and gave lessons to pupils. She also gave lessons at schools. She saw an advertisement in the Pall Mall Gazette that defendant was engaged to an American girl. In consequence of communications with her friends, she determined to take proceedings. She wrote on January 21, 1888, asking him to give an explanation. The action was commenced. The letter of November 30, 1884, was then read as follows:—

"Dear Robert,—You are indeed very cruel not to; write to me a single line, and I an truly angry with you. I suppose you remember that I am engaged to you, and that I expect you to marry me some day, and you must understand that I should like to know something about your future plans. I am quite ready to; wait as long as you think necessary, but you must give up this hateful silence, or do you wish mo to understand that your silence is your consentment to all my wishes? Why do you only not write a single time? Do you not love me any more? If you wish to break your engagement with me, you must explain first your conduct towards me. I certainly shall expect this, and I refuse to believe your mother, Mr. May, and Captain Darlington, who all said that you were already married, and that I had to give you up. I will not give you up; neither believe those wicked utterance unless you write to me yourself. I shall believe myself your future wife already. For the sake of our little boy, it has become your duty to keep your promise to make me your legal wife; also will he one day ask his birthright of you, you may be sure of it. The thought that you could perhaps marry another girl kills me nearly, and will I not allow you to do so, and if you did you will make out of me a modern Virimlulilé or some other outraged woman like."

