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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

Vaughan v. McRae [1891] NSWSupC 2

breach of promise of marriage, evidence, by party to action, appeal, stay on execution, costs

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Innes J., 13 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 14 March 1891, p. 11[1] 

No. 2 Court. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes and a jury of four.)


Mr. Gannon and Mr. Noble, instructed by Mr. H. Levien, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Want, Q.C., and Mr. Ralston, instructed by Mr. T.B. Rolin, for the defendant. This was an action brought by Ilma Vaughan (by Petronella Vaughan, her next friend) against Myles McRae to recover damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and assault. Damages were laid at £5000. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

The examination in chief of the plaintiff was continued, and she gave evidence as to the various places she visited in company with the defendant after her return from Mount Victoria, including her stay at Manly Beach; she also specified the occasion upon which defendant had, as she said, criminally assaulted her.

Cross-examined by Mr. Want: When she was at Manly Beach she discovered that defendant was not divorced, and she afterwards had nothing more to do with him, and did not see him except when she went to the Legislative Assembly to get him to pay some debts; he said that there was something wrong about the divorce, and that it had to be heard over again; after the conversation at Manly Beach she had nothing more to do with him, but she wrote and wired to him about some debts that ought to have been paid; she had the conversation with him about the divorce a month or two before she left Manly.

Q.: Would you mind looking at this letter, and say whether it is in your handwriting? (Letter of June 17, 1890, signed "your devoted Zaidee," and dated from Clifton House, Manly Beach, handed to witness.)

Witness: That is not my handwriting.

Q.: Tell me, is this your signature and handwriting? (Another letter handed to witness.0

Witness: It is very much like it, but I cannot swear whether it is mine or not.

Q.: You wish the jury clearly to understand that when defendant proposed at Granville to marry you, you understood he was divorced?

Witness: Yes, I did; if I had not thought that he was divorced I would not have accepted him; and of course I knew that I could not bring an action against him unless he was divorced; I have kept all the letters I received from him.

To his Honor: The letter of the 5th June, 1890, is not in my handwriting, but the letter of 6th June is.

Mr. Want: Did you ever write this letter on 5th June, 1890: "Clifton House, Manly. My dear Myles, - I received your letter all right, but as I told you before, I cannot pay my debts unless you send me £5 more, because I cannot go without decent clothes. I never dress gaudily, because I am much too much of a lady for that, but if you have any sense you will agree with me that I can't do without clothes. You know very well that if I could get the money anywhere else I would. I suppose you think I delight in asking you for it. I cannot tell you what I feel when I have to ask you for it, but I must remember that I am writing to a door or some other dumb article. How is Mrs. Myles McRae? Is the divorce case come off; have you got rid of that burthen who through your own fault is leading you a beautiful polka. I really blame you for it, because if you had any sense you would have got rid of her long ago. I say dash the children; they when they grow up will only turn round and laugh at you, because they are only children as yet, and think you are illtreating their beast of a mother. I should be sorry to have a mother like that. Hoping you are quite well. - I remain always yours most devotedly and truly, Ilma Vaughan."

Witness: It is no handwriting of mine.

Q. - Will you undertake to swear to the jury that it is not your handwriting?

Witness: Yes; I swear it is not my handwriting.

His Honor: Is no part of it written by you?

Witness: No.

Mr. Want: Well, we will take the letter of the 6th June, which you say is in your handwriting: "Clifton House, Manly, Sydney - My dearest mother, - I will, now that I have spare time, write you a few lines about myself. I had just finished writing the few lines I sent you when Mr. George Tindall, the one who wants to marry me, came in. He was delighted to see me, he said, looking so well. He wishes me to marry him, and he said that if I refused him he would go to Queensland for a month and then come back and see if I was in a better mind."

His Honor: I do not think you have a right to read things from a letter which may have the effect of prejudicing the jury, especially if plaintiff denies that it is her handwriting.

Mr. Want: She admits that this letter is in her handwriting.

His Honor: But you have no right to read letters which she denies having written, and which, if what she says is true, may be forgeries by other persons to prejudice her case. Anything which she admitted writing may, of course be read.

Witness: What has Mr. George Tindall to do with the present case?

Mr. Want: You will find what he has to do with it before we have finished. Then you go on. "But I, for my part, prefer a very handsome young man who is after me, a Mr. Ted Baker, and think more of Mr. Baker's little finger than George Tindall's whole body."

Witness: I believe that should be Mr. Bray; I did not know a Mr. Baker than.

Q. Do you mean a man who used to drive the coach down to Newport; a very tall and handsome man?

Witness: He is tall, but not handsome.

Q. He is a coachdriver?

Witness: Ted Baker is a coachdriver.

Mr. Want: Then the letter goes on, - "Mr. Baker took me to a grand concert last night, and saw me home, which we did not reach until 12 o'clock. I was very prettily dressed in cream dress, with pink camellias in my hair. I have a beautiful fringe now, and I also wore silver ornaments. Mr. Baker's commanding tall figure looked, the people said, beautiful beside little me. Mr. Baker and I are going driving on Tuesday up to Port Jackson. Mr. B. is very much taken up with me. Mr. McRae is very anxious for me to marry one or the other, but you know, mamma, flirting is delightful, and more so when one is young. Myles sent me some very pretty silver bracelets, which are very much admired. I am always full of suitors for my hand, and I am always introduced to some new face. But I know that my life is becoming more clear. I think I shall send G.T. away, as he is such a funny fellow." Who is G.T.? Is that George Tindall?

Witness: I decline to answer that question.

Mr. Want: Then you go on, "I will shortly send you my photo, and I bet you won't know me again. I suppose Mr. Bray has not been seen down in Granville. Poor Tom: I hope he will get on and be happy will ever be my wish. He led me to believe that he cared for me, and then laughed at me." Did you know Tom Bray before in Granville?

Witness: Yes; a long time before I knew the defendant.

Q. Did you love him?

Witness: Yes.

Q. Were you on most affectionate terms with him?

Witness: I will not answer that question.

Q. you said that up to the time this violent attack was made upon you at Mount Victoria you had always led a pure and good life?

Witness: Yes, I had.

Q. Nothing wrong about it at all?

Witness: No; I know a Mr. Cavin; he was lodging at the same time with me at 108 Hunter-street; I never went for a walk with him at night round the Domain; he asked me to marry him, and I refused.

Q. Did you write this to defendant on May 24, 1890:- "I wish I had never come to see my relations as I most foolishly did. I am worried out of my life and nobody to care for me. If I had never seen Thomas Bray I would have been very different; but I suppose I shall always be the jezebel of Sydney."

Witness: I never wrote that.

Mr. Gannon objected to the cross-examination. If these letters were said to be in plaintiff's handwriting she ought to be allowed to see the contents of them.

His Honor: I think so too. They may or may not turn out to be absolute forgeries concocted for the purposes of this case.

Mr. Want: I am taking a course which is always taken.

His Honor: It is a grossly unfair course. At all events the witness should first have an opportunity of seeing the document and saying whether it is her handwriting or not before the contents are read out to the jury.

Mr. Want (to witness): Is not that your diary (handing book to witness?).

Witness: I swear it is not my diary, and I have written nothing in it, and never had it; I never owned it.

Mr. Want: Did you ever write this to Mr. McRae on April 4: "I know that I am not a good woman. I have been spoilt from my childhood. My grand-mother's words come back to me now. She said 'before you saw your brothers you were innocent as an angel.' I am very miserable. I wish I was dead, only when I think of you, who have been so kind to me I want to live."

Witness: I did not write that letter.

Mr. Want: Look at that letter (handing it to witness). Will you swear it is not in your handwriting?

Witness: Yes, that is my handwriting. When I wrote that I could not have been in my proper senses.

Mr. Want: You also say that is that letter, "What can I do when I think of all my past life, of which you are ignorant?" What past life is that?

Witness: I have no past life to be ashamed of until I met Mr. McRae; on the Sunday after defendant assaulted me at Mount Victoria I did not go with him to the Fairy Dell; I went out for a walk, and met him accidentally.

Mr. Want: Is that your signature to this letter of May 11, 1890 (letter handed to witness)?

Witness: No, that is not my letter. Mr. McRae is a good hand at forgery, and very likely he has forged my writing.

Mr. Want: I am bound now to say that I shall go into evidence, and I shall read a letter of May 17, 1890. "Clifton House, Manly Beach. My dearest Myles, - Your letter received safely, and I am extremely sorry you did not come to Manly. We would have such beautiful walks round here. I play tennis every afternoon. I suppose you are angry with me on account of my intended marriage with Mr. G.T., who proposed to me a week ago."

Witness: I did not write that letter. I wrote to him one letter stating that Mr. Tindall had proposed to me, but I wrote it to make him come and pay his debts.

Mr. Want: Then the letter proceeds - "Do not, I pray of you, fail me in my anxiety; do come, there's a darling. I live right opposite the post-office. When you come to see me do not be angry with me. Do not think badly of poor wicked me."

Witness: I never wrote that.

Mr. Want: Did you write this on May 11, 1890, from Carlton Cottage, Manly: "If I have written once I think I must have written a dozen times, so finding you did not answer my letters I sent you two telegrams. I think if you had an ounce of feeling in that heart of ice which you possess I think the least you might have done was to have had the grace to answer my letters; just even the bare civility. But my being of no account you, of course, don't care. The next good offer I get of marriage I will accept. There is a likelihood of my being engaged to a young lawyer after the 7th June. Then, to my delight, you won't have me bothering you. I am always thinking of Thomas Bray."

