Page images

3 Hen. 1. c. 2

daughter was enticed from his house, forced into the country, and there married : a bill being exhibited against the husband for this conduct, it was referred to the Chief Justice and Hobart, whether this was within the statute, and so not examinable in the Star Chamber: and, on conference with all the Judges, they held that it was not within the statute ; because the daughter had no substance of her own, and was not heir apparent; and it was only to women having substance of their own, or being heirs apparent, that the statute applied. (y)

It is no sort of excuse that the woman was at first taken away Construction with her own consent, if she afterwards refused to continue with of the statute the offender, and was forced against her will; for, till the time 3 when the force was put upon her, she was in her own power; and she may from that time as properly be said to be taken against her will, as if she had never given any consent.(h) Getting a woman inveigled out by confederates, and then detaining and taking her away, is a taking within the statute. Thus, where a confederate of the prisoner's inveigled a girl of fourteen, having a portion of 5,0001., to go with her and a maid servant in a coach into the Park, where the prisoner got into the coach, and the two women got out; and the prisoner detained the girl while the coach took them to his lodgings in the Strand; and the next morning he prevailed upon her (having threatened to carry her beyond sea if she refused) to marry him, and (though he was apprehended on the same day) there was evidence that she was detlowered; the prisoner was convicted and executed. (2) The taking alone will not constitute the offence : it is necessary that the woman taken away be married or defiled by the misdoer, or by some others with his consent.(a) But if she were under force at the time of the taking, it is not at all material whether she were ultimately married or defiled with her own consent or not; for an offender shall not be considered as exempted from the provisions of the statute, by having prevailed over the weakness of a woman, whom he got into his power by such base means. (0) And a marriage will be sufficient to constitute the offence, though the woman was in such fear at the time that she knew not what she did. Sarah Cox, an orphan, having 1,3001., was forced from her house at Islington into Surrey, and there married. The indictment against the two men who carried her away, and one of whom married her, was in Surrey, and the taking was alleged there. She was examined as a witness; and swore that when she was married she was in such fear that she knew not what she she said or did. Several objections were made. It was urged, that the taking being in Middlesex, the indictment should not have been in Surrey, no force having been proved there: but the court said it was a continuing force into Surrey; and, therefore, a forcible caption there. Then it was said, that the marriage was null; because the woman did not know what she

(y) Bruton v. Morris, Hob. 182., and 12 Co. 100. see Cro. Car. 485.

(i) i Hale 660. Hawk. P. C. c.41. (h) 1 Hawk. P. C. c. 41. 8. 7. Cro. S. 8. Fulwood's case, Cro. Car. 485, Car. 485.

493. Swendsen's case, 5 St. Tri. 450, (z) Rex v. Brown, 1 Ventr. 243. 464, 468. (a) And. 115. Cro. Car. 486, 489.


said or did: but the court held, that though this might avoid the marriage, yet it was a marriage de facto, and sufficient within the statute. Further it was urged, that an intent to marry or defile was not alleged in the indictment: but the court said it was not

necessary. (r) Of the county If, however, a woman be taken away forcibly in one county, and in which the afterwards go voluntarily into another county, and be there maroffence shall be said to have ried or defiled, with her own consent, the fact is not indictable in been com either county; on the ground that the offence was not complete in mitted.

either : but if, by her being carried into the second county, or in any other manner, there being a continuing force in that county, the offender may be indicted there; though the marriage or defile

ment ultimately took place with the woman's own consent. (7) Case of Lock The doctrine, that there must be a continuance of the force into hart Gordon and Loudon

on the county where the defilement takes place was recognized and

the county where the

acted upon in a case of recent occurrence, and one by which a There must be great deal of public interest was excited. The prisoners, Lockhart of the force Gordon, a clergyman, and Loudon Gordon, his brother, were ininto the coun- dicted upon this statute, for the forcible abduction of Rachael ty where the

Antonina Lee, under the following circumstances. The prosecudefilement takes place.

trix, Mrs. Lee, a natural daughter of Lord Le De Spencer, and en-
titled by his Lordship’s will to a considerable fortune, married, in
the year 1794, and when she was about the age of twenty, a Mr.
M. A. Lee, from whom she shortly afterwards separated, and con-
tinued to live apart from him, in the receipt of an income of above
9001. per annum, secured to her separate use. In the month of
December, 1803, when she was living in Bolton-Row, Piccadilly,
the prisoner Loudon Gordon, under the care of whose mother she
had been placed for some time when a girl, introduced himself to
her, by means of her medical attendant, as an old acquaintance;
and some short time afterwards, the other prisoner Lockhart Gor.
don also called upon her; and both of them being recognized by
her, they continued, but more especially Loudon Gordon, occa-
sionally to visit at her house. Loudon Gordon called four or five
times in the month of December, and several times in the follow-
iny January, previous to the transaction in question. Mrs. Lee
stated, that their conversations, on these visits, were chiefly upon
books, as her habits were studious; but that upon Loudon Gordon
taking leave after his first visit he saluted her; and that on his
second visit she warned him against entertaining any attachment
for her, which she thought a likely thing to happen, as he was a
young man; and that, upon her giving this caution, he said he had
an attachment, and that his happiness was in her hands. By way
of changing the conversation, she then read to him an account of
a dream, which she had had, and requested him to interpret it,
which he afterwards did by sending to her an interpretation,
which was clever and ingenious. The third time he called he
proposed a tour into Wales, which she did not agree to, either
then or at any time; but she admitted that she did not give such

