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Colonial Cases

Wiedemann v. Walpole, 1891

[breach of promise of marriage]

Wiedemann v Walpole

Source: Western Gazette (Yeovil), 19 June, 1891.


The action as resumed on Thursday. Mr. Terrell having concluded his opening speech, Miss Wiedemann was called, and substantially repeated her evidence at the former trial as to the conduct of the defendant at Constantinople. She also narrated her meeting with the defendant's mother at Cannes. The latter told her she must give up her son, as he must marry a lady with money. She was obliged to leave the Hotel Continental, and went to the Hotel Dore, where she met a Captain Darlington, whom she afterwards knew as Cooke, an agent of plaintiff's.  She consented to go to Berlin with Cooke to meet plaintiff, but Cooke left her at Namur.  Ultimately her brother took her to his house, where she was confined in July, 1883. She stated at the former trial that the child was alive. She denied that she had a child in Berlin in 1880. Her sister Marguerite had refused to give evidence. Dr. Saatz had stated that in 1880 she was advanced in pregnancy. The case was adjourned.
 On Friday the case was resumed. The plaintiff, in further cross-examination, stated that at Cannes she had given her name as Madame Valerie. Questioned as to a document read in a Consular Court at Constantinople, to the effect that a person named Valerie Wiedemann had charged Victor Crenneville with being the father of a child of hers, she said the matter did not apply to her. She never told Mr. Walpole she had been brought to Constantinople by a German officer, who promised to marry her. The reading of passages from some letters by the plaintiff to the defendant and others concluded the cross-examination, and the case was again adjourned.
 Miss Wiedemann was on Saturday re-examined by her counsel in her breach of promise action against Mr. Walpole. She denied all personal knowledge of a man named Victor Crenneville, though she knew the existence of such a family in Vienna. At the time she was stated to have been in Cyprus she said she was in Bohemia. She declared that it was untrue that she gave birth to a child in 1881, and produced a certificate showing that in May of that year she was admitted to the Roman Catholic Church in Rome. She reiterated her denial of any improper relations with any man other than the defendant. - Counsel for the plaintiff, being unable to produce Cooke, the detective, endeavoured to induce Mr. Baron Pollock to admit the notes of the evidence he gave at the first trial, but this was objected to. - Counsel for the defendant said that, after the submission which he should have to make had been heard, he thought the case could not last long. - The trial was again adjourned.
 On Monday morning, the case for the plaintiff closed, and on the point being raised by the defendant's counsel, Baron Pollock ruled that there was no corroborative testimony. - Mr. Lockwood addressed the jury for the defence, the Court then adjourning for the day.
 On Tuesday, Mr. Walpole, in examination, said he never promised marriage, and what took place at the Hotel d'Angleterre, Constantinople, was entirely by plaintiff's consent. She was afterwards profuse in her thanks for £100 in addition to £15, but subsequently made a scene, and said she would have thousands. Witness's income was only an allowance of £300 a year from his mother, but he was heir to property, on which he had borrowed to a certain extent. The examination of Mrs. Walpole closed defendant's case, and the court adjourned.
  The case concluded on Wednesday, when, after an absence of an hour and a-half, the jury awarded  Valerie Wiedemann £300 damages.


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