Witness: So I was.

Mr. Want: And so you are now?

Witness: Yes.

Mr. Want: Then again the letter goes on, "Do what I will I cannot take him out of my head. Do no, I pray you, fail me in this my great trouble. If I knew of anybody else I could apply to I would not trouble you, but it won't be for long, thank goodness. I will, when you come down, tell you all the news of my engagement."

Witness: Yes, I wrote that letter.

Mr. Want: But you have sworn that you did not write that letter.

Witness: Well, there must have been two letters alike; it is all the better for you; I believe I wrote the letter of the 24th May, 1890; I do not recall having written the letter of the 25th May to defendant, but it might be mine; if it is I must have made a mistake when I wrote, "I suppose you are reconciled to Clara (Mrs. McRae); if so let me know as soon as possible," because I have never spoken to her.

Mr. Want: Did you write a letter dated June 12, 1890, to defendant from Manly Beach?

Witness said she believed that she wrote to defendant on June 12, 1890, referring again to Mr. Tindall, but it was written for the reason already given - namely, that she wished to induce him to come to Manly Beach and pay his debts; she did not write the letter to defendant produced, dated 25th June 1890, in which the statement occurred that plaintiff's mother said that the reason why defendant would not come to see her (plaintiff) at Manly Beach was that he despised her; she, however, admitted that on the same date she wrote to plaintiff from Granville after she had discovered that he was not divorced, but she explained that it was written in order to get him to come over and pay his debts; an account which was shown to her she said was in defendant's handwriting, and she denied that she wrote to him in January, 1890, stating that she regretted it was yet out of her power to return his kindness; defendant visited her twice at Manly Beach, but he never gave her a penny for her board and lodging; she had no money at all but what her mother gave her, but she declined to say how much she had sent her; she remained at Manly Beach between two and three months; she did not go to a ball at Manly Beach or the Skating Rink with a gentleman named Ted Baker, but she went to the Rink with a girl; she also went with the same person to a concert at Balmain, but dropped her acquaintance upon hearing that she was not a person of good character; Baker also went to the concert; when defendant came to Granville and stated that he was Mr. McRae, witness knew he was a married man with several children, but told her before her mother came into the room that he was divorced; she swore that she had never stted that she was 20 years of age, and had never stated in writing that she was born on the 6th December, 1870; she was born in December, 1872, at Honduras, North America; she admitted that she was aware of certain circumstances read out to her from the diary, the compilation of which she had already denied, and she still swore that the diary was not hers or in her handwriting, and that she had never seen it before. Defendant assaulted and violated her twice, once while she was staying at 73 Hunter-street and about a week afterwards while she was staying at 108 Hunter-street; and on the latter occasion he knocked her insensible, and then accomplished his purpose.

Q. Will you be surprised to hear that while you were staying at those places, namely, from the 8th March to the 25th March, defendant was away in his own electorate with the Examiners of Public Works?

Witness said she was surprised to hear it, but she did not remember the dates of the assaults; she was at 73 Hunter-street in March, but she did not remember the date; she remembered owing Mrs. Morris, of 108 Hunter-street, money for board and lodging, and writing to her about it.

Q. Before you went to Mount Victoria, and before the alleged breach of promise and seduction, did you and your mother rent a cottage from a Mr. Twomer, storekeeper, at Granville?

Witness asked his Honor whether it was necessary to answer it, and his Honor ruled that it was. She then said that she did; Twomer was the agent for the owner of the cottage; she knew a Mrs. Ackroyd, who gave herself out as a midwife, and she knew Twomer's character; she never asked him to introduce her to Mr. Bray; she never said to him that if she could get Bray to go out for a walk with her she would compel him to marry her; she never said so in the presence of Mrs. Ackroyd; she knew Mr. Rayner, the registrar of Granville; he was a bad character, and so were Mrs. Ackroyd and Twomer; she had never told Mrs. Rayner that her (witness's) mother was going to send her out to make money in an improper way; nor did she tell her that her brother behaved in a violent, brutal, beastly manner; when she wrote in one of her letters to defendant, "I know I am not a good woman; I have been spoilt from my childhood, and well do I remember my grandmother's words to me, 'You were as innocent as an angel before your brothers came;'" she meant that she was spoiled by her brothers' swearing; she swore that she had not visited Mrs. McRae either before or after her divorce action, nor had her mother; she knew Mrs. Morrison, but she did not go by the name of "Madam Lentia," nor was she a fortune-teller; she was a private detective, and lived at 5 Short-street, Surry Hills; when defendant came out to Granville and said he was divorced she did not think much about it; she remembered walking out with Bray on several occasions; when defendant spoke to her mother about marrying, her mother said she thought he was rather old for her daughter, and she also expressed a doubt whether he was divorced; but he said that he "really and truly was;" her mother was opposed to the marriage, but she (witness) consented, as her mother had been very good to her; she remembered writing to Mrs. Fletcher, boarding-house-keeper of Manly, about June 24, but the letter produced purporting to be written by her to Mrs. Fletcher was not written by her; she was never known as Cecilia or Cecil Vaughan while at Manly Beach; she knew Jenny Beaton, a cook; she resided in the same house with her at Manly Beach, but she was not on intimate terms with her, and did not owe her any money; Mrs. Beaton lent her a pair of gloves and a parasol, which she returned to her.

His Honor here placed two letters - one to Mrs. Fletcher and the other to Mrs. Beaton, of Manly - before the witness, and asked her to look at them carefully and say whether they were not both in her handwriting. Both letters were signed "Cecil Vaughan."

Witness admitted that she had written the letter to Mrs. Beaton, but that she did not remember using the name "Cecil;" the other letter she did not write; she must have been mad when she used the name "Cecil;" both letters were dated 24th June, 1890, and were dated from Blackswell-street, Granville; in her letter to Mrs. Beaton she address her as "Dear Jennie," and asked her to send her portrait; she said that she must also have been mad through worry, caused by defendant, when she signed other letters "Cecil Vaughan."

At this stage the case was further adjourned until Monday at 10.30 a.m.

Innes J., 16 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 17 March 1891

No. 2 Jury Court. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes and a jury of four.)

Mr. Gannon and Mr. Noble, instructed by Mr. H. Levien, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Want, Q.C., and Mr. Ralston, instructed by Mr. T.B. Rolin, for the defendant. This was an action brought by Ilma Vaughan (by Petronella Vaughan, her next friend) against Myles McRae, to recover damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and assault. Damages were laid at £5000. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Plaintiff, upon being further cross-examined by Mr. Want, again admitted that she wrote the letter dated 5th June, 1890, already referred to, in which she enquired about Mrs. McRae and asked how the divorce was getting on, &c.; she had previously sworn that she did not write that letter, but she remembered now that she did; defendant did not rent a house at Arncliffe for her and her mother from Donald McRae, but her mother rented it at defendant's request, and she or her mother paid the rent; they also a rented the house at Mount Victoria at the request of the defendant; she acknowledged sending a telegram on July 5 from Blaxcel-street, Granville, addressed to the defendant at the Legislative Assembly, in the following terms:- "Send at once to Mrs. Fletcher £4; will not trouble you again if you do so."

By Mr. Gannon: Defendant, while she was at Manly Beach, told her that the divorce case had not been properly attended to, and would have to be tried again; when she wrote to him asking for money she was actually in want of money; when she was at Granville in the first instance she only knew Mr. Bray and Mrs. Rayner before she became acquainted with defendant; she pursued her vocation as an artist, and sometimes made money in that way; defendant about May or June advised her to get married, and she asked him how she could do so when she was engaged to him.

Mr. Want: Is this a sample of one of your pictures? (handing rough drawing to witness representing a couple of equestrians).

Witness: Yes, I recollect having given this to Mr. Bray.

Mr. Gannon: Is that a specimen of your best work?

Witness: Oh no, it is not.

Mr. Want: Would you mind telling me who bought some of your pictures?

Witness: A gentleman at Parramatta bought some.

Mr. Want: But while you were down at Manly Beach?

Witness: I did not sell any there.

Mr. Want: The all the time you were at Manly Beach you were not practising your profession as an artist?

Witness: No.

This concluded plaintiff's examination.

