The Hull Packet and East Riding Times, Thursday, April 06 1882; page 5;

Sheriff’s Court - York Castle, Tuesday, April 04, 1882

(Before Mr E. Gray, Under-Sheriff and a Jury)

Prince v Robinson

A Scarborough Seduction Case

A Sheriff’s Court was held at York Castle on Tuesday - before Mr E. Gray, the Under-Sheriff and a jury - in order to assess the damages in the action Prince v Robinson. Mr. C. Mellor (instructed by Messrs Watts and Kitching, Scarborough), was for the plaintiff, and Mr Lawrence Gane (instructed by Mr H.O. Welburn, Scarborough), defended.–Mr Mellor said that the action was one for seduction, and defendant, having allowed judgement to go by default, the jury would have to say what was a fair and reasonable sum to pay the plaintiff for the loss of his daughter’s services, and also to add to that fair and reasonable damages for the disgrace, pain, suffering and annoyance that the parents had endured.

stamp.jpg Picture of York Crown Court - former site of York Assizes.

Both the plaintiff and the defendant were people in very much the same position in life. They were apparently well to do people, and the plaintiff, who was father of the girl in question, Annie Hanley(sic) Prince, was a farmer residing at Ayton, near Scarborough. Defendant was a man of no occupation residing at the same village. His father had recently died and left him in good circumstances. Mr Mellor then gave an outline of the case, and remarked that a more disgraceful one never came before a jury. The plaintiff and defendant’s father were on terms of great intimacy. The defendant, Albert Robinson, son of the late Mr Johnson Robinson, seemed to have made acquaintance of plaintiff’s daughter in 1879. The girl was now 21 years of age. Plaintiff discovered that the two were keeping company clandestinely, and the result was that the girl became enceinte. The plaintiff remonstrated with the defendant and he promised to marry the girl, but afterwards put the matter off, and even refused to go through the ceremony of marriage, and then allow her to live with her parents. A final appeal was made to the defendant to marry her, but he refused to do so. Plaintiff’s daughter had now gone away, and the plaintiff did not know where she was.

Mr Mellor then read a long correspondence which had taken place between the solicitors on either side. In one letter from the defendant’s solicitor, the defendant agreed to marry the girl, but refused to sign an undertaking or promise to that effect. In another letter plaintiff’s solicitor said, “If you can prevail upon your client to go through the ceremony of marriage - all that our client at present requires to avoid further shame - her parents are quite prepared to keep her until your client is able to find a home for her. - Mrs Mary Prince and Francis Prince supported this statement with evidence. - Mr Gane then pleaded in mitigation of damages. - The jury assessed the damages at £150.

Note - Anne Hawley Prince is my maternal great grandmother. She never married Albert Robinson. Albert married Hannah Holtby in Scarborough, 1884. They had five children.

People Mentioned in Article

  • Mr E Gray
  • Mr C Mellor
  • Lawrence Gane
  • Mary Prince
  • Francis Prince
  • Albert Robinson
  • Johnson Robinson
  • Anne Hawley Prince

Bold names are included in our Family History Research.