Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Third Trial: 16 June 1891

Here's another set of excerpts from The Times of London regarding the third trial pitting German governess Valerie Wiedemann versus Robert Horace Walpole, heir to the Earl of Orford, the latter being sued for breach of promise of marriage and libel. These images are from 16 June 1891 as the trial is nearing its end.
Click to enlarge each image in a new window.
And greetings to the 5000th visitor to this website!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Notable Sussex Women

Let's take a break from the proceedings of the third trial pitting plaintiff Valerie Wiedemann against defendant Robert Horace Walpole and consider something else.

In her book, Notable Sussex Women, author Helena Wojtczak has written biographical sketches of 580 women of Sussex from Annie Abram to Nellie Sheail. As a tease, women within are also listed anonymously by accomplishment: "a woman with terrapins in her bra," "the wealthiest prostitute in London," and "Siamese twin entertainers," for example.

Included among these notable women is our Lady Dorothy Mills [née Walpole], daughter of Walpole and Louise Melissa Corbin. I'm uncertain how her accomplishments might have been described in the book's tease, however.

Is she "the white woman who led a protest march of 20,000 black Africans"? If she is, I'm unaware of that event, although Lady Dorothy certainly spent a great deal of time in Africa living among its native people.

Was she one of the "writers of books deemed 'obscene' and 'grossly immoral'"? I know that not every reader was in favor of her adventuring among the savages and even prompting marriage proposals from many.

Could Lady Dorothy's travels in the East have made her the "the titled lady who bred silkworms," a prize she may have returned with after one of her excursions?

With 580 biographical sketches in a 366 page volume, many of the sketches are bound to be exceptionally brief. There are 189 illustrations and 63 glossy photographs. Is there an image of Lady Dorothy Millls? And would it be an image of the young, globe-trotting Lady Dorothy, or of the aging Lady Dorothy who lived away from the public eye in Brighton from the publication of her last book 1931 until her death in 1959?

If you own the book or have borrowed it from a library and can summarize her biographical sketch, or if you own it and can e-mail me a scan of any information on Lady Dorothy Mills [pictured, right] it contains for the purposes of my research, I would be most grateful. Having already spent a couple of hundred of dollars on this strange quest of mine—most of it on shipping from the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand—I hesitate to tell my financial advisor [read: my wife, Janet] that I plan on spending well over £20 (with shipping) to catch a glimpse of a paragraph or two in a book that may or may not be of any use to me at all!

Please e-mail me at will19008 [at] if you can help, and thank you in advance for your consideration!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baron Pollock & Mr. Lockwood, Q.C.

I've discovered a couple of images of the principals in the trial. Here are Judge Charles Edward Baron Pollock [above, right], who presided over the third Wiedemann v. Walpole trial in 1891, and Frank Lockwood, Q.C. [below, left], who stood up on behalf of the defendant, Robert Horace Walpole. They certainly are a couple of severe looking fellows!
Click to enlarge each image in a new window.

The Third Trial: 13 June 1891

We now come to the third day of the third trial pitting Valerie Wiedemann v. the Hon. Robert Horace Walpole. Walpole is at the time the father of a young daughter who will grow to marry Arthur Frederick Hobart Mills, half-brother of George Mills. This London Times article, from 13 June 1891, is shorter than most. It must have been an abbreviated day in the High Court.

Click to enlarge each segment in a new window.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Third Trial: 12 June 1891, Part 5

This concludes the lengthy second day of the third trial of Wiedemann v. Walpole. Tune in again next time for Day 3!

The Third Trial: 12 June 1891, Part 4

The Third Trial: 12 June 1891, Part 3

The Third Trial, 12 June 1891, Part 2

The Third Trial: 12 June 1891, Part 1

It's the second day of the third trial pitting Valerie Wiedemann v. the Hon. Robert Horace Walpole. Walpole is at the time the father of a young daughter who will grow to marry Arthur Frederick Hobart Mills, half-brother of George Mills. The London Times article of 12 June 1891 studied here is lengthy and will be revealed in a series of posts.

Click to enlarge each segment in a new window.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The "Who Is George Mills?" Mailbag: August 2010

Now that we've concluded the first day of the 3rd incarnation of Wiedemann v. Walpole, let's take a look at some comments that have accumulated on the website. They constitute a "mailbag" of sorts for this website. Let's take a peek at its contents....

● Here's a comment received on 24 August 2010 regarding what appears to have been a wedding gift to Robert Horace Walpole and his first wife, the parents of Lady Dorothy Mills:

Charles said...


Have just been researching and old silver trinket box of mine. On the bottom it reads Tiffany, Paris. Around the sides there is worked floral decoration and on the top it reads Louise Melissa Corbin, Robert Horace Walpole Married May17th 1888.

What a surprise to come across your work!!

Charles, I'd certainly be interested in the history of your box, and most especially about Miss Corbin [pictured, above, right], about whom little is known. I do hope you'll share any research you discover!