Petronella Vaughan, a Spaniard and mother of the plaintiff, gave evidence that in 1884 she arrived in Sydney from New Zealand and called at defendant's office in order to obtain a house; subsequently one of her daughters, since dead, and aged at the time 17, went to defendant's home as governess to his children; she remained there for a month and half and died in January, 1885; some time afterwards witness returned to New Zealand, but before going defendant complained of his wife, and said he was going to get a divorce; she returned to Sydney in January, 1888, and took a house at Granville; she then wrote to defendant with a view of getting her son a situation on board ship; defendant came to Granville and informed her that he had been divorced from his wife because he could not stand her temper and drinking; that she had destroyed the windows at Kintale, pawned his watch and chain, and she did not know what else; he went out from walk after tea with her daughter, and upon their return her daughter said that defendant had made a proposal of marriage, and that as she did not wish witness to go to work she had accepted him; owing to the disparity between the ages of defendant and her daughter she at first objected, but subsequently said that if her daughter was willing to marry the defendant she would consent; he then again assured her that he was divorced; sometime afterwards he said that witness ought to go to Mount Victoria for change of air, and he recommended a house, but told her that she was not to mention that he had given the recommendation; she went out on the Saturday with her daughter, and took the house, and defendant followed them the same evening, although he had stated that he would not be up for two or three days; he got there about 11 p.m., and witness expressed her surprise at his arrival at that hour; he apologised, and then asked her for some tea; she went to the kitchen to comply with his request, and while there she heard a loud talking and heard her daughter say to the defendant that if he did not leave her room she would take proceedings against him; witness immediately went to the room and asked defendant how he dared to treat her daughter in that manner, and he apologised, and said that he was flurried, and anxious to see Ilma; at this time she heard a knock at the back door, and went there to see who it was; after a short conversation with the man who was there, and who said he had knocked because he had heard a noise in the house, she returned to the kitchen; she had previously instructed her daughter to place a candle in defendant's room; she heard a tremendous scream, and she immediately went to the defendant's room, the door of which she found locked; she heard a violent struggling inside and tried to force open the door; she called out to defendant to open the door, but he declined, and said he would not do so for her or 50 like her; the violent scuffling continued, and the door was suddenly burst open, and her daughter rushed out with her clothes nearly torn off her back; she was very much upset and was crying; witness asked defendant how he dared trap an innocent girl in the manner he had done, and told him that she would instantly take proceedings against him, and that he was to leave the house, or she would; the defendant defied her to take proceedings against him, and added: "Besides, I am engaged to marry your daughter, and I intend to do so, and what is the use of your proceeding against me?" he put a ring upon her daughter's finger, and said, "You cannot do or say anything now, because I have put a ring on her finger;" it was a large diamond ring; it was too large for her daughter, who had to put something round it; after this defendant went to his room, and witness and her daughter remained for the night in the other bedroom; next morning (Sunday) they were all at breakfast together; defendant said he was sorry he had treated her daughter in the way he had done, and that he would keep his word about marrying her; he seemed to sorry for what he had done; before he went away he said that he had a very handsome house at Port Hacking or Sutherland, and that when she returned to Sydney he would give her the keys at the Redfern station so that she might go and take charge of it; after remaining about two weeks at Mount Victoria she returned to Sydney, and met defendant at the station as agreed upon; he gave her the keys, and seemed in a great hurry; he said he did not want people to see him talking to her and her daughter; the latter said, "What have you to be ashamed of, if you are engaged to me, why don't you want people to see you?"; defendant made some excuse which she did not recollect, but it was a very lame one; when they got to Sutherland it was raining heavily; there was no public conveyance, and she and her daughter had to go to the house in a cart; they found the house situated in a dense bush and in a dreadful condition; the paper was dripping wet and falling from the walls, and there was no furniture at all; defendant had previously informed her that furniture would be sent out; as far as she could remember the house was about seven miles from Sutherland; they are immediately returned to Sutherland in the pouring rain, and got their drenched; they remained at the hotel, and she wrote to defendant, who came out, and when she mentioned the state in which the house was he said that it was in good condition when he was there, and that he had no idea that it was so bad; he added that he knew it was not furnished, but that bedding was to have been sent out the same day; afterwards defendant took them to see Kintale, where he said he would leave when he married her daughter; they then went to Arncliffe where he said his brother had a house; witness and her daughter remained at that house and paid rent for it; one night witness was sick, and defendant who was there wished her to get up and make him some tea; her daughter said, "I do not think mamma ought to get up out of bed to make tea for you;" defendant then became irritated and said that if she did not get up it would be worse for both of them; he was impertinent to them, and witness was compelled to get up; she, however, said to defendant that she would leave the house and take her daughter with her, and defendant then said that if she did he would not marry her daughter; while they were at Arncliffe defendant slept in the house two or three times; he occupied one room, and witness and her daughter another; she was not aware of any improper or violent conduct by defendant towards her daughter while they were at Arncliffe; defendant afterwards took a room at the Hotel Metropole for her daughter; witness was present at the time, and she did not understand that he was to stop there; she saw defendant once after that, when her daughter was in Hunter-street; as far as she recollected, her daughter returned home in June; when her daughter left the Hotel Metropole she went to Manly Beach; she did not know what relations existed between her and defendant; it was the first time she had been away from home, and witness always wrote to her and visited her when she was in Sydney, but as she had to attend to her son she could not go so far as Manly Beach; she gave her daughter money.

Cross-examined by Mr. Ralston: She did not say in the divorce suit brought by Mrs. McRae that defendant had offered her the position of housekeeper at Mount Victoria at £5 per week; he offered her the position of housekeeper at Kintale; he never said anything about Mount Victoria at all them; she did say that when he made her the offer of the position of housekeeper he was engaged to her daughter; he asked her daughter first, and then he asked witness for her consent; that was upon the second occasion when he called; if she had said that he was engaged to her daughter when he first called she had made a mistake; defendant did not take the house at Mount Victoria, but merely recommended it to her and gave her a card; witness paid the rent; as far as she remembered she did not say in the Divorce Court that defendant took the house specially for her and her daughter; she could not have said so; she thought that her daughter returned to live with her in the month of June.

Q. Looked at that letter of 25th June to Mr. McRae and see if you recognise it as your daughter's. (Letter shown to witness.)

Witness: I fancy she was at home when that was written.

Q. Do you recollect her writing to Mrs. Beaton shortly after she returned? (Letter of 24th June handed to witness.)

Witness: I think she was at home when she wrote that.

Q. After your daughter returned did you write to Mr. McRae at all?

A. I did, at her request.

Q. How long after she returned?
A. I cannot positively say how long. I don't think she had been home very long when I wrote that letter. I think wrote one or two letters about that time, but I am not positive.

Q. Is this the letter you wrote to, "Granville, 29th June, 1890. Dear Mr. McRae, - I heard from my daughter that the divorce had been granted last month, and that she was engaged to be married to you. Is it true? If not, will you do me their favour to send her back to me? I would not have allowed her to be away so long if I had not been led to believe that she was going to be married."

A. Yes; but my daughter was not in the house when that was written. I must have put the wrong date. I solemnly swear that my daughter was not with me when that was written.

His Honor: Do you say that she had not returned or had returned and gone away again?

A. She had not returned.

Mr. Ralston: Where do you say your daughter was when you wrote that letter?
A. She must have been in Manly, as far as I know; I did not go to Manly at all, and I do not recollect how long before I wrote that letter I had seen my daughter; I had not seen her for about two or three months.
Q. If you had not seen her for two or three months before you write that letter, how came you to write, "I heard from my daughter that the divorce had been granted last month?"

A. Because she wrote to me.

Q. I do not think we got full particulars about your daughter going to the Hotel Metropole, or a bad you're staying at Arncliffe, in fact. How long did you stop at Arncliffe?

A. I have already said about two or three weeks, as far as I can recollect.

Q. It seems that he went to Mount Victoria on a Saturday, and Mr. McRae, I understand, came up that night?

A. Yes; the very same night.
Q. And you say it was that night the assault took place on your daughter?

A. Yes.

Q. And next morning you say you all breakfasted together?

A. Yes.

Q. What took place in the morning? What did you do?
A. We talked about different things.

Q. Did you all stop at home?

A. As far as I remember we did.

Q. Do you not remember your daughter walking to the Fairy Well with Mr. McRae?

A. Yes, she might have done so; we dined together on Sunday; nothing of importance took place, and we talked over different things; I think in the morning or evening they went for a walk together; during the rest of the day we were talking at home together in quite a friendly way; as far as I can remember, we stopped at Mount Victoria exactly two weeks; defendant stayed at Mount Victoria I until Monday or Tuesday, and during that time we were on friendly terms; I think, while we were at Arncliffe, defendant visited us two or three times a week, and stayed at the house about twice, and always slept in a separately them; as far as I know there was no impropriety between my daughter and defendant while we were at Arncliffe, and I did not hear that he violently assaulted her.

His Honor: At all events, if he had ever occurred your daughter never complained to you, and you were never a witness of a repetition of the conduct at Mount Victoria?

A. No; I have not had a conversation with Mrs. McRea, and I only know her by sight; I have not been to Mr. Williamson's with her; I think I saw her to-day at Quong Tart's, but I did not have lunch with her; I know Mrs. Morrison, but I do not know that she is a private detective; she did not take me to Mr. Williamson's; I have never been there.

This closed the case for the plaintiff. The following evidence was called for the defence.

Annie Fletcher, a married woman, residing at Manly Beach, said she kept a boarding-house and knew Miss Cecil Vaughan, the plaintiff; she had never known her by any other name than "Cecil Vaughan;" she came to her place on May 17 and left on June 23, when she said she was going to Granville to her mother; it was not true that she (witness) had a disreputable house, and it was a ridiculous lie on the part of the plaintiff; her husband worked for one of the most respectable residence in Manly; the letter produced on June 24, 1890 (which plaintiff had repudiated), was written by plaintiff to her; plaintiff mentioned Mr. Bray's name to her several times, and said she had known him over three years; she said she thought a great deal of him; she remembered by Mr. Tindall calling twice to see the plaintiff; on one occasion plaintiff told her that Tindall had gone to Queensland, and that when he came back he was going to give her £200 to commence an action against Mr. McRae, and that when she recover damages against McRae she was going to marry Tindall; she told witness she was engaged to Mr. Tindall; that was about three weeks after she had been paid; witness knew a Mr. Baker, who drove a coach, but she did not know him personally; plaintiff said she liked the man, but she did not remember whether she said that he wanted to marry her.

