Grey Assizes: Wednesday
Markdale Standard (Markdale, Ont.), 9 Nov 1882, p. 4

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Wm. H. Fawcett v. Mrs. Kerr – This is an action for libel, the facts disclosed in which are somewhat extraordinary. The defendant is the mother-in-law of the plaintiff, and before the trial commenced the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Pollard, offered to settle the suit if the defendant would apologize, withdraw the libel and pay costs, as he was unwilling to drag family disputes before the public. This the defendant refused through her counsel, Mr. Moberley. The libel complained of is written on post card addressed to Mr. Richard Marsh, Meaford P.O., and is in the following words: - “February 8, 1882. I write these words to you that if you do not punish W. H. Fawcett for stealing grain out of your granery {sic} on October 26 I will punish you, for his wife can prove it, for this is what has made her without a house to-day. She never was brought up in that way, nor was not going to live out her life in that unlawful way, and W. H. is the biggest bloat in the township.” It bore the name of the defendant, Mrs. Kerr, but it was written by the plaintiff’s wife with the authority of Mrs. Kerr. The plaintiff’s wife had, at that tiem, been living apart from her husband since the previous October or November. Mrs. Fawcett is a young woman, and has been married only four or five years. She and her husband had two children. She suddenly left him and the children one morning without a word. Her explanation of this extraordinary conduct is as follows: - Her husband and Richard Marsh had been changing work backward and forward, and Fawcett was of the opinion that Marsh owed him $7 or $8, but did not want to claim, Marsh was removing from that neighbourhood, and Fawcett say he would repay himself by taking grain from Marsh’s barn. Mrs. Fawcett protested in vain against this, and shortly afterwards she saw Fawcett twice take an empty sack from his own barn in the direction of Marsh’s and return with it full of something. Subsequently Fawcett told his wife that he had done as he said he would about Marsh’s grain. Mrs. Fawcett gives this as the reason she left him, but in cross examination it turned out that there was a further reason, namely, that Fawcett disapproved of a hat or bonnet that she had bought, thinking it too expensive, and told her to take it back and change it. This was three or four days after the alleged grain stealing, and Mrs. Fawcett admitted that if the bonnet matter had not occurred she would have overlooked the grain matter, and not have left her husband with two helpless little babies on his hands. The plaintiff when in the witness-box to-day denied the grain stealing story in toto, and called as a witness Richard Marsh, who said that he had not missed any grain from his barn, and did not think any could have been stolen without his knowledge. The exasperation of the two women against the plaintiff seems to have been caused by Fawcett advertising after his wife left him that he would not be responsible for any debts contracted by her, as he found she had been buying property on hi credit after she had left him. Another post-card of a still more injurious character was written to Marsh, but was not produced. An altercation took place between the parties outside the Court House this morning, in the course of which Mrs. Fawcett slapped her husband’s face – with her gloves, as she explains. The jury found a verdict for the plaintiff, damages $5.50.

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Item Types:

Column 1; brother of Flesherton Advance Editor
Date of Publication:
9 Nov 1882
Personal Name(s):
Fawcett, Wm. H. ; Kerr, Mrs. ; Marsh, Richard ; Fawcett, Mrs.
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Grey Assizes: Wednesday