(r) Rex v. Fulwood, Cro. Car. 482, (j) Pulwood's case. Cro. Car. 485, 484, 488, 493. The prisoners were 488. I Hale 660. Hawk, P.C. c. 41. found guilty, and sentenced to be s. 9. 1 East. P. G. c. II. s.3. P. 453. hanged.

she hat, upon her siness was in bo him an a

an absolute refusal as to prevent his mentioning the subject again, and that, in a letter which he wrote to her, about the 12th of January, (and which contained strong declarations of attachment) he alluded to the tour: but she expressly stated, that she did not know of any plan for going with him any where, nor ever consented to any such plan; though, when it was mentioned by him on the same day on which she received his letter, she said, “We “ will talk of it.” A letter from Lockhart Gordon was received by her, together with that from Loudon, in which he also mentioned the proposed tour as likely to conduce to her happiness; described himself as having a head to conceive, a heart to feel, and a hand ta execute, whatever might be for her advantage; and declared that if his brother ever deceived her, he would blow his brains out. A short time before Sunday, the 15th of January, Mrs. Lee invited Loudon Gordon to dine with her on that day, and requested that he would bring his brother Lockhart with him; and they came accordingly. This was the time at which the offence was alleged to have been committed. According to Mrs. Lee's account of the material transactions at that time, it appeared that after dinner she said to Lockhart Gordon, “What do you think of the extraor“ dinary plan your brother has proposed ?" To which he replied, “ If he loves you, and you love him, I think it will tend to your “ mutual happiness; you will gain two friends.” That she did not recollect any thing more being said upon the subject till Lockhart Gordon pulled out his watch, said it was near seven o'clock, and that the chaise would soon be there; and said further, “ You “ must go with Loudon to night.” She thought this a joke; as no mention had been previously made of leaving London, or of any chaise; and she knew of no preparations having been made for her leaving London. About this time Loudon Gordon came towards Mrs. Lee, with a ring, and attempted to put it on her finger; but she drew away her hand, and the ring was left upon the table. She then attempted to go up stairs, but Lockhart Gordon said she should not, and placed himself against the door; and either at that time, or soon afterwards, he produced a pistol : she, however, after having rung the bell violently, got out at the door, and went up stairs, where she said to her female servant, “ There is a plan to “ take me out of my house; they are armed with pistols ; say no “ more but watch.” She described herself as having felt quite panic-struck at that time. Soon afterwards the prisoners came up stairs; and Lockhart Gordon said. “I am determined you shall 66 go :" this was not said in a threatening manner; but soon afterwards, upon her saying to him, “ What right have you to force me o out of my house ?” He said, “I am desperate,” and looked as if he was so. Mrs. Lee described herself as then getting into a very wretched and confused state of mind, not absolutely stupid, but unable to recollect what passed. But it appeared, from the evidence of her servants, that Loudon Gordon first came down stairs, and sent the footman to call a coach, who went accordingly; and that the only servants then in the house were two females : that Loudon returned up stairs, when a scuffle was heard almost immediately, and Mrs. Lee called out, “I am determined not to go out 66 of my own house;" to which Lockhart Gordon replied, I am

Lee Wat her of these but to the ser other server

o desperate, Mrs. Lee.” The female servants went immediately úp stairs, and found Lockhart pushing Mrs. Lee out of the drawing room, with his arm round her waist, and Loudon near them. Mrs. Lee was in a thin muslin dress, with a small crape handkerchief about her head, as she was dressed for dinner, and without any hat or bonnet. One of the servants put her arms round Mrs. Lee's waist to drag her away; but Lockhart Gordon produced a pistol, and swore that he would shoot the servant, by which she was so much alarmed that she desisted. The other servant then took Mrs. Lee by the hand; but quitted it upon Lockhart Gordon's threatening also to shoot her, and presenting a pistol. Lockhart Gordon then laid hold of one of the servants; and, both of them being so much alarmed as to make no further resistance, Loudon Gordon put his arm round Mrs. Lee's waist, and took her down stairs, and out at the street door ; when Lockhart Gordon immediately followed. It appeared, by other witnesses, that a post chaise, which the prisoners had ordered in the course of the morning, was at that time waiting at the end of Bolton-Row; that Mrs. Lee was taken to it by Loudon Gordon; that Lockhart Gordon followed; and that it drove off immediately on the road to Uxbridge. Mrs. Lee's account was, that though she remembered but imperfectly what took place at the time she was taken away, she was certain that she went from the house against her will, but that no manual force was used to get her into the chaise. She described herself as in a state of partial stupefaction: and several of the witnesses spoke of her as being of a very nervous frame, easily agitated, and subject to depression of spirits to such an extent as to be occasionally in a state of great mental misery.