● Here's an anonymous message from 26 August 2010 regarding a mistake I'd made in the early summer. In researching London phone directories of the 1920s through the 1940s, I'd assumed a "G. R. A. Mills" I'd been tracking was the George Ramsay Acland Mills [left] of our interest here. Not so:

Anonymous said...

George Robert Alexander Mills is part of a family tree I am researching - born 1903 in Brockley and dies in Canterbury in 1981. I stumbled across your research for the simple fact that your George Ramsay Acland Mills and Vera Louise Beauclerk also added some difficulty to my research! My George Mills was a stockbroker and married in 1927 in Lewisham. He lived at 51 Wickham Road, which had also been the family residence of his parents. I am afraid I cannot shed any light of the further addresses however, as I am unsure how long they continued to reside in the area.

● Finally, back on 10 August 2010, I received this comment regarding my search for a person who seemed to be named "Barbara Mills":

andrewbore said...

Hi there,

Henry Valentine Mills married Frances Georgiana Miller on Jan 27, 1917 in Radway. He was 35 and she was 22. They were married by licence. A Selina Mary Mills was one of the witnesses. I just happened to be indexing the marriage for Family Search Indexing and decided to do a search for the couple. Sorry I can't help more with Barbara Mills.

Henry and Selina Mills were, indeed, relatives of George Mills. Barbara Mills, however, appears to have been created as a result of a transcription error made while Mrs. Barton Mills [mother of George] was ordering flowers [right] for the funeral of a relative, Maj. Reginald Ramsay Wingate, in 1938.

Thank you, Andrew, for the information, and for your interest! It certainly is greatly appreciated.

As always, if you have any information about George Mills or anyone in his family, I hope that you'll contact me via the e-mail address at the upper right of this page or via the option to leave a comment on any posting you see here.

Thanks in advance for your help!

The Third Trial: 11 June 1891, Part 3

Here is the third excerpt from the first day of the third and final trial in which Valerie Wiedemann, a governess from Germany, sued the Hon. Robert Horace Walpole for breach of promise of marriage and libel after they had an affair in the city called Constantinople.

In this final segment of the day's proceedings, court closes at 4 o'clock with the defense still laying out the details of the plaintiff's case.

The Third Trial: 11 June 1891, Part 2

Here is the second excerpt from the first day of the third trial in which Valerie Wiedemann sued the Hon. Robert Horace Walpole for breach of promise of marriage and libel. Walpole would become the father of Lady Dorothy Mills, the author and explorer who would marry Arthur F. H. Mills, brother of George Mills. It seems unlikley that these proceedings could not help but to have shaped the rearing of Lady Dorothy, and subsequently influenced Arthur's life, career, and subsequent divorce from her.

I apologize for the article sometimes being broken into segments that divide sentences.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Third Trial: 11 June 1891, Part 1

A real difficulty using the London Times for research is the capriciousness of its search engine. It seems to give one's desired result upon a whim. Regarding the third trial and final trial pitting Valerie Wiedemann v. the Hon. Robert Horace Walpole, not much surfaced, but I was able to work out the trial dates and search through the paper, page by page, until I had found and took a "screenshot" of all of the pieces of all of the article, which was quite an undertaking!

The real downside of this is that, when the search engine delivers results, it also provides the article sought in text format—something that was suddenly unavaliable to me. Now, even though that text can be largely drivel, it was still useful in that I could cut and paste it into a Word document and spend an hour or so correcting it.

[Here's an brief example of an available 'text' from the London Times: "tiree of wvhom were called. 'to the Bar-and three daughters. The eldlest son, Ir. Courtney Terrell,- was appo>inted-lust- November Chief Justice of the High Cotur t of Judicature at Patna." There would be some corrections to be made there!]

Anyway, that's the method I used in patching together the previous entries regarding Trails 1 & 2 that are found here. It was faster than transcribing them in their entirety myself: I type with only two fingers, and given the length of some of those article, I'd have been transcribing them all day.

Since I ferreted out the next series of articles myself, there wasn't even a poor-quality bit of text for me to cut, paste, and edit. I don't have the time or the energy right now to sit and peck out the stories regarding the third trial in their entirety. What I've done is cropped the screen shots of them down to size and I'll post them for you to peruse at your leisure.

The downside of posting them like this is that they will not be searchable via Google, Yahoo, Altavista, or Dogpile. The upside is that I can get them on-line without spending days slowly re-typing them.

Another issue with viewing the articles in this manner will probably be that they may appear to be of different sizes on the blog. If they do, simply click on the article and it should appear enlarged in a new window, of the same size, and will be much easier to read.

You'll find the first excerpt of the trial from the 11 June 1891 issue of The Times above left, and the second to the right. I'll try to post an excerpt each day until we reach its conclusion in the 18 June 1891 issue.

More soon…