George Ralf, law stationer, gave evidence that he had large experience in handwriting, and the letters and diary produced appeared to be in the same handwriting.

Counsel then put in all the letters in the order of their dates as exhibits, and the following letters, which had not been read before, were now read:- "January 30, 1890, Sydney. Dear Mr. McRae, - I cannot tell you how thankful I am to you for the great kindness you have shown towards myself and family. I hope it will be one of these days in my power to return all that you have given to me as soon as he lays in my power. I can never forget your great kindness in assisting me when I could not help myself; through my brother's temper and through not having a comfortable home I excepted [sic] your assistance. My brother made my home is a recall for me, and that has caused me to except [sic] your great kindness. Hoping that time will come when I can return all that you have given me, I remain yours gratefully, Ilma V.Z. Vaughan." "March 10, 108 Hunter-street, Sydney. Dear Mr. McRae, - I am just dropping you a few lines to tell you that he is not yet in my power to return all that you have given me. As soon as it is I will do so with great pleasure. At present I see no likelihood, but while there's life there's hope, so why cling to the hope that one of these days it will be in my power to return your great kindness. - Ilma Vaughan."

Mr. John Twomer, storekeeper, residing at Granville, said that he was the agent of a cottage next door to his store, which Mrs. Vaughan and her daughter talk; that was in June, 1889; plaintiff was in and out of his store as often as 20 times a day; he knew Thomas Bray, and remembered in January, 1890, having a conversation with plaintiff about him; plaintiff asked him to introduce her to Bray, as he had lots of money. (Mr. Gannon objected to the evidence; and his Honor, after argument, upheld the objection as the evidence was immaterial to the issue. Mr. Want also ask the witness what the plaintiff's conduct as regarded modesty was while she was at Granville, but this was also object had to.)

The court then adjourned until 10 o'clock on the following morning.

Innes J., 17 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald , 18 March 1891, p. 5

No. 2 Jury Court. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes and a jury of four.)


Mr. Gannon and Mr. Noble, instructed by Mr. H. Levien, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Want, Q.C., and Mr. Ralston, instructed by Mr. T.B. Rolin, for the defendant. This was an action brought by Ilma Vaughan (by Petronella Vaughan, her next friend) against Myles McRae, to recover damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and assault. Damages were laid at £5000. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

The evidence on behalf of defendant was resumed, and John Toomer, storekeeper, was recalled, and said plaintiff's character was very good until 2 or 3 months before she left Granville, when she began spreading tales about Granville that she was engaged to various persons, and that they came to see her. The language was not nice sometimes; she on one occasion asked him to introduce her to Mr. Bray, and said if witness could do so she would take him up the Woodford-road and fix him so as to make you marry her; one day she came into the store where a lady was sitting and said, "I have had an offer of marriage from a rich gentleman, and mamma says I must marry him as she is very much in want of money;" her reputation is to truthfulness was such that he would not believe her on her oath; she was well known as a contradictor of herself, and one day she would tell one story and next day another; witness gave the proofs of his evidence to the defendant's solicitor in December, long before this case came on.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gannon: Witness cleared her out because of her bad character; he never struck miss born in his life, nor did she smack his face; he swore that plaintiff did not leave his shop on one occasion because of his filthy language; he was not a married man, and never lived as a married man.

Q.: Did you ever tell her you were a married man?

A.: Yes; but do you know why?

Mr. Want: Yes, we will have the why.

Mr. Gannon: I want to have an answer to my question. Did you not tell her you were a married man?
A.: I did tell her I was going to be married.

Mr. Want: I ask that the witness shall be allowed to give the reason why.

Witness: On a certain Friday I was going to the Mountains, and plaintiff asked me whether I would take her with me as her brother was at Katoomba, and I then said that I was going up there to be married.

Mr. Gannon: Did you not tell her more than once that you were a married man?

Witness: No. After I came back on the Monday plaintiff asked me to introduce her to Mrs. Toomer, and I said she had not come down; it was only a bit of fun.

Mr. Gannon: I suppose when she spoke to you about being married to the persons she named you took it as a joke also?

Witness: No; she showed me letters, and said they were offers of marriage; she also said that she met Lord Bertie at a garden party; plaintiff and her mother did not give him notice; he gave them verbal notice to quit; he knew nothing about Mr. McRae until the action was entered upon.

By Mr. Want: Plaintiff's character was so bad but witness could not let her stop; two or three times he saw a tall read headed man standing at the back of the house with his arm round Mrs. Vaughan's waist, and kissing her.

His Honor: Do you mean to say that seeing a young man with his arm round a young woman, kissing her, shocked you? If so, it is not surprising you are not married. (Laughter.)

Witness: No; but there were several other things; I saw this man leave once in the morning between 7 and 8 o'clock.

Mrs. Josephine Ackroyd, a nurse, said that the plaintiff's reputation up to the time she left for Mount Victoria was not very good; on one occasion she came into Toomer's shop and told him she was engaged to be married to some gentleman, and said she must be married and get money for her mamma.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gannon: She had not had a talk with Toomer about this matter.

Sergeant James Macintosh, stationed at Manly Beach, said he was at Manly Beach at the time plaintiff was stationed there [sic].

Mr. Want: Tell me what her general character was there [Mr. Gannon objected to the question, and his Honor rejected the evidence, as he could not see how the evidence could possibly be material to the case, as showing that months after plaintiff was treated by the defendant as she alleges she behaved in a bad manner.]

Annie Raynor, wife of the district registrar at Granville, said she knew the plaintiff while she was at Granville, and she thought her and her mother quiet kind of people when she first knew them; plaintiff said something to her about engagements; of course witness never believed what she said, because she told so many different tales; she did not think she would believe her on her oath; about the only part of December plaintiff came to her and said that her brother had taken a knife to her; she also said her mother was very angry with her, as she had promised to get money by some means, and could not get it; she read a confession to witness, which she said she intended to leave with her mother; she said she had told her mother and her brother several times that she was going to marry wealthy people, that what she said to them was untrue, and that she was going to put the confession on the table and leave; she was crying at the time, and, in fact, she came to her several times crying, and seemed very unhappy; she told witness that Mr. and Mrs. McRae led a very unhappy life, and that Mrs. McRae was jealous of her (plaintiff's) mother.

Donald McRae, brother of the defendant, examined by Mr. Ralston, gave evidence as to plaintiff and her mother renting a house of his at Arncliffe; they came on the 16th or 17th January, 1890, and remained till the 4th or 5th March; plaintiff on one occasion spoke to him about being engaged to be married; Mrs. McRae spoke to him about keeping such people in the house, but he replied that she knew nothing about them; Mrs. Myles McRae seemed very "yellow" or jealous about plaintiff, and the latter said she must have a very poor opinion of her own sex to think she (plaintiff) would have anything to do with a married man, more particularly as he was old enough to be her father; she also said she was engaged to a gentle man at Granville, and was to be married in six months; witness never saw his brother at the house at Arncliffe while plaintiff and her mother were there.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gannon: He had never taken any great interest in this case. (Witness was here requested to write his name, also the words "treacherous" and "unnatural," and the sentence "vengeance is at hand," and he did so.) He had no antipathy whatever to the plaintiff (Mr. Gannon here handed portion of a letter to witness, in which the words that he had written occurred); that letter was not in his handwriting, and he never saw it before; he did not know the writing.

Mary Ann Wanston, boarding-house-keeper, carrying on business at 73 Hunter-street, said she knew the plaintiff, who lodged with her in March last year; Mrs. Vaughan came with her as far as the door, but did not come in; she said that her Guardian, Mr. McRae, had sent her there; she stopped a week, and then left at her request; her mother called two or three times while she was there; on one occasion, when she saw her mother coming, she shrieked out from the balcony, "Don't you dare come here, you wretch!" plaintiff's mother came upstairs five minutes afterwards, and she heard them quarrelling; they spoke in Spanish, but she knew they were quarrelling from what Mrs. Vaughan told her afterwards; witness reproved her for quarrelling with her mother, and she said that her mother was a very bad woman, and she did not want her to come there; plaintiff first told her that her father had been a man of property, but had died, and that Mr. McRae he gave her her money; plaintiff afterwards told her that she was an artist, and she also said on one occasion that Mrs. Vaughan was not her mother, and afterwards admitted that she was; she said she had to get money for her mother, and that her mother did not care as long as she got it; Mr. McRae was there on one occasion for about 10 minutes; plaintiff, after she left, came back to the house two or three times, and she said she had written several letters to Mr. McRae, and that he did not reply, and that if he did not send her money to pay some bills she would go to Mrs. McRae; after Miss Vaughan left Mrs. McRae called to make inquiries; witness asked plaintiff on one occasion why she did not remain with her mother, and she said she could not, as her brother had beaten and illtreated her in some way; witness used to think she was a great storyteller; she was very untruthful, and used to contradict herself.

Kate Mary Hartley, boarding-house-keeper, of Belmont House, Wynyard-square, said that plaintiff came to her house on the 22nd March while she was away, and when she came home she saw her going in to lunch with her hair dressed all in flowers; she spoke to her and told her that she could not allow her to go to dinner in that way; she remained four or five days, and during that time Mrs. McRae called, and after what she told her witness ordered the plaintiff to leave at once; she begged to be allowed to remain for the night, as she had no money, and witness consented to allow her to remain until the morning, when she left; she told witness on one occasion that she was engaged to Mr. McRae; witness replied, "How can that be, as he is married?" and plaintiff answered that Mr. McRae was to get a divorce from his wife; she said that Mr. McRae was very kind to her, and that Mrs. McRae was not a good woman, and she said that nothing improper had occurred between her and Mr. McRae; defendant never came to the house to her knowledge while plaintiff was there.

