Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Fearless Females 14: Ancestor fined for assault

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of  The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

March 14 — Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?

Thomasine Dunstone AVERY (1814-1897) was my paternal great great great grandmother.  I enjoyed reading this excerpt from the Royal Cornwall Gazette of Friday 15th January 1858.  It detailed a case held at the Torpoint Petty Sessions on Tuesday, 12th January, before J.C. Roberts, W. H. Pole Carew, J.S.Tucker, Esqrs. and Rev S.W.Roberts, justices:-

Thomasine Avery, wife of George Avery, of Kingsand, a shipwright in H.M.Dockyard, was summoned by Elizabeth Trevethan, of the same place, singlewoman, for violently assaulting her, on the 29th December.

Complainant has had 3 bastard children, and having boasted that she had received 2 sovereigns of defendant's husband on the Saturday night previous, Mrs.Avery on meeting Trevethan, asked her for them, and on her denying that she had them, Mrs.Avery, to use defendant's words "turned her upside down" and took away her pocket, containing about 2s.8d, and also some letters. Mr. Beer appeared for Mrs.Avery.

The bench considered the assault to be proved brutal - but at the same time, taking into account the character of defendant, and extenuating circumstances, they only inflicted a fine of 1s. on the defendant with costs.

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