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Colonial Cases

Goodfellow v. Goodfellow, 1896

[matrimonial causes]


Goodfellow v. Goodfellow

Supreme Court for China and Japan
Hannen CJ, 27 July 1896
Source: North China Herald, 31 July, 1896




Shanghai, 27th July

Before Sir N. J. Hannen, Esq., Chief Justice.


   This was a petition by Susannah Jane Goodfellow for a decree of judicial separation on the ground of the desertion and misconduct of her husband, Henry Stafford Goodfellow. Mr. Gedge (Messrs. Johnson, Stokes and Master) appeared for the petitioner, and the suit was undefended. Evidence having been given of the service upon the respondent of the petition on the 5th of June and also notice of the trial on the 27th of July,

   Mrs. Susannah Jane Goodfellow, the petitioner, was called. She said she was married to the respondent on the 4th of March,1876, at the British Consulate-General here and subsequently at the Cathedral. She cohabited with her husband until the 2nd of May,1884, when she left for Europe with his consent and approval. There were five children of the marriage. 

   During the time she was absent she corresponded regularly with her husband, who remained in Shanghai. She returned to Shanghai in November,1888, and about a month after her husband called on her unexpectedly.  There was a conversation and she said [...............] had a home to go to she was willing to go back to him, but at the time he was not doing anything. The next she heard of him was by the receipt of a letter written in January,1891. This year the respondent returned to Shanghai, but she refused to see him.

   Evidence was then given regarding the allegation of misconduct, and also as to the serious state of the respondent's health in Hongkong from October, 1890, to March, 1891.

   Mr. Gedge having referred to the power of the Court in matrimonial cases, said he had another witness to call regarding the misconduct if his Lordship did not think the evidence was strong enough, or that the desertion had not been proved.

   His Lordship said he thought the desertion had been proved, but the evidence as to misconduct was not so strong as it might be. There would, however, be the usual decree on the ground of desertion, and the custody of the children would be granted to the petitioner as prayed for. Mr. Gedge would draw up the decree.

   Mr. Gedge said he did not ask for an order for costs.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School