By Mr. Gannon: She saw nothing wrong about her except her peculiar way of dressing, and she requested her to leave because of what Mrs. McRae told her.

Mr. Morris stated that she kept a boarding-house at 108 Hunter-street; plaintiff came there on March 8 and left on the 22nd; when she came she said that her mother was not a good mother, and she wished she had a mother like witness; she asked plaintiff why, and she said that her mother was fond of the same man as she was; she said that Mr. Them Myles McRae was heard Guardian, and that Mrs. McRae was a very vindictive woman; as far as witness was or where Mr. McRae he never came to see her, and she did not see him until November; a gentleman named Cavin stopped at the house while plaintiff was there, and plaintiff's said he had made her an offer of marriage; she also said she was very fond of him, but she did not say she had accepted him; witness had very little to say to her.

Amelia Richards stated that she kept a boarding-house at Manly Beach; plaintiff came to her somewhere in April, and remained a fortnight; she never saw Mr. McRae there while plaintiff was there; she never saw him, that she remembered, until he subpoenaed her; she never heard anything against plaintiff; Mr. Tindall came to live there two day's [sic] after Miss Vaughan, and they were together very often.

Florence Marlborough, a general servant, living at Manly, said she lived at Mrs. Fletcher's during May and June last year; Miss Vaughan was also staying there, and she told witness that she was two years married to a Mr. Bray at Granville; witness was about with her a good deal; witness knew Ted Baker, a coachdriver, down there; she heard about Mr. Tindall from Miss Vaughan, who said she was engaged to be married to him; witness thought she said that she was then separated from Bray, or something of that kind; witness never saw Mr. Bray.

Mrs. Jane Beaton said she knew plaintiff at Mrs. Fletcher's as Cecilia Vaughan; she told witness to or three times that she was a Mrs. Bray; she also said that Tindall, a young lawyer, was after her, and wanted her hand; she further stated that she was stopping at Mrs. McRae is on one occasion, and one night Mrs. McRae took a tomahawk to her husband, and that she (plaintiff) had to keep him in her room all night; plaintiff was not truthful to her.

Myles McRae, being sworn, was examined by Mr. Want, and stated:- I first met plaintiff and her daughter in 1884, at which time I was carrying on an agency business; Mrs. Vaughan called upon me with reference to getting a house; Mrs. Vaughan said she had a letter of credit from a Mr. Stewart, of New Zealand; plaintiff was there with Nina Vaughan and her brother and Mrs. Vaughan; the latter said that she had no friends in Sydney, and had come up from New Zealand to meet her son, who was coming out in an immigrant vessel; she added that they expected to get £50 from Robertson, Fisher, and Ralfe, but that they had refused to give the money; she said that what attracted her to witnesses place was that Mr. Phipson, who was in his office, was a file and proposed who had built a coffee palace for the working classes at Birmingham; Mrs. Vaughan asked me to lend her some money, and, as she looked a respectable person, and Mr. Phipson urged me to lend the money, I lent her £11 10s, which was afterwards expended upon furniture; I bought the furniture at Mrs. Vaughan's request, as she was a stranger, and thought I could get the furniture cheaper; that money was afterwards repaid partly by Nina Vaughan, who was employed by me at Morpeth as governess to my family; I engaged Nina Vaughan, as her mother said she was in distressed circumstances and I thought she would be able to work off the £11 10s; I never went to Auburn, and never saw them there; subsequently I met Mrs. Vaughan in Elizabeth-street, and she spoke to me; that is the only time I saw her from 1884 to 1889, and in December of the latter year Mrs. Vaughan returned from New Zealand; she left a letter for me at Gunsler's, and it was some time before I received it; she wanted to see me particularly, and expressed her sympathy with me in my trouble with my wife; I went out to Granville to see her; she said she was very ill and in reduced circumstances, and asked for the loan of £25; that she had sold all her jewellery, and that they wanted to go up to Mount Victoria and open a boarding-house; I lent Mrs. Vaughan £13; she said she and her daughter were unwell, and that as her son was working up at Katoomba they might open a boarding-house there; she also asked me if I would stop there when I came up; Mrs. Vaughan also asked me if I could get her a position as housekeeper; I then left; it is not true that when I first went there I said to plaintiff that she was a fine-looking girl and it was a pity she did not get married; nor is it true that I ever told her or her mother that I had been divorced from my wife for two years; the case for judicial separation was then going on, and Mrs. Vaughan pretended that she could get me good evidence is owing to her daughter Nina, who was governors at my house in 1884, having kept a diary of what occurred, and that she knew my wife had split my head open with an ornament; I went to grant all on January to in response to Mrs. Vaughan's invitation, and Mrs. Vaughan said that they had taken a place up at Mount Victoria, and that if I would go up there for a time it would help them and do me good; I was not well at the time; I had nothing whatever to do with taking the house, under never gave them any recommendation in regard to it; the sun was present at the time, and he thanked me for lending his mother money, and said that he would never forget it; he said he had visited Mount Victoria while he was working for Mr. Hyam at Mount Victoria, and that he was sure it would do his mother goods; on the first occasion when I went out to Granville I did not ask the plaintiff to go for a walk, nor did I ask her to marry me either on that or the second occasion; I positively swear that when I went up to Mount Victoria there was no impropriety whatever between me and Miss Vaughan, and the story told by her and her mother has not a word of truth in it; it is not true that I left Mount Victoria on the Monday following my arrival there; as a matter of fact I remained from the 4th to the 13th January, 1890, and I received the following receipt from Miss Vaughan when I left, and saw her sign and receipt it:- "Mount Victoria, 13th January, 1890. Myles McRae, Esq., Dr. To Miss Vaughan - To 10 day's board and lodging, £5. Received payment - Mrs. Vaughan."

His Honor: You say that you never behaved improperly to her?
A. Yes.

Q. Never caught hold of her?

A. No.

Q. Never behaved improperly to her with or without her consent?

A. No, never.

By Mr. Want: We went for a walk to Fairy Dell on Tuesday and collected some ferns; before I left Mount Victoria Mrs. Vaughan pressed me to appoint her housekeeper at Kintale, but I declined to do so; she then said she would like to keep a paltry farm, and I then told her about the house at port hacking, which she rented for 10s a week; I gave her no keys, as I was awore [sic] that the door was not locked; from the time I left Mount Victoria I never heard anything about Mrs. Vaughan or her daughter until I received a telegram from Sutherland, asking me to go down at once; I thought at first that they could not find the place, but it appeared that they did go out and returned to the hotel; Mrs. Vaughan said the place did not suit them, as it was too far out; I returned to Sydney by the next reign, and they accompanied me. It is positively untrue that I took the College of Arncliffe for them, or that I introduced them to my brother; I received the letter, dated 13th January, from plaintiff, in which she thanked me for my kindness in assisting her and her family; it is not true that at Mount Victoria I gave plaintiff a diamond ring; I had not got a ring; in July last Mrs. McRae got an order against me for the payment of alimony on condition that she returned all my jewellery which she had seized; on the 20th January I met the plaintiff at the Arncliffe Station, where I was waiting for a train to Sydney; she asked me if I could get her permission to have an easel at the Art Gallery; I told her what to do in order to secure her object; in February I again met her at the Arncliffe Station when she begged me to have mercy upon her, and said that her mother was going to bring her beast of a brother to live with them, and she added, "For God's sake tell me where to go?;" the Hotel Metropole had just been opened at this time, and I recommended her to go there, but it was not arranged that I should go there with her; as a matter of curiosity, hearing that the hotel was a fine building, I went there subsequently and took up my quarters there; plaintiff was only one or two days there, and told me she could not afford to pay the amount charged; I then recommended her to go to Mrs. Wanston, 73 Hunter-street, who was formerly a tenant of mine; I did not go there with her or see her there except once, or stop in the same house with her; while I was at the Hotel Metropole plaintiff asked me to go to a private picnic at Mossman's Bay given by some person at Paddington; she said she wished to introduce me to her intended; she said he was the son of a lord, and she wanted to let him know that she knew an M.P. or some person of note; I went down there, but there was no picnic, no host, and no son of a lord; she said that the yachts and boats would be on the lefthand side, and after walking some distance up the hill we returned to the boat; nothing wrong of any kind occurred; I never visited plaintiff at Mrs. Wanston's, and after what Mrs. Wanston told me I studiously avoided her; I went to Mrs. Wanston's on March 6 or 7 in reference to £25 which Mrs. Wanston owed me for rent of another house; on March 10 and Mrs. Wanston met me in the street as I was passing, and told me something; she also informed me that my wife had been there; on the first occasion when I went to Mrs. Wanston's about the £25 I saw plaintiff in the passage, and spoke to her for a few minutes; it is utterly untrue that I took her round the Domain and assaulted her while she was at Mrs. Wanston's; as a matter of fact, I left for Morpeth on the 8th March, and was there until the 27th; I knew nothing of her until I received the letter of the 4th April, 1890, in which she addressed me for the first time as "My dear Myles;" after that she was continually writing to me, and I would not answer her letters; I never saw her after April, when she told me she had taken a situation as nursery governess, until she came with her mother to the Legislative Assembly; the £13 I lent to Mrs. Vaughan has never been returned; there is no doubt that all the letters I have received from her are in her handwriting, and the diary also; the diary which she denies having written I found in a tin box of her as at Mrs. Richard's; in consequence of something which Mrs. Vaughan wrote I went with my solicitor to Mrs. Richards and found the diary; Mrs. Beaton gave me the letter of the 6th June addressed by plaintiff to her mother; at this time plaintiff and her mother had commenced actions against me, and so had Mrs. McRae.