Cross-examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL.—She remembered being examined in this case about 18 months ago. She then told the Court that the child was living, and believed it to be true. She was not in correspondence with her mother for all these years. She knew a woman who attended her in her confinement. As far as she knew the child lived. She was very ill, and did not know anything for some days. The midwife was examined on her behalf. [The SOLICITOR-GENERAL here read the midwife's evidence.] She told the midwife what was in her evidence. She was very ill for about six weeks after the confinement. [The SOLICITOR-GENERAL read evidence of the midwife to the effect that plaintiff was well after-the confinement.] That was not true. She did not leave the house till the middle of August. She did not tell the midwife of the cause of the child's death. Her mother and relations wished to proceed against the defendant. They brought an action against him in August, 1883. If her name was added to the writ, it was done against her wish. When she was examined before, she said she had been in Constantinople [pictured, left, ca. 1880] three months before she saw defendant. She went to Constantinople about the beginning of April. She had witnesses examined at Constantinople, and obtained testimonials. She had one from Marco Pasha, in whose service she had been. [This was read, to the effect that plaintiff was a well-conducted girl, and it was dated March 2, 1888.] She was in Marco Pasha's service in June and July. This was her first visit to Constantinople. Asked, Do you swear that you were not in Constantinople before the end of 1881?—Yes. She never stayed with the nuns at Galata. She arrived at Constantinople alone. On the last occasion she said she travelled there with an Austrian countess. She travelled the last day alone. She declined to mention the name of the lady. [The JUDGE. —You must answer the question. Will you write the name and hand it to the Solicitor-General. It will not be published unless there is good reason for it. The SOLICITOR-GENERAL here said, —Put some address to it.] The paper was handed up to the Bench. The Countess Winsky resides in Vienna. She had not seen her since she travelled with her. She went to Constantinople to become a nurse, as she had become a Roman Catholic the year before in Rome and could not go back to her parents. She was in Rome in May, 1881. She had an introduction to the nuns in Constantinople from a lady who is now dead. She could not mention the name of a living person. On the previous occasion she said she went to Constantinople to stay with some families which she knew from her home. Mme. Kroeker's sister was a German lady, who lived in Austria. [Mme. Kroeker's evidence, taken on commission, was here read.] Mme. Kroeker's sister was in Constantinople when Mme. Kroeker was examined. The sister was not examined. Her mother, brother, and lover were against her becoming a nun. She therefore took a situation to get money to travel back to Germany. The names of Omer Bey and Osman Bey she had mixed up. Omer Bey was examined as a witness. [His evidence was read to the effect that he only saw the plaintiff twice, end he did not know under what circumstances the plaintiff came to Constantinople; all he knew vas that she was at Marco Pasha's.] Osman Bey [pictured right, with daughter Nazli] was the person who had invited her to go and stay at Constantinople. [Osman Pasha's deposition was here read—that plaintiff remained in his house about a fortnight. He tried to find her a place. During her stay he was satisfied with her conduct. She told him she had found a place as a governess at an hotel.] She never told defendant that she came to Constantinople with a German officer. It was not the fact. Asked, Will you write down the name and address of the person you were engaged to marry. Answer.—No. She knew the name of M. Cieuneville. She knew of him at Vienna. She might have seen him. She did not see M. Victor Cieuneville at Constantinople during her stay there. She had not been in communication with him. She did not know Dr. Millacher, of Vienna. She had not heard from him before the end of 1881. She was quite certain. On December 20, 1881, she did not go to the apartments of M. Cieuneville in Constantinople. It was infamous to say that M. Cieuneville applied to the Consul for protection, and had her turned out of her rooms. It was false to say that she had been intimate with Cieuneville, and told him she had a child by him. She had never been in Cyprus. [The petition of Cieuneville to the German Consul, complaining that the plaintiff had accused him of being the father of a child and had threatened him with violence was then read by the Solicitor-General.] That account did not refer to her; it was an infamous lie. Evidence was taken before Mr. Terring, at the Consular Court. A document produced was read. A witness, named Lenzer, produced the document. [The petition of Victor Cieuneville.] She did not know Count Della Salla. It was false to say that she had a child by Victor Cieuneville. Some person might have used her name as she had lost her passport. Asked, Had you a child before 1881. Answer.—No. She did not like to answer the question, as it was very offending. [The question was again put, and witness said, "I will not answer, it is too bad."] The SOLICITOR.GENERAL.—The date is July 25,1881. The place 22, Mauer Strasse, Berlin [pictured, left]. The person who attended her is ———. The witness said it was not true that she had a child in July, 1880. She did not know Mauer Strasse, and had never been there. She did not know a woman named L——— the midwife. The SOLICITOR-GENERAL here read a certificate of the birth of a child, the mother's name being Valery Wiedemann. It did not refer to her. [The certificate was here handed to witness, and she said she did not know anything about it.] She was not confined of a child in July, 1880. It could be only some one using her passport which she lost in 1887. She had not had a child before the end of 1881. The child she had in May, 1883, was the only child she had. She never told the defendant that she had been intimate with a young German officer. She had met Victor Cieuneville in society. Asked, How do you explain that another person could pass herself off as Valery Wiedemann, if you knew Cieuneville? the witness did not answer. She had been staying in Vienna some months. Asked to write down the name and address of a person in whose employ she was, the witness did so. She was in her employment in January, 1881. Later she went to Rome and stayed there from February to September. From Rome she went to Vienna to Countess Winsky. She was in her employment till after Christmas. She used to keep diaries in 1881 and 1882. The children at her brother- in-law's tore up a diary. Before the end of 1881 she did not go to see the parents of Victor Cieuneville. She never received any money from him, either directly or through Dr. Millacher. In September, 1879, she was in England. She left at the end of October or November, and went to Innsbruck. She knew the Rev. Charles Magner. She saw him at the German Governesses' Home, Bayswater. After she left the private house she went to a school at Notting-hill. Then she went for two months to Oxford to a lady who had married a professor at Christ Church. She was there for two months. She could not tell where they lived. She gave lessons while she was staying in the house. At the end of 1879 she went back to Innsbruck. In 1880 she was with her sister in Oderburg till October, when she went to her other relations in Pomerania. During those years she never met Victor Cieuneville. She met the man she was engaged to at her mother's in North Germany. She had been engaged to him many years. She was introduced to M. Logothetti, the proprietor of the hotel [the Hotel d'Angleterre, the large building seen at the far right of the photograph, right], by a lady. She went into his employ on August 10, 1882. She was engaged to teach two children. She did not know the children were illegitimate. She knew M. Alonoussa. She did not go to see him after M. Logothetti had been examined. She went to see Mme. Monoussa. She had taught the children of Logothetti from August to September 10, when she went to stay at the hotel. The children went back to the convent on September 14, and she went to the hotel as she wanted to go back to Germany. She had not quite given up the idea of going into a convent. The difficulties were that her mother wanted to see her, and she was engaged to be married. Asked, Do you suggest that you were engaged to be married when you went to Constantinople to become a nun? Answer.—Yes. Two of Logothetti's daughters were married. A married daughter slept in the room next to hers. While she was at the hotel her engagement lasted. She taught the youngest daughter at the hotel. The defendant came to the hotel the same day that witness did. When defendant came into the room she was playing a duet with the daughter. She had never seen him before. He was described in the book as Lord Walpole. There were 20 other persons staying in the hotel. Her room was on the second floor. He began to make love to her the first day. He asked her how she came to Constantinople, and what' she was doing. She did not go out with him. She told him not to speak to her in that way. Her plan was to go back to Germany. Defendant told her he as going to England. He asked her to go to England with him and she refused.

