Hate, Love, Bigamy & The Old Bailey

From Dorset to Westminster

The Ipswich Journal, Saturday, May 2, 1896
A Bigamist of Nineteen

‘Clarissa OSBORNE, otherwise TILBURY, a girl of 19, who was arrested at 67, Tachbrook Street, Pimlico, was charged at Westminster Police Court with bigamy. The first marriage which the accused contracted was in June 1893, and the second ceremony was in November last. When arrestd she said,

"It is quite true; I did not love my first husband. I hated him. It was my friends who forced me to marry him. I married John TILBURY as I was very unhappy with my first husband, and sold my home to buy food with."

Mr. DUTTON, who appeared for the accused, said the poor girl was in very bad health, and her story was a sad one. The first husband, a deserter from the army, after giving information to the police leading to her arrest, surrendered himself to the military authorities.

Mr. DE RUZEN remanded the accused on bail.

Reynolds's Newspaper (London), Sunday, May 17, 1896
Clarissa Tilbury, or Osborne

Accused, the daughter of a cab-driver, was married at the age of sixteen to a man named Robert OSBORNE, a postman.

The Mother of the accused, who was the witness to the first marriage, deposed that she had been herself three times married. Witness was present at her daughter's second marriage last autumn at a registry office at Brixton. The girl then described herself as single. At this time OSBORNE had deserted the accused, and left no indication of his whereabouts. The first husband's home was sold by the accused to pay for food and necessaries. Cross-examined, Witness said that the first husband only lived with the accused for two or three months. He knocked the girl about and treated her most unkindly before running away.

John TILBURY, a private in the Scots Fusilliers, deposed that he married the prisoner, whom he knew as Clarissa Smith LIDDLE, in November last. He did not know that she had been married before.

Prisoner: "That is false."

Sergeant ALLEN said when he arrested the prisoner she said she hated her first husband, and that it was her friends made her marry him when she was only fifteen years and four months old.

Mr. DE RUTZEN committed the accused for trial to the Old Bailey, allowing her out on her own recognizances.

The Illustrated Police News
Saturday, May 23, 1896

... The first husband's home was ... [as above] ... before running away.

Mr. DUTTON: You introduced your daughter to her second husband? The Witness [her Mother]: It was through me that they met. He was a night cabman.

The accused was now suffering from advanced consumption and other disease. Her first marriage certificate was torn up, and the accused believed that by the destruction of that certificate she became a free woman ...

From The Proceedings of The Old Bailey online
Sexual Offences: bigamy; 18th May 1896

No. 445. Clarissa Smith OSBORN (alias Clarissa TILBURY ) pleaded GUILTY to marrying John Henry Squire TILBURY during the lifetime of her husband.

Verdict: Three Days' Imprisonment.


FreeBMD, May 2008

Clarissa Smith SIDDLE [from a typescript register entry]
m. Robert Raymond OSBORNE 2Q 1893 (Paddington 1a/69)

Clarissa Smith SIDDLE
m. John Henry S. TILSBURY 4Q 1895 (Lambeth 1d/982)

1901: St Margaret & St John The Evangelist Westminster, London
Clarissa TILBURY age 23 b. St Marys Blandford Dorset
- Frederick W. TILBURY age 2 b. London Westminster (Juvenile)

John Henry S. Tilbury's & Clarissa Siddle's Families

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My thanks to the Gale Group for the free trial of their online newspaper collection