By Mr. Gannon: Pure friendship influenced me in my actions towards Mrs. Vaughan and plaintiff, and there was nothing approaching misconduct of any kind between me and the latter.

At this stage the further hearing was adjourned till the following day.


Innes J., 18 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 19 March 1891, p. 5

No. 2 Jury Court. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes and a jury of four.)


Mr. Gannon and Mr. Noble, instructed by Mr. H. Levien, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Want, Q.C., and Mr. Ralston, instructed by Mr. T.B. Rolin, for the defendant. This was an action brought by Ilma Vaughan (by Petronella Vaughan, her next friend) against Myles McRae, to recover damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and assault. Damages were laid at £5000. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

The cross-examination of defendant by Mr. Gannon was continued, and witness said: I never sent plaintiff and her mother took Clune's Hotel, Arncliffe, and never sent my brother with them there; I do not know as a fact that he went with them, although plaintiff said he did; I did not make plaintiff at the Arncliffe station by appointment; it was an accidental meeting; I knew as far as they had told me that they were not well off; I did not know whether plaintiff was penniless or not; when I lent the mother £13 at Granville I believe from what she told me that she was in straitened circumstances; I never paid for plaintiff at the Metropole.

Q.: And yet you asked this penniless girl to go to the Metropole.

A.: I did not ask her to go there; she implored me for mercy sake to tell her way to go, and as I heard that the cost at the Metropole was only 21s I recommended her to go there; I did not know the plaintiff was penniless when I met her at Arncliffe; she was well dressed; I believe plaintiff went to the Hotel Metropole before I did; she was there as a lodger when I went there, and she left next day or the day after; prior to that I was stopping at Robert's or my house at Bonnie Doon, and I went to the Metropole from curiosity to see what the hotel was like, and I stopped for two or three days after plaintiff left; when plaintiff told me that she could not afford to stop at the Metropole I recommended that she should go to Mrs. Wanstall's; I suppose I spoke to plaintiff before she went to bed on the second night of her stay at the Metropole; she stuck pretty close to me while there, but to my knowledge she was never in my room; about a month or six weeks after I had been at the Metropole I heard that it was reported that I had been turned out of the hotel; the manager told me that plaintiff had been turned out, and when I asked him why he said her room was wanted; I did not see "Madame Letitia" (or Mrs. Morrison) at the Hotel Metropole; she gave evidence in the divorce suit.

His Honor: was adultery one of the charges brought against you in the divorce suit?

A.: Yes.

Q.: With whom?

A.: With Ilma Vaughan.

Q.: And did you know it?

A.: I did.

Q.: And you allowed the suit to go undefended?

A.: Yes; and I made a mistake in not defending it.

Q.: You did not attend in Court?

A.: No.

Q.: Was there no counsel to represent you?

A.: Mr. Ralston represented many as far as the petition for alimony and custody of the children is concerned, which has not yet been heard.

Mr. Gannon: Were you not in the vicinity of the court all the time?

A.: No, I was sometimes there, but not all the time.

Q.: At the time of the divorce proceeding had your or Atty. the custody of these letters which she are produced in this case?

A.: I gave the letters to him after the writ was served; I thought my case would come off first; I did not know Mrs. Morrison, or "Madame Letitia," until I subpoenaed her; I was never in plaintiff's room at the Metropole, and the statement that a servant court me coming out of the plaintiff's room in the morning is false; it is not true that that was the reason plaintiff was turned out; she said that she could not afford the charge; I know that one of the charges against me in the Divorce Court was adultery, but I could not believe it; my wife said that if I would combat she would quash the divorce action and the present action; I did not go into the Bosch with plaintiff at Mossman's Bay; I saw Mr. Williamson on board the steamer on the return journey; he did not get in at Mossman's Bay, but at a wharf between Mossman's Bay and Sydney; I did not speak to him; I'm told that Mrs. Morrison swore in the divorce suit that she saw me miss conducting myself with plaintiff at Mossman's Bay, and the statement is false; I was not in the bush at all; I did not know Mrs. Morrison, but I believe the Judge said that her evidence was most unsatisfactory; up to the 10th March plaintiff addressed me as Mr. McRae, but after that she wrote to me as "My Dear Myles," and it annoyed me very much; I did not see her after the 10th March except on the 4th April, when she said she had taken a situation as nursery governess; I said nothing, as it was not by [sic] business; I did not say yesterday that she ought to stop with her mother; I have received other threatening letters from plaintiff, which I have not brought to court; sum I tore up without opening the envelope and threw into the waste-paper basket; I do not recollect receiving a letter early in the year asking when I was going to marry plaintiff; that is an invention; the proceedings against me by my wife were not withdrawn at my special request; they were amicably settled; Mrs. Vaughan told me at Granville that she was very sorry for my trouble, and that when her daughter Nina was governess at my house, in 1884, she kept a diary, and it would furnish valuable information; the proceedings in 1889 were quashed; I never got letters from any women of bad character.

Mr. Gannon: Have you shown similar kindness, as you call it, to other women in Sydney?

A.: No.

Q.: Did you not, from pure kindness escort a girl about from the Fresh Food and Ice Company?

A.: No; I have not.

Q.: Have you not received letters from bad characters?

A.: No; I have never had anything to do with bad characters in my life.

Q.: Do you not know that Dr. Reid swore in the divorce suit that you were suffering from a certain disease?

A.: Yes, and he spoke falsely, and I will call Dr. MacLaurin to prove that it is not true; I shall prove it to the satisfaction of the world. (Witness here became very excited, and said that in 1883 he was under the care of Dr. MacLaurin. He explained the nature of his complaint, and stated that ultimately he had to undergo an operation at the hands of Drs. MacLaurin and Goods.)

Mr. Want: Did Dr. Reid examine you at all?

Witness: No, I turned him out of my house; my wife was drinking and taking chloroform and cholordyne, and was constantly in a state of stupor; when Dr. Reid came the second time to my house I ordered him out, and he summoned me to the Police Court for abusive language.

Mr. Gannon: Did your wife not get some bottles of yours, and did you not threatened to throw her into the street if she did not give them up?

A.: It is not true that I ever raised my hand to any woman in my life.

His Honor: Was not cruelty one of the charges in the divorce suit?

A.: Yes, but it was not true.

His Honour said that, although he could not shut out the fact that adultery and cruelty were charged against Mr. McRae in the divorce suit, he thought they had gone far enough, and he did not see why they should go into further particulars.

Mr. Gannon: I contend that it is necessary to do so in order to test the credit of this witness.

His Honor: Have you not had enough? Witness says it is not true, and that it is false swearing by all these people, and yet when these charges were brought against him Mr. McRae chooses to stand by in the precincts of the court and it gives no evidence.

Mr. Want: His counsel was in court, and was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses.

His Honor: But respondent in the suit was standing in the precincts of the court, and did not give evidence, though he was charged with adultery with this young woman.

Witness: I was prepared to defend the charge on the petition for alimony and the custody of the children.

Mr. Gannon: Did not your wife in 1884 leave you and go back to her father at Paddington?

A.: No; I was living in Paddington, and I went with Mrs. McRae and her mother to Melbourne from Paddington; I never black and my wife's eyes; I do not remember her face being injured by some chemical being thrown at her at Paddington, and I do not remember her face being scarred and marked; I remember her saying something about it in the divorce suit.

His Honor: What was the decree in the divorce suit?

Mr. Gannon: The petition was for dissolution of marriage, and before the close of the evidence Mrs. McRae, owing to religious scruples, being a Catholic, applied for leave to amend the petition by substituting judicial separation, which was granted.

Mr. Want: The petition was amended at the last moment.

His Honor: Was any application made by the defendant for leave to appear at the last?

Mr. Ralston: I applied for leave to cross-examine the witnesses, which practically amounted to the same thing. At the last moment, when they applied to change the prayer of the petition, I contended that that could not be done except upon notice to us, and that it could only be granted on the terms that defendant should be allowed to come in. As soon as the case was unfolded I applied to cross-examine the witnesses, but was not allowed to do so.

Mr. Gannon: And you know you had no right to do so. Defendant had not appeared in the suit, and you would therefore legally a stranger.

His Honor: If by inadvertence or anything of that sort a person had not filed an answer in a cause which interfered with the status of the parties and the position of the children, I think the Court would hesitate before it would refuse to allow a party to come in if he makes out a case; but if he stands by until the cases proved and then finding that instead of being released from the marriage he is still bound he then wishes to appear it is a different thing.

Mr. Gannon (to witness): While you were living at Kogarah did you know a girl named Catherine Smith?

A.: Yes.

Q.: Can you tell me why she left your employer?

A.: Through my wife's drinking.

Q.: Did she not leave in consequence of your indecent proposals?

A.: No she did not; she lived with us again afterwards.

Q.: Did you not while living at Bonnie Doon pass through the kitchen and dining-room in a complete state of nudity;

A.: No; that is false.
(By consent the issues in the divorce suit were admitted as evidence.)

