lazy_hoor: (Drunk Victorian Brummie)
VIRAGOS, and the WIFE-BEATING ACT.

A " shrewish-looking woman," and  "a strong good-tempered looking man" appeared at the Thames Police-court on Thursday, before Mr. Yardley, in a matter which proves, what we have long suspected, that the Act for punishing wife-beating is occasionally perverted, and made use of by viragos as a means for wreaking vengeance upon their husbands. The husbands who give their wives a sound thrashing are not invariably such brutes as are supposed; and sometimes they are more deserving of sympathy than the wife. A man may be provoked and aggravated by a worthless, drunken woman, to a pitch which leads him to inflict personal chastisement upon her, and then, she turns round upon him and invokes the penalties of the Act in the certainty that her mischievous and revengeful object will be gained by the man's committal to prison. Sho is then for a time her own mistress, converts the household furniture into gin, and while the husband is expiating his offence in gaol, she is leading uncontrolled a life of disgusting profligacy and dissipation.

In the case in question, the woman, after spitting in, her husband's face, struck him, and gave him a black eye, saying at the same time.-—"I'll make you hit me, and then I'll give you six months of it." The woman pointed to her own blackened eye, which she accused her husband of having produced, saying that " it was not the first by many." But fortunately he was enabled to refer to one of the officers of the court, who confirmed the statement that she had got it in fighting with another woman. But for this fortunate turn in the evidence, the man might have been punished instead of the woman. He said:—"I avoided striking her, Sir, as I knew what the consequences would be. I lead a dreadful life through the violence of her temper." No doubt of it; and if he had administered a little wholesome correction to the tigress, the public would probably have applauded the sentence which deprived him of his liberty for a few months, taking but little account of the provocation he had endured. Mr. Yardley, who, as a magistrate, is better able to appreciatethe hardships of such a case, said:—" This is one of the many instances which, I am sorry to say, are too numerous, in which women avail themselves of the provisions of the new law to irritate their husbands, by which the law is converted into a means of encouraging women in misbehaviour; and I wish there was some other enactment to counteract that tendency."

The woman was fined £5, and, in default of payment, was committed for two months. At the same time, the Act of last session seems scarcely to have abated the abomination of brutal acts of wife-beating; and there seems little hope of its having this effect, as the offence is usually committed in moments when the husband is excited by drink, and perfectly reckless of consequences. It may be that, when the sentence has expired, a different course is pursued, and the enforced forbearance may produce more domestic harmony. At all events, cases brought up for a repetition of the offence do not seem to occur. It would be interesting to learn the precise influence of the penal effects of the law.

-Editorial in The Era, June 11 1854
lazy_hoor: (Drunk Victorian Brummie)
'I went into the outer counting-house to speak to Mr. Banks, and there I saw the prisoner standing with these two hunting-whips in his hands (produced, one had an iron hammer for the handle)—he held the cane-handled one towards me, and said, "Take that"
I said, "Why am I to take it?"
He said, "You take it"
I said, "I shall do nothing of the kind"

He walked out of the counting-house with the iron-handled whip in his hand, and walked a few yards from my gig which was standing at the door—I saw him wrap the thong round his hand, so as to make it quite tight—the lash was twisted round his hand—I waited some time by the door—I could hardly believe his assaulting me is my state of health, and I waited some minutes to give him time to reflect—I then proceeded towards my gig, and as I was about to step into it, I felt several blows on my back and shoulders from behind—I had nothing is my hand to defend myself with—after he had struck me several times, I turned round and put my hands up to my head—Mr. Banks came, caught him round his waist, pulled him away, and said, "Good God! Harvey are you mad"—the prisoner dashed Mr. Banks away, as if he had been a child—he seemed very much out of breath, and leaned against the front of the counting-house with the whip in his hand—I said, "You will have to account for this"
He said, "Yes, I know I shall have to pay for it, and I am d—d if I do not give it you; you accused me of stealing your pencil-case"'

(The witness, on attempting to leave the box, suddenly fell, and died on the floor of the Court almost immediately.)


Must have been a pretty snazzy pencil case.
lazy_hoor: (Default)
"Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, walked to Dublin and was not apprehended despite popping into a Garda barracks in Co Wicklow to ask for directions." 

Célestin Lainé, who tortured and murdered Resistance fighters, used to live in Rathgar, after being granted asylum by the Irish government.

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