Weekly Snippet #34: Page 134 / 100 Words
Dorothy Margaret Stuart. The English Abigail. London: Macmillan & Co., 1946.*
Chapter VII. The Eighteenth-Century Abigail – In the Witness-Box and Elsewhere
“More than twenty year later the parties to all the ill-assorted and long-unreal union were anxious to break its bonds and form other lawful connections. Augustus [Hervey] had fallen in love with a surgeon’s daughter at Bath and Elizabeth’s ‘protector’ [Elizabeth, née Chudleigh, the Duchess of Kingston], the Duke of Kingston, was anxious to make an honest Duchess of her. So the lady brought “a suit of jactitation of marriage” before the Consistory Court, and, as Horace Walpole put it, “appeared at Doctors’ Commons and swore by the Virgin Mary and Diana that she was never married to Mr. Hervey.” It was, of course, a grotesque miscarriage of justice, the result of collusion between all the parties…”
You can read more about this famous bigamy case here; much of the evidence against her was given by her abigail Ann: isn’t scandal grand!
*Book image: My copy has no jacket; this copy with jacket intact is available for sale at World of Rare Books (Goring-by-Sea, SXW, United Kingdom) on abebooks.