Witness: I do not know Miss Sullivan, or whether she was a governess at Bonnie Doon; we had so many governesses; we had 150 servants at one time and another.

Q.: Do you not know that Mrs. McRae swore that through you she could not keep any governesses or servants?

A.: I do not know it.

Q.: Has she not told you that she could not keep governesses and servants through your vile and indecent conduct?

A.: It is false; she could not keep them through her drinking; I know Mr. Quinlan, who was a servant at Bonnie Doon, but I do not recollect having any dissension with my wife about her; she drank as well as my wife; the statement that she left in consequence of my indecent conduct is false; Mrs. McRae did not charge me with it; I will prove that it is not true when the petition for alimony comes on.

Mr. Gannon: Did you not defend the petition for alimony pendente lite on the ground that your wife was a drunkard?

A.: No; it was because I could not afford it; I do not know a girl named Maggie Thornton, and it is false that in 1889 I made a proposal to marry her; when I went to Mount Victoria it was about 12 o'clock, and Mrs. Vaughan opened the door; I went straight to bed, and never saw the plaintiff that night; the whole tale told by the plaintiff and her mother is a complete fabrication; they do not want justice, but corn; I remember getting the keys of the house at Port Hacking from Mrs. Crick, but that was a long time before Mrs. Vaughan went out there, and at the time when I heard that some damage had been done to the property; when Mrs. Vaughan went out there the keys were at my house at Bonnie Doon.

Q.: Was it not reported that a shirt with your name upon it was found where plaintiff was stopping at Manly?

A.: No.

Mr. Want: We got there too soon for you.

Witness: Mr. Gilder, my solicitor's managing clerk, was informed that there was a shirt there, and he went down and found no shirt, but found plaintiff's diary.

Mr. Want: You say that Dr. He had made some statement in the divorce suit. Prior to this had your wife had taken proceedings against you and harassed you?

A.: Yes.

Q.: And is it not true that she dropped them all?

A.: Yes, for about eight years.

His Honor: Had she asked for a dissolution of marriage before?

A.: No; a judicial separation.

Mr. Want: Had she not done that more than once?

A.: Yes; they were for judicial separation; she filed a petition for divorce ones, and dropped it at the last moment, and it cost me £400; I had gone to the whole expense of the pairing my defence; I was written to buy difference solicitors threatening the filing of petitions, and it came once to the settling of issues; I have been subjected four years past by Mrs. McRae to harassing proceedings, and have been put to thousands of pounds expenses one way and another; she has compelled me to shift to 22 different residences; the reason I did not prepared for the divorce suit was that my lawyer told me my wife would probably drop it at the last moment.

Mr. Want: You know that these cases of the plaintiff and her mother were set down for trial last December.

A.: Yes; and they were not ready, and it cost me £450; the divorce case was set down for February 23; this case was a remand, and it would have been reached last time but for one short case; if this case had come on in December, it would have been tried before the divorce suit; with reference to the shirt, my wife wrote to me accusing me of leaving a shirt with Miss Vaughan, and I went to Manly with Mr. Gilder before they could get there.

Mrs. Richards was here recalled, and said that the dire was found in plaintiff's box at witness as house at Manly.

Mr. Gannon: Was there a man's shirt in the box?

A.: There was when Mrs. McRae called with Madame Letitia.

Mr. Want: But what was in the box when they came down you do not know?

A.: No.

Q.: When Mrs. McRae came down she examined the box?

A.: Yes.

His Honor: Did she caught the shirt in the box.

A.: I did not see her poured it in.

William A. Gilder, a solicitor, and managing clerk for Mr. T.B. Rolin, said he had had charge of this case for defendant; in November last year he went with Mr. McRae to Mrs. Richards's house at Manly in consequence of something that Mrs. McRae had written; he went to a box which Mrs. Richards pointed out as the property of plaintiff; they were in it an old dress, some music, some drawings, and at a little bag full of shells and odds and ends, a few other small things, and the diary.

His Honor: You are able to say he that there was no man's shirt there?

A.: I positively swear there was no man's shirt in that box.

Mr. Want: And you searched on purpose to see whether there was a shirt in consequence of what Mr. McRae told you?

A.: Yes; and I only went there once.

Francis Henry green, stockbroker, who had previously been for 12 years in the Joint Stock Bank, said that the letters purporting to be plaintiff's were in the same handwriting, and so, in his opinion, was a diary.

John J. Butler, council clerk of Morpeth, gave evidence that to his knowledge Mr. McRae was at Morpeth on the 10th March, and remained there for eight days continuously; he also saw him at Morpeth on the 22nd of the same month.

William Bunt, hotelkeeper, of Morpeth, said that Mr. McRae came up to Morpeth on the 8th or 10th March, and he thought he remained a month.

Malcolm McRae, brother of defendant, gave similar evidence.

Mr. Want poured in evidence a cheque drawn by defendant on the 13th January, 1890, at Mount Victoria, in payment of his account for board and lodging due to Mrs. Vaughan. He pointed out that Mr. McRae had inadvertently dated the cheque 1889, but the bank's stamp showed that it was 1890. Counsel also stated that Dr. MacLaurin could not be there until 2 o'clock, but, said with his Honor's permission he would stop his address to the jury when Dr. MacLaurin came, in order to get his evidence.

His Honor: I do not think it worth while.

This was defendant's case, and Mr. Gannon said he had no evidence in reply.

Mr. Want then proceeded to address the jury for defendant, and was followed by Mr. Gannon on behalf of the plaintiff, who will resume his address this morning.


Innes J., 19 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald , 20 March 1891, p. 3

No. 2 Jury Court. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes and a jury of four.)


Mr. Gannon and Mr. Noble, instructed by Mr. H. Levien, appeared for the plaintiff; and Mr. Want, Q.C., and Mr. Ralston, instructed by Mr. T.B. Rolin, for the defendant. This was an action brought by Ilma Vaughan (by Petronella Vaughan, her next friend) against Myles McRae, to recover damages for alleged breach of promise of marriage and assault. Damages were laid at £5000. Defendant pleaded not guilty.

Mr. Gannon resumed and concluded his address on behalf of the plaintiff.

