Sunday, December 12, 2010

Capt. Walpole's Pyrrhic Victory

There isn't much immediate reaction available on the internet regarding the success of Robert Horace Walpole's 1891 appeal, a victory which left Valerie Wiedemann in far more debt than she had ever been, having now been burdened with the court costs of that final appeal as well as legal fees for all of her proceedings dating back to 1888.

This excerpt appeared the same day as the judgment, 29 July 1891, in the New York Evening World, on page 3. Most of the world incorrectly assumed Walpole's wife, Louise Corbin, was a native of New York, although she had never been a resident there. Hence, some immediate interest interest in the proceedings was shown in the Big Apple.

Walpole, it seems, scored only a Pyrrhic victory. While he ended up owing Wiedemann nothing, the toll the scandal took on his marriage must have been terrible, as we shall soon see. And there is every reason to believe that it had a long term effect on the life of his daughter, Lady Dorothy Rachel Melissa Walpole, who would eventually become the sister-in-law of George Mills.

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