As soon as Mrs. Lee and the two prisoners had got into the chaise, it drove off at a smart pace towards Uxbridge, Mrs. Lee sitting in the middle between the prisoners; and it appeared that, after changing horses at Uxbridge and at Wycombe, the party arrived at Tetsworth, about twelve miles from Oxford, between one and two o'clock in the morning. Mrs. Lee stated, that she frequently remonstrated with the prisoners in the course of the journey; and particularly told Lockhart Gordon that it was “ a “ most infernal measure, and a breach of hospitality :” and repeatedly asked him for a chaise to take her back to London; making the application principally to him, because he seemed to have taken the lead in the whole business. But it appeared, as well from her own admissions as from the evidence of the postboys, that she never called for assistance at the inns, turnpikegates, or other places; and one of the post-boys stated, that, at Wycombe, one of the prisoners asked her, whether she would stay there or go on to Tetsworth or Oxford, and that her answer was, “ I don't care.” Mrs. Lee also admitted, that a ring was put upon her finger in the course of the journey by Loudon Gordon; and that, during the journey, but whether before they got to Uxbridge or afterwards she could not tell, she took a steel necklace, with a camphire bag attached to it, from her neck, and threw it out of the window of the chaise, saying, “That was my charm against plea“ sure; I have now no occasion for it.” She said, that she used the word "charm," as alluding to the supposed medical property

of camphire in quieting the nerves, and calming the passions, particularly the passion which a person of one sex feels for a person of the other; and that she was in the habit of wearing it as a sedative: that at the time she used the expression she gave herself up, but that she afterwards expostulated. And she also admitted, that during the journey she made some inquiries concerning Loudon Gordon's health; and might, perhaps, have inquired how long it was since he had been acquainted with a person of her own sex.

At Tetsworth the parties got out of the chaise, and supper and beds were ordered to be prepared. Mrs. Lee stated, that she eat a good supper, and that there was a good deal of cheerful conversation during the repast; the whole of which she did not recollect, but that part of it related, as she believed, to Egyptian hieroglyphics and architecture. A question was then put to her, whether the whole of what passed might not have induced Loudon Gordon to have believed that he might approach her bed; to which she answered, “ It might; I was in desperation.” She admitted, that she might have told Loudon Gordon to see that the sheets were well aired: but said that if she had had the perfect exercise of her judgment, and her mind had been free from force, she should have been more inclined to have ordered a chaise than to have gone to bed. After she had gone up stairs into the bed-room, the chambermaid asked her, when she should be in bed, and when the gentleman should come up; to which she replied, “ In ten minutes." Upon this statement of Mrs. Lee's, in her examination, the following question was put to her, “What induced you to send such a message?” and it was objected to by the counsel for the prisoners, on the ground that it was not a question as to a fact, but to something existing in the mind of the witness. Lawrence, J. overruled the objection : but said, that whether the answer would be evidence or not must depend upon the nature of it; that if Mrs. Lee should answer, “ I thought my life in danger; for Lockhart “ Gordon told me, if I did not let Loudon Gordon come to bed to “ me, he would blow my brains out;' such answer would certainly be evidence, though the apprehensions of the witness, unsupported by words used by the prisoners, or facts, would not. The question was then put; and Mrs. Lee answered, “ I was under 6 the impression that my life was in danger from Lockhart “ Gordon; and I was apprehensive of some serious scuffle at the “ inn, in which lives might be lost.” Mrs. Lee then stated, that shortly after the chambermaid left the room Loudon Gordon came to bed to her, and remained with her all the night; and that the intercourse took place between them, which usually takes place between husband and wife.

These were the material facts of the case, with the addition, that it was proved by the woman with whom the prisoners lodged in London, that, previous to the time when this transaction took place, Lockhart Gordon was pressed for money, and backward in his payments, and that Loudon Gordon had admitted to her that he was in distressed circumstances. The learned counsel for the prisoners was proceeding in his cross-examination of Mrs. Lee, to question her as to her religious principles; and she had just admitted, that she seldom went to any place of worship,

« EelmineJätka »