At this stage of the proceedings the Court adjourned for luncheon. After the adjournment the cross-examination of the plaintiff was continued. There was no arrangement that defendant should go to her room. She went to the theatre with Mrs. Monoussa and Clementine. Mrs. Monoussa slept in the next room to hers. When she was examined before she suggested that the person who slept next to her was a married woman. Her door had a bolt as well as a key. There was another door opening from her room to Mrs. Monoussa's. About half an hour after she got to her room the defendant came in. She was undressed. The key had been taken away. She had pushed the bolt. When she entered her room she noticed the key was gone. She looked to see whether it was outside. She thought some one had taken it away. Except through Mrs. Monoussa's room there was no entrance to her room, except through the door she had bolted. She could not say how the defendant entered. She did not open the door to let him in. She could only explain it that the bolt did not catch. She put a wrap on over her nightdress and sat by the window. She had honestly repelled the defendant's advances. When she discovered him in her room he was unexpectedly by her side. He was in a dressing gown. He was prepared to go to bed. There was no light burning when he came in. She had not lighted the candle, as it was not wanted; the moon was shining brightly. She was not only frightened, but shocked and indignant. She would have turned him out, but he was the stronger of the two. There was an actual contest of strength between them. She tried the side door to Mrs. Monoussa's room. She shouted and screamed. She thought Logothetti, the defendant, and Mrs. Monoussa were in a conspiracy against her because they did not answer her. Mrs. Monoussa must have known that violence was going on in her room. The defendant held his handkerchief over her mouth and she became unconscious. When she was examined before she said he put his hand on her mouth and kissed her. There was a bell in her room. She pulled it, but it did not act. It must have been cut or destroyed. On the last occasion she said defendant had pulled her arm away, but she had not explained it plainly enough. She became conscious about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. lt was sunrise. At 8 o'clock she went out of her room and wanted to go to the lady whose name has been mentioned. She complained at once of what had happened to Logothetti. On the next day she believed in defendant's promise and yielded to him. Asked, Can you say you complained to any one in Constantinople before you got the £15 from the defendant? Answer.—No. Logothetti said that he had put some one to watch, and had seen defendant come out of her room. Asked about the letter signed "R.," she bought the ticket to Liverpool with the £15 that was in the envelope enclosing that letter. She had not arranged before-hand that she would go to Liverpool. She could not say whether she had made up her mind when she read the letter signed "R." The defendant told her that his mother was at Cannes, and told her to go to the Hotel Continental. She started from Constantinople on September 27. She stayed a few days in Malta. In Rome she stopped in a convent for about two weeks, as Miss Wiedemann. From Rome she went direct to Cannes. She arrived there in the first days of November. She put her name down as Madame Valery. When she wrote the letter of November 27, that she was si grosse it was not true. Her object was to frighten the defendant. She next saw the defendant at Brighton in 1883, but not to speak to.

At this stage the evidence of Uriah Cook was interposed. Examined by the plaintiff, he said he was a detective agent. He was the Captain Darlington mentioned. He was sent by the defendant to get plaintiff from Cannes, as she was there annoying defendant's mother. He called at the Hôtel Mont Fleury, where she was staying. He sent up a card of another gentleman's. He said he was a friend of the defendant's, and asked her to go away from Cannes with him. He suggested they should go to Paris to meet the defendant. He took her to the Hôtel Louvre. He told the proprietor that he was going to England, and would be responsible for her expenses. He went to England, saw defendant, who was very angry, and said that plaintiff would soon be over in England. The defendant wrote a letter to her. When he got back to Paris, he found she had incurred expenses amounting to 1,300f. for clothing. He refused to pay and only paid for an umbrella. He left with plaintiff for Berlin. When they got to Namur, she asked him to show her defendant's letter. He said if she did not give it up he would leave her. She refused. He got out at a side platform intending to rejoin the train at the station. The train went on without him. He telegraphed to the stationmaster at Cologne that he had the plaintiff's ticket and that it would follow by next train.

Cross-examined.—In the first conversation defendant showed him a letter in which she had called herself his wife. The defendant assured him that was not so, but said he might have promised to marry her when he seduced her at Constantinople. He knew that defendant was not going to Berlin. The defendant said "Get back my ring, which she took from me." (The plaintiff here handed up a ring to the Bench.) That was the ring she was wearing. He took no portfolio from her. He was a confidential agent. He was in business by himself at 9, Craig's-court. He had a difficulty in getting the balance of his payment. It was disputed for a little while, but the defendant paid the greater part of it. He claimed £137 altogether. The defendant paid £30 into Court, in addition to what he had paid. He never made any memorandum of his conversation with the defendant. He kept the letter of defendant to him, till he handed it to his solicitor, when he made a claim on defendant. He had before been in the police. Mr. Newton made a report about him, and he was transferred to another division, where he declined to go. Could not remember what the report of Mr. Newton was. He never made use of any violence towards the plaintiff.

The cross-examination of the plaintiff was then continued.—It was not true that the ring fell upon the floor and she kept it. The defendant put the ring on her finger, and said, "In token of your becoming my wife." In January, 1888, she first heard that defendant was going to be married. He wrote to defendant on January 21, 1888. She asked for his address at the Foreign Office, and wrote the letter there. (A supplement of Life with the portrait of the lady to whom the defendant was engaged [pictured, right], which was sent to the lady with plaintiff's writing upon it thus, "Honourless, hideous woman, for marrying a man whom she knows is engaged to another," was put in.) She sent four postcards to defendant's mother. On August 7, "You know I must curse you from the bottom of my heart." Again, on August 13, "Naturally you are not ashamed to consent to such a criminal marriage as your son has contracted." It was not true that a policeman had to remove her from defendant's house in Park-lane.

This closed the cross-examination of the plaintiff. At this stage of the case the Court adjourned till to-morrow. The plaintiff again conducted her own case; the Solicitor-General and Mr. William Graham were for the defendant.

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