His Honor in summing up said that the case was certainly not an ordinary one. Curious is very many of the cases were that they will called upon to try, it very really happened that they had such an extraordinary case as this. There could be no question, he supposed, that there were great improbabilities on both sides. He could be very little question that the story told by the girl and her mother was in the ordinary acceptation of the circumstances very improbable. On the other hand, it seemed to him that the jury were likely to think that the story told by the defendant was at least equally improbable. In this case, as in most others where a plaintiff came before a jury asking for damages at the hands of a jury, it was incumbent upon him or her to make out the case set up, and it was for the jury to say whether the plaintiff in this case had succeeded in doing so to their satisfaction. A case for breach of promise was somewhat peculiar with regard to the law of evidence, because the Legislature had been extremely jealous of the rights of defendants, whether male or female, in such actions. They were aware that accusations of alleged promises might easily be brought forward. The Legislature up to a few years ago had said by enactment that the parties in an action for breach of promise of marriage were not competent witnesses. They had, however, amended the law by admitting the parties to such an action to be witnesses, but they had said at the same time that while they should be considered competent witnesses, know plaintiff should be entitled to recover a verdict "unless his or her testimony shall be corroborated by some material evidence in support of such promise." So that this action rested upon a somewhat different footing from an ordinary case. The difficulty referred to, however, did not arise in this case, because if they believe the evidence of the plaintiff and her mother, the evidence of the former was directly and materially corroborated. It was for the plaintiff to make out her case, and if at the close of the whole investigation they could not believe that she had made out her case, then, even although they did not believe a good deal of what the defendant had said, they had no right - however strongly they might condemn his conduct - to give her a verdict. It was a very extraordinary case, and exceedingly sad, look at it from whatever aspect they would. Here was a young girl just on the threshold of womanhood, and if she had been treated as she said she had it was most inexpressibly sad, and if she had not, it was quite as saiud to see such an exhibition as that of a young girl coming into court and lending herself to the concoction of a story of this kind, and really accusing herself of having been defiled, and unquestionably committing abominable perjury, unless, of course, the jury accepted the theory put forward by Mr. Want, yesterday that she was not responsible for what she said; and even so, it was still an exceedingly sad exhibition. As for defendant, he was a man who told them that through his good conduct and abstention from intoxicating liquors he had raised himself to a position of consideration in the State, and yet he had been subjected, as he said, to this attack. But the jury must bear in mind and if that defendant came into court as a witness at once convicted on his own admission of the very adultery which plaintiff charged him with. There was no getting away from that, because there was no question whatever that as far back as May last he was perfectly cognisant of the whole of the divorce proceedings and the charges brought against him by his wife. It was idle to say that he thought the divorce suit would not be gone on with, and the jury must ask themselves whether former proceedings in divorce might not have been abandoned a owing to defendant's promise of amendment. In the early part of last year of these specific charges were brought against him, and ever since that time he had allowed the whole thing to go unanswered. He went into court and instructed counsel to represent him as far as the petition for alimony, which might touch his pocket, was concerned; but as far as his character was concerned, he stood in the precincts of the Divorce Court and did not open his mouth to answer charges made against him, one of which was adultery with the young woman who was plaintiff in this case. In addition to that, he knew that he was charged with cruelty to his wife, and the defendant Knew, he presumed, and certainly Mr. Ralston, the talented young counsel who represented him in the Divorce Court, knew, that in order to make out a case of cruelty it must be cruelty indeed. Defendant therefore came into court convicted on his own admission of adultery with this young woman and cruelty towards his wife, and yet he wept here about his wounded character. He thought it would have been much better if those tears had been shared by defendant in the Divorce Court. It was altogether too late, and the silliest pretence and most transparent shuffling for defendant to say that he thought the divorce suit would not go on. The jury were asked to brush that suit aside, but he strongly misapprehended their powers of reasoning if they did not say that the proceedings in the Divorce Court were matters of importance in considering this case. The issues which were clearly found against the respondent in the divorce suit were marriage, adultery with one Ilma Vaughan, and cruelty to petitioner, Clara Charlotte McRae. Yet defendant came into court and said that he was innocent, that he had been neither crew all nor unfaithful, but that on the contrary he was a much-wronged and suffering man, and had been subjected to years of intolerable misery because of his wife's drunken and dissolute habits. In the face of all this he stood by and assisted at the suicidal sacrifice of the character which he valued so much, and over the ashes of which he was yesterday weeping in that court. Defendant said that he did not think the divorce case would come on first; but such a statement was idle, because no Judge would force a case of that kind on if a party came in, even at the last moment, and furnished been good ground for the presumption that he had a good defence upon the merits. It was impossible to suggest any justifiable reason for defendant's non-appearance, and none was attempted. It was idle, therefore, for him to come into court in the present action and saying he was there to defend his character. He had come there to defend, not his character, but his pocket. He believed it to be his duty to point this out to the jury in order that justice might be done between party and party, and he believes the observations he had made were not one bit too strong, and were called for by the conduct of the defendant himself. That being so, it was exceedingly sad to see defendant occupying such a pitiable position. Well, notwithstanding all that, it by no means followed that plaintiff was entitled to a verdict, because they were not sitting there had to punish defendant for any wrongdoing apart from this particular case, though his previous conduct was very material when they came to consider what credit they could attach to his evidence in the present case. The defendant denied that he was ever guilty of any improper conduct with plaintiff, either with or without her consent, and that he never touched her except in the way of kindness, and that being so they could not shut out and from there knowledge the proceedings in the Divorce Court in considering whether or not they could believe him. If by any extraordinary chance he was there much injured and sacrificed individual that he represented himself to be, he really must remember in his calmer moments that he had himself only to blame for the inexplicable course he took in the Divorce Court. It was for the jury to say whether they believed him. The plaintiffs story, as he said, was highly improbable, and under ordinary circumstances it was extremely unlikely that the assault was committed. The jury must ask themselves whether it was likely or probable that if this girl was subjected to the outrage which she and her mother declared she was, defendant would have been allowed to remain an inmate of the house for the rest of the evening and the whole of the next day, and that the mother would have allowed her daughter to go wandering about the bush with defendant on Sunday. The probability was that the defendant was more accurate when he said that he remained there for more than a week afterwards. One would suppose that a mother who valued the character and happiness of her daughter would have insisted upon something very definite being done in the way of reparation. She would tell him, "You are going to marry my daughter, and that is the best reparation you can make for the outrage you have committed, but I shall not expose her to the risk of a repetition of the outrage until I have some binding security." There explanation was no doubt that they were to a certain extent in defendant's power through poverty, and that when they were making complaints about his conduct, he quietened them by saying, "What is the use of making a row about it? I am going to marry your daughter, and it is no good making a fuss." It was for the jury to say whether they were satisfied with their explanation. They must also bear in mind that even if they did take proceedings they would still have run the risk of not being believed, and it would then be uselessly exposing their shame to the whole world. He was sure that the jury would try to put themselves in the position in which plaintiff and her mother were at the time and say whether in their opinion the explanation was sufficient. There was little doubt that they would disbelieve the statement of plaintiff that she did not write certain of the letters, and that the diary was not hers, but they would have to consider what all these letters amounted to, and whether they were inconsistent with the rest of her story. They would ask themselves why a she was persistently pressing him for money, unless she thought she had some claim upon him. His Honor, after placing the main points of the evidence on both sides before the jury, said that, as far as character was concerned, the result of the case would be much more important to the plaintiff then to the defendant, because, as far as his character was concerned, he stood by its grave in the Divorce Court, and it was altogether too late now for him to try to rehabilitate his character and cleared himself of the conduct of which, by his own allowance, he was found guilty in the Divorce Court.

The jury retired at half-past 1 o'clock, and at a quarter past 4 o'clock they returned into court and said they had agreed upon the second count, and wanted to know if the parties would take a majority verdict on the first count.

Mr. Ralston had declined to accept a majority verdict on the first count, and the jury were so informed, and his Honor stated that unless they had agreed before 7.30 (when 6 hours would have elapsed) they would be locked up for that time.

The jury then again retired, and at half-past 7 o'clock returned into court, when the foreman said that on the first count (breach of promise of marriage) they found a verdict by majority for plaintiff.

His Honor: With what damages?

The Foreman: We are rather unsettled about damages.

His Honor: You must find the damages. That is part of your province and your duty.

The Foreman: We are agreed to find damages, but are not agreed as to the amount.

His Honor: You had better retire again and consider that point.

The Foreman (after a brief conference with the other jurors, who concurred): We agree on the amount.

His Honor: What other damages?

The Foreman: £500 by majority on the count for breach of promise of marriage. We all agree that on the count for assault in the Domain the verdict must be for the defendant.

His Honor then discharged the jury, and thanked them for their services, at the same time expressing his regret that so much of their time had been encroached upon.

Mr. Ralston applied for a stay of proceedings until next term. These people were actually without means, and if they obtained the fruits of their verdict before defendant had time to appeal the money would be gone, and if the Full Court granted a new trial it would then be useless.

His Honor: That argument would apply to the case of any poor litigant who might thus be kept out of the fruits of his verdict.

Mr. Ralston: As far as the actual money is concerned, if your Honor wishes it, we'll all paid into Court. The only thing is we want to be protected, in case we have a new trial, from this money disappearing altogether.

His Honor: If I could see or conjecture any ground upon which the verdict could be successfully assailed-

Mr. Ralston: There was your Honor's ruling as to the diary. You refused to allow us to examine as to the diary.

His Honor: You were allowed to put the diary in. I only refused until there was evidence which justified you in putting it in.

Mr. Ralston: There is also a ground with regard to your Honor's ruling as to certain letters. Your Honor ruled that we could not cross-examine on those letters without either showing them to the girl or furnishing some evidence that they were in her handwriting.

His Honor: I withdrew the ruling entirely, and allowed the letters to go in.

Mr. Ralston: Not until we showed her the letters. These are the grounds which we think arguable.

His Honor: I do not think there is anything in these points.

After some further discussion his Honor said that an application might be made to him in Chambers any time next week for a stay of proceedings, but he made no order in the meantime, as he understood the practice was the proceedings remained in abeyance for at least a week.

Innes J., 26 March 1891

Source: Sydney Morning Herald , 27 March 1891, p. 7

In Chambers. - (Before his Honor Mr. Justice Innes.)


Mr. Ralston appeared for the defendant, and applied for a stay of proceedings until next term. Mr. Levien appeared for plaintiff.

His Honor said there was no doubt whatever that there was something in what Mr. Alstan said the other day. Plaintiff and her mother were clearly persons of no means; and, if the amount of the verdict was paid and the money disposed of by them, it would be very difficult indeed to recover it in the event of the verdict being set aside. Plaintiff would not be prejudiced by a stay of proceedings, because, if the memorandum for a new trial had been filed, she would have to give security to return the amount of the verdict if the Full Court to set it aside.

Mr. Ralston said that the memorandum for a new trial had been filed.

His Honor ordered that the £500 been paid into court by April 3, or security given for the amount to the satisfaction of the Prothonotary. This being done, there would be a stay of proceedings until the fourth day of the ensuing term; plaintiff to be at liberty to proceed to taxation of her costs, and when such taxation was completed the sum due by her on the second count for assault - the finding upon which was in favour of the defendant - to be deducted from the amount. He allowed no costs of the present application to either side.

Darley C.J. Windeyer and Innes JJ, 4 May 1891, p. 5

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 5 May 1891, p. 5

The second term of the year was opened yesterday at the Supreme Court, the Judges that being the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Windeyer, and Mr. Justice Innes. After the question of jurors' fines had been considered, the Court proceeded to deal with the rules nisi for new trials. In Robb v. Ellis and Vaughan v. McRae the cases were struck out, there being no appearance.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 3 June 1891, p. 7

In regard to the action, Vaughan v. McRae, in which the plaintiff recover damages for breach of promise, an application was made to the Full Court yesterday for an order directing the Prothonotary to allow Myles McRae, the defendant, the costs of the witnesses whom he called in rebuttal of plaintiffs count for assault, upon which the verdict went for him. The Prothonotary being of opinion that the evidence was called in connection with the count for breach of promise upon which the defendant failed, refused to allow him such costs, and the Full Court being appealed to yesterday confirmed Mr. Chapman's decision. It may be mentioned that the bill of costs submitted by defendant for taxation on the count for assault amounted to £624 4s 9d, and the Prothonotary taxed off £497 19s 4d, leaving a balance of £126 5s 5d. Plaintiffs costs were submitted at £495 5s 3d, off which £189 4s 2d was taken, leaving a balance of £306 1s 5d, and after deducting the costs allowed to defendant the total sum allowed to her was £179 16s.



[1] The divorce case, McRae v. McRae, was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on 2 May 1891, p. 7 .

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University